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Opticron MM3 60 GA ED..? (1 Viewer)

The Kingfisher

Well-known member
After using only the Nikon ED50 with 16x eyepiece for several weeks (and sometimes with 13-40x zoom), I've discovered two things:

1. How wonderfully it is to carry less weight and manage a smaller scope
2. That I really appreciate the use of low magnification

However, I realize that I sometimes lack higher magnification when using the 16x eyepiece. The zoom providing higher magnification, but it has poor eye relief and relatively narrow field of view.

In addition to the ED50 I also have a Nikon ED82 with 30x, 50x and 25-75x. After only having used the ED50 for several weeks, I now think that the ED82 is heavy to carry around for longer periods. I also think that 25-30x in many cases is too high magnification for my purposes.

This means that I am now thinking about getting me a 60-65mm scope where one can access a zoom range of approximately 15-50x. I have thought about the Nikon EDG 65, but it is simply too large and heavy to be only a 65mm. Zeiss has the Diascope 65, but I do not like Zeiss..

A cheaper alternative that I now have found is Opticron MM3 60 ED. On paper it seems to have everything I'm looking for: 15-45x zoom with good eye relief and decent field of view, relatively compact and light to be a 60x scope, affordable, etc.

The question now..is it a good scope, i.e. without obvious color cast, more or less free from chromatic aberration and sharp (even the edges)? Is it sharp all the way up to 45x? How is it compared to the Nikon ED50 and ED82?
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This is an easy one to answer from my perspective. The MM3 series is entirely "on par" with the Nikons optically. I have compared the ED 50 side by side with the MM3 on several extended occasions.

The MM3 60 mm is exactly what you posed the question about. It is color neutral, has very good CA control and has a very wide sweet spot. I used the 60 mm version for about two weeks last summer and tried it out at two birding expos over the last year.

My question to you is, which zoom are you going with? The HDF or SDL V2?

The 60 mm's image quality is the same as the 50 mm all but with the understanding that it offers a higher magnification with any of the Opticron eyepieces. In just about every other way the images between the two scopes are identical.

If you want some idea of the type of optical performance it provides then take a look at some of the phonescoped images on my Flickr page..... (50 mm model).






I am going with the SDL V2 (have not heard about the other one) if I decide to buy the MM3 60. I must admit that I´m even more tempted to buy this scope now when reading your post. Color neutral, very good CA control and a very wide sweet spot are words I like to hear.. :)

Thanks for posting all the images - not much CA (only very little) could be detected in them! Did you use the SDL V2 eyepiece when taking the pictures?

Another question: is the focus wheel(s) smooth and nice to use..no play etc?
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I`v got the 50mm, totally agree with Frank, this is the first scope that has persuaded me I can live without anything bigger.

All the pics were taken with the HDF fixed magnification (18x with the 50 mm), wide angle eyepiece. I use the scope alot for phonescoping and this setup is great for everything but longer distances.

The focus wheel is very smooth with no play. I often wondered if the combination of fine and coarse focus helped in this regard.
I have now ordered and received the Opticron MM3 60 with SDL V2 zoom. I have not had time to test it "for real" yet, just used it a bit from the porch. Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by it I must say. It is not perfect because at 15x magnification, I feel a little distortion when panning, the perceived field of view at 15x magnification is not the biggest I've seen, the eyepiece feel slightly oversized, the eyepiece makes noise when zooming, the focusing is not allways smooth and I would actually prefer a large focus wheel instead of two small.

Some positive things I have discovered so far: the size and weight of the "package" is perfect - easy to handle, seems to be easy to carry around and it fits beautifully with my Triopo GT-3230 + Manfrotto 701 HDV. Nice package! :)

The sharpness is good and I like the color balance (very similar to the Nikon EDG I think). The scope with the SDL V2 feels sharper than the Nikon ED50 with 27x, plus you get access to both higher and lower magnification when necessary. 30 years warranty!! Given that the Opticron additionally lets in more light and is not much bigger and heavier I think this scope with the SDL V2 eyepiece is a worthy replacement for the Nikon ED50. Probably, I will now sell my ED50, and it is not impossible that the ED82 will lie unused at home for a long time to come.. ;-)
In the end I did not keep the Opticron MM3 60. The focus was a bit choppy right out of the box and became even worse with time. I got sent home a second copy which had great focus, but it was not nearly as sharp as the first one. I had both copies at home simultaneously and therefore could compare them side by side.

Instead, I got myself a new tripod and video head (Sirui N-3203X with Manfrotto MVH500AH) to get the weight down slightly with the ED82 attached - but also because on some occasions be able to set up the ED50 and ED82 next to each other. These two spotting scopes with 16/30x, 27/50x, and 13-40/25-75x works for most situations one can think of. The fixed eyepieces are absolutely wonderful to use - crisp, large field of view, generous eye relief and comfortable to look through. No zoom (not even the very nice 25-60x zoom from Kowa) can compete with these two fixed eyepieces, i think!

I've been thinking about replacing my ED82 with Kowa 883 + 25-60x because zooming is so practical, but after comparing the scopes side by side at the weekend that went (and against a Swarovski with 20-60x today) is this thought now a memory. Long live the Nikon ED82 .. :)
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If you want to complete your collection ,the nikon ED III is a very amazing scope..it has long focal length for a 60 mm scope,..i believe 450 mm,..this makes the scope f:7,and being a bit slower ,the image gets also better corrected..so image quality is truly exceptional..is not light ,because the construction is exact to that of the ED82..meaning SOLID,..but weights less of course ,and feels quite compact..with your collection of eyepieces,might be the way to go..i was excited about the monarch modular ,and was definitely going to buy the small module since i cannot afford the ATX 65 ,
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