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Zeiss Miniquick 5x10 review

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#1 Swedpat

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 12:04 PM

Zeiss Miniquick 5x10 has been in my interest for long time. Actually I discussed it in THIS thread 12 years ago! My doubts was about if the eye relief should be enough for eyeglasses and if not, if the diopter adjustment range was enough for use without eyeglasses. But if I never try it I will never know so a short while ago I ordered it, and received it some week ago. First of all: I can see the full FOV with eyeglasses and the diopter range is enough without eyeglasses, so it was just perfect!

 

Personal impression:

When I was a kid I had a(claimed) 8x pen budget monocular and the optical quality of Miniquick of course is much better...
With 10mm aperture it's good that the magnification is not higher than 5x, as well for the brightness and stability.
Miniquick 5x10 is very lightweight and pen sized monocular perfect for carrying in a shirt pocket or in the side pocket of working trousers. The image is very sharp but due to its size the optical performance becomes limited. Compared to an ordinary monocular or binocular it does not provide any viewing sensation. Low magnification, narrow APOV(if you think that <50deg is tunnel vision, this one has 28,5deg and here we can talk about tunnel vision), and a pretty dim image except from daylight, this glass likes daylight.
However, this is not in any way a bad rating: the optical laws sets the limit here and you simply can't expect more with such a small aperture(only twice the light gathering power of the naked eye) and field stop.

 

While the sharpness is good I still perceive that the image does not really have the true "brilliance" I am used to see with a Zeiss glass. And I think I can see the reason: when looking at the exit pupil it is surrounded by a glossy area. This is visible from the objective lens as well if holding the eye close to the lens. I draw the conclusion that this reflective area reduces the contrast of the image. And this is confirmed when looking against bright light sources at night, like streetlights and moon. Around bright light sources the FOV becomes covered by a noticeable haze. If this is visible at night against light sources it probably results in a certain contrast reduction during daytime observations. There is no spike, though.

 

When it comes to the physical construction my criticism is stronger. The body is plastic and pretty slippery. While I guess this is intentionally in order to make it as lightweight as possible I would like a more reliable construction. I would prefer an aircraft aluminum barrel with a thin rubber cover for better grip(alternatively a textured aluminum surface typical for flashlights). Especially when taking the price tag in consider one could expect a more lavish body construction.
The focuser is stiff enough to not be moved accidently and has a numbers of recessed stripes so it it works good without slipping on the fingers. The clip works good.

 

While 5x by many is considered as too low magnification as mentioned it is good it isn't higher with only 10mm aperture. So what is visible with it? Well; it's definitely better than the naked eye. I clearly can read car licence plate numbers at distances the naked eye can't even guess. I can read the text VIASAT on a neighbours parabolic antenna, while with the naked I could not even know it was a label there, looks just like a blurry dot. I can see birds and airplane details much better. Or recognize people when the naked eye cannot. Of course this is not something new for the most readers but it can be good to know for some people who may think that "only 5x" isn't much help.

 

Conclusion: I consider Miniquick 5x10 as a very nice monocular despite its shortcomings, it really fills the need of a portable and lightweight monocular. Due to the plastic design I consider it as a bit overpriced. Still I find it worth to get if I can make use of it and as long it works properly. As we know: the best optics is the one we use!

 

I just have a few concerns. Because of the slippery body surface it's probably not a question if it will before or later slip out of the hand, it surely will. Will it survive a 1,5m drop onto a hard surface? The clip is a vulnerable part of the glass, and the risk is that it before or later will accidently be broken. Is it replaceable?

 

At this moment I have not yet tried it at the night sky, but will report as soon I have done it.

 

Unfortunately it isn't possible to comment between the pictures so I comment here: the third picture from above shows the eye lens, it is 8mm diameter, and the forth shows the 10mm objective. The fifth picture shows the glossy area around the exit pupil but as it is seen from the objective lens.
The last picture is the field of view taken with my smartphone.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Miniquick with pen.jpg
  • miniquick in hand.jpg
  • miniquick eye lens.jpg
  • Miniquick objective.jpg
  • Glossy inside.jpg
  • 5x10 image.jpg

Edited by Swedpat, 15 April 2017 - 05:59 PM.

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#2 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:01 PM

I looked through one decades ago while visiting Edmund Scientific in N.J. An interesting but way overpriced toy for wealthy minimalists.


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#3 mooreorless

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:05 AM

Hi Patrick,   Thanks for taking the time to review this monocular. Looks like it would be nice to carry but I would probably drop it first time out.;) Price is high as well. I bought a Levenhuk  Wise 8x25 monocular and keep it in the vehicle. It works good for me and has very close focus, a little less than a foot,  0.3 m.  


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#4 Swedpat

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

Thank you for comments!
 

While it's indeed a very portable and useful monocular it's also overpriced. To be honest more than "a bit" overpriced. But I don't regret I bought it because I use it every day, it follows me on the way to the work. And during the breaks I use it to look at birds, airliners or just the view.


Edited by Swedpat, 19 April 2017 - 02:11 PM.


#5 KennyJ

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:25 PM

Patric,

 

Thank you for taking the time to construct such a well written review, which would put many to shame whose first language is English!

 

I must say I'm not very impressed with the optical aspects, especially from a company such as Zeiss.

 

Could you not find something suitable to wrap around the section of body that is slippery?

 

Perhaps something along the lines of a tennis racket grip which you could cut to size and replace when it gets a bit grubby?

 

Anyway, so long as you're making use of it is the main thing. I'm afraid I've hardly used any of my binoculars since the end of the cricket season last September, but the new season starts tomorrow!

 

Good to hear from you again.

 

Kind Regards,

Kenny



#6 Swedpat

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:17 AM

Hi Kenny and thanks for your kind words!

 

Actually I thought about some kind of tape. And some day ago when I took the monocular out of the pocket I couldn't get focus. Then I noticed that the black objective ring had loosened a bit. Not good at all that it isn't tighter than that the objective lens unintentionally could drop out! This is truly another critical point against the construction of Miniquick.
Well; I decided to ensure that it does not happen again and took some electrical insulation tape around the objective part. Then continued on the middle and eyepiece part. It actially becomes a bit more friction on the surface.
 

I send a picture and at the picture the "Made in Germany"-sticker on the clip is gone as I understood it would go. Yes, at the second picture in my first post it already began to loosen a bit.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Miniquick tejpning.jpg

Edited by Swedpat, 22 April 2017 - 03:20 AM.


#7 Binojunky

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:34 AM

I got one of these a few years ago, however it was on sale with a good discount due to the store shutting its doors, for the price it should have come with some sort of case, I have another pocket optic by Minox that included a cloth bag and at a lower price,D.



#8 Swedpat

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:21 AM

I got one of these a few years ago, however it was on sale with a good discount due to the store shutting its doors, for the price it should have come with some sort of case, I have another pocket optic by Minox that included a cloth bag and at a lower price,D.

 

Yes I agree. It should be included a waterproof case. Do you have use for it today?


Edited by Swedpat, 06 May 2017 - 03:22 AM.


#9 Binojunky

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 02:01 PM

 

I got one of these a few years ago, however it was on sale with a good discount due to the store shutting its doors, for the price it should have come with some sort of case, I have another pocket optic by Minox that included a cloth bag and at a lower price,D.

 

Yes I agree. It should be included a waterproof case. Do you have use for it today?

 

Once in a blue moon, I have other monoculars in my collection that while not as compact they are more capable, Dave.



#10 Paul G

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:21 PM

I've had a Zeiss Miniquick for about 15 years, it's a handy little thing. It's a 5x10 so one's expectations should be realistic when it comes to performance. It's really light for its size but it shares that characteristic with some of Zeiss' alpha binocular optics. My Zeiss 7x42 Victory T* FL's have really nice optics and a nice wide fov, and since they are really light in weight they are very comfortable to carry around my neck all night observing or all day birding. But holding them in one hand and my Leica in the other the heavier Leica oozes quality while the Zeiss seems cheap. I realize the high tech lightweight components are anything but cheap so it's an unfair bias much like the sound of a car door closing, but it's a common enough bias that luxury car manufacturers spend a bunch of money tuning the sound the closing door makes just to elicit that feel of solidity and luxury.

 

I didn't realize owning one made me a "wealthy minimalist." laugh.gif I bought it from a local camera store, IIRC I paid $99 for it but it's so long ago it could have been $199 and I could just be misremembering. Even if it was $199 that's less than the cost of four cartons of cigarettes here in Virginia, less than two cartons in New York or Illinois, one night in an OK not great hotel, one toner cartridge for the color laser printer at work, dinner for 4 at a nice restaurant, etc. And it came with a nice little leather case.

 

Speaking of toys for wealthy minimalists, I'm intrigued by these but haven't decided which one (or ones) to get, I'm drawn to the titanium, zirconium, magnesium, damascus steel and tungsten.

 

https://foreverspin.com/


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#11 Binojunky

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:58 AM

Made just down the road from me, D.
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#12 Swedpat

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for comments,

 

While the image is not in par with typical class for Zeiss, I have use for it and that's the important thing. And I can bring it with me everywhere. The drawback is that it's easy to loose it, like a pen is. You don't feel the weight of it so if it drops out of a pocket you will not notice it.

 

Foreverspin is an interesting toy! But which one to choose? So many options...

I have bookmarked the page.. laugh.gif



#13 Swedpat

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:31 AM

An update after a year: Miniquick 5x10 is my most used optical instrument and I use it every day at work. I carry it in my workpants and when I have time over I use it for looking at the view(I work at 5th and 6th floor) and airplanes.
The northernmost part of Sweden actually is under the air routes for many air liners between as well UK-north of Finland, Japan-Europe, Russia-USA and Saudi Arabia-USA. This apart from the domestic airplanes of course, so there are a lot of airplanes to see at the sky from my home town Boden.
Miniquick 5x10 is not the best instrument for it with the low magnification and narrow AFOV but still it's much better than naked eye.


Edited by Swedpat, 12 April 2018 - 12:26 AM.


#14 mooreorless

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:54 PM

Hi Patric,  Thanks for the year update on the Zeiss Miniquick ! I am  glad you like it alright.  I still have the Levenhut 8x25 monocular and still keep in the vehicle and have used it elsewhere as well. I spelled your name right this time. 


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#15 kevanbrian

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 03:22 PM

Very good review of the Zeiss mini quick.funnily enough I used mine to look at the Moon on a trip to Sweden this year!I was visiting Swedens newest national Park (and only urban national Park) the Royal djurgarden in Stockholm.it lets in about double the light on an adult human eye so certainly better than nothing!I have had a mini quick messier marathon and I think that the following have been seen in it;m45,m44,m13,m3,m39,m41,m47,m24,m8,m31,m15,m2,m22 possibly others too I can't remember.i know that it failed with m33 and the moon's of Jupiter although theoretically Jupiter's moon's should be within it's punny grasp.i have seen Uranus in it too.one problem I have had is accidentally unscrewing the eyepiece thinking it was the focal ring, I haven't had any problem with the front objective.the deep sky view is very dim and it makes my opticron 8x25 seem like the Hubble space telescope!
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#16 kevanbrian

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 03:36 PM

Oh just remembered I have noticed that skirt of light when you look down the front of the mini quick and I think that it is something to do with the prisms rather than an undarkened internal surface? unfortunately due to it's tiny appeture you can't shine a torch into it to examine the internal make up.i have tried with green and red lasers too and they give no more information about the internal make up that a normal torch.zeiss say it's a roof prism design and is weather proof.having accidentally unscrewing the eye piece I can say that it has a black o ring washer and I'm going to guess one at the front too?by the way I've been through boden many years back on my train trip from narvik to Stockholm and onwards south.if I recall boden is a bit south of the artic circle?I got out at Kiruna if I remember but passed through boden staying on the train.

#17 Paul G

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

You can flip it around and use it as a hand held microscope.

#18 kevanbrian

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:29 AM

You can but you can do that with any monocular!I saw about 60 seals with the mini quick yesterday and the daylight Moon.itd say it's good for packing at this time of year when it hardly gets dark(I'm at 54.6 north).

#19 kevanbrian

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:38 AM

Oh I forgot I got one of Jupiter's moon's with the mini quick a few evenings back.i was a bit doubtful and I wasn't 100 percent but checked with my vortex 8x36 monocular and sure enough it was a Moon in the same place as the mini quick showed 'something'.the other Moon's must have been behind or in front of the planet as I only got one even in the 36 mm.i got m13 in the mini quick too, fairly easy.

#20 Swedpat

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 06:53 PM

Oh just remembered I have noticed that skirt of light when you look down the front of the mini quick and I think that it is something to do with the prisms rather than an undarkened internal surface? unfortunately due to it's tiny appeture you can't shine a torch into it to examine the internal make up.i have tried with green and red lasers too and they give no more information about the internal make up that a normal torch.zeiss say it's a roof prism design and is weather proof.having accidentally unscrewing the eye piece I can say that it has a black o ring washer and I'm going to guess one at the front too?by the way I've been through boden many years back on my train trip from narvik to Stockholm and onwards south.if I recall boden is a bit south of the artic circle?I got out at Kiruna if I remember but passed through boden staying on the train.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience, and appologize for the delayed reply! And nice to hear you have been in and around my areas. Yes, Boden is slightly south of the polar circle, ~100km or so.

I have to say that while it's interesting to try out what Miniquick can do at the night skies and that it's better than the naked eye at some object, it's pretty boring instrument...

I am impressed what objects you succeeded to see with it, and just to mention M33; if I recall correct I struggled to see it even with 8x42 binocular, so I think it's a very hard match for the Miniquick.

 

At this time of the year(just passed the longest day of the year) we have to wait around 2-3 weeks until the brightest stars appear. And until august before the constellations will be visible again.

By the way: what I suspected could happen it happened a while ago: the clip broke off. I contacted Zeiss Sweden and received the answer that I could send it for replacement. For replacing of the broken clip it requires to remove the eyepiece. I will try to put a clip from a small flashlight instead.


Edited by Swedpat, 29 June 2019 - 06:56 PM.


#21 kevanbrian

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 08:28 AM

I find m33 easy in 8x25 monoculars as long as the Moon is not out.people say it's difficult but I've never found it so and have just seen it with the naked eye.the miniquick is just too small an size for it's spread out diffuse light.here it gets dark for a few hours, Oxford, England, from about 2330 until 0400 at this time of year so a couple of nights back I was able to test the miniquick on Jupiter.a clear disk and 2 moons visible .I was also able to use it to look at some noccullient clouds in the north.i don't use the pen clip as the lenses have no covers and stuff would get on them if you clipped it in you pocket.zeiss do a very nice little case for it.


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#22 Swedpat

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 01:30 PM

I find m33 easy in 8x25 monoculars as long as the Moon is not out.people say it's difficult but I've never found it so and have just seen it with the naked eye.the miniquick is just too small an size for it's spread out diffuse light.here it gets dark for a few hours, Oxford, England, from about 2330 until 0400 at this time of year so a couple of nights back I was able to test the miniquick on Jupiter.a clear disk and 2 moons visible .I was also able to use it to look at some noccullient clouds in the north.i don't use the pen clip as the lenses have no covers and stuff would get on them if you clipped it in you pocket.zeiss do a very nice little case for it.

I will give the Miniquick a new try on the nightsky in august! I didn't know Zeiss offers a case for it.



#23 kevanbrian

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 07:25 PM

Yes it's a hard black leather case with a clip top and general retails for about €15.it stops stuff getting on the lenses.i used the miniquick 2 nights back to pick Antares out of the dusk just north of Oxford,so it has it's uses,as in the dusk Antares wasn't quite naked eye.probably too low anyhow to see from boden?we get most of Scorpius from Oxford down to epsilon at about 35 south but I've never seen the sting from there.i think I've had mu Scorpius but that's about 37 south and the atmosphere is thick.
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#24 Swedpat

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:00 PM

Yes it's a hard black leather case with a clip top and general retails for about €15.it stops stuff getting on the lenses.i used the miniquick 2 nights back to pick Antares out of the dusk just north of Oxford,so it has it's uses,as in the dusk Antares wasn't quite naked eye.probably too low anyhow to see from boden?we get most of Scorpius from Oxford down to epsilon at about 35 south but I've never seen the sting from there.i think I've had mu Scorpius but that's about 37 south and the atmosphere is thick.

 

At Stellarium I see Antares at this moment is just below the horizon. That doesn't matter just now however, because we have still practically daylight 24 hour. I live around 100km south of polarcircle and it's about a month until any serious star gazing is to think about!



#25 kevanbrian

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:34 PM

I'm in Florence, Italy,now and saw mu Scorpius and the cat's eyes in the tail last night but the light pollution is very bad because of unshielded pseudo gas lights which the bulbs are fully exposed with no shield at all.even if the bulb element is shielded in these pseudo gas lamps the glass sides cause the light to go everywhere anyhow!the belong in the scrapheap of history!the furthest north that I've stargazed from is Marienheim in the Aland islands.it was in a September and the days where still warm but after dark it got cold.i suspect that even if it was dark in summer in boden Antares would be below the horizon.from Oxford it's my second lowest first magnitude star,formalhault being the lowest.formalhault comes up around October and is quite easy to see but not far above horizon.


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