Celestron TrailSeeker Spotting Scope Review
Birdwatchers need a spotting scope that allows them to see birds with spectacular color. High-end scopes do this in a marvelous way. But if you can get a little up the $200-mark, then you definitely need to take a look at the Celestron TrailSeeker.
Celestron’s Trailseeker scope offers a cheaper alternative to their popular Regal range, so exactly what do they have to offer?
In terms of design, it’s perhaps a little unexceptional looking, but none the worse for that. It’s sleek, and covered with solid rubber armour.
There’s a click-stopped rotating collar, a lens hood, and on a tripod it felt well-balanced. Weight isn’t an issue, either – if you’re going to carry an 80mm scope around, this certainly isn’t any heavier than most.
There’s a twist-lock to hold the 20x-60x eyepiece in place, and the zoom control is well textured for easy grip, and around two fingers wide. The eyecup itself is comfortable enough to use, and stayed in place well, but twists up and down a little stiffly.
Focusing is pleasantly precise, thanks to a split focus wheel – both the main and fine focus wheels are around a finger wide and textured, although it would be nice if they were separated.
They’re on the right top of the scope, and the main wheel takes a little over four turns from close focus to infinity, travelling smoothly and only moderately stiffly.
In most conditions, the 80mm objective lens performed well, gathering plenty of light and producing an image that is bright and true to life in terms of colour, with good sharpness right to the edges.
The same goes for field of view – there is a certain amount of ‘tunnel vision’ up over 45x, but you’re unlikely to use that a great deal. Most of the time, this scope does a great job when watching wide vistas of water or mudflat.
The image is pretty good and with all colors present. That, of course, if you do not look for birds during sunrise and sunset. This spotting scope has an 80-mm diameter objective lens, which means it captures a large amount of light.
With multi-coated lenses and proprietary XLT, you get a crisp HD image thanks to a great light transmission. These are the same coatings used in observatory class telescopes.
You get a great performance in a compact design that is easy to carry. The dual focus speed allows you to spot the bird and then refine.
The TrailSeeker is filled with nitrogen gas and sealed. This makes it completely waterproof and fog-proof. So, get into rainy conditions with all the confidence.
As with all optics, having a clear idea of what it is that you need makes the search easier. Do you need a scope for hunting, or maybe only for hiking? The trail seeker is good for all the tasks overall.