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View Full Version : Celestron 100mm Ultima Spotting Scope


kotengu
January 01, 2017, 11:18
I'm a notorious cheapskate, and I've been getting by with a cheap Simmons 20-60x spotting scope for 20 years. I've used some beautiful Kowas over the years, but have never been able to bring myself to spend that much money just to look at holes in paper. I've also been burned by many cheap scopes that got great reviews - the only reason I can guess is that the reviewer had never looked through a decent scope before in their life. So I've been hesitant to buy any scope I couldn't look through myself first.

But I kept seeing good things said about the Celestron, and when it went on sale for $229 (https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-52252-100mm-Ultima-Spotting/dp/B0002862UW) I figured I'd take a chance. I ordered the 100mm version thinking that sheer size might make up for lower quality glass, and I'm not carrying this thing through the woods so size and weight didn't bother me at all.

First - this thing is big and heavy. You'll need a solid tripod or scope stand to hold it up and hold it still. I have an old stainless steel hulk of a model I made for Highpower back in college so that wasn't an issue for me.

But the image quality is simply fantastic. I tried to take some pictures through it to share here, but it didn't even come close to the optical clarity and brightness I see with my eye. It does everything I need it to and then some. I'd be curious to set it next to a Kowa and do a side-by-side comparison, but I don't have one here. I'd imagine the image quality of my 100mm version to be similar to the Kowa's 60mm or 80mm scope, but that's just a guess.

The only real issue is the very short eye relief. It's difficult to use with glasses on, especially at 60x. But I've been fighting that battle for 20 years with the Simmons, so again it's something I can deal with. But be aware of it before you order if that's a big deal to you.

To wrap up: This thing is NOT a Kowa. A Kowa is lighter, smaller, and with a LER eyepiece has a much improved eye relief that makes it easier to use. But the Celestron is 1/3 the price (or less - depending on the Kowa you pick), and does everything I need it to and then some.

I can spend $200 to see holes in paper and leave with a grin on my face. If you're like me, you still won't want to order this without looking through it first - if you see me at a match somewhere (and you remind me to bring with me!), don't hesitate to ask and I'll be happy to show you. But I thought it might help to hear about it from someone you know. Sorry I couldn't get the pics right -

4x401
January 01, 2017, 13:08
Sounds nice!

Been struggling with probably the same Simmons you have myself for about as long..Been thinking about buying a Vortex model since I have a half price discount hook-up. I may have to try and find a Celestron local for a look see..

ALL FAL
January 01, 2017, 13:55
The first Celestron I've owned was a Telescope, it was so good I loaned it and it has never come back. :facepalm:

kotengu
January 01, 2017, 15:50
How about this? I set up an old target and an optical grid at 150yds for the demo pics that didn't turn out. It's heavy overcast and rainy today, so the light is NOT ideal. On 60x I could clearly see the thinnest lines on the grid that are at 1/8" spacing (the ones that you can just barely tell are there if you zoom into this pic - the big squares are 1"). At 20x I could see the 1/4" gridlines clearly, and tell that there were 1/8" gridlines there but they were not clear. Seeing the bullet holes in the black part of the target was clear and obvious at both settings (Which has not been the case with most other scopes).

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w214/mstennett/99B46999-2E0B-4A7F-B4CF-B5AEA5A13A73_zpsh6ca7hw1.jpg

meltblown
January 01, 2017, 16:09
Glad your happy. Very modest investment for a spotting scope. I bought a Leupy but haven't been able to really test it. It replaced a Barska. If I had known about this scope I would have bought it instead of the Barska and probably wouldn't have bought the Leupy

JonnyP
January 16, 2017, 20:56
Sounds nice!

Been struggling with probably the same Simmons you have myself for about as long..Been thinking about buying a Vortex model since I have a half price discount hook-up. I may have to try and find a Celestron local for a look see..

Mate, that's the spotting scope I bring to the Fall Shoot. It's the Bobby business.

4x401
January 17, 2017, 14:43
Mate, that's the spotting scope I bring to the Fall Shoot. It's the Bobby business.

Well shoot...:facepalm:

Don't remember looking through it...but I will make a point to next time.