26 August 2006

Mighty Midget 2 ED - A quick review

Birding is a hobby you can enjoy for virtually no cost - £50 will buy you a perfectly reasonable pair of binoculars, £10 a field guide, and perhaps £2 for a notebook.

Unfortunately, there are also many many ways in which you can spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds, and I, like so many birders of my acquaintance, am weak.

So the latest bit of kit is an Opticron Mighty Midget 2 ED travelscope, a small scope designed to fit into a pocket or shoulder bag as I walk around the patch (my main scope, plus tripod, weight about 4kg and so don't tend to get brought out on longish patch walks).

I use an hdf zoom eyepiece on it and together they provide a very impressive optical set up. Bright and distortion-free up to 30x or so, getting darker after that but still perfectly usable up to 36x. A Cullman shoulder pod is almost an essential accessory, making the MM2 an absolute pleasure to use (no more panicking to pull down tripod legs).

I have used the MM2 for some handheld digiscoping - the best so far is this Chaffinch, taken at Draycote Reservoir. With adaptor, shutter release and so on I am sure I could get better pictures, but that is not the point - this is a lightweight take anywhere bit of kit, so handheld is the way to go - record shots and stuff for The Hornet's Nest mainly.

The only problem I have is with cases and lens covers. The eyepiece cover was abysmal - cheap plastic, loose fitting, and I lost it this morning as I knew I soon would. There is also no stay on case available, just a 'grippa' case which doesn't cover the lens hood or eyepiece. My only solution for now is to employ the grippa case with a baby's sock pressed into service as an eyepiece cover.

It might be a great bit of kit, but I don't half look a 'nana now! Posted by Picasa


Pete said...

may i ask did you ask in-focus about the ED50 case?

The Leica eye piece covers are good. The Nikon one is rubbish!!

With the baby Nikon even my normal tripod (delta IV weight 1.84 kg) is ok to walk with. I only use the shoulder pod on my patch -lots of hides works as desk pod!

Thought you had the fixed eyepiece!!

Hornet said...

Hi Pete,

No, I haven't asked about the ED50 case, but I happen to know someone in the family has got me the grippa case for my forthcoming birthday, so that's that!

My normal tripod weighs about the same as yours, so I'm alright around reserves etc. But, like you, I only use the shoulder pod plus MM2 around the patch.

And yes, I had the fixed 18x, but then traded for the zoom. The 18x is the best overall eyepiece, but I just couldn't be without the zoom - got used to one on my Zeiss. It's pretty good, usable to 36x, but I wouldn't want any more power. Not so good for digiscoping though (more vignetting - there was almost none on the 18x).

Pete said...

ah right....

in my heart of hearts I know that either the 20x or 27x would be better than the zoom on the 50 but that extra power .... :D

If I hadn't wanted a waterproof scope I'd have gone down the basic MM2/HDF zoom route (ED not avail at the time).

Oh hope you make 200 this year.

Optic Ron said...

The case for the IS-50 model fits the MM2 like a glove. Well, it is a bit of a tight fit, but once attached it is perfectly useable. It's easiest to focus using the fingers of your left hand once you have attached the IS-case. But surely Opticron could make an SOS case that actually fits the MM2. There are after all a lot of people using this model.

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Hornet said...

Thanks Ron, I'll have a look at the IS-50 case.

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