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My new scope: Stokes Sandpiper

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2006 at 07:22
anweis View Drop Down
Optics Professional
Optics Professional


Joined: January/29/2006
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Points: 971

Howdy folks.

I was very surprised by my new scope.

It is a Stokes Sandpiper, angled, $320, 15-45x65.

The view is very bright and sharp, even at 45x. The image is free of bending almost to the edge, reminding me of my scope with an silver eagle on it. The colors and contrast are excellent, and the optics/innards are nicely coated, i did not detect any annoying flare and ghosting. The field of view is wide for a zoom eyepiece. Unfortunately, like most low cost scopers, the eyepiece is built in and cannot be replaced with other eyepieces. 

The focuser, zoom, and sunshade are smooth and soft, and the scope has a nice green color.

It is also a very lightweight, compact scope. It does have a Made in China sticker on it, so i am sure that there are "lemons" out there. The instrument is covered by a very generous warranty (lifetime no fault)   

Here is the downside: the body of the scope seems/feels fragile (it sounds and feels like an eggshell). It is made of composite/plastic materials to save weight, hence, i don't know how solid it is. I would not hesitate to use this scope for target shooting, or for birding, because it is a great deal at $320. However, i would not take it with me on the hunt of my life, because i don't think that it will take much abuse.

The stay-on cover supplied with the scope is not padded, and it is not a very good design. So, a neoprene cover and a good padded case are a must.

I did compare this Stokes to a Leupold Sequoia. The Stokes was optically much better, but the Sequoia felt more solid.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2007 at 10:19
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
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Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 1436

I wonder how the Stokes/Vortex line of spotting scopes would compare with the new Bushnell Legend series of spotters.

 

The specs for the Vortex Nomad vs. Bushnell Legend (both 20-60x60) and the Vortex Skyline vs. Bushnell Legend (both 20-60x80) are virtually identical in every way. The Bushnells are less expensive however, by $50 and $70 respectively.

 

The Stokes Sandpiper is a bit more unique in its configuration (15-45x65) but, it's not dissimilar to the Bushnell Elite (15-45x60) and the Elite is only about $30 more expensive.

 

 

 

The 25-75x70 Vortex Impact looks kind of interesting. I'd be pretty powerfully tempted to give one a try, except that it only is available with an angled eyepiece - which I just can't seem to warm up to. Its optical design is described by Vortex as utilizing mirrors (as opposed to prisms?). I suppose this makes it an attempt at a  poor-man's version of Leupold's 12-40x60 Gold Ring spotting scope. Does anyone know if these are what are known as "catadioptric" scopes? 



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2007 at 13:09
anweis View Drop Down
Optics Professional
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Joined: January/29/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 971

Well, the Impact is a catadioptic, as far as i can tell, it is too short to be a regular prismatic scope. I am not an expert in how these things are built, but the GR by Leupold also does some tricks to make it shorter. 

As far as prices and brands, i am pretty sure that all scopes at that price level come from 2 or 3 factories in China. It's all about what they put inside and how carefull they are with the quality. 

I've recently looked through a 50 mm Bushnell Sentry or such ($100) that was amazingly good for that price. It was on the counter. The other three samples that they had in boxes under the counter were not even close to it.  What i am trying to say here is that probably between sample variation is greater than between brand variation at that price.

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