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Links for $200 Vortex Sandpiper?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 09:22
tpcollins View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Looking for a decent spotting scope for hunting and my head is swimming reading all these posts with suggestions. Originally wanted a Nikon Prostaff, started drooli ng over the Leupold Gold Star ($$$$$), but I'm intrigued about the Vortex Optics Stokes Sandpiper Spotting Scope 15-45x65 that people say can be found for $200. I found one straight Sandpiper for about $260 plus shipping. Are there any links that have them for less?  Seems like people prefer the Sandpiper over the Prostaff - yeah or nay?  Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 14:21
lucznik View Drop Down
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We don't post links to competitors' sites here. 


I've always thought the Prostaff spotting scopes were pretty disappointing.   I wouldn't buy one.  I like their Spotter XL II better.  

Never heard of a "Leupold Gold Star."  Perhaps you meant the Golden Ring? They are indeed good spotters, though a bit pricey.  Leupold also has their 10-20x40 and 15-30x50 Golden Ring Compact spotting scopes which sell for significantly less than their full-size counterparts.  These are traditional Porro prism spotters as opposed to the Folded-Light-Path design of the more expensive GRs but, they are pretty darn good scopes in their own right and are very, very small - making them great for backpacking.  I have the 15-30x50 GR compact and I absolutely love it.

If you like the Golden Ring's FLP  design but can't stomach their price tag, Bushnell makes a similar scope, the Excursion FLP, which can be had for around $320 - $330.  It's a pretty awesome scope, especially for the price, and especially if you are an eyeglasses wearer.  If we're just talking performance, I would rather have one of these than the Stokes Sandpiper you were asking about.

You could always elect for the very traditional and, dare I say even "iconic," Bushnell Discoverer.  At around $200 - $210 it's a pretty good deal.  Not too terribly long ago it (marketed under the Baush & Lomb label) was the go-to scope of the birding world.  It even comes with a camera adapter that allows it (with the addition of an inexpensive T-ring adapter) to be mounted directly to your DSLR.  I owned one of these for about 15 years and my dad has had one for over 30 years.   They are really, very good optics for the price.

Vortex offers their Impact spotting scope which is of a catadioptric design.  It takes a little getting used to but, you won't find much better for the $200 asking price. Add $5 and you can have this exact same scope with the Burris label instead.  It's called the XTS-2575.

Want to stick with the Vortex line, but are not comfortable with the Impact's somewhat unusual design?  Then try the Vortex Nomad.  At $330 it is very similar to the Sandpiper, just with a slightly more powerful magnification range.

The best part of all of these is that SWFA carries them all and offers a 110% low-price gaurantee so; you can be assured of getting the best deal. 

However, if your dead set that only a Sandpiper will do, then you need to do more searching.  It took me less than 2 minutes to find it being sold for $200.




Edited by lucznik - January/13/2009 at 14:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2009 at 23:18
smitty View Drop Down
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Lucznik, do you know why there is not a compact FLP scope?   I would love to have the same great features of the 60mm Excursion but in a lighter/smaller 50mm version.
 
Smitty
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2009 at 06:53
anweis View Drop Down
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Originally posted by smitty smitty wrote:

  why there is not a compact FLP scope lighter/smaller 50mm version.
 
Smitty
 
 
 
Actually, there are a few, i remeber seing them on the net. Look into names and brands that sell to the astronomy crowds. I have never looked through one of them. They cost less than $100 or less, and are probably in the Barska bracket of quality. 
 
If you really want a compact, I strongly suggest that you wait and save money, and that you purchase a leupold Compact 40 mm or 50 mm scope, or my favorite, the Nikon Fieldscope 50mm ED. These are scopes that run with the big dogs, and will serve you better on the long run.
Just ask yourself, are you wealthy enough to waste your money on poor products?
Chances are, if you buy the good stuff, you only have to buy it once.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2009 at 16:36
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

Originally posted by smitty smitty wrote:

  why there is not a compact FLP scope lighter/smaller 50mm version.
Smitty
 
Actually, there are a few, i remeber seing them on the net.
 
Really?  That's good to know.  I've not seen any of these.   There are a couple of Russian designs that I've seen that are pretty cheap.  Bushnell used to import one of them as did (does?) Yukon Optics.  They were definitely "cheap and cheerful" ...and not worth a dang.  There's another one that comes up on ebay a lot, I can't remember the "brand" name off hand. It isn't any better.  These are somewhat different from the Leupold Golden Ring, though still FLP scopes.
 
I didn't think the FLP scopes could be made much smaller than the Leupold or Bushnell.  I'm not an optics engineer so; I can't say for sure but, that's the impression I had. 
 
I think the specific design that went into the Leupolds had to have been patented and that patent must have recently expired.  Otherwise, I think others would have copied the design long ago.  I don't think its a coincidence that after 30 some odd years of only Leupolds suddenly in the same year both Bushnell and Zeiss come out with veritable clones of the Golden Ring design.
 
 
Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

If you really want a compact, I strongly suggest that you wait and save money, and that you purchase a leupold Compact 40 mm or 50 mm scope, or my favorite, the Nikon Fieldscope 50mm ED. These are scopes that run with the big dogs, and will serve you better on the long run.
Just ask yourself, are you wealthy enough to waste your money on poor products?
Chances are, if you buy the good stuff, you only have to buy it once.
  Amen. 
 
If money is really tight and you just need to have a compact, then look at the 20x50 Burris Landmark(?).  Don't be tempted by the 12-24x50 model.  Stick to the fixed power scope.  It should give you some excellent service.


Edited by lucznik - January/14/2009 at 16:38
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