Opticron MM4 Travel Scope – Review
Opticron MM4 Travel Scope:
|Specifications||50 ED||50 ED/45||60 ED||60 ED/45|
|Price £ inc. VAT||£329||£329||£429||£429|
- Super-compact ED “extra low dispersion glass” objective
- High contrast FMC optical system
- Close focus to 2.5m (50mm), 3.5m (60mm)
- Removable rubber objective lens cover
- Telephotoadapter option
- 30 year guarantee
SDL v2 Zoom Eyepiece:
5-group, 8-element ‘super’ zoom, the SDLv2 offers superior cross-field definition with exceptional viewing comfort. Waterproof and fitted with a rotating eyecup. Supplied in soft padded case. 10 year guarantee.
|Price £ inc. VAT||£299|
HDF T Zoom Eyepiece:
High definition eyepieces with long eye relief. Fixed magnification models are wide angle (except 40861). Models marked (*) feature alloy twist type retractable eyecup. 10 year guarantee.
|Price £ inc. VAT||£199|
|Opticron Eyepieces side by side SDL v2 (left) HDF T (right)|
Actually using the scope out in the field is the real test though isn’t it, they can look great on paper but how do they measure up when that distant wader is pecking away on the far bank of a reservoir or that distant raptor circling high in the clouds. Well in the few weeks I have had access to the MM4 I’ve been pretty impressed.First off the added weight in my backpack is minimal, I’ve not really noticed it really, I guess the extra 619 grams of the scope and extra weight of the eyepieces doesn’t add much, and certainly not enough to push my back to its, admittedly low, limits,useful when on one of my many Milton Keynes Walks or beyond.
More importantly the scope and eyepieces work really well, the zoom facilities of both are of course extremely useful, although as with all zooms you do lose quite a bit of light at the highest magnifications, and you certainly need a stable tripod to use them. But I have been able to pick out the subtle eye ring of a winter plumage Little Ringed plover at distance.
How does it compare to the bigger scopes out there, well, as you’d imagine the light gathering in a small scope like this is never going to match that of larger aperture scopes, but as with most modern optics there isn’t much to fault. At low zooms the light is perfect, the higher you zoom the less light you have but it is still excellent quality.
I didn’t notice any fringing, but then unless it is extreme I usually don’t. And both eyepieces felt comfortable, with decent eye relief.
|Opticron MM4 Travel Scope with SDL v2 Zoom Eyepiece|
Design of the Opticron MM4 Travel Scope
Having had the opportunity to use and compare two different eye pieces was great, but I can honestly say I struggled to see any noticeable difference between the two lenses optically, and with a £100 difference, I do have to wonder why. I know the SDL v2 is waterproof, and I guess that means different sealing but in terms of visual performance I could see no noticeable difference.The SDL v2 is heavier, and larger, but is waterproof and comes with a nice padded case, the HDF fits better and is lighter, but no mention of waterproofing. The eye relief on the SDL v2 is longer, and there is a larger opening in the end you are looking through, but unless comparing directly you are unlikely to notice.
I actually think the HDF looks better on the scope, it seems to fit tighter having a narrower base, but looks should never be the deciding factor. My advice would be to choose the eyepiece that suits you better.
|Opticron SDL v2 (left) and Opticron HDF T (right) opening apertures|
When you think, you can have the MM4 and the HDF for a combined price of £528 (£628 with the SDL v2) this is hard to beat.
The optics are brilliant for something so small and I now have to convince Zoe that buying one would be a good idea, for my back you know!
You can find more wildlife and outdoor related reviews on my Reviews page.
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