Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Review

Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Review
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- Superb light gathering capabilities
- Strong performer in all weather conditions
- Great image quality

- Angled designs are not for everyone
- No fine-focus capability

Welcome to our review of the Leupold SX–1 Ventana Spotting Scope. Leupold makes some fine optics, and their spotting scopes have been among my favorites. I was anxious to see what the SX–1 Ventana would have to offer, and how well it would hold up to the Leupold name. Read on to find out how well this spotting scope performs.

What Comes in the Box?

The first thing you want to know is what you get for the money. The Leupold SX–1 Ventana includes everything you need to get started, but it does not include a tripod. Here’s what you get in the box:

  • The Leupold SX–1 Ventana spotting scope
  • Soft carry case
  • Lens cover
  • Neck strap

I didn’t mind the lack of a tripod too much, simply because most of the included tripods with spotting scopes aren’t very good to begin with. I have a pretty large collection of tripods that I don’t even use, and the SX–1 Ventana works well with my camera tripod.

What’s the Magnification of the Leupold SX–1 Ventana

The Leupold SX–1 Ventana’s 60mm objective lens provides magnification from 15X to 45X, with outstanding resolution and clarity. The spotting scope gives you true edge-to-edge coverage, so you can see your subject just as clearly as it is leaving your field of view as when it’s in the center of your aim. Close focus on the Leupold SX–1 Ventana is 13.8 feet, so you can use it for objects near and far.

How Easy is the Leupold SX–1 Ventana to Use?

The Leupold SX–1 Ventana is supremely easy to use, with the magnification and focusing wheels located precisely where they should be. The eyecup features a twist-up design for easy use with or without eyeglasses, and the magnification selector in front of the eyepiece rotates smoothly. If the sun gets too bright, a built-in retractable lens shade is easy to use and nice to have.

What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Spotting Scope?

The optics on this spotting scope are fully multi-coated, so you get fantastic light gathering capability. I’ve used this in bright sunlight, in early morning and late evening hours, and even for late-night moon and planet spotting when I didn’t want to set up my telescope. During all of those lighting conditions, the Leupold SX–1 Ventana performed flawlessly.

How Are the Optics and Focus on This Spotting Scope?

The Leupold SX–1 Ventana features fantastic optics, with a fantastic design. The field of view is 121 feet at 15X magnification, and 63 feet when you are zoomed out to 45X magnification. This is an outstanding field of view, and is more than wide enough for viewing wildlife, spotting shot placement, or even enjoying the terrain.

The focus knob does not provide fine focus capability, but it still allows you to get your image sharply into focus. It moves with just enough resistance to prevent bumping it out of focus, but smoothly enough to be a joy to focus.

What’s the Housing Like on the Spotting Scope?

The entire housing of the Leupold SX–1 Ventana is rubber-enclosed, providing excellent protection against bumps and scrapes. This spotting scope is fairly lightweight, weighing in at less than 3 pounds. There is aggressive knurling on the focus knob and lens shade to give you sure, positive adjustment, even when you are wearing gloves. The lens shade is retractable, so you can engage it when the sun is too bright but move it back and out of the way when you don’t need it.

Some people don’t like angled spotting scopes. If you are one of them, you might want to pass on this model. With that said, the angle is set up perfectly and the eye relief is a very comfortable 20mm at low magnification and 21.5mm at high magnification. My only complaint about the body of this spotting scope is that the tripod mount is fixed-position, so you cannot mount this for a sideways view.

How Durable is the Leupold SX–1 Ventana?

The Leupold SX–1 Ventana, with its rubber body, is super durable. I’ve dropped this spotting scope a couple of times, and it didn’t do it any damage. The optics chamber is nitrogen-filled, so you don’t have to worry about fogging, and the entire unit is O-ring sealed to make it waterproof.

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Leupold SX-1 Ventana Spotting Scope Review Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Leupold SX–1 Ventana. This is an excellent value, and works beautifully in the field. It is lightweight, rugged, and waterproof, so you can take it out even in inclement weather without a care.

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Jeff Byrnes

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Hi there! I’m Jeff, an avid outdoorsman and hunter who really likes exploring new technology. I’m especially into hunting optics, which is why I’m writing these reviews! I hope you find my articles helpful in your own shooting and hunting.

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