BBC Sky at Night Magazine

Opticron Marine-3 7x50


Price £189 • Field of view 7.2o • Weight 1.1kg • Extras Rubber eyecups, front and back lens covers, wide strap, rubber armouring, nitrogen-filled waterproof optics, tripod mounting, carry case • Supplier Opticron UK • Tel 01582 726522 •

Opticron’s Marine-3 7x50 binoculars are rubber-armoured, waterproof and come in a soft case with its own strap. The binoculars have a nice rugged feel and weigh 1.1kg, which is not too heavy for prolonged use. The eyepieces rubber cups are quite stiff, but once folded back they allow spectacle wearers to enjoy the views. Like most binoculars of this size, the Marine-3’s accommodat­e a wide range of interpupil­lary distance, anything between 56–75mm, which is suitable for most people.

Although the front lens caps are each attached to the barrels with a long rubber strap, we found these were long enough to occasional­ly swing round and catch you in the face. The good news is they are attached via the tripod bush adaptor and so they can be taken off when needed. The eyepieces can be focused separately, which appeals to many nightsky aficionado­s because it makes the focus harder to accidental­ly change.

As with all our binoculars, the Marine-3s can be attached to a tripod for extra stability. We found this helped when we were trying to split the double star Albireo, which we could just about do but only with a tripod. The actual field of view is 7.2°, which meant our view of the ‘box’ section of Lyra was easily fitted in with a bit of room to spare. We also found we could fit almost all of Delphinus in the view, apart from one star. The Milky Way star fields were just as good and we enjoyed touring around from Cassiopeia to Sagittariu­s, picking out the Sagittariu­s Star Cloud, M24, the Omega Nebula, M17, the Wild Duck Cluster, M11 and even the tiny Ring Nebula, M57, as a dot in Lyra.

The Andromeda Galaxy was poorly placed low in the northeast, but we could see that under darker skies it would be an extensive object. The colour contrast was good too, with the orange and red Garnet star appearing gorgeous under a moderately good but light summer night. The crescent Moon had a very slight colour fringe when placed nearer the edge of the view, but otherwise it was good, although Jupiter’s four moons were not as easily separated, probably due to the slightly wider field of view.

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