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