View Full Version : Pocket Telescope 24 gram/ 0.75oz

2007-10-01, 00:21
Anyone own or have handled the
Zeiss MiniQuick 5X pocket telescope?

Found a reliable review here:

Was wondering what you guys think about this item for backpacking.
Too little magnification?
The guy in the review gives a general report of being able to read
1/2" lettering at 25 yards, and car plates at 75 yards. Now I am no optics
buff or anything.... But I would think I would want a much more powerful
(and of course heavy) magnification for practical outdoor use.
When I think of things I would use them for it would likely be for spotting
trail signs or portage signs and marker ribbons across lakes, down river, etc.
I guess for a bare bones magnification, I would like to be able to scan for
an orange tree-blaze (2"x4" in fluorescent paint) from about 1/4 mile.
That may be a little wishful. Otherwise I would normally be scanning for
a portage sign aprox 10" square in bright or faded yellow, from ranges
of at least 1/4 mile.

Anyone think this little scope thingy could manage that? or should I head
straight for more powerful magnification (and weight)

I know the price is frightening. But that happens anytime you slap "Carl Zeiss" name to anything with a lens.

2007-10-01, 00:31
Wow ... crazy enough the Carl Zeiss Inc. website has a pretty good

"binocular school" section. its basically an overview of optics and
how they relate to function without pages of math and tech garble
and I really like the pictures they use to explain the different features
in a sort of "if you pay for this feature - here is how you will see it
through the device". pretty cool.


2007-10-01, 06:30
A 5x (even though fairly weak) will help you to see and recognize more objects and animals than you would think.

However it sounds to me that for what you want, you're going to need a wider field of view (the second number). You'll want to get at least a 20mm or higher. Trying to scan for anything with a small aperture is pretty much a lesson in futility.

I'd go to a sporting goods store and check out their monoculars.
Around here they usually have a display were you can try them out. You'll get a much better idea on what you want and need that way.

For a couple of years I carried an inexpensive Tasco 5x20 monocular (http://www.opticsplanet.net/tasco-5x20-monocular.html) on a cord around my neck. While it wasn't the greatest of monoculars, it had good optics and it got me in close enough to identify a lot of birds and read a lot of bumper stickers. Plus if something happened to them I was only out $10.

I'd still be carrying it except my Mom stole it from me, as she wanted something she could carry in her purse.

I now bring a cheap telescope along with me in my daypack, but even though it's much more powerful, and has a wider field of view, it's much less useful, as it takes much longer to get into action, takes up more room, and weighs more. I keep meaning to buy another monocular but haven't gotten to it.

2007-10-01, 07:25
I can't answer you question as to whether or not the Zeiss or any other monocular will ID portage signs for you but I will say that if any monocular will do it the zeiss will. As for being able to spot something small resolution is more important than magnification. A friend has a pair of 8 X 20 Zeiss binos and they are absolutely stunning, I think they cost over $500 now. The only thing they don't bring to the table is light gathering ability (more important for hunters using them at dawn and dusk). I have a pair of Steiner 8 X20's and they aren't in the running optically with my friends' Zeiss they served me well in Iraq. If I was in an open area nothing moved that I couldn't ID.

2007-10-01, 10:37
Well, for comparison, my Bushnell 8x21 binoculars weigh 7.2 ounces. The 4x30 are 7.7 ounces.

2007-10-01, 12:45
I would think that 5x is adequate for the use you describe. WWII field binoculars were typically 6x30 and the commercial standard for bird watching and hunting for years (until the 1970ís), was 7x35.
As Take-a-knee says: ďresolution is criticalĒ, however I canít imagine a Zeiss product without superior resolution. One thing I might be concerned with is the field of view. If Iím reading the specs right; the field of view at 500m will only be about 50m and I might have a hard time finding what Iím looking for (or recognizing what Iím looking at) at that range. The relatively low power would help to keep larger landmarks in view while you search for your portage sign there.
That 10mm objective lens is pretty small and looking through a monocular for any extent of time is challenging compared to using binoculars but for the use described, that thing might be worthwhile. Itís not the kind of scope you will want look through to watch birds or big game for any length of time
My hunting binoculars are 7x21 and I've never felt the need for anything higher powered even after looking through others 8x21's or 10x24's. Lower powered glass is easier to hold still, gathers relatively more light and normally has better (longer) eye relief too.