Released at the SHOT Show 2015, Minox USA introduced their new tactical line of optics and among those is the new ZP8 1-8x24mm model. For those that have never heard of the brand, Minox is a very old German optic maker and it has recently acquired Optronica, the German manufacturer of the 3-15x56mm sniper scope for the US Marine Corps. The new Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm is the finished development of an Optronica design.
The new Minox ZP8 is a direct challenger to the two other premium 1-8x tactical scopes on the market: the Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8x24mm and the Schmidt & Bender Short-Dot 1-8x24mm. Size and weight wise, all three are practically the same at around 12-in long and 24 ounces.
Unlike most of the German/Austrian optic companies, Minox has no problem with making tactical optics for the US market. An interesting feature of the ZP8 is that it has a fixed 200 meters parallax instead of the more common 100m/yds setting found on most of the short and medium range tactical scopes. The Minox ZP8’s 34mm tube size body is made from CNC machined aircraft-grade aluminum. Since it’s a German scope, it uses SCHOTT glass extensively.
Priced at $2800, the new Minox ZP8 is about $100 cheaper than the Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8x24mm and about $400 less than the illuminated Schmidt & Bender Short-Dot 1-8x24mm model. The ZP8 is marginally shorter than the other two but it’s the heaviest at 24.5 ounces w/o mount. A very nice touch is the inclusion of the premium quality Tenebraex flip-up lens caps with the Minox ZP8.
The Minox ZP8 has some huge turrets. The illumination control turret has the pull-out lockable function and there is an off position between each of its 9 settings. The top elevation turret has a push-down lockable feature but it’s only for the return-to-zero setting. I told Minox USA that most of the American shooters would prefer this lockable feature in all the turret adjustments. Minox offers three reticle choices for the ZP8 and the MR10+ reticle is the one that I recommended.
The Minox ZP8 offer a true 1x at the low end but I found it’s a bit sensitive on the eye relief to maintain that. The Minox’s field of view (FOV) at 1x is wider than the S&B SD by 2 ft and an impressive 24 ft more than the Leupold Mk8. For those of us that don’t have perfect vision, the ZP8 has a 1.5x zoom setting (thanks to SMGLee for bringing this up).
At the middle range of 3x, the ranging and hold-over features become usable. Noted that on the ZP8, the daylight visible center-dot illumination is only available from zoom 1-3x. After that, the reticle illumination lights up the center crosshair. The ZP8 is in fact using a dual-focal plane illumination with the center-dot illumination in the SFP and the center crosshair illumination at the FFP.
At the top 8x, I really like the Minox ZP8’s MR10+ reticle. Located in the lower left is the height and shoulder-width based stadiametric rangefinders for 300m, 400m and 500m. At the center and just under the center crosshair, is the MR10+ reticle’s group of dots in a square grid pattern. That allows rapid in reticle target correction similar to using the Horus reticle but without all the cluttering.
I used the Minox ZP8 out to 1000 yards with both an AR-10 in .308 caliber and 18-inch barrel, and my 6.5 Grendel AR-15 with 16-inch barrel. Optically, the ZP8 has no problem seeing my half-torso size steel plate at 1000 yards. Those little dots subtension in the MR10+ reticle were great for BDC and windage correction without the need of touching the adjustment turrets. The large FOV of the ZP8 eliminated the need to use a 20 degree angled scope mount for the long range.
The ZP8’s FOV at the 1000 yds is about 2-ft less than the Schmidt & Bender Short-dot, but about 8-10 ft wider than the Leupold Mk8. Like all the 1-8x scope I have tried, the Minox ZP8 also has a very touchy eyebox at the top magnification. That’s probably caused by the tiny 3mm exit pupil, which the S&B and Leupold are also suffering from. In comparison, a healthy human eye has a 6mm exit pupil.
The laser engraving on top reminds you that the Minox ZP8 is a German-made premium optic. I matched the ZP8 with the American-made Warne 34mm X-SKEL 1-piece AR-15/10 style scope mount.
TFB’s own Nick Chan is using the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm on the Dragunov. The scope is mounted on the new SVD mount developed by RS Regulate. The Minox’s ZP8 actually would makes a good DMR scope because of its reticle design and variable zoom range. It was certainly more flexible than the original fixed 4x PSO-1 optic on the SVD.
I don’t have the S&B and Leupold available for my optical testing, but the Minox ZP8 is at least as good if not better in optical performance. The Minox ZP8 is a bit less expensive and slightly shorter in length, plus it’s offering true 1x at the low magnification and wider FOV at most of the zoom ranges. However, the Schmidt & Bender Short-dot and Leupold Mk8 are lighter, have better turret designs and more reticle choices. If you’re in the market for a premium 1-8x scope, the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm is worth a consideration.
Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm Specification:
Objective size: 24mm
Tube size: 34mm
Length: 11.6 inches (295mm)
Weight: 24.5 oz. (695g)
Eye relief: 3.5 inch (90mm)
Exit pupil: 10.3-3mm
Field of view: 1x: 123 ft@100yds (37.5m@100m), 8x: 15.75 ft@100 yds (4.8m@100m)
Windage adjustment: +/1 5 MRAD
Elevation adjustment: 10 MRAD
Turret Adjustment: 0.1 MRAD per click
Parallax Adjustment: Fixed at 200m
Reticle: 1st focal plane MR10+
Illumination: 1-3x daylight visible center-dot, 3-8x center crosshair.
Power: 1x CR2032 lithium w/ digital power control
Field of View: 1x: 112 ft at 100 yds (37.5m at 100 m), 8x: 15.7 ft at 100 yds (4.8m at 100m)