Anyone used the Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56??

hwy1strat

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I can't find any reviews on these binos and none of the stores around me have them in stock. I'm mostly curious how they compare to the Meopta's. If anyone has had a chance to look through them, I'd greatly appreciate any info!

Travis
 

gbrim21

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I almost started this thread a few weeks ago too, strange how hard it's been to get info on this glass. Hopefully someone chimes in with some info.

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hwy1strat

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Still can't find a pair to look through or find any reviews on them. Anyone had a chance to look through any of Leupold's 2017 BX-4 line up?
 

2blade

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I have tried em and I do believe they have field flattener lenses because I can definitely see the rolling ball effect, weirdest thing I've ever seen, gave me a headache in about 15 minutes. Never looked thru any other glass with field flattener lenses so if they don't have these lenses, something was seriously wrong with em.
 

Hatchet Jack

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They look similar design wise to the mavens with that blocky eyepiece design. Why do some companies feel that they need a big ass ocular just because the objectives are big? Drives me nuts. I love my meoptas because they are so dang comfortable to look through. No blocky eye pieces.
 

GKPrice

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They look similar design wise to the mavens with that blocky eyepiece design. Why do some companies feel that they need a big ass ocular just because the objectives are big? Drives me nuts. I love my meoptas because they are so dang comfortable to look through. No blocky eye pieces.

similar to the Zeiss Classic
 

WRO

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I have tried em and I do believe they have field flattener lenses because I can definitely see the rolling ball effect, weirdest thing I've ever seen, gave me a headache in about 15 minutes. Never looked thru any other glass with field flattener lenses so if they don't have these lenses, something was seriously wrong with em.

I don't believe they do, they could have just had a messed up diopter. They look very similar to the B4 mavens.
 

gbrim21

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Isn't it strange that a company as big as Leupold hasn't done some more marketing before rolling this bino out? My buddy is a guide and talked to a Leupold rep back during one of the shows earlier in the year. Rep said he was aware of the binocular but not much else.

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hwy1strat

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I have been searching all the outdoors stores near me and no one has any of the new Leupold stuff. I've been looking for the new vx-5 and vx-6 riflescopes and any of the new binos to see their new glass. I called Leupold to ask them about the binos and they told me that its the same glass but the changed the coatings to the same coatings that's on their riflescopes now. He said that the new bino's(meaning all of them, not just the bx-5) are the best that Leupold has ever produced. However, that's not saying much because why would they come out with an inferior product than what they had been offering. The rep also told me that the a bunch of new shipments were going out the beginning of July so they should be in stores now.

I grew impatient and ordered the Meoptas.
 

TheCougar

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It's ridiculous. Why come out with glass to compete with alpha glass and not have anyone review it? These things are like an optical squatch. The internet says they exist, but you can't find any actual proof...
 

TheCougar

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I called The Outdoorsmans store in Az and talked to them, since they sell them. I asked about the Zeiss, Meopta, and Leupold. He said he would rank them with Zeiss first, then Leupold, then Meopta, although he said the Leupold and Meoptas were pretty much a tie. He also said the new SLCs were amazing and beat the pants off the rest. In full disclosure, Meoptas are the only ones they don't sell... I also emailed Randy Newberg and he said they were very good glass, although he doesn't use 15s very much. That's it. Way to go Leupold marketing department. I'm available to test them out for you and write a review, since no one else will...
 

Agar426

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This new release from Leupold has me very interested, but confused and irritated at the same time. I had always been leaning toward the Kaibab's, due to their price. The word on the Kaibab's seems to be hot or cold. People either love them or hated them. The price is what makes them tempting. It seemed that for a while the choices were either the Kaibab's at $1,200 or jump to $2k or higher. Clearly the SLCs are the choice, but the price makes them prohibitive to many. Now there are options in the middle....Conquest, Santiam, Meopta, etc. Either way, I can't justify $2,300 to my family for the SLCs. If I was a guide or outfitter, then for sure. Between family expenses, and other hobbies, are the $2,300 15x THAT much better than a $1,000 to $1,500 option? Or is it a situation where these Leupold's are ~60% the price of the SLCs, but are they 60% the glass?

Regardless, Leupold, given their history and reputation didn't do a great job announcing these. They only this past week showed up in the Cabela's catalog, even though they were supposedly released in April. I've seen an online review wherein the guy said they were amazing. Randy Newberg per the post above says they are great glass, so that's good. But, in an online Outdoor Life ranking kind of panned the Santiam's, but it was a list, and I couldn't find a supporting test by them.

For the price.....I would be willing to be that they are better than 60% the quality of the SLCs, which would make them a better "value" for the casual to serious hunter. For the hardcore hunter to a professional (guide/outfitter), the standards would be different. If only I had more money....sigh.
 
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Hatchet Jack

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Where the SLCs really shine vs the Meopta or Conquest is edge clarity. Do yourself a favor and don't buy the kaibabs. The jump from Kaibabs to Meopta/Zeiss is much much bigger than the jump from meopta/zeiss to SLC.
 

gbrim21

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I agree with Hatchet Jack. Owned the Kaibabs, wasn't really impressed from day 1. Recently picked up a used pair of Conquest 15, much better. Meopta HD or Zeiss Conquest HD 15's can be had used for arou $1100 I'd guess. I have not looked through the new SLC HD 15's, but I've also heard the improvement from the Meopta/Zeiss to the SLC is marginal. It's possible the Maven 15's, or these unicorn Leupold's are good too, but I have no experience there

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hwy1strat

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This new release from Leupold has me very interested, but confused and irritated at the same time. I had always been leaning toward the Kaibab's, due to their price. The word on the Kaibab's seems to be hot or cold. People either love them or hated them. The price is what makes them tempting. It seemed that for a while the choices were either the Kaibab's at $1,200 or jump to $2k or higher. Clearly the SLCs are the choice, but the price makes them prohibitive to many. Now there are options in the middle....Conquest, Santiam, Meopta, etc. Either way, I can't justify $2,300 to my family for the SLCs. If I was a guide or outfitter, then for sure. Between family expenses, and other hobbies, are the $2,300 15x THAT much better than a $1,000 to $1,500 option? Or is it a situation where these Leupold's are ~60% the price of the SLCs, but are they 60% the glass?

Regardless, Leupold, given their history and reputation didn't do a great job announcing these. They only this past week showed up in the Cabela's catalog, even though they were supposedly released in April. I've seen an online review wherein the guy said they were amazing. Randy Newberg per the post above says they are great glass, so that's good. But, in an online Outdoor Life ranking kind of panned the Santiam's, but it was a list, and I couldn't find a supporting test by them.

For the price.....I would be willing to be that they are better than 60% the quality of the SLCs, which would make them a better "value" for the casual to serious hunter. For the hardcore hunter to a professional (guide/outfitter), the standards would be different. If only I had more money....sigh.

I don't think anyone was expecting them to compare to the Swaro's. Mostly looking to see how they compare to the Meopta's and Zeiss, the ones in the same price range. In the past, in my opinion, Leupold's binos were getting stomped by much cheaper binos from other brands. So, if they continued with that quality of glass and started making 15x binos, then they probably wouldn't be worth the money when it is competing against Meopta and Zeiss. But, it sounds like they revamped their binos this year so hopefully they are on a level playing field if not slightly better.
 
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hwy1strat

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I played with the Meopta's and the SLC's inside of Cabela's and I couldn't tell much of a difference. That being said, I am not accustomed to looking through alpha glass and it was only inside the store where everything looks good. I'm sure there is a bigger difference when you get them outside, looking at an elk 900 yards away, and the sun is going down. I also got to compare them to the Kaibabs in cabala's and it wasn't even close. The Kaibabs were noticeably dimmer/less clear than the meoptas and Swaros. I ended up going with the Meoptas and will be putting them to the real test next week.
 

TheCougar

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Unless I get a ringing endorsement that the Leupolds are the cats meow, there is no way I am passing up Meopta or Zeiss in favor of them. I haven't tried the Kaibabs, but I ran razors for years and I don't miss them. I think the other options at that price point are better. I own a pair of SLCs in 10x42. They cost twice as much as meoptas... are they twice as good? Nope. Are they awesome? Yup. As shallow as it sounds, I love picking them up and looking through them and knowing that I have the best binos that money can buy... and that just one time, I splurged to get something I didn't need. I honestly don't think I find animals with my SLCs that I wouldn't find with Zeiss or Meopta. Then again, I wouldn't change my decision to buy them. The problem is, once you get used to that feeling, it is hard to go back to cheaper glass, regardless of how minuscule the differences and how large the price disparity! So maybe I will save an extra year for the SLCs...
 
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