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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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    G80 to G9 worthwhile upgrade?

    I’ve asked myself the same question, but decided against the G9 because of its larger size and weight. Although the G9 is only 150g heavier than the G80, when carrying a scope, binoculars, camera and food/water, I feel that every gram counts. Earlier this year I picked up a used GX8 as I...
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    SDL v3 Eyepiece Now Shipping

    Swn74, many thanks for taking the time to post this information - this is really helpful. I’ve interpreted the table in the same way as Eitan. I must admit the figures don’t mean much to me in themselves, but from what you say, the difference is actually very noticeable in practise. This will...
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    SDL v3 Eyepiece Now Shipping

    Yes, I thought this might be the case - I knew that the eyepiece needed some kind of adaptation to work on the Kowa. Thanks for trying, anyway. When I have the opportunity I'll go to my nearest optics store and compare the eyepieces side by side.
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    I would like some food for thought please?

    This is exactly how I use my two scopes (MM4 60 & 82mm Kowa). I end up using the small scope the majority of the time, but when I go to see a particular bird or in windy or murky conditions, the heavier scope/tripod/head really come into their own. I think a two scope solution is ideal, but if...
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    I would like some food for thought please?

    Yes, it’s the MM4 77, but it’s quite a bit more expensive - over £900. Mark, given that the Celestron scope you are considering weighs 1889g, I assume that low weight is not a major priority for you. In that case, an excellent choice for £700 would be this used Opticron HR80...
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    SDL v3 Eyepiece Now Shipping

    You may well find that is the case. I also have a large Kowa (TSN-823), but rarely use it nowadays. Optically it is clearly superior to my MM4 60, especially in low light, but most of the time I find that the Opticron is more than good enough, and so much easier to carry around over long...
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    Best camera bag for Canon 7D with zoom

    Gijs van Ginkel, Yes, I can see that a hip bag would be better for strenuous walks. My shoulder does start to ache a bit after using a Blackrapid for a few hours, and I have to steady the camera with my hand to stop it swinging about, which makes walking less efficient.
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    Best camera bag for Canon 7D with zoom

    Most people I know use a sling, such as a Blackrapid strap. This frees up your hands and allows you to wear binoculars around your neck. It is best to attach the strap to the lens tripod mount rather than the camera to avoid straining the lens mount. In case of rain, I use one of these...
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    Recommendations for backpack, DSLR, scope etc

    As promised, here are some photos of the Flipside 400AW. As you can see, the gear compartment easily takes the MM4 60, M43 camera (here a GX8) with 100-400, Panasonic 12-60 and Swarovski EL 8x32 binoculars. There's still room for a Black Rapid strap on top. I usually protect the eyepiece with...
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    Recommendations for backpack, DSLR, scope etc

    I fit my Opticron MM4 60 with SDLv2 zoom (without SOC) and my Panasonic G85 with 100-400 lens in my Lowepro Flipside 400AW (old version, bought used from dealer for less than £50). This still leaves room for a standard lens and more in the lower compartment, and room for sandwiches etc in the...
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    SDL v3 Eyepiece Now Shipping

    I have the MM4 60 and SDLv2. Yes, the eyepiece looks a little oversized, but as Bill and Ratal have said, it works fine in practise, especially if you have a tripod head that allows you to slide the scope forwards to adjust the balance (I use the Sirui VA-5). If, like me, you don’t use a...
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    Kowa 883 vs Swaro ATS80HD

    MPB currently have a mint used one...
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    'Choose any two'...

    Good choice! I opted for the same model when buying my first scope two years ago and it is a very capable set-up. I also have an 82mm Kowa scope which I picked up used for very little money; optically, the Kowa is a fantastic performer, but I hardly ever use it as I find the Opticron is...
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    Stiff focus knob, disconnected faster focus knob

    I would suggest giving the Opticron service department a ring. I spoke to them recently regarding some dirt in my eyepiece and they were very helpful. They advised me to send it in, and it only took them a few days to complete the work.
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    Alternative case for MM4 ED 50

    To my knowledge, the Opticron stay-on case is the only one available at present, which is unfortunate, as I certainly cannot recommend that case. I got one with my MM4 60 but no longer use it; my main gripes are that the case interferes with the fine focus wheel, and the eyepiece cover flaps...
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    Opticron MM4 60 - Excellent image

    Yes, 27x would definitely be ideal for the MM4 60. It would have more or less the same size exit pupil as a 30x on a 65mm scope, a very popular combination. Having said that, the 60mm copes better than I expected with the <2mm exit pupil. I used it a couple of times last week and found it...
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    Opticron MM4 60 - Excellent image

    You're absolutely right, of course, and I should have qualified my comments by saying the results are comparable up to about 32x in good light. The Kowa gives me a good image all the way to 60x, whereas I try not to go over 35x on the MM4. In poor light I reduce the magnification to about 23x...
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    Opticron MM4 60 - Excellent image

    Hi, I also have a Kowa scope (823) & Opticron MM4 60, with all three eyepieces you mention. I use the Opticron the vast majority of the time. I only really use the Kowa in windy conditions or when I know I‘ll be needing high magnifications in low light. Yes, the Kowa is slightly better even in...
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    Tripod & head - overkill?

    I have both the Sirui VA-5 and the Manfrotto MVH500AH. I use the Sirui with my Opticron MM4 60 and find it to be an excellent match for this lightweight travelscope. However, if the wind is stronger (from about 14-15mph onwards) I usually use the Manfrotto head instead. The MVH500AH is, in my...
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    Opticron SDL v2 eyepiece question

    I’ve also just sent my SDLv2 back to Opticron for a service (there were some black flecks inside the eyepiece which were showing up in the view), and I’ll be using the 23x, which I’ve had for a few weeks, while it’s away. I really like this eyepiece on the MM4 60, and for the type of birding I...
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    Opticron es 80 v3 or regal m2

    This is exactly my experience with the SDLv2 on my MM4 60 at full magnification (45x). It is possible to get a sharp image in the right conditions, but requires constant micro-adjustments. I try not to go above 40x for this reason. I tried an ES80 & SDLv2 at the store last year and found the...
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    Reasons not to buy Zeiss SF 8x42?

    With hindsight, I completely agree with you. I came very close to buying the SV8.5x42, largely because of what I'd read about it and because it is so well-regarded and a proven performer, and yet the truth is that it was clearly my least favourite of the three due to its comparatively narrow...
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    Thanks Joachim, that might be a more worthwhile option - the TSN-3 eyepieces seem to go for quite reasonable prices.
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    Swarovski el 8.5x42 WB UK Pre Owned Price

    Yes, I should have said ‘will’ rather than ‘should’; I also bought an 8x32EL from them last weekend and they did price match Uttings.
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    Swarovski el 8.5x42 WB UK Pre Owned Price

    The online retailer Uttings currently has 10% off Swarovski bins using the promotional code SWAR10, bringing the price to £1684. The optics retailer In Focus (I’ve bought from them several times and have always had excellent service) have a price match guarantee, so if you go to their store at...