When shopping for the best spotting scope, Celestron is a company that offers many superior products. The Celestron Ultima 80 Spotting Scope has managed to garner considerable attention for its attributes which has made it quite popular. But does that mean it is the best spotting scope for your needs?
In this Celestron Ultima 80 review, we will look at the features the scope has to offer, its performance, and advantages along with potential issues it may have for your needs.
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The Ultima 80 from Celestron offers an angled eyepiece to allow for multiple people to see through the scope without having to change the height. This makes it perfect for stationary situations when you are hunting, birding, target shooting, or simply observing at considerable distances. Some of the features include the following.
- 20x80mm Angled Spotting Scope
- Eye Relief: 18mm
- Multi-Coated Optics
- Large Focus Dial
- Extended Tripod Mounting Plate
- Integrated T-Adaptor for Digiscoping
- Hard & Soft Carrying Cases, Eyepiece Lens Cap, and Eyepiece Port Cover
- Eyepiece Pouch, Instructional Manual, and Lens Cloth
- Limited Lifetime Warranty & Unlimited Access to Technical Support
In addition, the spotting scope is waterproof and has a folding eyecup. Tripods are sold separately, but you can attach the mounting plate for quick release depending on the tripod you purchase.
The combination of features makes this a solid spotting scope for stationary viewing. It is portable, although somewhat large for hiking or carrying long distances on foot.
There are certainly many things that make the Celestron Ultima 80 Spotting Scope one of the better products of its type on the market.
Good Optics: It may not be the best in its price range, but overall this spotting scope is superior. The Celestron Ultima eyepiece is well-crafted to allow for easy viewing especially at short to medium distances. The objective lens is properly coated to allow for more light to enter. And the angled view makes it easy to set up at one height to allow different people to use the scope.
Camera Usage: You can use your mirrorless or DSLR camera and attach it to the scope using the T-ring. Now you can get excellent pictures or videos at longer ranges thanks to this remarkable feature.
Solid: Perhaps the greatest attribute of this spotting scope is the materials used in its construction. It feels solid and durable which means you can use it with more confidence. It also helps that it is waterproof and resistant to the elements. This means that a passing rain shower should not damage the scope. While it is still an optical instrument subject to impacts, the occasional bump or knock shouldn’t do any harm.
Cover: One interesting feature is that you can use the spotting scope while it is still inside the soft carrying case. Simply unzip the front and back and you can hold the scope inside the case while viewing. This nifty feature helps when you are between setups.
Warranty: The limited lifetime warranty demonstrates the value the company has in its product. It also helps that you can call on technical support to help you solve issues with the scope. At the very least, having a solid warranty means that if you receive a defective product, it will be taken care of by the company.
Price: At just over $150 retail, it’s a good deal for most people who need a superior spotting scope. Keep in mind that this spotting scope is best suited for stationary situations. Which means when you plan on being in one place most of the time. In that regard, it is well-priced compared to other spotting scopes with similar features.
Most of the issues involving this scope fall outside its design. Such as the fact that it is not as portable as other models of similar price. But that was not the intention of the design to be carried long distances. However, there are a few concerns about this scope that need to be addressed.
Eye Relief: 18mm is not bad actually and comparable to many other scopes. However, the brightness of the image limits the eye relief mostly to the minimal focal distance. This is when the most light comes in. which means at long range you probably will have to take your glasses off to see properly.
Long Distance Quality: While it is the nature of spotting scopes to be less sharp at longer distances, the Celestron Ultima 80 is a little disappointing in terms of its long-range capabilities. In other words, at the full 80mm range, the images are not quite as sharp as they should be. While some of this is due to atmospheric interference, it also is in part the optics quality.
Minimum Close Focus Distance: One small downside is that the minimal focal distance is just over 26 feet. That is somewhat long compared to some similar spotting scopes, but not all that unreasonable. The close focus for a 60mm x 80mm scope is going to be somewhat long.
It might be argued that there is better value for your money with certain other spotting scopes. However, the Celestron Ultima 80 is certainly one of the best for its price range. The combination of features, exceptional backing from the company, and overall design are quite solid. It is best designed for stationary situations when multiple people using the scope. However, it is light and portable enough to be carried comfortably.
It is true that it does suffer at extreme ranges. The eye relief might be a little better for those with thicker glasses. And it could be a little more portable for those who are on the move. But overall these are relatively small nits in an otherwise solid product.
In the end, the Celestron Ultima 80 Spotting Scope offers the right mix of features using superior materials that make it one of the best on the market. For those who are looking at purchasing a solid, all-around spotting scope, the Celestron Ultima 80 is certainly one to consider.