I just purchased a Celestron Ultima 80, 20-60X80 spotting scope. In fact the scope arrived yesterday so I had to take it to the range to try it out this morning. I have one word to describe this spotting scope AWESOME!
I've been shooting for over 40 years and have had a lot of spotting scopes. My favorite that I used for most of those years was a Kowa TSN2 which is a 25X with an 80mm objective. Unfortunately that scope was stolen a couple of years ago. Now that I am semi retired I couldn't afford another Kowa ($800) so I started looking around.
Some I bought and returned and some I used at the riflerange belonging to others. My prime objective was to be able to see .17 caliber holes at 100 yards and 22 holes at 200. I read the review of spotting scopes in sniper country and bought the Bushnell Spacemaster they recommended, it could see the 17 holes but it was a little fuzzy and difficult to focus on them. Unusable were Burris, Simmons, Leupold (several models) and a few others. The best that I found was a Yukon 6-100X100 so I bought it and used it for a year or so. Then I started reading on these forums about people using the Celestron C90s and I tried one at a benchrest match a couple of months ago and it was very good using the 30X and 45X eyepieces. But the C90 is kind of funny looking and looks a little fragile. Then I read about the Celestron Ultima 80 and 100 so I decided to buy the 80. Well it arrived at a cost of $179.95 delivered!!
As stated I took it to the range this morning. It is a bright clear day so don't have an impression of it on an overcast day. Tried it at 50, 100 and 200 yards viewing 17 caliber holes, at all the ranges I could see them clearly and was able to fucus on them very easily even at 60X. Hate to compare it to a Kowa but it sure seems clearer maybe not if they were side by side but..... This thing is bright clear, a third of a turn moves from 20-60X, easily focused, to me unbelievable. It is rather large and heavy but I don't care about that and the construction and quality is very good to excellent. It is the best spotting scope that I have ever looked through and I have seen a bunch. The only negative is that it is not waterproof but it comes with a nice protective vinyl case. The Celestron Ultima 100 or their ED version must be out of this world!!