Many of us have this love-hate relationship with large scopes. It has excellent magnifying power, but you just can’t have it in tow all the time. It’s bulky, heavy, and requires more attention than smaller ones.
- Easily carried in vest or coat pocket, in belt pack, or shoulder bag
So instead of regretting not bringing a scope during your outing, you should consider getting the Celestron Hummingbird ED spotting scope. In this Celestron Hummingbird Review, we will tackle the features, advantages, and some downsides of this compact scope.
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The Celestron Hummingbird spotting scope
The Celestron Hummingbird is a tiny scope that can easily fit in a cargo pocket. Although it has less zooming power, it comes handy during casual outings like bird watching and nature observing. It’s handy and lightweight enough to have it in tow without too much hassle.
You can use this scope in one hand and have a sketchbook or pad on the other. This is the perfect choice to get that ID or to enjoy bird watching without the frills of large scopes. Still, it has some downsides that we have to factor in.
Key Features of Celestron Hummingbird
ED lens: It provides crisp and clear images, even on its maximum magnification setting.
Nitrogen-filled: With this, the Celestron Hummingbird remains waterproof and fog-proof, perfect for almost all outdoor use.
Birder-friendly: This compact scope is explicitly made for birders. It meets standard birding FOV requirements.
Tripod-ready: If you want to go hands-free, this scope has a tripod sleeve that suits a Manfrotto pocket tripod. It also works on most monopods and trekking poles.
Helical focus dial: Adjusting your zoom is made easier with the helical focus located at the center.
Compatible with astronomy eyepieces: If you want to get more magnification, the Celestron Hummingbird is compatible with a wide range of 1.25” eyepieces.
Excellent eye relief: This scope has an eye relief of 15 inches, making it easier even if you’re shooting.
Compact size: This scope is a powerhouse magnifier that can fit in your palm and pocket. Nothing beats the Celestron Hummingbird, given its size and magnification.
The Celestron Hummingbird comes with a base magnification of up to 27x. This is usually enough to make an ID while bird watching. But if you crave more zoom, you can use a range of eyepieces, even ones for astronomy. This is why the Celestron Hummingbird is more than just a birder’s scope. If you use the right accessories and eyepiece, it can be a handy hunter scope.
One of the best things about this scope is it can zoom down to 9x. The eyepiece is also well-angled, so you can spot a bird without hurting your neck.
Celestron is one of the leading brands when it comes to astronomical optics. That’s why it’s no surprise that this compact scope can fit a range of astronomy eyepieces.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t expect such a compact scope to outperform a full-sized version. Its small size puts some limitations to it, but it also brings in some benefits to those who know how to use it. In our experience, quality mini scopes are a rarity. This is why finding the Celestron Hummingbird is like discovering a diamond in the rough.
It comes with a 56 mm extra-low dispersion objective lens that provides clear and undisturbed images. It’s also fully coated to keep the images clear, even during harsh weather conditions. Also, its field of view of 4.2-1.9 degrees offers a decent focus for almost all birders. It’s paired with a close focus of 10 feet.
Overall, there are some trade-offs with this scope. You get a more convenient, compact, and handy scope at the expense of some level of magnification power. For an avid birder, this is already a reasonable bargain.
Low Light Performance
When it comes to the Celestron Hummingbird, less is more. It has a decent low-light performance. Still, since it has a smaller lens than full-sized scopes, don’t expect the scope to retain its clarity on very dark conditions. Remember, the smaller the lens, the lesser the light that it gathers.
Nevertheless, large objective lenses aren’t always a good choice. Most of them are heavy, not to mention pricey. So if you’re just a casual birder who spends most of the outings during the day, the Celestron Hummingbird will suit you well.
Overall, we love how this small scope hides a lot of power. That’s more than we could wish for.
The Celestron Hummingbird has a durable armor body that protects it from bumps, falls, and shock. This rugged case makes this scope a hardy choice for traveling birders.
Its body is also filled with nitrogen for fog-proofing and waterproofing. On top of it, this is tripod and monopod ready. You can easily free your hands without missing out on your subjects. This is also window adaptable if you want to stay inside your car for long-distance viewing.
Moreover, you can attach a phone adapter on this scope to take photos using your smartphone. With the helical zoom dial, you can easily adjust the magnification without tinkering too many bits and bobs.
This is a great little scope. For its price and features, we’re surprised that it’s a very solid piece. It feels very premium, both in build and specs.
However, we just want to warn about how difficult it is to get the dust out of its eyepiece. If you happen to fill the lens area with dust, you may have to do intensive cleaning to get all the dust off without scratching the glass. Anyway, the dust is all outside the scope, which is a consolation.
There are not many moving parts in the Celestron Hummingbird. Still, the controls are made right for such a compact scope. We start with the helical dial right beside the tripod mount slot. This allows you to adjust the magnification on the fly. Also, we like how our preferred zoom stays in place, even during windy and rainy conditions.
Another key feature here is its removable eyepiece. Its twist construction allows you to put on and off various eyepieces that you want. It’s a versatile component that can fit a range of astronomy eyepieces. So even on its small build, you can get a magnification power of more than 60x.
Weight and Dimensions
When it comes to weight, the Celestron Hummingbird is very lightweight, with just 1.43 pounds (around 648 grams). It’s also shorter than full-sized scopes for just 11 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 5 inches thick. This is small enough to fit in most toolboxes.
If you’re looking for a mini scope with reasonable features, the Celestron Hummingbird is surely a champ.
If we’re going to talk about high-quality scopes, we can say that the Celestron Hummingbird is in the low to average price range. It’s compact, well-built, and feature-rich. We don’t mind adding those extra bucks if it means getting a scope that will last for years. I’m sure many avid birders would agree.
Take note that the cost of this scope will vary, depending on the additional eyepieces you’re going to purchase. The MICRO version of the Celestron Hummingbird is way cheaper, almost half the size of the original. It’s also way smaller, which will directly affect its features.
Advantages Of Celestron Hummingbird Spotting Scope
For those who are intimidated by full-sized scopes, the Celestron Hummingbird is a great starting point. It’s compact but packed with excellent zooming power. You can invest in several astronomy eyepieces to maximize the spotting potential of this tool.
One of the biggest benefits of this scope is its small size. It can fit in a cargo pocket. If you’re bringing other things on your outing, this scope is one less cumbersome thing to think about.
Also, it shares most of the useful specifications of full-sized scopes. It’s tripod-ready, has unbeatable FOV, has solid waterproof and fog-proof build. This way, you get the taste of scopes before investing your money on more expensive units.
Celestron Hummingbird digiscoping has been one of the trusted brands in the optics industry for years. That alone is a fool-proof testament to the quality of this scope.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Celestron Hummingbird
Overall, Celestron Hummingbird is almost perfect. But like all scopes in the market, it has some downsides. We notice that as we crank the magnification up, fuzziness start to build up. Still, it’s not too bad to become a deal-breaker. Besides, it’s common for most scopes to lose clarity as you push it to its limits. Considering that the Celestron Hummingbird is very affordable, we can let this one little flaw pass.
For those who are used to using full-sized scopes, this model may look limiting. Still, it’s worthy to carry along if you’re tired of heavy and bulky scopes during your trip.
The Celestron Hummingbird is a ground-breaking option in the optics industry. It’s compact and lightweight, but not short of zooming power. Sure thing, it has limitations, but for its build, we’re surprised that it offers a lot of functionality and value for money.
What do you think of this Celestron Hummingbird Review? Have you tried this scope before? Share your experience with us!
- Gabriel Tackett is an experienced shooter and hunter for over 15 years with a degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is also a certified National Rifle Association (NRA) officer for 10 years And his passion lies in teaching others how to safely enjoy the hobby by recommending the best practices & products in the gun industry.