The New Celestron C5 Review By Brett Grant

This Celestron C5 review will highlight everything you need to know about the C5 spotting scope. For potential buyers, I highly suggest you read this entire review before you purchase this spotting scope.

In this Celestron C5 spotter review, we will see the pros, and cons of C5 and our final verdict on the spotting scope. You’ll also understand how Celestron has proven itself to be a consistent leader in the race for outdoor exploration. 

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.

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Celestron C5 Spotting Scope Review

Celestron C5 Spotting Scope
Click here for information about the Celestron C5 Spotting Scope

The C5 converts from a powerful spotting scope to a high performance 1250mm effective focal length f/10 telephoto lens. To take professional quality images with the C5, simply attach an optional T-Adapter and T-ring for your SLR camera to the rear of the C5 and you’re ready to shoot.

Accessories

  • soft-sided case with fitted inserts
  • 25 mm eyepiece
  • 45-degree image diagonal
  • 6×30 mm finderscope
  • Objective Lens cover
  • Cleaning cloth

Pros

  • Super telephoto lens
  • Versatile Mounting Options
  • Works as a 1250 mm f/10 telephoto lens for DSLR
  • StarBright XLT coating for 97.4% light transmission
  • Uses 1.25” eyepiece mounts for enhanced magnification
  • 5-inch aperture

Cons

  • No stand included
  • Needs collimating after purchasing

Verdict

People gravitated to this device when they wanted a larger system without going for something so bulky, that it reduced the portability of the spotting scope. The C5 seems like a good solution with its additional 37mm of the aperture making a big difference in imaging.

The 7mm eyepiece provides incredible magnification and details on various objects, whether it be on land or in the sky. The Celestron C5 has a lower power 24mm eyepiece that brings the whole sky to life. It gathers enough light and the sharpness is excellent.

Celestron’s History

Celestron has been an optics industry leader for decades, ever since its founder, Tom Johnson, unveiled his game-changing invention: the Schmidt-Cassegrain C8. Released in the 1960s, this compact, 8-inch device quickly rose to the top and became an overnight sensation.

Celestron strives to continue his legacy by continuing to develop high-tech products with astounding progress being made throughout the years. The steps Celestron has made have revolutionized the optic industry time and time again in visual history.

Celestron’s presence in the optical industry has touched the hearts of many, inspiring amateur astronomers, photographers, and creatives to pursue their passions for the stars. Tom’s innovative spirit sheds light on an affordable way to mass-produce Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope designs at an affordable price without reducing the quality of it.

Celestron has reinvented 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. Education about science and the preservation of the environment and atmosphere are just the start of Celestron’s work to provide outreach and give back to the community who made the company the beacon of light it is today.

What is a Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope is designed to be a smaller, portable device with high-power telescope-like features. Its added optics present the ability to capture and create erect images. Like the telescope, the Celestron C5 spotting scope is optimized for the observation of astronomical objects, as well as terrestrial landmarks.

They are used for various outdoor activities such as birdwatching and other nature-based and inspired activities such as hunting and target shooting, to focusing and enhancing the details of one’s shot placements. Spotting scopes have been used for tactical ranging and high-quality surveillance, as well as for any other activity requiring a higher amount of power than you would receive from a pair of binoculars.

Magnification

A spotting scope is generally regarded as the next level up from binoculars, due to its levels of magnification starting from the point that in which most binoculars would finish. This allows the crispness of the details to be viewed in ways that other visual devices wouldn’t present to the naked eye.

Unfortunately, it’s not only a matter of choosing a spotting scope with the highest level of magnification possible. There are other factors in which play a role in lessening or potentially ruining the quality of the final image. Environmental issues play a significant role in how well a spotting scope will magnify and give its images that razor-sharp quality. Your typical environmental enemies will include:

  • dust
  • humidity
  • glare
  • air currents
  • heatwaves

These environmental factors will not hesitate to impact the quality of the end result. The higher the magnification at which the spotting scope is set on, the greater the impact will be.

In general terms of using a spotting scope, this means that the days vary in which you might not be able to magnify images above x30 without facing repercussions that affect the image.

When Mother Nature is at its best, you’ll see how crystal-clear images can be achieved with magnifications of about 60x. As a general rule, even in the most favorable conditions, very little is usually achieved when magnifying the image past 60-80x so traditional spotting scope magnifications rarely extend beyond 60x.

Continued

Spotting scopes are classified as medium-range telescopes, usually with a magnification power between 15x and 60x. To change the magnification power on a spotting scope, there are either interchangeable fixed-length eyepieces or a single zoom eyepiece.

If you’re an expert in the field, consider purchasing a spotting scope with a higher range of magnification. Spotting scopes are available in a premium grade that scopes retain the quality of the image, even after magnifying at 60x. This is recommended mostly for users who are experienced with and consistently practice with spotting scopes.  For most people, a magnification of 30-40x is more than sufficient for a typical spotting scope, with reasonable prices being achieved.

When viewing an area with a spotting scope, it’s best to start out with the spotting scope on its lowest power eyepiece or the lowest setting on a zoom eyepiece. Similarly to a microscope, it’s easiest to go from lowest to highest with magnification. Only after you’ve located the target object, is when you want to transition into a higher power.

Objective Lens

The objective lens is the lens one that has the furthest distance away from your eyes. It is also a part of the spotting scope that’s nearest to whatever you are viewing. Theoretically, the larger the objective lens, the better you’ll be able to see the magnified image. This is so, particularly when the spotting scope is constructed by a well-advertised, good quality brand. However, if the lens is of low quality, the end result will be dull and unclear, regardless of the size. Therefore, many users will attest to the quality of the lens being prioritized over quantity, the size of the lens.

If you’re looking for another way for optimal performance, look for objective lenses made with specialized glass. Specific glass types from HD, ED, EPO or Fluorite glass, deliver excellent results at a higher price than typical spotting scope lenses, but the quality of the image is enough to compete with a competitive larger sized objective lens.

Of course, if the bank account permits, make your spotting scope a double threat with a large objective lens made from one of these specialized glasses.

Straight VS. Angled Scopes

Spotting scopes are available with eyepieces that can be either set at a 45-degree angle from the scope body or positioned on the scope, forming a straight line. For a newer user, this straight or angled design is not any better than the other; instead, this is a matter of personal preference.

A straight-through eyepiece design provides a more natural “line of sight” view, ensuring an easier experience with properly aiming the spotter at the desired target.  For the sake of providing a real-world example, a straight scope is best used when looking at an object straight ahead, or if in a confined space, such as watching wildlife from inside a trailer or car.

Angled eyepiece designs may be more comfortable if you are sharing the instrument with users of different heights, more than likely children or just adults of various heights. The angled design makes for an easier experience when looking at objects from overhead or looking out from an elevated view down below.

Use angled scopes when you’re sharing it with a group of people. This way, there’s no need to raise or lower the scope to agree with the height of its current user. Having an angled scope also means that you can position your tripod to be a bit less extended, which equates to more stability for the scope.

Close Focus

This is the aspect of spotting scopes that not everyone thinks about when they’re purchasing a spotting scope. It’s easy to zoom in on objects located at a further distance, but the issue is defining what makes an object too close when wanting to capture its details.

A spotting scope that has a close focus of fewer than 20 feet can be helpful in a broad range of scenarios, particularly if you plan on connecting your spotting scope with a DSLR and using it for photography. Amateur users will see lenses are important in creating an up-close, clear visual.

Zoom lenses change magnification power from 20x to as high as 60x with a single, simple adjustment. In spotting scopes, focusing is normally done in one of two ways:

  • With a focusing collar where the whole barrel of the scope is rubberized can be twisted to sharpen the image
  • The other design uses a smaller focus knob typically mounted on the top of the scope near the eyepiece.

Eye Relief

Eyeglass wearers should pay attention to the amount of eye relief, or the amount of space the eye can be held from the eyepiece on the spotting scope. When a spotting scope advertises itself as having longer eye relief, the internal optics direct the focal point farther behind the eyepiece. This is done so that the eyeglass wearer can still have a complete field of view, even with frames blocking the amount of space between the user’s eye and eyepiece.

Eye relief is given in millimeters, listed in the model’s technical specifications or manual. Generally speaking, an eye relief of 12–15 mm provides enough field of view for most eyeglass wearers.

Lens Coating

The amount of light that is able to be passed through a spotting scope is essential to capture and maintain the quality of images when viewing the object through the scope.

Without enough light, the image can appear darker, dull, blurry, and lacking vividness and saturation. Manufacturers can create different lens coatings for their spotting scopes, the quality depending on their overall budget. From the lower end of the market to the highest, fully coated lenses are available for most models, progressing to multi-coated, and topping out with fully multi-coated lens coatings.

All premium spotting scopes will be fully multi-coated, with special chemical formulas formulates to maximize the transmission of light into the scope. These special formulas will vary differently from manufacturer to manufacturer, so never anticipate different brands of the same spotting scope to perform identically.

Image Quality

In the end, all anyone wants is a spotting scope that produces sharp and clear images, but let’s be honest; the majority of spotting scopes will not perform to the professional standard without costing a fortune.

For most, a low to midrange model is sufficient for whatever their purpose may be. Budget scopes do a great job when wanting to do higher-level work. Generally speaking though, when it comes to exceptionally precise results, the difference in pricing influences the quality of the content created.

The Importance of Tripods

The high magnification of spotting scopes influences reactions to vibrations. These movements are counteracted with the help of a tripod. Tripods help reduce these vibrations and provide a steady base on which the scope can be mounted.

This is especially useful when wanting to capture clearer, sharper visuals. In the visual industry, even beginners know the general concept that stabilized devices make for equally stable and smooth content.

Conclusion

After using the C5, the positive feedback users shared including myself say this scoping scope is worth the money. I thought I’d be honest in this Celestron c5 review and give my honest opinion on the device. The Celestron C5 is exceptionally qualified in its abilities.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this Celestron C5 spotter review, drop us a line in the comment section. And once again, thank you for reading and good luck on your next purchase.