Leupold BX-5 Santiam 15×56 HD

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Objective diameter: 56 mm
Magnification: 15 x
Exit pupil: 3.73 mm
Eye relief (acc. to spec): 18 mm
Usable eye relief (measured from rim of eyecup): 15.5 mm
IPD: 55 – 74 mm
RFOV: 4.4 degrees = 77 m (see remarks below)
AFOV (measured, rounded): 64 degrees
Minimum focus distance (measured): 2.25 m
Focus type: CF (direction of rotation from close to infinity: < anticlockwise)
Degrees of rotation of focus wheel from 3m to infinity (measured): 335 degrees

Range of diopter adjustment (estimate): +/- 6.5 dpt*
Excess travel of focus wheel beyond infinity position (estimate): 6 dpt*

Prism system: Abbe-König
Waterproof: yes
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and objective caps): 1‘538 g
Made in: Japan
*range of diopter adjustment not affected by position of focus wheel


“Santiam” refers to the tribe of the indigenous Santiam indians living in what is today the US state of Oregon – quite a suitable name for a binocular marketed by  Leupold & Stevens, Inc., a company located in Beaverton, Oregon.
The Santiam comes in plain grey and a number of “camouflage” configurations, so seems mainly targeted at the hunting community. It is a heavy and sturdy upper middle class instrument made in Japan, heavier than most other current 15x56s, with excellent finish and mechanics, a good central sharpness and a moderately wide sweet spot, but only mediocre edge sharpness. Attention to a proper placement of the eyes behind the eyepieces is necessary in order to prevent images with significant color fringes.
Regarding the real field of view (RFOV) of this binocular: Leupold itself and various optics stores state the RFOV to be  4.4 degrees on the one hand, but 70m on the other hand. However, 70m corresponds to 4.0 degrees, not 4.4. To complicate things further, the inscription on the focus wheel reads neither 4.0 nor 4.4 degrees, but “4.5”, which corresponds to almost 79m linear FOV. BINOCULARS TODAY’s own measurement confirmed 4.4 degrees, i.e. 77 m / 1000 m.



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