Gear Re­views

CE­LE­STRON RE­GAL M2 100ED £949 THER THAN SWAROVSKI’S

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents - RE­VIEWED BY MATT MER­RITT

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.

Pre­cise fo­cus­ing

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.

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