60mm straight viewing refractor, 20-60x zoom

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In addition to the good resolution and light-gathering of its 60mm fully-coated objective lens, this Celestron 60mm refractor zoom spotting scope has some quality features you might not expect at its low price. It is waterproof and comes with a tabletop/cartop tripod, a soft case, and a hard carrying case. We know of no other 60mm spotting scope that beats the price/performance ratio of this Celestron 60mm zoom. This economical straight viewing spotting scope makes good 60mm birding optics affordable for just about everyone.

Optical features of this scope . . .

  • 60mm objective lens: Its 60mm objective lens provides good resolution and is fully anti-reflection coated (as is the image erecting prism system) for good light transmission and contrast.

  • Zoom eyepiece: Its 20-60x fully-coated zoom eyepiece has a rolldown rubber eyecup for eyeglass use. Eye relief is specified to be 15mm at 20x and 11mm at 60x. While these figures are technically correct, the actual usable eye relief of this and all other spotting scopes typically measures a mm or two less due to the recessed location of the eyepiece. There will be some minor vignetting of the field for eyeglass wearers.

  • Close focus: The scope close focuses down to 29’. Not spectacularly close, although looking at a bird through the 60mm Celestron zoom at that distance at 20x would effectively be the same as looking with your unaided eye from a distance of less than 18”.
Mechanical features of this scope . . .
  • Focus knob: The scope’s focusing knob is located at the top right front of the prism housing to allow precise focusing with either hand, even while wearing gloves or mittens. It is semi-recessed to resist snagging on clothing or carrying case and is grooved for a sure grip. Magnification is changed by turning a ring at the base of the eyepiece.

  • Tripod: A fixed height metal tabletop/cartop tripod is standard equipment. It has a standard 1/4”-20 thread mounting bolt that threads into the tripod mount hole on the underside of the scope to hold the scope firmly in place. A simple twist on the pan handle locks and unlocks the tripod head, allowing you to move the scope in any direction to track moving targets. Another twist on the handle locks the scope in place for extended viewing of stationary targets. Rubber-tipped feet on the tripod allow you to use it on car hood or roof without marring the car’s finish. In addition, the tripod mount on the underside of the scope allow you to mount the scope on any full-size photo tripod having a standard 1/4”-20 thread mounting bolt.

  • Waterproof: The Celestron 60mm zoom refractor is waterproof. While it is not guaranteed to be fully submersible, sudden showers or wind-blown ocean spray are no cause for concern.

  • Cases: A soft case is standard equipment, as is an aluminum frame hard carrying/storage case. Protective slip-on dust covers are provided for both objective lens and eyepiece.

Magnification is the ability of a telescope to make a small, distant object large enough to examine in detail. If you look at the Moon (250,000 miles away) with a 125 power (125x) telescope, it's essentially the same as looking at it with your bare eyes from 2000 miles away (250,000 ÷ 125 = 2000). The same telescope used terrestrially will make an object one mile away appear to be only 42 feet away (5280 feet ÷ 125 = 42).
The magnification of a telescope is determined by dividing the focal length of the telescope (usually in millimeters) by the focal length of the eyepiece used (again, usually in millimeters; but in all cases by the same unit of measurement used for the telescope focal length). For example, a 2000mm focal length telescope and a 10mm focal length eyepiece will give you a magnification of 200 power (2000 ÷ 10 = 200). The same 2000mm telescope with a 20mm eyepiece will give you 100x (2000 ÷ 20 = 100).
Field of view 1000 yards:
130' @ 20x, 65' @ 60x
Near Focus:
Eye Relief:
Eye relief is the distance from the last surface of the eye lens of an eyepiece to the plane behind the eyepiece where all the light rays of the exit pupil come to a focus and the circular image is formed, sometimes called the “Ramsden Disk.” This is where your eye should be positioned to see the full field of view of the eyepiece. If you must wear glasses because of astigmatism, you’ll usually need at least 15mm of eye relief or longer if you want to see the full field of view with your glasses on.

A note on our eye relief figures: Quite often, our eye relief figures will differ from those of the manufacturer. This is because we measure the “usable” eye relief, while the manufacturers specify their usually-longer (but technically correct) “designed” eye relief.

The eye lens of the eyepiece is normally recessed below the rubber eyeguard or rubber rim of the eyepiece to keep the lens from being scratched during use. An eyepiece might have a “designed” eye relief of 15mm (and the eye relief will truly measure 15mm from the eye lens to where the image forms). However, if the eye lens is recessed 3mm below the eye guard, the Ramsden Disk forms only 12mm above the eyepiece body (the 15mm “designed” eye relief, less the 3mm of eye relief made unusable by having the eye lens recessed into the body of the eyepiece). This “usable” eye relief of 12mm (measured from the rolled-down eyeguard – the closest point you can get your eye to the eye lens – to where the image forms) is the eye relief figure we would measure and list in this website.

Why is it important to list the “usable” eye relief? For those people who don’t wear eyeglasses while observing, a few mm difference between the eye relief they expect from the manufacturer’s literature and the shorter eye relief they actually get in real life doesn’t mean a lot. They can simply move a little closer to the eyepiece to see the full field, and never realize that the eye relief is a little shorter than they expected. However, some people must wear eyeglasses while observing, because of severe astigmatism. These observers can’t move closer to the eyepiece if the eye relief is shorter than expected because their glasses get in the way. For these people, the real life “usable” eye relief is more important than the technically correct but sometimes not fully usable “designed” eye relief. We measure and list the actual usable eye relief so that people in the real world can pick the eyepieces that will work best for them.

15mm @ 20x
Exit Pupil:
The circular image or beam of light formed by the eyepiece of a telescope. To take full advantage of a scope's light-gathering capacity, the diameter of an eyepiece exit pupil should be no larger than the 7mm diameter of your eye's dark-adapted pupil, so that all of the light collected by the telescope enters your eye. (The eyepiece exit pupil diameter is found by dividing the eyepiece focal length by the telescope focal ratio.) Your eye's ability to dilate declines with increasing age (to a dark-adapted pupil of about 5mm by age 50 or so). For those in this age group, eyepieces with exit pupils larger than their eyes can dilate to simply waste their telescope's light-gathering capacity, as some of the scope's light will fall on their iris instead of entering their eye.
3mm @ 20x
Twilight Factor:
A number used to compare the effectiveness of binoculars or spotting scopes used in low light. The twilight factor is found by multiplying the size of the objective lens (in mm) by the magnification and then finding the square root of that result. The larger the twilight factor, the more detail you can see in low light. A twilight factor of 17 or better if usually required for reasonable low light use.
34.64 @ 20x
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
A binocular or spotting scope whose body is clad in rubber or polyurethane armor is said to be armored. Armor can be applied for looks, a better grip, noise-proofing, etc. An armored body does not guarantee that a binocular or spotting scope is waterproof, although most waterproof optics are armored.
The weight of this product.
23 oz.
Limited Lifetime
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  • Lens cap
  • 20-60x zoom eyepiece
  • Eyepiece dust cap
  • Soft case
  • Hard case
  • Tabletop/cartop tripod
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Celestron - 60mm straight viewing refractor, 20-60x zoom

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Celestron - 60mm straight viewing refractor, 20-60x zoomClose-up of the Celestron 60mm refractor zoom spotting scope.
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Our Product #: C60SZ
Manufacturer Product #: 52229
Price: $109.95  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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MSRP: $124.95

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Clear skies,

This Celestron 60mm zoom spotting scope has some unexpected extra features to go with its good optical performance, and a sensible price that is perfect for the birder on a budget . . .

. . . our 38th year