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Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting scope (Black)

4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews
| 51 answered questions

Was: $177.32
Price: $174.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • 90 mm (3.5") Diameter Maksutov spotting scope
  • Multi Coated Optics
  • Comes with 32 mm Eyepiece, 45° Erect Image Diagonal and 8x21 Erect Image Finderscope
  • Compact and Portable Design
  • Built-in T-Adapter threads for Ease of Adapting SLR Cameras

$174.95 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 19 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Celestron 52268 C90 Mak Spotting scope (Black)
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Perfect for all Types of Viewing Situations! Celestron's C90 Mak is ideal for outdoor and wildlife observing, as well as hunting and celestial viewing. The Maksutov optical design is recognized for being a portable design that is easy to use and has a variety of applications, making it an excellent choice for both terrestrial and astronomical usage. This C90 Mak has excellent optics with razor sharp images over a wide field.


Celestron’s 52268 90mm Maksutov Spotting Scope delivers excellent high power optics in a compact, affordable package. The 52268 package includes a backpack style soft carrying case, an 8x21 erect image finder scope, a 1.25 inch size correct image 45* prism diagonal, and a fully coated 32mm plossl eyepiece for a magnification of 39X.

The Maksutov-Cassegrain design of the C90 uses a combination of mirrors and lenses; this “folded” optical system has a focal length of 1250mm in a body only twelve inches long. The Maksutov design delivers high power views without a trace of the chromatic aberration, also called blue fringing, that can distort high power views in competing refractor style spotting scopes. At 40X magnification where some low cost spotting scopes start to seem fuzzy, the C90 is just getting started. The C90 uses the same 1.25 inch eyepieces used in astronomical telescopes. The standard equipment 32mm plossl eyepiece yields a magnification of 39X, but many other eyepieces can be used to vary the magnification.

The Celestron model 52268 seems very well built, with excellent multi-coatings visible on the front lens. The real beauty of this 90mm Maksutov spotting scope, however, is in the view it offers. When I use an optional 12.5mm eyepiece to look at Jupiter at 100X I can clearly see Jupiter’s major cloud bands as well as its four moons. When I look at the Moon and stars I can easily push the magnification to 200X with an optional 6mm eyepiece. When I look at birds in the backyard, I’m treated to delightful views full of vibrant color and crisp detail. With a close focus distance of only 15 feet, the detail and texture I see is simply amazing.

High magnification viewing requires a solid tripod, of course. Celestron’s Heavy Duty Altazimuth Tripod comes with slow motion controls to allow the scope to be pointed precisely, and I can clamp the dovetail base on my CG5 mount for astronomical use. The other drawback to high magnification viewing is a narrow field of view; high magnification makes it hard to follow moving targets like birds in flight. Overall the Celestron C90 Maksutov Spotting Scope does a fine job as a companion to good pair of binoculars. The C90 also doubles as a portable astronomy scope; it won’t show the flag on the Moon but it will show thousands of craters on the Moon as well as showing the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. --Jeff Phillips


  • Compact and portable
  • Excellent high power optics
  • Upgradeable with 1.25” eyepieces
  • Adaptable for astronomy and photography
  • Not waterproof

Product Information

Product Dimensions 16 x 7 x 10 inches
Item Weight 4.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 6.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Item model number C90 Mak
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,842 in Camera & Photo
#28 in Camera & Photo > Binoculars & Scopes > Spotting Scopes
Date first available at Amazon.com February 17, 2010

Warranty & Support

Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
For what this scope does, it weighs practically nothing. Celestron is marketing this as a spotting scope which gives you a limited lifetime warranty. I would avoid any of the used ones as Celestron has said this is only for the initial owner. At $150 the $20 you will save on a used one may not be worth it, especially if you need support down the road.

As of the date I ordered it, this scope no longer comes with the tripod. The tripod kit & scope is still available at a slightly higher cost and the tripod can also be purchased separately from Celestron. Most of the reviews say the included tripod was barely adequate and they seemed inclined to replace it with a sturdier tripod. For accessories you get the nylon backpack carrying case, a 32mm plossl eyepiece (not bad for an included eyepiece & gives you a 39X view), a 45° erecting diagonal, and finally an 8X21 finderscope. The finderscope can be easily replaced as it uses a semi-standard guide mounted dovetail and can be replaced with Celestron, or Orion products such as the 50mm guide scope and other products as well.

With its long focal length of 1,250mm you WILL need a firm steady heavy tripod for any kind of viewing. A photo tripod, even with the legs unextended may still wobble enough where it will make focusing and using this telescope a serious chore. Making focusing a bigger chore, this telescope also has a narrow depth of field. That is, if you aim at a tree a few miles away, you may see the middle of the tree in focus while the further and closer parts may be blurry. I did mount this on my
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By Mr. on November 24, 2012
I bought this for the shooting range, spotting past 300 yards. I have a hard time justifying $2000 for a spotting scope so I thought I'd try the C90. I purchased an addition eyepiece to bring things even closer, but really at 300 yards its fine as is. I `ve been using a Bushnell 20x60x60 and it's fine at 100 yards and a little farther on a sunny day, but that's it. With this I have no problem at 300 Plus yards. Wish I would have known about the C90 before, could have save me $300 on the Bushnell. I'm happy with the C90, bang for the buck it's good. I can easily read the small word or number on a target at 300 yards.
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Get it at Optics Planet, but go to their website for free shipping and no tax. If you buy it from Optics Planet, through Amazon, you have to pay for shipping and the price through Amazon is higher then at Optics Planet direct. Also, at Amazon you only get one eyepiece, no case, no tripod, and no tripod case. At Optics Planet the price is $154.95 with tripod, case, and 2 eyepieces. That makes it only $5.00 more than Amazon, but the additional eyepiece alone is worth at least $25.00, not to mention the rest of the things you get purchasing the scope from Optics Planet.
The build quality of the scope is very nice. I bought it for spotting at the shooting range and photography. I connect my Canon SLR to the scope via 2 required optional parts, the t-ring adapter and the camera adapter for a Canon Camera.
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The 52268 has a Vixen-style dovetail mounting plate with 1/4-20 threaded holes which allow it to be mounted on many astronomy and photography tripods. However, for some reason known only to Celestron and OpticsPlanet, as of January 2010 this all-metal scope is being sold as a "spotting scope." It comes with: a 45-degree image-erecting prism; two eyepieces; a 1.25 inch / T-adapter (for a camera); a thing made almost totally of plastic one may, with foolish optimism, call a "tripod"; a tiny 8x21 finder scope; a backpack for the scope and eyepieces; and a very tight bag for the tripod.

To convert the 52268 into an astronomy scope one needs to buy a 90-degree 1.25 inch star diagonal, and I suggest adding a red dot finder, a moon filter, and some astronomy books. Additional eyepieces are not required as the included Plossls are adequate and give you 39x and 100x--two very useful powers. What else? Adding a REAL ASTRONOMY TRIPOD AND MOUNT--something like the Vixen Porta-II or the Astro-Tech Voyager or the Celestron Omni CG-4--could turn this into a very good grab-and-go scope.

I originally rated this as four stars because of the tripod, but the scope shouldn't be penalized. Whoever set up this package could not possibly include a $250 astronomy or photo (see the Manfrotto 055XB and Bogen 410 geared head) tripod for the price.

UPDATE 10/7/10

After using this scope with the Manfrotto 055XB tripod and Bogen 410 geared head mostly for astronomy for about six months, my impressions: You get what you get, which is a 3 1/2 inch aperture (somewhat reduced by the center mirror) telescope. I still like two included eyepieces for astronomy. I could clearly see the single band now visible on Jupiter with the 100x eyepiece this past weekend. The focuser is smooth.
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Verified Purchase
It shows about 1/7th wave high order sperical aberration, which is common in Maks and does not effect performance. It will take over 300 power without image breakdown. Saturn shows Cassini's division, Crepe ring, ring shadow, planet shadow, and cloud belts even in poor seeing. At 312X (4mm University Optics Orthoscopic) the moon is crisp and shows a wealth of detail, as do the cloud belts of Jupiter. The double double is easily split and the Ring Nebula is easily visible even in my poluted sky.

This is the most fantastic bargain in telescopes I've ever seen.
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