Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope Review

Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope Review By Brett Grant

This is going to be a Celestron 52268 c90 mak spotting scope review that many of our readers have been requesting. I promise to be as brutally honest about this spotting as much as possible. Within this review, I’ll share my own personal experience and that of others.

If you have any questions regarding my Celestron honest c90 mak review then ask them in the comment section. I’ll make sure to answer as soon as possible. I’ll make sure not to get too boring and make this like other Celestron c90 telescope reviews. But, anyway, enough talk, let’s get on to the review!

Disclosure: Sooke Outdoors, as an Amazon Associate, earns commissions on qualified purchases. This informative review article may contain affiliate links. Commission and earnings support our work. This means we may receive a commission if you purchase items from links embedded in the articles.

Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
336 Reviews
Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
  • Nylon Backpack - Lens Caps - Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design
  • Erect Image System for Terrestrial and Astronomical Use

The Quick Celestron C90 Review Overview

I have to say the Celestron’s C90 Mak is an amazing spotting scope. It does have its shortcomings but the pros outweigh them heavily. I found the spotting scope to be ideal for outdoor, birding, wildlife observing, and occasional celestial viewing.

Honestly, the Maksutov optical design of the Celestron c90 mak is makes the spotting scope portable and easy to use. If you’re an avid wildlife observer or terrestrial and astronomical watcher, you can’t go wrong with the Celestron c90 mak. It has excellent optics and very clear imagery.

Celestron’s History

Celestron’s presence in the optical industry has done wonders for the creatives and the curious, looking to reach for the stars in an affordable way without losing the quality behind it. Celestron has reimagined and redesigned the telescope in ways that match the ever-increasing evolution of technology.

This company is all about the people, sharing their knowledge and experience with the community. Science education and the preservation of the skies and atmosphere are only the beginnings of providing outreach and giving back to the community that made Celestron the shining star it is today.

Transcending a humble beginning in 1964, Celestron has grown to become the largest and one of the most trusted telescope brands in the world. Celestron has proven itself as a consistent leader in the race to outdoor exploration.

What is a Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope is a portable device with the same general structure and features as a telescope. They are given additional optic lenses for improving and enhancing the observation of terrestrial or even astronomical objects.

Spotting scopes are most commonly used today in surveillance or searching for observable creatures or objects found in a landscape or outdoor sceneries. The general difference between a spotting scope and a telescope is based on the distance of the object that is intended to be seen and magnified.

Telescopes are designed optically for viewing objects located in spaces that produce little to no light. Spotting scopes are better for those with more experience and dedication to their outdoor hobby. If you’re looking for a good visual tool for casual bird watching, binoculars are a better choice as they’re more compact, portable, and easier to manipulate and use.

Those who use spotting scopes for hunting or target shooting, are able to follow and more accurately aim at their target. Spotting scopes are great paired with tripods for a stable, more visually appealing experience.


The spotting scope is designed to magnify and increase the focus on details of objects in a shorter range. Most spotting scopes magnify objects up to 30-40x. Providing too strong of a

lens blurs images from too much light entering the lens. Excess light diminishes the quality of an image from it being overexposed. Spotting scopes do have different zoom options that provide a greater range in focal lengths.

A spotting scope represents its zoom or magnification capacity by two hyphenated numbers. For example, a spotting scope will have a series of numbers such as 20-60×80. For a quick breakdown:

  • 20-60x represents the magnification or zoom range
  • 80 represents the diameter of its objective lens

Most spotting scopes have different zoom options, for example, 15-45x or 20-60x. This means that the user can manually adjust their magnification—  similarly as you would a camera. A spotting scope generally has a magnified range of 15x to 60x.

A higher magnification is proportional to the amount of detail that can be seen. Just like a camera or even with a pair of binoculars, you are able to zoom in or out on objects when necessary. The higher the magnification is, the more detail. Zooming in and out for viewing​ objects at different distances is always up to users’ discretion.

Objective Lens

When you have a bigger objective lens on a spotting scope, this increases the quality of the image you’re taking. You’ll see more details, have greater clarity and color depth. However, it is important to remember that bigger doesn’t always mean better.

A cheap lens, no matter how big, doesn’t automatically equate to being higher quality than a small higher-end lens. Bigger objective lenses are more likely to increase the bulk with the amount of equipment you would have to carry. With any new purchase things, consider the brand and quality of a product.

The performance of all spotting scopes can be improved with objective lenses made with varied types of glass:

  • HD glass
  • ED glass
  • APO glass
  • Fluorite glass

With each glass type, there are differentiating costs. Bigger objective lenses will give a better image than a smaller one especially when you need to use the highest magnification of the scope. However, it’s important to value the quality of the image over the size of the objective lens.

If you want to upgrade the objective lens for your spotting scope, you can do so by purchasing a lens made from any of the different glass types listed above. They can give a sharper image, especially when paired with a spotting scope with a higher magnification range. The upgrade in quality might cost more than you expect, but it’ll be worth it. For those using spotting scopes who have that unlimited budget, don’t hesitate to buy yourself a reputable spotting scope with a large objective lens.

Objective lens sizes are determined by the third number after the magnification range. Referring back to the 20-60×80 sequence, the number 80 refers to the diameter of the objective lens. Spotting scopes traditionally have objective lenses sizing from 50mm to an 80mm lens.

The ideal lens size depends on the size of the spotting scope. Those that prefer components such as better image quality, brighter image lighting, or a wider field of view will prefer a larger 80mm lens. The difference in size affects the amount of light being gathered into the lens for viewing objects. Spotting scopes that have a small enough structure can be used on DSLR camera mounts and are easier to tote around with you on outdoor expeditions.

The bigger lenses won’t fit as well in a simple backpack and with size comes the side effect of a higher price. Thinking about weight and equipment carrying capacity, traveling long distances would make smaller-sized objective lenses more desirable.

Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
336 Reviews
Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
  • Nylon Backpack - Lens Caps - Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design
  • Erect Image System for Terrestrial and Astronomical Use

Close Focus

Many times we focus on lens-based equipment like microscopes by turning the different knobs on the sides or base of the structure. This shifts the different inner working parts that can give enhanced details on the object at hand.

Higher powered devices have two different methods of fine-tuning the quality of the image with one knob getting a general focus on the desired item, and the other often acting as the “fine adjustment” knob.

Spotting scopes have similar mechanisms in place that help focus on objects that are closer within our line of vision. Bird watchers, for example, aren’t always on the lookout for the fowl that are far away. Instead, using a spotting scope can be useful in looking to see the finer details on the wings or external body.

Close focusing is normally specified in the description of the model, although self-exploration is always the best way to figure things out. Ideally, spotting scopes for close focusing can zone in on objects less than 20 feet away.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance that the eye can be held from the eyepiece on a spotting scope. For longer-lasting comfort, having the knowledge of your preferred eye relief is beneficial. This is especially important for users who wear glasses that impede their ability to place their eyes as directly into the eyepiece as others can.

More experienced spotting scope users recommend that those with eyeglasses should get a spotting scope with at least 14mm of eye relief. If you have thicker framed eyewear, you’ll need to get a spotting scope with bigger eye relief.

Another eye-related issue with spotting scopes is called the exit pupil. This refers to the amount of bright light located in the center of each eyepiece as light enters into the spotting scope. To determine the exit pupil’s diameter, simply divide the diameter of your objective lens by its magnification power.

Lens Coating

When buying a spotting scope, take care of the type of lens coating offered on the spotting scope. The lens coating is an important factor to consider as it helps improve the transmission of light within the spotting scope. Why this is relevant to the function is because it increases the overall quality and performance of the spotting scope.

There are 3 types of coatings you’ll find on the market:

  • “fully coated”
  • “multi-coated”
  • “fully multi-coated”

All reputable spotting scope providers will have their spotting scopes with fully multi-coated lenses. This doesn’t go to say for others, as manufacturers each have their own unique methods and chemicals for their coatings.

Image Quality

Consider the setting in which you will be using the spotting scope the most. If you intend to remain stationary at a fixed location for an extended period of time or don’t necessarily have the need to worry about the additional weight of gear, then opt for an 80mm scope. Those who are nomadic travelers with their spotting scopes would most likely prefer a lighter traveling experience. A 50-60mm scope will suit your needs better. Some 50mm scopes can even be used without a tripod for stabilization.

The image quality depends on the model and brand. The whole deal with, “you get what you pay for,” truly matters when it comes to image quality. Some companies with their customer’s best intentions at heart can forge in the gap between performance and price. An example of this company and customer loyalty leads to the featuring of the Celestron C90 spotting scope review.

Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting Scope Review

I just had to make my own Celestron c90 spotting scope review. It’s one of my personal favorites to bring out when I and my wife are doing astronomical viewings at night.

One of the main reasons we had to do a Celestron c90 review was due to the versatility of this device. The Celestron c90 is a hybrid spotting/telescope if you haven’t noticed. You have the ability to use astronomy eyepieces. The C90 accepts a wide range of mount pieces ranging from 1.25”+.


  • Compact exterior and clean-cut design
  • Adaptable with DSLR camera bodies
  • Ideal for outdoor and wildlife viewing
  • User-friendly interfacing
  • Versatile; great for terrestrial or astronomical purposes
  • Razor-sharp image quality
  • Wide depth of field and mounting options
  • Backpack case included and other accessories


  • Not a waterproof or extreme weatherproof object
  • Potential complications with alignment
Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
336 Reviews
Celestron – MAK 90mm Angled Spotting Scope –...
  • Nylon Backpack - Lens Caps - Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design
  • Erect Image System for Terrestrial and Astronomical Use


This spotting scope is extremely well made, especially for its price. It has a broad range of features for both viewing and capturing terrestrial or astronomical bodies.

The Celestron C90 telescope reviews are pretty good, praising its user-friendly functions and the quality of its photos. Most users only had complications in dealing with certain weather conditions, but it appears like it does wonders in more desirable situations.