Ultima 65 Straight viewing 65mm scope, 18-55x zoom

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The 65mm aperture of this straight viewing Celestron Ultima 65 gathers better than 17% more light than a conventional 60mm spotting scope, and has 8% higher resolution as well. This extra light grasp and resolution extends your usable observing time in the low light of early morning or late evening and will help you identify more species in all lighting conditions. We know of no other spotting scope in this size range that beats the price/performance ratio of the Celestron 65mm Ultima.

For the birder on a tight budget, the compact 65mm straight viewing Ultima gives you more optical performance than you ever thought your budget would be able to afford. Compared to other 60mm and 65mm spotting scopes, it is an exceptional bargain. This exceedingly economical straight viewing spotting scope makes good quality optics affordable for just about everyone.

Optical features of this scope . . .

  • 65mm objective lens gathers over 17% more light than a 60mm scope for superior low light performance.

  • The crown and flint glass optics are multicoated for good light transmission.

  • The standard equipment 18-55x multicoated zoom eyepiece has a soft rolldown rubber eyecup for eyeglass use. Eye relief is specified at a long 18mm eye relief at 18x. While this is 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 at 18x. The specifications to the right are for the zoom set to 18x. At 55x, the field is 38’ at 1000 yards.

  • The scope close focuses down to 20’. Through the 65mm Ultima, looking at a bird at that distance at 18x would effectively be the same as looking with your unaided eye from a distance of only 1’ 2”.
Mechanical features of this scope . . .
  • The scope’s long 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. Focusing is quite brisk, with less than five turns of the focus knob needed to move from one end of the focus range to the other.

  • The Ultima’s straight through viewing makes it easy to quickly locate distant birds by sighting along the barrel using the sighting tube built into the left side of the body. For observing couples of varying heights who must share a single scope, however, the 45° viewing angle version of this scope (#CU65) will generally be more convenient for extended observing, as there is little need to constantly raise and lower your tripod to a comfortable observing height for each observer with a 45° viewing angle scope. Also, if you are tall, you will not have to crouch over to see through the 45° Ultima 65, as you would through this straight-through scope, saving you from a possible literal pain in the neck. A 45° scope is also more comfortable for watching treetop activity or for extended observing from a low tripod in a blind or on a back porch.

  • A sighting tube built into the left side of the body allows fast centering of the scope on possible targets.

  • The scope mounts on any photo tripod having a standard 1/4”-20 thread mounting bolt.

  • The prism housing is lightly rubber armored to help shock-proof the optics.

  • A water-shedding stay-on soft case is standard equipment. The case has zippered fold-back flaps that allow you to use the scope on a tripod while still in the case. The case has an adjustable length shoulder strap for carrying.

  • The eyepiece is shipped in a protective hard plastic screw-top case. A separate zippered soft case (with snap-ring for attaching to a D-ring on the scope case) can hold the eyepiece, if desired. However, the scope case is shaped to fully cover the scope when its angled zoom eyepiece is attached, so you may find the separate eyepiece case to be redundant.

  • A snap-in camera-type lens cover protects the objective lens.

  • For photography, simply remove the soft rubber eyecup from the eyepiece, being careful not to unscrew the top lens element of the scope. Attach the knurled adapter ring that was packed separately in the scope carton onto the threads that are visible around the eyepiece lens when the eyecup is off (with the knurled side of the adapter toward the scope). The adapter has standard photographic T-threads on the side facing away from the scope. You can attach a 35mm camera body to the scope simply by threading an optional inexpensive T-ring onto the adapter and connecting your camera body to the T-ring. No additional optional camera adapter is needed. With camera body attached, the scope becomes a fast 386mm f/5.9 telephoto lens.

  • A limited lifetime warranty is standard.
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:
89' @ 18x
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.

18mm @ 18x
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.
3.6mm @ 18x
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.
34.21 @ 18x
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.
Photographic Focal Length:
The effective focal length of a spotting scope/camera adapter combination when the scope is used as a telephoto lens. The photographic focal length divided by 50 will give you the magnification of the combination compared to your standard camera lens.
Photographic Focal Ratio:
The photographic “speed” of a spotting scope/camera adapter combination when used for photography. The smaller the “f/ratio,” the faster the exposure (to capture birds in motion), or the dimmer the light level in which you can successfully shoot.
The weight of this product.
2.3 lbs.
Limited Lifetime
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  • Lens cap
  • 18-55x zoom eyepiece
  • Eyepiece container
  • Soft eyepiece case
  • Soft stay-on scope carry case with shoulder strap
  • Camera adapter
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Celestron - Ultima 65 Straight viewing 65mm scope, 18-55x zoom

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Celestron - Ultima 65 Straight viewing 65mm scope, 18-55x zoom
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Our Product #: CU65S
Manufacturer Product #: 52249
Price: $149.95  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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MSRP: $211.95

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This exceedingly economical straight viewing 65mm spotting scope makes quality high power optics affordable for just about everyone. We know of no other spotting scope that beats the price/performance ratio of the Celestron 65mm Ultima . . .

. . . our 38th year