Optic Review: Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm Tactical Scope

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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:
Magnification: 1-8x
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)
MSRP: $2800



Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


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  • iksnilol

    I was thinking this optic would be nice on the Dragunov. Do they intend on making a “bigger” version with 42mm objective instead of 24mm? I could live with added weight for the extra light.

    • It wouldn’t be the same scope but possibly one that size with similar features.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        Anything bigger than the Minox or the stock PSO optic size would look and feel stupid on a SVD.

  • Tassiebush

    This seems like a really, really awesomely thought out optic with so much versatility to cover each end of it’s potential areas of use. The reticle seems like an awesome hybrid of a no4 style german reticle for the fast stuff or low light but with all the long distance features. About the only flaw might be low light performance with that small objective although pesumeably the nice thick tube and lense coatings would close a lot of ground.
    I looked up the Minox website and It looks like it Starts at 10.3mm exit pupil at 1x magnification and hits 3mm at 8x so it’d hit 6mm exit pupil which is best in low light gathering for most adults at presumeably around 4.5x

    • Timothy G. Yan

      More like the middle 3x-3.5x is the best spot. Exit pupil effects the eyebox on a scope. None of the 1-8x scopes and the majority of the 1-6x scopes have good eyebox. Most of the decent 1-4x scope will give your 13-8mm exit pupil.

  • Minox? Do they chew on power cables?

    • SD3

      They chew on wallets.

  • SD3

    $2,800, huh? I’ll take a couple dozen.

    • Dan

      I’ll go in half with you if you want to? Would look super sweet on my 10-22 i won in a raffle