CELESTRON REGAL M2 100ED £949 THER THAN SWAROVSKI’S
Editor Matt puts Celestron’s Regal M2 100ED scope through its paces
O95mm ATX module, most ‘large’ spotting scopes boast objective lenses between 80 and 90mm wide, so this 100mm model holds out the tantalising possibility of immense brightness. Well, it was bright, courtesy of that size and the ED glass, although there was a slightly yellow cast to the image. Colour-fringing was hard to find, except against very bright light, or when zoomed right in (the zoom ranges from 22x to 67x). The image was sharp very close to the edges, so even when zoomed in, the field of view (33-16m@1000m) never felt too claustrophobic, and there was pleasingly little fall-off in image quality as I zoomed in, too. There were some annoying flecks showing on the image in the sample I tested, presumably due to dirt on the internal glass. These weren’t there on another sample, so it’s a good reminder to check the actual piece of kit you buy. It’s a sturdy piece of kit, like all of Celestron’s bins and scopes, with good rubber armouring, but as you’d expect, size matters. It’s not so much that the weight will put you off (it felt less than I expected) but you really do need a good, solid tripod and head to get the best use from a scope this size – don’t scrimp on it.
The twist-up eyepiece is comfortable enough in extended use, and offers a maximum of 20mm of eye relief, and as so often with Celestron, you can also use astronomical eyepieces. The eyepieces screw in securely and there’s a good, screw-on metal protector for the one included, too. Focussing is precise, thanks to a fine focus wheel – both it and the main wheel moved a little stiffly, although I didn’t mind that, as it helped
with accuracy. The main wheel took almost four clockwise turns from close focus (around 8m) to infinity. There’s an objective lens cover, a carrying case, and a T-adapter ring to enable you to use the scope with a DSLR camera. That’s where, teamed up with that tripod we mentioned, it could really come into its own, because the extra light getting through should make for great photos. At under £1,000, it’s an attractive option if you’re looking for an ED scope to use for digiscoping, and the size of the objective combined with the impressive zoom makes it a good possibility if you’re watching wide expanses from a fixed position, too. Give it a try yourself, because it won’t be for everybody, but you might just decide that the biggest objective lens on the market offers that bit extra that you need.