Leupold Sx-5 Santiam Spotting Scope Review (Hd 27-55x80mm)

  • By: Michaela King

To become a successful hunter, you need the right kind of products in your arsenal. You cannot hunt what you cannot find, and to find your quarry, you need something more than your eyes. Leupold SX-5 Santiam HD spotting scope is built to deliver on all aspects.

Leupold Santiam HD spotting scope is everything a hunter can wish for and even more. What sets it apart from other competitors is the little details that relieve glassers of many problems they endure during their glassing session.

We are going to explore just what all those little details are and also talk in detail about the specs.

Packed with the Twilight Max HD light management system, Leupold blesses the hunters with clear pictures even when the sun goes down. The guard-ion loaded lens coating forges the lenses into something that is resistant to dirt, water, and fingerprints.

The sturdy and rugged build is lightweight thanks to the aluminum and polycarbonate body material. The Leupold Santiam is empowered with superior optical quality to give you the edge over your prey by rendering a bright and sharp image.

When you are out there in the open, whether you are observing an exotic bird or hunting down your quarry, Leupold Santiam spotting scope will not fail you in your mission. Crystal clear imagery, along with fine little details and comfortable viewing experience, makes it one of the best spotting scope in the market.

This premium quality spotting scope offers all this and so much more. Let’s dig deep and find out whether or not Leupold Santiam is worth its salt?

Leupold SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55x80mm Spotting Scope...
  • Model #175911 - SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55x80mm Spotting Scope - Angled Eyepiece
  • 100% Waterproof and fogproof

Leupold SX-5 Santiam 27-55x80mm HD Angled Spotting Scope at a Glance


  • Magnification: 27-55x
  • Lens size: 80 mm
  • FOV: 105-73 ft.
  • Eye relief distance: 17-19.2 mm
  • Exit pupil diameter: 2.9-1.5mm
  • Twilight factor: 46.5-66.3
  • Close focus distance: 11 ft.
  • Weight: 68.7 oz.
  • Length: 15.7”


  • Minimal eye strain
  • Extended eyepiece
  • Nitrogen purged, waterproof and fog proof
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Reduced glare in day
  • Extended 30 mines light at dawn and dusk
  • Fingerprint, dirt and water-resistant
  • Superior light transmission and sharp pictures
  • Rugged and sturdy rubber armored body
  • Compact scope
  • edge to edge clarity
  • Ultra-smooth focus system
  • Adjustable tripod adapter


  • expensive

What’s in the Box?

  • Leupold SX Santiam HD angle spotting scope
  • Removable eyecups
  • Neoprene sleeve

Leupold SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55×80 mm Spotting Scope in-depth Technical Features

By adding Leupold Santiam SX 5 spotting scope to your hunter gear, you will quickly notice the positive changes it brings out to your hunting expeditions. Let’s have a quick round up of all the powerful features.


Thanks to the 27-55x magnification power, even the tiniest details cannot be missed by this beast of a spotting scope. The powerful customized magnification power gives you a chance to take a detailed look at your prey.

Even though the magnification power goes up to 55x – which is on the relatively lower side if compared with other premium scopes – the fact that even with lower magnification, the clarity and details are stunning, makes it one of a kind spotting scope in the market.

The cutback on magnification power enhances efficiency by eliminating eye fatigue and headaches and enabling you to observe for a long time. The higher magnification power is often useless because the picture quality gets deteriorated even for a slight movement.

By slashing down the magnification power, Leupold successfully made this spotting scope a bit more compact and light-weight compared to other premium scopes.

Lens diameter

Leupold Santiam HD-5 has a lens diameter of 80mm. The oversized lens size enables you to have a clear shot at your trophy by rendering the clearest and brighter picture along with minute details.

Equipped with guard-ions coating and Leupold’s DiamondCoat 2™ lens coating, Leupold Santiam SX 5 has a scratch and water-resistant lens. Fully-multi coated lens ensures that you get brighter pictures so you don’t have a hard time recognizing your trophy game.

For outdoor endeavors, a spotting scope must be ready to endure the harsh weather elements. Thankfully, the guard-ion coating makes the lens dirt, scratch, and water resistant.

Field of view

Leupold Santiam SX-5 provides a field of view of 105-73 ft. Given the magnification power of this beast, the covered distance is quite impressive. You can see up to 105 ft. when you set up the magnification at 27x while the FOV goes down to 73 ft. at 55x.

Leupold uses high-quality glass, which is the reason that even at low magnification, you will be able to see more details.

Eye relief

The optical design of this spotting scope is crafty. You will see many small things that make a lot of difference when you are out in the wild glassing non-stop. The extended eye-relief is not only a must-have feature for eye glass wearers but also for comfortable and tireless glassing experience.

Well, Leupold SX-5 meets our expectations to the fullest.

Eye relief distance is 17-19.5 mm, which is generous for eyeglass wearers, while at the same time, it doesn’t cause eye fatigue and headaches that are a common problem with spotting scopes.

Twilight factor

With The ingenious Twilight Max HD light management systems, Leupold Sx-5 makes a clean sweep over the majority of spotting scopes in terms of low light performance. The twilight management successfully gets rid of the stray light that results in glare while glassing in the sunlight.

Moreover, it adds more light to your glassing light and thus provides you with precious 30 minutes of extra light at sundown and sunset. As a hunter and birder, you will know how valuable those few minutes of light are while you are taking a look at a rare bird or hunting your trophy.


Investing in a spotting scope is not a thing to be taken lightly. Leupold SX5 Santiam HD delivers what it promises on all aspects. The crafty design and the beauty of this optical design are alone worth the dime.

Glassers often complain that they can’t see anything due to the glare on sunny days. Leupold took notice of this problem and executed a design that features a sunshade that pulls out generously to reduce the glare to a minimum. It provides you maximum clarity and uninterrupted glassing experience in any kind of weather.

Not only has the sunshade reduced glare, but it also works as a rain shade. Two Birds with one stone, well, I dig it!

Sturdy and lightweight carbon fiber body coupled with rubber armor coating produces a scope that is rugged and designed to brave the harsh weather conditions.

To further enhance the durability, it comes with a soft cover that fits like a glove and covers the scope from the after-effects of outdoor exposure.

The eye caps are removable, which is again a nifty little addition because most often, the eyecups tend to get dirty. With removable eye caps, maintenance is hassle-free as you can take them out, clean them, and put them back on.

The focus wheel is smooth to operate and lets you focus quickly. It turns three quarters for quick focusing while you are glassing.

The extremely crafty optical design allows you to stay focused even when you come down from high magnification to low magnification.

Close focus distance

Spotting scopes are usually used to spot a faraway object, but an impressive spotting scope will always have an excellent close focus distance too. Leupold SX 5 impresses us with its 11 ft. Close focus distance, which is valuable if you are an avid birder or interested in short-ranged shooting.

Moreover, most users love the outstanding focus mechanism that lets you stay focused even when you are coming down from high magnification to low magnification. It’s a rare feature to have in a spotting scope and is the reason that sets Leupold way ahead of its competitors in terms of user-friendliness.

Leupold SX-5 Santiam: a versatile scope for versatile activities

If I am honest here, spending such a huge amount of money on spotting scope makes you nervous. Which is totally understandable as everyone wants the best value for their money, right? Leupold Santiam SX 5 is a versatile scope that is highly compatible with different activities.

So let’s see how exactly is this spotting scope going to work in different circumstances, and should you really buy it?


To take your trophy home, you have to be relentless while hunting. Leupold has designed Santiam SX 5 as a relentless scope for relentless hunters who don’t stop until they hit their target. This spotting scope has what it take to make you a successful hunter.

High magnification with razor-sharp imagery, twilight HD management system along with premium lens material marks it as a top-class hunting spotting scope.

Powerful features and ergonomic design ensures that you stay focused on the game hunt by providing you comfortable and smooth glassing experience even on extended trips. 

Powerful magnification power lets you spot those sneaky animals that are hiding in bushes, and you can’t see them with the naked eye. Even the minute details are hard to miss by SX 5, and you will be amazed to find how true color appears in the image.

In a nutshell, Leupold SX 5 is a hunting scope made by hunters for the hunters who never get tired.


According to the national survey of fishing and birding, it is estimated that bird watchers spend a whopping $41 billion on tools and trips related to bird watching. Now that’s an impressive figure and shows us that birders indeed take their passion seriously.

With Leupold Santiam SX 5, your bird watching endeavors will become all the more colorful and enjoyable. Thanks to its over-sized eyepiece and extended eye relief, you can have a great time watching exotic birds without any eye-fatigue.

The generous 11 ft. CFD is another add on that makes it an ideal birding scope. You can take a closer look at the marvelous colors and intricate design of the feathered beauties that are at close distance.

Twilight HD system offers up 30 minutes of additional light, and that is the time when birds start moving too. With Leupold SX 5, low light will never be a hindrance anymore to stop you from enjoying nature’s most beautiful creation.

Wildlife Safari

A spotting scope is a definite improvement than binoculars if you are making a trip to a safari park or even observing some wild animals in a forest. Your safety is a great point of concern when observing animals, which is why Santiam SX 5 is an ideal scope that lets you track and observe the majestic animal from a safe distance.

Don’t underestimate the power of a big lens: with an 80 mm lens and 27-55 x magnification power, SX 5 meets all your safari requirements on the front foot. You can easily differentiate between different breeds, identify the true colors, and rightly guess the size of the animal from far away.

The optical clarity is unmatched, and the weather resistance along with rugged body material makes this spotting scope a great fit for safari viewing.

Moreover, the twilight HD management system gives you additional light at the time when most of the animals are moving. Who knows maybe you will spot that lion or elk you are eager to see for long.


Ever wondered what is going around your neighborhood? If you like to keep an eye on your surroundings or if you are a police officer in search of great scope for surveillance, well, Santiam SX 5 is definitely worth a chance.

For people working for law enforcement agencies, surveillance is of crucial importance. Sx 5 Santiam is an ideal scope because of its crystal clear imagery, attention on little details, and exceptional performance in low light conditions.

Imagine losing a suspect due to the poor light condition? That sucks, right? But with Leupold, you get an additional 30 minutes of Daylight thanks to its innovative Twilight HD light management system.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between Gold ring HD and Santiam SX 5 HD?

The gold ring spotting scopes are the most popular scopes by Leupold. The main difference between both scopes line is the design as well as the purpose of use. While the gold ring is aimed toward military use and furnished with suitable features, SX 5 Santiam is more of a premium hunting scope. Goldring is more packable and lightweight compared to Santiam.

Why 27x 55 magnification and not usual 20×60?

Leupold experimented with the magnification power in order to make the scope more lightweight and provide clearer pictures. We all know that higher magnification means deteriorating image quality, and most people don’t even use that much magnification. Leupold only wants to provide its customers with what they truly need and not something that is not going to be used.

Leupold Santiam SX5 Scope Summary

People who have a passion for great outdoors and are always eager to explore it will certainly find Leupold Santiam SX 5 HD spotting scope worth an investment. The splendid optical design combined with a rugged armor body is practical enough to lug it anywhere you do.

The exceptional low light performance alone justifies the price tag. While hunting, identifying a branch from an antler is an important factor, and thanks to razor-sharp imagery and focus on details, SX 5 Santiam will never fail to deliver on this aspect.

I hope this Leupold SX-5 Santiam 27-55x80mm HD Spotting Scope review have cleared any doubts or question that you may have about this product. If you want to ask any other queries related to this spotting scope, comment down below, and we will discuss them.

The shadow grey color of Santiam SX 5 HD is my favorite color because it is unique and blends in with other accessories.  So if you want a scope with a great optical design and high-quality build coupled with clean and bright pictures, well, Leupold Santiam SX 5 HD is your best bet.

Last update on 2024-05-16 at 14:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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