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Vortex/Stokes Sandpiper 15-45 x 65

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/09/2007 at 11:16
anweis View Drop Down
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I really like this Stokes Sandpiper 15-45 x 65 scope. I had it side by side with a Leupold Sequoia 60mm, a 60 mm Nikon ED, a Pentax 65 ED, a Nikon 50 mm ED, and a Swarovski 80 mm ED.

The Sandpiper is in the big boys league. For about $350 plus $150 for a decent tripod/head, you get 95% of the performance found in 80 mm ED scopes. The zoom is useable up to 35x or so, very little color fringing, very bright, wide field for a zoom, sharp almost to the edges. The focuser is very smooth.

I will take it with me to the Arctic in May/June. That says a lot.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/09/2007 at 12:11
Heitmann13 View Drop Down
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So does that mean that the last part of the zoom 36-45 is unuseable?  What part of the Arctic are you going to?  I'm up there right now, it's cold.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/09/2007 at 12:58
anweis View Drop Down
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It is useable, but the image becomes dim and color fringing becomes visible. Just like any zoom eyepiece. A good wide angled 20x would have been a miracle on this scope. 

I will visit the Alaska North Slope, Baffin Island, Iceland, and the west coast of Greenland.      

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/09/2007 at 14:04
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Bird watcher?  I'm living in Barrow currently.  I wish i would have a nice spotting glass up here, the caribou are hard to pick out on the tundra.  Guessing by your locations you're a bird watcher?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2007 at 11:05
anweis View Drop Down
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hunt, fish, bird, collect wasps, depending on season. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2007 at 17:05
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

The Sandpiper is in the big boys league. For about $350 plus $150 for a decent tripod/head, you get 95% of the performance found in 80 mm ED scopes.

 

Have you tried to take any pictures through it yet?  How did it fare?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/14/2007 at 13:03
anweis View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

 

Have you tried to take any pictures through it yet?  How did it fare?

 

At 15x and 20x this scope has enough eye relief for digiscoping. I have not tried yet to take any pictures. I don't even know if Vortex sells any digiscoping adapters for this scope. Easy to find out, i guess. I will just get a few pictures through the Sandpipers and i will let you know.

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/14/2007 at 15:51
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I have the Vortex catalog and they do make a couple of different digiscoping adapters for their spotting scopes. I'm really tempted by the Nomad and the Sandpiper. I just can't decide which.

 

The Sandpiper (as you know) is a 15-45x65 scope and the Nomad is a 20-60x60 scope.  The Sandpiper has better eye relief and a bit larger objective lens for a little more light but, the Nomad has that extra bit of power which could be nice to have on occasion. 

 

The one thing that has me hesitating over the Nomad is that I once owned a B&L Discoverer spotting scope which was very nice but, at the high (60x) end of it's magnification range it was pretty useless during all but the most ideal conditions.  It also didn't seem to take very good pictures - despite the fact that it had an adapter specifically designed to allow it to mount to an SLR body. The Nomad preports to provide a better image overall than the Discoverer (which I don't doubt at all) so; this might not be as big of a problem but, I just can't seem to make that final decision yet.

 

The 80mm Skyline (20-60x) is also an option and would probably be better for photography but, it's so huge, I don't know if I would find it too much of a hassle to deal with. Certainly I would have to get a better tripod than the ones I currently own. There is also an ED version of this 80mm scope but, I don't know if I can swing that financially right now.  (Too many kids' visits to the doctor for my wallet to comfortably bear right now.)

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/15/2007 at 07:26
anweis View Drop Down
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Lucznik:

 

The Nomad has what seems to be a simple eyepiece, probably a 3-lens deal. I've never looked through one. The Sandpiper and the Skyline have huge eyepieces, most likely because of modern and improved  designs.

All zooms are iffy at 50x or 60x.

The Skyline 80 mm is huge indeed. I looked through the non-ED one at a store and it is, optically, a larger brother of the Sandpiper. Excellent for $500, but not stellar above 40x.

 

I just got a new stay on case for one of the Sandpipers, it only took a phone call.

These two scopes are taking a lot of abuse from students/kids. I'll let you know how they survive. Excellent optics.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/19/2007 at 08:08
anweis View Drop Down
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i mounted my best scope (Swarovski 80 mm HD) and the Sandpiper on the best tripods (each over 10 pounds, Gitzo ro Manfrotto) and compared them side by side.

The Sandpiper really is a nice scope. At 15x and 20x it was neck to neck with Swarovski, but slightly less bright and contrasty. However, at over 20x, and especially at 30x or 40x, it was obvious why the Swaro costs so much more.

I believe that the Sandpiper is the best entry level scope these days. It is covered by an excellent warranty. I particularly liked the edge to edge shrapness.

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