Opticron MM4 W/ SDL Eye Piece and Imagic BGA VHD Binocular

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Opticron MM4 W/ SDL Eye Piece and Imagic BGA VHD Binocular


Editor: Cory McLaughlin


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Just the Facts:
The new MM4 GA ED is the latest evolution of the popular Travelscope concept pioneered by Opticron over 20 years ago. Combining all the features that make our travelscopes the #1 choice for thousands of users the world over, the latest MM4 continues to deliver our maxim; “smaller, lighter, brighter, sharper” to anyone searching for a compact, versatile, high quality instrument for long range, accurate observation while on the move.

Designed & manufactured in Japan, the all-new compact HDF ED optical system creates a 50mm that measures 8.1″ and a 60mm 10.2″ without eyepiece. Constructed from lightweight materials, an MM4 weighs about the same as pair of 42mm binoculars and can be used without a support for crystal clear flat-field observation at magnifications below 20x. Unlike binoculars, they deliver stunning clarity and definition up to 36x (50mm) and 45x (60mm) when fitted with the HDF T or SDLv2 zoom eyepieces. Compatible with HR, HDF and SDL eyepieces, existing fieldscope owners can use their eyepiece with an MM4 body.
Nitrogen waterproof and fully rubber armored to protect against knocks and bumps, the MM4 has a tripod adapter with +/- 90 degree rotation to ensure set-up in a hide or from a sitting/prone position is quick and easy, while the 8:1 dual focusing system ensures the finest accuracy at all magnifications.
Other features include:
• Super-compact ED “extra low dispersion glass” objective
• High contrast fully multi-coated optical system
• Close focus to 8.2ft (50mm), 11.5ft (60mm)
• Removable rubber objective lens cover
• Telephotoadapter option
• Limited Lifetime Warranty

·         Specifications 50 ED 50 ED/45 60 ED 60 ED/45
Code
Objective (mm)
Close Focus (ft/m)
Length (in/mm)
Weight (oz/g)
MSRP $
41225
50
8.2 / 2.5
8.1 / 205
21.7 / 615
519.00
41226
50
8.2 / 2.5
8.1 / 205
21.8 / 619
519.00
41227
60
11.5 / 3.5
10.2 / 260
25.4 / 720
689.00 
41228
60
11.5 / 3.5
10.2 / 260
25.7 / 729 
689.00

 

 

 

 

• SDL v2 Eyepiece
5-group, 8-element ‘super’ zoom, the SDLv2 offers superior cross-field definition with exceptional viewing comfort. Waterproof and fitted with a rotating eyecup. Supplied in soft padded case. Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Code 40936M
Magnification MM4 50
Magnification MM4 60 
Apparent FOV (°) 
Eye relief (mm) 
Eye lens dia (mm)
Length (in/mm)
Weight (oz/g)
MSRP $
12-36x
15-45x 
36.3-68.6
20-18
26
3.0 / 77
9.5 / 270
459.00

The Imagic BGA VHD offer the discerning buyer a stylish lightweight ergonomic binocular with outstanding performance for their dollar value.

The VHD are the seventh Imagic in the series and set another benchmark for light transmission and color correction. These characteristics makes them particularly suited for use in woodland, under cover or in low light extremes at dawn or dusk. To compliment this, focusing is geared to one half turn from 5m to infinity distance for quick accurate operation.
Manufactured in Japan to the highest standards and finished in a textured natural armor for comfort and grip, the Imagic BGA VHD offers the serious enthusiast a genuine alternative to premium brands at a just fraction of the price.
Features include:
• Compact, lightweight roof prism design with textured rubber armoring
• Fully multi-coated VHD optical system with high quality phase corrected PGK prism units and Oasis prism coating
• Wide field, long eye relief eyepieces
• Nitrogen gas filled waterproof (10ft depth)
• 3-stage twist type retractable eyecups
• Close focus to 6.6ft (42mm), 11.5ft (50mm)
• Tripod adapter socket
• Limited Lifetime Warranty

·         Specifications 8×42 10×42 8.5×50 10×50
Code
Field ft/1000yd
Field m/1000m
Close Focus ft / m
Eye Relief mm
IPD mm
HxW inches
HxW mm 
Weight oz / g 
MSRP $
30679
378
126
6.6 / 2
22
58~74
6.0×4.9
152×124
24.2 / 686 
715.00
30680
339
113
6.6 / 2
21
58~74
6.0×4.9
152×124
24.9 / 705 
725.00
30681
315 
105
11.5 / .5
23
58~74
7.0×5.2
177×132
28.0 / 795 
795.00
30682
303 
101
11.5 / 3.5
23
58~74
7.0×5.2
177×132
28.0 / 795 
795.00

Also tested were the Waterproof Case and USM-2 Phone mount.


My Story:
There really is nothing better than good optics when you are in the field. It does not matter if it is on the sidelines of your favorite sporting event or in the wilds looking for animals or birds. When you want to see things clearly and at great distances you need optics. The problem that we as consumers always seem to have is choosing the right tool for the job. Questions about things like cost verses quality and which warranty is better flood our minds. With all the choices it can be nearly impossible feel content with spending our hard earned money on the right glass. I know for my brads that are new or unfamiliar to me are a very hard sale and because of this Opticron was never really on my radar, well, not until I tested the MM3 in 2015 (http://ireviewgear.com/optics/opticron-mm3-50-ga-ed-travelscope-w-smart-phone-adapter-review/) and since that time I’ve been spreading the good word.

When the MM4 arrived at my house I was absolutely jazzed. It was everything I liked about the MM3 but this time in the 60mm version and with the SDL eye piece rather than the HDF that had used on the MM3. My kids and I unwrapped the MM4 and immediately took it outside to test it out. The difference was incredible! Now, I’m not saying that the MM3 with an HDF eyepiece is a bad choice as I absolutely love mine and it has become my primary spotter. What I am saying is that the MM4 and the SDL is just a way better fit for my intended use. This thing has a wider objective which means a wider FOV and better lowlight clarity. The additional size comes at a bit of a size and weight cost making it about 4 ounces heavier than the 50MM and just under 2 inches longer.

I reported that I loved the focus wheel on the MM3 and the same holds true for this new model. This is hands down the most effective fine tune focus wheel I have ever used. I honestly just cannot say enough about it. When you are sitting on the hillside trying to pick out deer and elk sheds from amidst tall grass and fallen branches a clear focus is and absolute necessity. The same can be said for spotting game on the mountain side or trying to pick out your favorite song birds from the thick cover of a tree. Whatever you are using the scope for the fine tune focus is going to be your best friend.

Fine focusing is very important when using your scope to take photographs. During my attempt to digiscope using the USM-2 phone adapter I was met with much frustration. This thing is great in theory but it translates into a bulky awkward and rather heavy piece of gear that is relatively ineffective. I was able to get some photos during the shed hunting season but this thing provided me constant headache and frustration. I previously used the phone specific digiscoping attachment with the MM3 and I found those to be a better option and far less trouble even if you have to replace it when you get a new phone.

Mule deer against the pines

Winter kill found on a hillside

I used this scope for spotting geese, target spotting at the range, shed hunting, and hunting the wilds of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. It has been in my pack for many day hikes as well. During the later winter and early spring deer and elk shed their antlers from the year prior and I have long enjoyed waking the hills and valleys in an attempt to find them. I use them for home decor, crafts, and sometimes even dog chews. It is a difficult task to acquire these horns and it takes a solid pair of optics to do it effectively. The MM4 is now my main spotter as it’s 45X allows me to bring the hills closer for inspection. The really hard work however, is done with binoculars, and for this I have chosen the Opticron Imagic BGA VHD 10×50 binoculars.

The Imagic binoculars offers a 303 ft. or 101M FOV at 1000 yards. This translates into a larger area being pulled into and magnified to 10 times normal sight within the FOV. This will allow you to scan large expanses of land and really let your eyes do the walking. When you find something that looks out of place that is where a good spotter comes in handy to really pull it in closer. To be effective in the field when hunting or when birding you really need to have a combination of good binoculars and a spotter. Opticron has you covered for sure.

The Imagic Binoculars offer a retractable eye cup that will allow you to get the perfect eye relief every time. It also helps to block outside light from your eye. The focus wheel is very smooth and allows for crystal clear scanning. The glasses are nitrogen filled and water resistant up to 10 ft. They are also equipped with a tripod adapter socket. I know, that all sounds pretty technical and does not answer the real question as to how they actually look. The VHD and PGK prism offer an incredibly clear and bright sight picture that will remain effective far past legal shooting light. For me it is hard to tell you just how great this glass looks as I really think this is something you have to quite literally see for yourself. What I can tell you is that in my opinion this is one of the finest pairs of glasses in its price range that I have ever used.

Opticron’ s 5 year No Fault and Limited Lifetime warranty is pretty solid but it is still not on par with their other competitors. With companies like Vortex and Nikon offering a full “Lifetime No Fault” it is hard to convince people to buy a product that offers lesser peace of mind. In my experience it’s the “No Fault” part that really sells people on how to choose an optic company. I feel that Opticron makes great glass that is on par and even above many other companies’ products, but a warranty gives buyers insurance, and when that is a lifetime it is hard to settle for less. Additionally, the website warranty page states that the No Fault is not “Primer and Primer Plus products” but when I look at the products I cannot find where it clearly states if that is what I have. I would really like to see some updating on both the warranty itself and the list of qualifying products.
I used my Opticron MM4, Imagic BGA VHD binoculars, Universal Smartphone Mount USM-2, and the MM4 waterproof case for nearly 6 months. I have pulled the binoculars in and out of a Badlands Bino Case well over a thousand times and the MM4 has been in just about every pack I own.

After using these products over the entire hunting season and in multiple states I can honestly say that these are by far the best Opticron products I have tested. I would, and have, told many people about how happy I am with them. I would say the waterproof case is a must have in my opinion as it really helps protect the scope during transit. You will be happy with this purchase and i’m sure it will help you spot more game both feathered and furred. 


Find it here:

https://www.opticronusa.com/index.html


What can be done better?
For the MM4 Fieldscope and the Imagic BGA VHD Binoculars I really do not have any complaints at all. I really did enjoy every minute of testing these great products. I also really like the waterproof case and find it be very useful and handy.
I have a strong dislike for the USM-2 and think that it needs some serious redesign. I do not see this being something that finds it’s was into my pack. Further testing my change my mind but that is unlikely. I would rate the USM-2 no better than 1 star at this point.
I give the Opticron MM4 with SDL v2 eyepiece and the Imagic BGA VHD Binoculars a solid 4.75 stars and would quickly bump that up to 5 if the issues outlined with the warranty were to be addressed.

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