Perfect as a travel or backyard birding scope, the Opticron MM3 12-36x50 GA ED angled spotting scope provides you with valuable features found on larger spotting scopes. This versatile scope provides high-quality performance with excellent light transmission, resolution, and color contrast. The Opticron HDF T eyepiece design offers a large diameter eyepiece that treats you to a full field of view and long eye relief for ease of use with eyeglasses. A full-size prism allows the Opticron MM3 to maintain optical performance at higher magnifications. Waterproof and fogproof optics, a fully rubber armored body, and the magnesium tripod sleeve for rotation means the Opticron MM3 is ready for lots of adventures.
|Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass
||Enhances resolution, color, and contrast.
|Fully Multi-coated Lenses
||Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
||Offer maximum image quality and durability in a traditional design.
|Angled Body Design
||Is favored by users of different heights for viewing without adjusting the tripod height as frequently. The angled design works well when viewing at an upward angle.
||Allows for precision with coarse and fine adjustments.
||Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
||Twists up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
||Reduces glare and shields the objective lens from raindrops.
|Rotating Tripod Ring
||Allows greater flexibility when positioning the spotting scope.
||Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the spotting scope.
||Barrel is filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
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Time to Lighten Up
ZZbirder from Woodbridge, VA
The MM3 turned out to be the perfect travel scope for a recent trip to the Canadian Rockies. Coupled with a pair of new Swarovski 8x32 El Swarovision binoculars I had the perfect combination for birding and glacier/mountain scanning. Lugging equipment at higher altitudes can get tiring pretty quickly but this combination made hiking a breeze. While not quite the same quality (or reach) as my Swarovski ATS 65mm scope, I was impressed by the clarity of the optics and good color rendition provided by the HDF 12-36x eyepiece. While the image at 36x suffers from the small objective and narrow FOV in anything other than bright sunlight, anything up to mid-power magnification was quite acceptable.
I would recommend this scope to anyone who wants a compact, rugged little scope to supplement or replace binoculars. While I use a standard tripod, this scope would probably work well on a monopod/hiking staff also.
Bright, sharp, compact, lightweight!
FrankD from Eastern PA
I have had the MM3 for about two weeks now. I have taken it out to several local lakes, quarries and rivers in search of waterfowl at this time of the year. I also spent all afternoon yesterday comparing it directly with an inexpensive 50 mm ED spotter I picked up this past December.
One of the most commonly accepted bits of wisdom shared on internet optics forums is that practically any scope can look good at lower magnifications. It isn't until you move up the magnification scale that you can begin to notice the difference between an average scope and an exceptional one. This was certainly the case here. The other scope performs at an acceptable level at/up to about 30x. Once beyond that obvious optical aberrations start degrading the image. This wasn't the case with the Opticron.
The Opticron MM3 is a physically small scope, even for a 50 mm class model. It is basically the same size and weight as the Nikon ED 50 but with rubber armoring. This scpoe was provided with the HDF zoom eyepiece. With this combination the scope is exceptionally light and portable. When I mounted it on my lightweight, travel tripod I was pleasantly surprised by how light and portable the combination is. The title "Travelscope" certainly applies to the MM3.
Quality control on this unit is excellent. The rubber armor is flawless and all mechanical components (dual speed focuser, eyecup extension, zoom speed/tension) function perfectly. The feel of the focusing mechanism, in particular, clearly illustrates the attention to detail placed into this scope.
Another interesting point of discussion worth mentioning is the eye relief. This became particularly evident in comparison to the less expensive ED spotter especially when attempting to Iscope with my Iphone 4. The MM3's level of eye relief was greater at all magnification settings in comparison to the less expensive spotter.
The MM3 is a stunning little performer. The word "transparency" is often used when most folks try to describe optical performance. I have always understood the term to refer to a combination of two factors....light transmission (usually the result of the quality of lenses coupled with the quality of antireflective coatings) and low levels of aberrations and distortions (usually the result of high quality glass and a well designed optical system).
The MM3 displays true transparency of the image. This comes from a variety of optical performance areas. For one the color representation is entirely neutral. The less expensive ED scope has a warm bias (red-purple) in comparison to the neutral color of the MM3.
The MM3 displays excellent apparent sharpness at all points throughout its zoom range. I believe part of this is the result of its excellent chromatic aberration control. While the less expensive scope displayed CA in high contrast situations and at maximum magnification CA was practically absent under the same conditions in the MM3.
Contrast and color saturation in the MM3 are also excellent. Only in comparison to a similar quality 82 mm spotting scope did I notice a subtle difference in performance in this area.
Apparent brightness was excellent, again, throughout the entire zoom range.
The sweet spot size at all magnifications was extremely generous. I would rate it at close to 95% of the field of view. Only in the outer extremes of the image could one notice the slightest hint of field curvature and, even then, only to a very small degree.
Lastly, since the image is so well corrected in a variety of areas, my eyes had very little difficulty refocusing on various objects in front of and behind the object in focus. Many may refer to this as depth of field but the effect was the result of the flexibility of my eyes not the actual depth of field of the scope itself. I don't think this would be possible if the scope wasn't well corrected in the areas mentioned previously.
All in all this is an excellent scope both in terms of its competition and in reference to the entire scope market. If size and weight are a concern but you don't want to sacrifice excellent image quality then I would highly recommend this scope.