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Old Monday 20th February 2017, 15:54   #1
FrankD
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New Opticron MM4 spotting scopes

Just a heads up that I received my review Opticron MM4 50 mm and 60 mm spotting scopes. I had a brief opportunity to try out the 60 mm model in comparison to my MM3 60 mm. I also received the newer version of the 23x (on the 60 mm) wide angle HDF eyepiece. I mounted the new eyepiece on the MM4 and compared it against the older 23x wide angle eyepiece on the MM3 60 mm.

Just a couple of observations.....

I didn't immediately note any difference in increased apparent sharpness. Both spotting scope combination were very sharp to my eyes. What I did note in the new MM4 combo was an increase in contrast and color saturation. Now whether this is just the new scope or the combination of new scope body and new eyepiece I cannot say but the difference is there. The MM3 was already above average in these areas but the change was still immediately noticeable.

One other issue I noticed was the change in antireflection coloring on the objectives. Gone are the red/purple reflections. Replaced with more green/purple.

More to follow as I have more time to experiment.

Still no MM4 80 mm :-( . One can always dream.
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 12:06   #2
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I am wondering whether, with the improvements from the MM3, if the SDLv2 will give a greater quality of view with the MM4 over the HDF zoom.

Last edited by Gander : Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 12:09.
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 13:45   #3
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Gander,

I can take a look at that for you as I do have the SDL V2 and the HDF zoom plus both of the MM4 scopes. Which one do you want to see it on...the 50 or the 60?
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 13:49   #4
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i got my MM4 this monday, not had proper trip out yet though. i got the SDL v2. I didn't previously have the MM3 so i won't really be able to a comparison. hoping for a good test this sunday/monday.
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 15:58   #5
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Originally Posted by scholesy_leeds View Post
i got my MM4 this monday, not had proper trip out yet though. i got the SDL v2. I didn't previously have the MM3 so i won't really be able to a comparison. hoping for a good test this sunday/monday.
Glad to hear that you got it in the end Paul
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 12:55   #6
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Glad to hear that you got it in the end Paul
Yeah Chris, took the plunge. I was planning on getting the MM3 anyway, just coincidence that the 4 was just being released. Thanks for your advice at Potteric.
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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 16:30   #7
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Hi, I'm seriously thinking of upgrading from my MM2 to the MM4 45/60; my question really relates to the eyepiece I will use with it. I have the SDL V1 which I am advised is compatible, I'm asking myself whether I should invest a further few hundred pounds and get the V2 at the same time. Would that be money well spent do you think?

Many thanks in advance.

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Old Friday 24th February 2017, 18:36   #8
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Gander,

I can take a look at that for you as I do have the SDL V2 and the HDF zoom plus both of the MM4 scopes. Which one do you want to see it on...the 50 or the 60?
It is the 60 that I have. I tried both eyepieces with the MM3 60, but could not discern any difference.
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Old Sunday 26th February 2017, 02:42   #9
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Saw the new MM4 scopes at the San Diego Bird Festival this weekend after leading my tours. They look identical to the MM3 and both had the HDF eyepieces. Optical performance was superb, I didn't compare side by side to my MM3 50mm but they gave the impression of being even brighter and more contrasty. Another winner from Opticron.
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Old Monday 6th March 2017, 13:30   #10
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My first few phonescoped pics with the new MM4 50 mm coupled with the HDF fixed magnification/wide angle 18x eyepiece and my Iphone 6S. Pics were taken at my youngest son's cub scout outing at the local zoo.

Unedited except for cropping and downsized to fit in this forum. Originals can be found on my flickr page at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/73029961@N07/
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Last edited by FrankD : Monday 6th March 2017 at 13:58.
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Old Friday 17th March 2017, 14:48   #11
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Until I put together a complete, continued sample phonescoped pics with both MM4 scopes can be found here:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....40#post3539240

I just put some new ones with the 60 mm up today.
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Old Monday 27th March 2017, 10:34   #12
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Opticron MM4 v Swaro 65

Is the MM4 way behind the Swaro 65 optically? I'd love the Swaro but it's pretty heavy so I have to consider the Opticron MM4 which is much lighter. Shall be grateful for any advice.
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Old Monday 27th March 2017, 14:04   #13
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No. Quite the contrary. I think you would be genuinely surprised if you placed the MM4 60 mm side by side with the Swaro 65.
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Old Monday 27th March 2017, 16:55   #14
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I have the older Swarovski 65 and the newer modular Swarovski 95 and they are indeed wonderful scopes! That said, so impressed was I with my MM3 50mm travel scope when it accompanied me to Costa Rica, Lesvos and Peru, that I also purchased the MM4 60mm version to give me just that little more 'reach' when needed on a recent trip to Borneo.

When birding locally if I know I'll either not be walking far or need the reach to count distant specks on my WeBS count, I take the Swarovski 95. If I'm just going birding for fun and likely to be covering some distance or I'm on my bike, I'll reach for one of the Opticron's (which will depend on just how far I'm likely to walk and the habitat). I cannot believe what a joy they are to use, and to be honest, there are times when if I did not have this option, the Swarovski would have been left at home and only binoculars would have been used.

If circumstances dictated that I could choose only one, the MM4 60mm would probably win. It's lightweight so this is also reflected in the tripod needed and clearly an advantage when travelling or walking far. It's inexpensive when compared to the Swarovski and personally, for general birding I find the lower starting magnifications more useful than the starting magnification of 30x on the Swarovski 95.
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 14:15   #15
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No. Quite the contrary. I think you would be genuinely surprised if you placed the MM4 60 mm side by side with the Swaro 65.
Frank, have you - or anyone - had the time to do an in depth look at the MM4's? Are they much different to the MM3's optically?
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 18:09   #16
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Jonathon,

Yes, I have spent quite a bit of time with the MM4 since receiving the demo units.

They are not much different than the MM3s. The most noticeable difference, to my eyes, was the increased level of contrast and slightly more saturated colors in the image. Better contrast and more saturated colors gives a more realistic image in my opinion. I did not note a difference in any other observable optical area.

Also keep in mind that the new MM4s are advertised now as waterproof and are manufactured in Japan instead of China...for those folks that are concerned with those specific issues.
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 21:40   #17
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Jonathon,

Yes, I have spent quite a bit of time with the MM4 since receiving the demo units.

They are not much different than the MM3s. The most noticeable difference, to my eyes, was the increased level of contrast and slightly more saturated colors in the image. Better contrast and more saturated colors gives a more realistic image in my opinion. I did not note a difference in any other observable optical area.

Also keep in mind that the new MM4s are advertised now as waterproof and are manufactured in Japan instead of China...for those folks that are concerned with those specific issues.
Frank,

Thank you for your reply.

I had got the general impression that you actually favoured the HDF eyepiece with the MM3. There was some question earlier in this thread as to whether the MM4 benefitted from the SDL2. Do you have any views on this? I realise that this can be subjective and and may be different for different people.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 16:02   #18
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Jonathon,

I don't typically use the SDL V2 much. Most of time it is usually one of the fixed mag/wide angle eyepieces and when I do need a zoom then I usually go with the HDF. I do have an SDL V2 on hand though so I will do a side by side comparison and let you know.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 16:17   #19
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Jonathon,

I don't typically use the SDL V2 much. Most of time it is usually one of the fixed mag/wide angle eyepieces and when I do need a zoom then I usually go with the HDF. I do have an SDL V2 on hand though so I will do a side by side comparison and let you know.
Frank,

Thanks again for your reply. Look forward to your comparison in due course!

Kind regards,

Jonathan
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Old Thursday 10th August 2017, 21:58   #20
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Following on the previous post, I am the (happy) owner of a MM4 60 ED + 23x fixed eyepiece, and would like a bit more magnification to identify gulls. Mostly the use is for digiscopy, and I currently hesitate a lot between purchasing the fixed 32x or the HDF zoom 15-45x.

Going through the threads I have not seen many pics with high magnification (most around 20x), would the fixed 32x provide enough light and quality? Are there pic examples on the forum?
I only came across an unanswered question in the "Best fixed eyepiece" topic.
Many thanks!
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Old Thursday 10th August 2017, 22:49   #21
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Hi,

it depends if 32x will be sufficient for your use - it's not so much more than 23x...

If you can look through a fellow birders scope some time and check if 30 times mag is enough for your gulls, a 30 wide EP is going to be brighter than a zoom at the same mag due to less lenses (provided the coatings are comparable) and is also going to be wider than a zoom at 32x (zooms with a 3 times zoom range are usually fairly narrow at the lower end).

Btw. is there currently a 30 wide EP available from Opticron - I don't see one on the MM4 page?

The zoom on the other hand allows you to get even closer if necessary - at the price of a narrower field of view especially at the low mag end.
Btw. the SDLv2 is kinda expensive but also very good and with the MM4 it would give a fully waterproof kit - unlike the HDF zoom (and fixed), which aren't waterproof.

Joachim, who loves his SDLv2 dearly - usually on an old TSN-3
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 20:20   #22
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I thought about the 40858, wide angle. Indeed it is now listed in the archive...
I had not thought about the waterproof aspect, thanks.
From 23x to 32x is not so much, but from what I read the brightness and sharpness would quickly decrease with higher magnification.

Also wonder if a Baader adapter can be properly fixed on the sdl v2 zoom: on the eyecup?
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 23:09   #23
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Hi,

well how brightness and quality of the image fare with higher magnifications depends on the eyepiece and instrument used.

My TSN-3 with the SDLv2 is mostly used at max magnification of 53x - it is very sharp there (and below too, of course), has a beautifully wide afov (at high magnifcation only, though) and during daylight the brightness is quite sufficient. At dusk, I sometimes zoom down a bit for more light... my Kowa 30 wide is used rarely.
Searching birds is done with bins - I remember the position and aim the scope with Kimmos cable tie aid.

I can't comment on how sharp the MM4 60 will be at 45x as I don't know it - I would hope it to be quite sharp too...

What do you mean with Baader adapter - a T mount adapter to get a camera body on there for afocal photography? Opticron has an adapter type 41114 which fits over the eyecup of the SDLv2 and is secured with a locking screw - this ends in a T mount thread from which you can adapt either to you cam body with a T2 or sometimes to the filter thread of a short tele if you can find the right adapter...

Joachim
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Old Saturday 12th August 2017, 00:28   #24
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the 23x should be a great digiscoping eyepiece..in any case to complement the one you already have the Zoom would probably be the best..and they work well for digiscoping..I use a Baader zoom adapted to my Kowa 823 and really does not give a single degree compared with wide angle eyepieces,except at the very low power,where optical qualities are somehow compromised anyway..passed 24mm the view is as wide as 60degrees ,wide enough for me and opens to a large 72degrees,i think at 8mm..and is as sharp as any eyepiece too..but as Joachim points wide fixed eyepieces are a little brighter at same magnification..this might not be evident in bright conditions but is a fact..that and maybe a little eye relief,mostly giving advantage to the fixed at diigiscoping use..Baader just released a new ,mark IV zoom,optimized for spotting scopes,and probably easily adaptable to the opticron
What type of mount does the MM4 features?..external thread?,internal thread...,bayonet?
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 02:49   #25
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Here is a link to my Flickr page where I took a pic with the MM4 60 at 45x with the SDL V2 and the IPhone 6S.

https://flic.kr/p/WkBn1b
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