Having tested out the Opticron MM4 last year, when Opticron offered me the chance to test out their latest incarnation of the MM3, the Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope, I was very eager. These light weight, compact, field spotting scopes, are great for throwing in a bag, and not adding too much stress to your shoulders. Ideal for a bad back sufferer like this chap!
Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope Specs
• Super-compact high definition optical system
• High contrast FMC optical system
• Accurate 8:1 dual focusing system
• Close focus to 3.5m
• Fully armoured body
• Tripod adapter with +/- 90 degree rotation
• Removable rubber objective lens cover
• Telephotoadapter option
• 30 year guarantee
|OG dia (mm)||60||60|
|Min Focus (m)||3.5||3.5|
|Price £ inc. VAT||199||199|
Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope – review
When the Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope and eyepiece arrived, I was impressed by the size and weight of the small scope. It is slightly heavier than the MM4, but near to half the price as well. For anyone planning on travelling, or those who like to keep their bag light, this low weight is a real boon.
I was using the 60/45 with HDF T 15-45x (which can be brought for £199), but there are plenty of other options to choose from.
Checking out the local starlings sat on the roofs of the houses behind mine, I was instantly impressed by the clarity, contrast, and crispness of the view. Colours seemed clear; there was no obvious fringing; and even though the skies were bright, the birds were easy to see well.
In Field Use
Obviously first impressions are just that though. The real test of a spotting scope is use in the field.
Thankfully the Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope seems to be just as good in the field.
At this time of year migrants become my focus on the patch, one in particular can be tricky to identify at times, the Little Ringed Plover. Using the MM3 I was easily able to spot the distinctive yellow eye ring on my local birds (when they were about) even in bright sunshine. The lack of colour fringing made picking out the subtle colours on the legs of Willow Warbler pretty easy, even when the skies were dull and lifeless. And thanks to the clarity of the lenses I’ve managed to easily pick out the Common Tern (well the lack of Arctic tern really), the crispness easily showing the black bill tips.
Obviously the real reason someone would want one of these small scopes though is the size. Being able to carry something small means there is less pressure on your back and shoulders when in the field. Or if you are travelling, will not take up much luggage allowance.
Another bonus of the lightness is that you can hand hold this telescope. A tripod always makes things more stable, of course, but I can use it without the tripod, which means in theory I can cut even more weight out of my bag.
I love the easy to adjust focus wheel. Split into two parts to allow you to make micro adjustments for even better focusing. The larger rear wheel for main focus the smaller, speedier, front wheel for the smaller adjustments.
With anything optical we all have personal preferences, so I would advise trying it out. Visit a local shop with stock, or better yet meet up with a member of the Opticron team on one of their many infield events.
In case I am over selling, it should be noted there will be better scopes out there. More powerful; better light; and even lighter (the MM4); but not at under £200 (body only, eye pieces cost more)! In fact you will be hard pushed to find any optics out there that come close to performing as well for such a low price.
For me this makes the Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope an ideal second scope, for travel or occasional use. Or an entry level if you are looking for a little boost from binoculars.
The Opticron MM3 60 GA Travelscope is an excellent entry level field spotting scope for wildlife enthusiasts. Available without breaking the bank, it will, I am sure, grace many of our camera or field bags in the future. Light weight, small, clear optically with excellent light gathering, it is ideal for those wanting something small for travel as well.
My advice as always with optics is try it! You may just fall in love with this mighty midget of a scope.
Disclaimer: I was leant the Opticron MM3 60 GA scope and eyepiece by Opticron for the purposes of this review. However I was free to write what I wanted.