Spotting scopes are a great alternative to birding binoculars, especially if you’re sighting birds of prey since they often fly at a higher elevation than songbirds and can be more difficult to sight in general.
If you’re a serious birder, then be prepared to fall in love with the Celestron 52304 Regal M2 spotting scope. This M2 series model is made out of state of the art materials that ensure top of the line durability, which will allow you to bird in any type of weather conditions. This model also features a variety of adjustable options, in addition to several upgrades over past models produced by Celestron, all of which are designed to improve your viewing experience.
Our Verdict: This spotting scope by Celestron features the latest in optical technology including multicoated objective lenses, BAK4 prisms, and extra-low dispersion glass. The included rotating tripod allows you to set up for a day of birding in the backcountry, while the scope’s lightweight magnesium body makes it easy to haul and transport through dense brush. Overall, it’s clear that Celestron did an amazing job of creating a lighter, more durable spotting scope that not only provides top of the line optics but a lightweight design and highly adjustable tripod that does wonders in terms of improving the user’s viewing experience.
Continue reading to learn more about Celestron’s newest spotting scope, find out why it earned a higher user rating and why it’s definitely one scope you want by your side in the backcountry.
Overview and Features
Celestron has been designing high-quality optics for years. Their binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, and spotting scopes are equipped with the latest in optical technology. Their popular birding binoculars and spotting scope lines are their best-sellers and for a number of reasons. Unlike competing brands, this is a manufacturer who clearly has user experience and convenience in mind during the design process.
Their latest spotting scope, the Regal, features a magnesium alloy body that cuts down on the scope’s weight without negatively impacting optics quality. It’s clear that the manufacturer understands that the serious birder will need to take their spotting scope through challenging terrain, in a variety of light and weather conditions, which is why they ensure that this spotting scope can handle a fall. The scope’s design is totally waterproof as well, so whether you’re caught in a downpour or light snowfall when you’re out birding, you won’t have to worry about water seeping into the optical chambers and doing serious damage.
This scope features a variety of standout components, including the XLT coating, ED objective lens design, rotating tripod mount, and the magnesium alloy body.
The scope’s objective lens produces a vivid, clear image. It’s able to replicate images in a precise, high-quality color scheme, shows remarkable color contrast, and reduces chromatic aberration.
The eyepiece mount measures in at just over an inch and features a twenty-millimeter eye relief, a rubber eyecup for improved comfort, and a better than average magnification range of 16x.
The patented Celestron’s lens coating helps to produce bright images and rich, full colors. The extra low-dispersion glass and BAK4 prisms work together to reduce chromatic aberration.
The ED glass is often found in higher-end scopes and binoculars. The addition of ED glass allows for improved light transmission while helping to prevent light interference and other types of optical issues that are common in lower-priced scopes. And the result? A high definition viewing experience, high contrast, and rich color fidelity.
This model features the collar style focus ring, which is located on the slimmest portion of the eyepiece. The design allows you to focus much faster than you’d be able to with a standard knob focus setup. This means, once you sight your target, you can swiftly zoom in.
This scope offers a viewing range of sixteen feet to one thousand yards and features close-focus capacity for precision and clarity.
The lens is created out of the same type of materials that are used for telescopes. The scope’s extra-low dispersion glass will help users to sight even the smallest species of birds in the dimmest lighting conditions, even if they’re hiding in thick brush. The scope is able to provide maximum light transmission regardless of the environment or situation. Additionally, the scope’s dual focus knob is easily accessible so you can quickly make adjustments to the focus and instantly enjoy a crystal clear viewing experience.
Now, you can instantly share your birding experience with family and friends thanks to the included smartphone adapter, which is compatible with both Android and iPhone devices. The adapter will allow you to attach the phone’s camera to the scope’s twist up lens and take high-quality photos and email them to family and friends or share it to your social media accounts.
The stay-on case is another great free accessory and one that will provide your scope with some much-needed extra protection against damage and the elements. Most models in this price range will not come with a custom carrying case, so this is a big selling point for buyers.
The included tripod allows you to easily adjust the angle and height of the tripod in seconds. This rotating tripod makes it easy to set up your scope or change positions. Once you have it in the ideal position, the tripod will snap into place using a unique locking system. This will give birders peace of mind knowing that the tripod will remain firmly in place during use.
The scope’s lightweight design makes it a popular option for the backcountry birder who enjoys hiking to remote locations in order to sight rarer species. The scope’s design makes this model extremely portable and fourteen percent lighter than other models produced by this manufacturer. This is all due to the lightweight magnesium alloy body. While the material helps to cut down on the scope’s weight, it’s also incredibly durable.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- ED glass
- BAK4 roof prisms
- Lightweight design
- Rotating tripod mount
- Smartphone adapter
- Stay-on case
- Excellent viewing range
- Faster focus ring
- The Price
Is This Spotting Scope Appropriate for Backyard Birding?
Typically, spotting scopes are a better option for the serious birder who’s in need of reliable optics for backcountry use. In many cases, spotting scopes are a great choice if you’re trying to sight birds at a farther distance or higher elevation, although it can work for simple backyard birding. A better alternative would be the Emarth Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope which is considered one of the best budget spotting scopes.
Can This Spotting Scope withstand Use in a Heavy Downpour?
Yes, it features a waterproof design, which will allow you to continue using it in the event of heavy rainfall, without the worry that water will seep into the optics chamber. Most models of spotting scopes do come with some type of protection against the elements, but most are simply water-resistant and not waterproof. This means that they can be used in mist, fog, or light rainfall, but can become damaged in a heavy downpour or in the event they’re submerged.
How Does This Scope Perform at Night?
Many birders miss out on nighttime birding, which can expose them to a whole new range of rare species. Typically, lower-priced scopes and binoculars cannot handle low light use well, making it difficult to accurately identify and observe nocturnal birds. Fortunately, this spotting scope can handle a variety of light conditions, thanks to its ED glass that minimizes light interference, making them a perfect option for some nighttime birding. If you’d like to learn more about birding at night, click here to read our article on where do birds go at night in the winter? You’ll get an in-depth look at how birds handle the elements and where you can expect to find them once the sun has set.
Conclusion and Rating
The M2 spotting scope by Celestron is a high-quality model that literally has it all. It comes loaded with some great features including a fast focus ring, rotating tripod, stay-on case for extra protection, and top of the line optics. If you’re in need of a durable spotting scope that can be used in any type of weather or light condition, then the M2 is a perfect option. We gave this model a rating of four and a half stars out of five stars.