The Celestron Ultima 100 series was designed to perform well in a range of viewing situations. Outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers will love it for observing nature and sharp long-distance spotting.
The 100mm refractor features excellent multi-coated optics packed into a portable and durable housing and includes a powerful 22-66x zoom eyepiece.
The Ultima spotting scope is completely waterproof and fogproof. It’s been filled with dry nitrogen gas and sealed to prevent internal fogging of the lenses.
You’ll be able to enjoy your viewing activities to the fullest even during extreme weather conditions! The Ultima 100 straight spotting scope also includes a T-mount adapter for digiscoping; this allows you to capture bright, sharp images through your spotting scope.
Simply attach your DSLR camera equipped with a T-ring, and you’re ready to go! Each Celestron optical product is engineered for the highest performance, durability, and quality in its class.
Celestron optics provide you with a lifetime of viewing enjoyment at an unbeatable value! Buy with confidence from the world’s #1 telescope brand and a leading sport optics brand, based in California since 1960.
You’ll also receive a Limited Lifetime warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.
I am pretty experienced with many scopes for astronomy and wildlife; I have expensive and cheap ones, and usually know what to expect when I buy optics. I bought this because I needed a relatively inexpensive scope to take camping and in situations where it could be damaged or stolen. Overall, I am unhappy with the optical quality. The large objective makes a very bright image this is great and why I picked it. It seems fairly rugged for the price. However, I find that it is only useful at the very lowest 20X magnification. At that magnification, the images are pretty good. However, the decrease in quality with increased magnification is very rapid. It is not unusual for sharpness to degrade with magnification, but on this scope the degradation is dramatic. It also suffers from significant color fringing (chromatic aberration) that also, rapidly degrades with increased magnification. The focus control is quite coarse, so it is difficult to get a perfect focus. Another disappointment is the “eye relief”. This is the distance the eye must be from the eyepiece. On this scope, it is hard to see the whole field of view with glasses. So, I recommend if you need need a bright image, but only at low magnifications. It is a very poor performer for looking at the moon or planets, also. I haven’t checked it out on the shooting range, it might work out a little better there.
Turd Ferguson –
I purchased the Celestron 18-55×65 45° spotting scope used in “Very Good” condition from Amazon for $75. It came in the box in all original packaging, and is brand new insofar as I can tell; something to keep in mind when you read the rest of my review. $75 for this scope in seemingly new condition is a great bargain. At that price, and even up to $90, I would say this is a no brainer, and worthy of a 5-star review. Would I purchase new for ~$115? Yes, probably. The relatively low price, functionality, good build quality, and definite fun factor makes this scope a great option depending on what you are trying to achieve with its use. Why minus a star?– noticeable purple fringing at just over half the zoom capacity.I was originally looking at the 80mm version, knowing that the larger field of view and brightness it would provide would mean better performance, especially in the high zoom range. I was talked out of it by a friend who has a 80mm scope, and told me it wasn’t worth the added bulk and weight for the price, especially when considering my intended non-professional use. For some background, I have a $400 pair 8×42 binoculars that can’t even compare to all of the other cheaper 8×25, 10×42, porro prisms, etc. binoculars I’ve owned throughout the years without expensive glass or any fancy coatings. Once I got the 8x42s in my hands, I never wanted to go back to anything less. The brightness, large field of view, and special coatings really do make a difference. That said, when I got the expensive 8x42s I was using them professionally doing bird nesting surveys, where their light-weight and expensive properties really did come in play. I also later got to use a pair of Swarovski EL 10×42 binoculars while doing seabird monitoring/population and productivity counts, and those were by far the best set of binoculars I’ve ever seen. Later, I also got to use a Zeiss spotting cope for work that was very impressive, but also very expensive.My point is, once you’ve had a chance to use the greatest, it can be annoying to have to go with anything less, and so I don’t want my review to be tainted in comparison to these high-end models because it’s like comparing apples to oranges when you go from the $100 to $400-$2500 price range. Now that I’m no longer in that line of work, I don’t need (and also don’t want to spend so much) on high end optics (though I do admit I want them…). I mostly wanted a spotting scope, however, for higher magnification viewing of birds at feeders in my backyard, and to allow my young son’s the opportunity to see wildlife closer up. I remember not being able to really use binoculars properly at their age, and always found myself closing one eye to look through only one objective since I could never get my vision to line up. Focusing clearly was always an issue, and then there was hand-shake, all of which made binoculars not so fun to use. I see them fiddling and struggling to use binoculars as well, and with a scope my hope is to set it up on a stable tripod pointed right at a feeder and have them only have to move the focus ring slightly– a decent scope at this price range was exactly what I was looking for. I am an amateur photographer, so already have a couple nice and steady tripods to put to use, which is just as important to have for a scope, and should be factored into your purchasing decision (I wouldn’t spend less than $100 on a tripod– just not worth it).OK, now onto the scope itself. It seems well weighted and well balanced, with decent ergonomics and good housing. I like the advertised waterproofness, and hope that it lives up to that claim. Focus ring is smooth, but zoom ring not so much. I find myself wanting to turn at the attachment point of the eyepiece instead of further up closer to the end where it is located. The zoom ring is also stiff, but I imagine it will loosen up in time. Last about the zoom, it’s only textured metal, and I’d prefer either a rubberized ring or tab/lever type zoom, but that’s not expected in this price range. Other reviewer(s) have mentioned that it would be nice to have a quick focus along with a fine tune focus knob, but as nice as that would be, for me it’s really not expected at this price range.Optical clarity is generally good. This scope really shines in the 18-30 zoom range, but starts to drop off in clarity and (dramatically) in field of view once you get to about 35x. Purple fringing is also noticeable around 35x, getting more obvious in the 40s, and is terrible in the 50s. Field of view up to 30x is full, which was expected since it’s a 65 objective scope (light availability and field of view is expected to drop off at anything below a 1:5 magnification/objective ratio).Eye relief is perfectly fine, at least for me, and is worth mentioning since reviews seem mixed about this topic. I wear eyeglasses and have astigmatism, so I can’t get scopes or binoculars to focus with full clarity without my glasses. Having enough eye relief is therefore a requirement, and I can focus clearly at all zoom levels with this scope. I’d imagine that some of the negative reviews about eye relief could involve not pulling back the rubber eye-cup. I’ve found that without pulling back the eye-cup, I can still focus the scope with my glasses on at 18x, but once I start zooming I need to get closer and pulling back the eye-cup is a necessity. Another option is to remove the rubber eye-cup altogether; I accidentally removed mine while fiddling with it. What I don’t like about having to “peal back” the eye-cup is that it’s annoying to switch over viewing with non-eyeglass wearers that prefer the better light eliminating properties of looking through the eye-cup. And when viewing birds, switching over when sharing the scope is a constant. I also imagine that over time with repeated folds it will eventually break down and fall off, but time will tell. On my nicer binoculars this is solved by having eye-cups that twist up and down, which is a great design, but again, not expected at this price point.Last thing I want to mention about this spotting scope is the “finder scope”. While using it today I was thinking how I wish it had a basic finder scope, since it can be difficult to track down where birds have landed not too far away, even at 18x, and especially when using in tight spaces such as my backyard. Then I noticed on the left side of the scope it has “finder scope” in the form of a straw-like appendage attached to the upper left side of the body. No optics involved, which makes sense at this zoom range. Your naked eye works just fine to point the scope close enough in the right direction to find what you want to look at before looking through the lens. When I first saw that appendage I thought it was for adding some type of accessory. I actually thought at one point that perhaps it’s an attachment point for a finder scope, but then realized, duh, it is the finder scope itself! Maybe obvious to some or most, but not to me at first, so thought I’d mention it.Overall I think this was a great purchase, especially at $75, but I would probably pay another $40 to get one now that I have had the chance to use it. I feel that all of the trade offs are fair and expected at this price point, and that overall the scope is very good for my intended purchase. The main thing I would like improved is the purple fringing and clarity at higher zoom. Light and field of view fall off was expected based on the specs, but I wasn’t expecting purple fringing and soft edges to occur until the very highest zoom range. That said, it’s a fair trade off for the price, and for my backyard birding and other intended uses, I will only rarely be using it in the 35-55 zoom range anyway.***** UPDATE *****After having some more time to use this scope, I’ve updated my review from 4 to 5 stars. The reason is that it is actually quite sharp at full zoom, and I had initially thought it wasn’t due to other obstructions altering the view, such as heat waves and poor air quality. I had the chance of using the scope in the afternoon, viewing objects not in direct sunlight, and was able to get perfectly clear imaging all the way to 55x, without soft edges and without purple fringing (which is usually an aberration caused by too much sun light). The field of view is also full from 18x all the way to 55x. I realized what I had been doing was not getting my eye close enough to the objective when in the higher zoom ranges. The eye relief is actually not as good as I had hoped and thought, and in order to see the full field of view I really have to squash my eye glasses right up to the lens and press down a bit. It is do-able, but not as comfortable or easy as it could be if there was more eye relief. But although eye relief is not as good as I originally thought, at least there are no issues with minimized field of view or soft edges as I had thought was the case before.Based on high clarity in ideal conditions, I had to go back and change my initial 4-star review to 5. The limits of this lens do not apply all of the time and do not apply to everyone (i.e., non-eye glass wearers), and it’s not the fault of the scope for not having high end lens coatings or HD glass; those features are aptly found on more expensive lenses. As expected, this scope doesn’t do more than it’s advertised to do, and does exactly what it is advertised to do at a very reasonable price and with a nice form to function ratio.
Turd Ferguson –
I picked up the Celestron 52250 80mm Ultimate Zoom Spotting Scope to use sighting in targets at 100 yards. Previously, I purchased and compared three inexpensive 20-60X60 scopes. The chromatic aberration and overall quality of those scopes was horrible. The brands tested were SVBONY, ENKEEO and AOMEKIE all ordered from Amazon. Don’t waste your time or money on any of those.The Celestron scope came well packaged with only one small ding and tear in the container. This did not impact the contents. It came with an instruction pamphlet, small lens cloth, and ocular lens inside a plastic tube hard case with it’s own separate nylon carry case. The scope also comes with a nylon carry case however it’s not padded and would not provide any significant degree of protection against drops. You can, however, still use the scope for viewing with the cover on by simply unzipping and exposing the objective and ocular lens. I sorta like this feature. The scope is waterproof and has a BAK4 prism according to the manual. I was unable to find any verification either in the user manual or Celestron webpage that this scope is nitrogen or argon purged.The body of the scope appears to be a metal alloy with the rear portion rubberized. The ocular lens threads on to the body and can be stored separately in its own hard plastic tube as mentioned. Eye relief is achieved by a rubber eyepiece grommet that you fold up or down. The magnification ring on the ocular is smooth and crisp as was the focus knob. The objective lens comes with a clip on style lens cap. There is no pull out sun shade on the objective lens. That’s a bummer.I mounted the scope on a camera tripod to test it and immediately noticed the scope is forward weighted and tippy- in other words not balanced very well. Therefore using a sturdy tripod is critical with this scope. The images from this scope were excellent considering the the price. As with most scopes in this price range image quality at lower magnifications produce better views. There was some chromatic aberration noted but nothing I would consider outrageous. I believe it will do just fine as a range spotter and even a grab-and-go for some light bird watching.Pros- Inexpensive, decent build quality, ability to swap out ocular lens, good “bang for the buck”.Cons- No sun shade on objective lens, non-padded carry case, forward weighted (tippy) design.Hope this helps.
Outstanding piece of kit, highly recommended along with a very sturdy tripod.Also, for those of you trying to connect this scope to a Nikon D3300 (or similar) you do not need a barlow lens or any other type of connector/adapter, you only need a T2 adapter (please see link below) and when connected in this configuration (please see photos) you retain the full zoon capability of the current lens. Took me weeks of research to get the above confirmed, so thought Id share it.Adapter For T2 Lens to Nikon F Mount Camera Body D50 D70 D80 D90 D600 D5100 D3 D300S D7000 D5000 D3100 D3000 D300 D200 D5100 D3200 DC309
Amazon Customer –
Bought this for birding / target shooting etc.Used it in a variety of situations and lighting conditions from bright sunlight to near dark whilst watching Otters.The size is quite bulky to be carried in a mid sized rucksack, but its managable and relatively light.I was very unimpressed with the optics. It was relatively bright at the lower end of the magnification, as it should be for the size of the objective lens, but no brighter than my 8×32 binoculars.The main problem (and the reason I have since sold it on Ebay) was the image quality, it just wasn’t very sharp. Detail was difficult to observe and it only got worse with increased magnification.A lump of a scope with optics not suitable for serious birding and too large for the shooting/archery range.
Amazon Customer –
H M Watkins –
Bought this for our new apartment which overlooks the beautiful Poole Harbour and Purbeck hills. We’re about 7 miles from Corfe Castle and can just about make it out with the naked eye on a good day; this scope allows us to pick out the shape of the castle towers clearly. On boats in the harbour which are approx 2 miles away we can clearly see the name of the vessel and count the people on deck. We’re hoping we’ll be able to spot dolphins and seals when they make their way into the harbour. We already had a good tripod but invested in a decent fluid head to give good control. Yes, of course for this price you don’t get perfect optics, so there is some aberration around the outer edge, but I think it’s acceptable at this end of the market. If we had a lot more cash to splash we’d have probably spent a few more £100s and bought a better one, but for just browsing the view and keeping an eye on shipping it’s perfect for us!
H M Watkins –
James Moir –
Bought this for target archery. Previously had a 60mm sight but struggled at 100 yards in dim light to positively pick out my arrows against other. Not any more! The wider aperture gives an enormous amount of light and therefore a hugely improved and greater detailed view. Even in low light with 24 arrows in the target I can clearly sort mine out from the rest at 100 yards. Comes with 2 lense caps for either end and a weather protective cover that can stay on during use even when on a tripod. Brilliant scope at a very reasonable price. Quick and secure delivery. Would recommend.
James Moir –
Andrew Johnson –
Overall I’m happy with the price / performance of this scope both for bird watching / wildlife and some casual astronomy. As some have commented there is some chromatic aberration using this scope, but as is usual with CA this is noticeable in areas of extreme contrast, looking at the Moon for example, but for the price point this is not a surprise and not especially noticeable when bird watching. If you want zero CA you’re looking at the wrong price range!Overall the image is quite sharp and bright and very pleasing, certainly good enough for my eyes when bird watching to pick out details and identify the species being observed. the scope is relatively light for it’s size and the carry bag is reasonably handy.A couple of niggles, as some have pointed out the scope cant really be used with the carry bag, it really needs a velcro or other flap over the focus knob to make it accessible, then I think it will work “in the bag”. The front dust cap is a bit weedy and pops off with the slightest touch, the eyepiece cap is much firmer and pushes over the rubber eyecup and has a tendency to also remove the eyecup leaving the camera adaptor thread exposed.Although I have a T2 camera adaptor I have not used the scope for digiscoping, I own some fairly good telephoto lenses and this scope is certainly no match for them optically but if you don’t have such exotic gear in your camera bag I can see where this scope could be of some use.
Andrew Johnson –
This is one of my better buys, always wanted a scope for viewing wildlife and countryside landscapes, but its equally great for star gazing, and since using it have found that my Canon camera even connects up to the lens, so i can capture so amazing shots up close. Well worth the money and glad i have purchased it.
Mr Denis R Smith –
Useful tool for the enthusiast, straight-through image better than angled eye-piece, well balanced but hard to adjust focus whilst looking at a moving distant object. Small issue though as quality worth the expense
Mr Denis R Smith –
Monkey Nuts –
Pretty good. I compared it to a Gosky model and there was a positive difference in image but not a huge deal breaker. The Celestron is let down by an eye peace with falls out all the time and a lens cap cover which isn’t attached. Decent quality. Moon looks great
Monkey Nuts –
A good scope for the price, you could pay 3 or 4 times the price and only get a slight improvement in the optical quality. The build looks good and the focus control is pretty smooth. I would recommend it for the casual birder, I use mine (straight version) with a monopod as I find that easier on my neck.
TOM TORRANCE –
I use this telescope for bird watching and it gives lovely clear views of birds a few hundred metres away even at its x60 magnification settings. It doesn’t come with a tripod, which is an essential accessory, so make sure you buy one and probably a proper camera tripod since viewing angles are difficult to achieve from the table-top. Recommended.
TOM TORRANCE –
Glad I went for the Ultima 80 model even though it was a bit dearer. Having said that telescopes can be a lot dearer. Needs to be used in conjunction with a tripod – I already had one. Great for wild life spotting.