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Vintage Celestron Ultima Binoculars: Special Model 8 x 42

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#1 zjc26138

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 12:21 PM

I recently bought a pair of vintage Celestron binoculars via Goodwill auctions.  They are labeled Wild Birds Unlimited Special Model 8x42 Ultima. They are in decent condition, maybe 6.5 out of 10, overall.

 

I believe these are a special edition going off of what is wrote on the binos, plus I don't see an 8x42 in the original lineup of these binos.  I cleaned the objectives and the eyepiece end as well. I'll need to do more work on this side of the binos.

 

Skies are supposed to be clear tonight so I will able to test them out on the stars.

 

 

Anybody have info on these model and perhaps special edition in particular?

 

 

Thanks!

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#2 Mark9473

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 12:41 PM

We had a thread on these just last week.

#3 zjc26138

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 01:28 PM

Yep, I’m the one that posted the thread. I hadn’t received the binos at that time.

There wasn’t much response to that first thread. Especially relating to these “special” editions.

I also haven’t been able to turn anything up on the web about them.

#4 WALL.E

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:46 PM

I wasn't aware of a "special run" on the Ultima line.

 

However, a fully functional ORIGINAL Ultima is a fantastic binocular.

I have 7X50, 8X40, 8X32.  (The 8X32 times 3).

Also an ORION VISTA 10X50 which pretends to be an Ultima, but it's not the same.

I think the 8X32 is just incredible. A magnificent little glass.

 

Congratulations on your find. I hope it's in good shape.

They are notorious for the covers decaying away.

This does not detract from the optical quality.

 

I have stripped the skin off one 8X32 model and it's rather appealing with just naked metal.

The one I speak of has glorious optical quality but the cover was a mess of sticky GOO.

This was quite a bit of work but very satisfying.

 

Hope you post more.

 

ULTIMA Fan,

 

Eric


Edited by WALL.E, 08 August 2020 - 03:50 PM.

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#5 zjc26138

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:07 PM

I wasn't aware of a "special run" on the Ultima line.

 

However, a fully functional ORIGINAL Ultima is a fantastic binocular.

I have 7X50, 8X40, 8X32.  (The 8X32 times 3).

Also an ORION VISTA 10X50 which pretends to be an Ultima, but it's not the same.

I think the 8X32 is just incredible. A magnificent little glass.

 

Congratulations on your find. I hope it's in good shape.

They are notorious for the covers decaying away.

This does not detract from the optical quality.

 

I have stripped the skin off one 8X32 model and it's rather appealing with just naked metal.

The one I speak of has glorious optical quality but the cover was a mess of sticky GOO.

This was quite a bit of work but very satisfying.

 

Hope you post more.

 

ULTIMA Fan,

 

Eric

Thanks!

 

Yeah in my research I couldn't find any info on them.

 

 

However I just looked up "Wild Birds Unlimited" and came up with this birding sight. I think they might be connected. The italicized text on the website matches the ones on the binoculars.

 

 

I plan to post a first light report after I get the chance to use them.



#6 SMark

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 05:53 PM

I wasn't aware of a "special run" on the Ultima line.

 

However, a fully functional ORIGINAL Ultima is a fantastic binocular.

I have 7X50, 8X40, 8X32.  (The 8X32 times 3).

Also an ORION VISTA 10X50 which pretends to be an Ultima, but it's not the same.

I think the 8X32 is just incredible. A magnificent little glass.

 

Congratulations on your find. I hope it's in good shape.

They are notorious for the covers decaying away.

This does not detract from the optical quality.

 

I have stripped the skin off one 8X32 model and it's rather appealing with just naked metal.

The one I speak of has glorious optical quality but the cover was a mess of sticky GOO.

This was quite a bit of work but very satisfying.

 

Hope you post more.

 

ULTIMA Fan,

 

Eric

I re-skinned my 8x32 Ultima with pretty nice results... smile.gif

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#7 zjc26138

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:58 PM

I just had a quick peak with them. OH MY GOSH.

Tiny pin **** starts across the entire field of field. Beautiful star color. Thankful they arrived collimated.


This is my best pair of binos so far. The other two Astro related ones are 15x70 skymasters and 11x70 oberwerk.


Both of those pairs are good but I think these Ultima’s are in a different class.
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#8 WALL.E

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:35 AM

Nothing against the other two binoculars you mention, but the Ultimas are in a different class.

And I will always insist that in general they seem to be a little underrated.

 

My 7X50 Ultima has the "cleanest" image of any binocular I own.

It may sound silly, but it's like "looking through nothing", as though your eyes just developed super powers.

Associates of mine have made the very same observation.

 

Yes, there are incredible binoculars out there. I have viewed through several "Alpha" models.

But I didn't pay $2700.00 for the Ultimas.

In fact, the used 7X50 I described was snagged off ebay a few years ago for around $65.00 if I recall. Ihavenojoints.gif

 

There are some who may be upset with me for offering this opinion, (and we are entitled to them), but I can't see the justification of the extra $2635.00 for an image that is marginally better.

There, I did it. I said "marginally".

Remember please, my opinionated comparison is with a prime functioning Ultima binocular. Not a $39.00 blisterpack special off the rack at the local discount store. Then, marginal would turn to "incomparable".

I don't have a Rolex watch either. I'm sure they're beautiful, but my pockets just aren't that deep.

 

014_opt(2).jpg

 

 

The only Ultima I paid a retail price for was my 8X40. I think the original sticker price was $349.00?  $329.00?

And I would have purchased other models but they were going out of production at that time and basically disappeared.

I only realized this later.

We always assume everything will always be there when we want it.

 

Enjoy your new treasure!

 

 

-SMark,

That is one smart job you did with that cover.  Very handsome! Nice pattern on the cover.

A classic look for a classic Porro.

 

Eric


Edited by WALL.E, 09 August 2020 - 06:36 AM.

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