Rangefinder reviews – What is the Best Rangefinder for Me?
Ever wonder how photographers are able to take pictures that just seem spot on? Or how firearms experts are able to shoot with pinpoint accuracy?
More than just field experience, both rely on modern equipment to enhance optical skills usually confined by human limitations. A range finder in its most general sense is something used by the observer that measures distance between him and the target. In keeping with today’s changing times and growing purpose, various kinds of rangefinders have been developed. From a sniper’s aim to an engineer’s view, rangefinders have evolved over the years to serve a variety of functions. More traditional forms that use techniques such as trigonometry are becoming more modernized with the help of technological advances. Radar and ultrasound have been effective in their integration to rangefinders, providing measurements that are more precise which are actively used in forestry, shooting, forestry, and in the military.
Back in the day when autofocus was unheard of (imagine your father’s vintage Leica camera), rangefinders were very much put into use. In the older models (coincidence and stereoscopic), putting a view into focus heavily relied on manual calibration. In these recent times however, laser technology has swept the industry with its efficient results. Below are a few products you could check out for your rangefinder reviews.
Rangefinder Reviews – Advantages of Rangefinders in life
Apart from acting as an extension of the optical sense, rangefinders, particularly modern types that make use of laser technology are abound with benefits. You will notice that almost all rangefinder reviews encompass laser rangefinders (read more about laser rangefinders and its application in medical treatment). But what makes one that utilizes a laser infrared beam so advantageous to photographers, hunters, golfers and the like? An out of focus photo, an uneven terrain or more likely, a very distant target are a few qualms this device aims to solve.
Extend your range up to hundreds of meters at a time
Nowadays, rangefinders will carry titles that claim to reach a 400 to 1000 yard range and sometimes more. Keep in mind that a target that is more reflective to light (something glossy or luminous) provides a more effective range, rather than a dark opaque object that is more likely to absorb light instead of bouncing it back.
Laser rangefinders provide more accuracy
Modern types no longer require manual calculations which are susceptible to human error. A laser rangefinder points a laser beam at a target and its reflection is calculated into an interior microchip which then produces a more or less accurate reading in the blink of an eye. More than just horizontal distance, height differences and elevation angles are taken into consideration in its measurements. Out in the open, your shot measurement (including trajectory and power) may not be as accurate especially in varied terrain and weather conditions. Rangefinder reviews will recommend a rangefinder that is slope, tilt or angle compensated for a more precise reading.
There are different modes (check below for rangefinder reviews of some modes)
Imagine aiming on a windy or foggy day. Specialized rangefinders include a modal system which you can change depending on the environment you are in. Even objects that get in between the rangefinder and the target can hinder range. Specific types of laser rangefinders are equipped with filters that allow the beam to pass through unobstructed. One excellent example is the rangefinder used mostly in Forestry projects that utilizes a filter for leaves.
Top Favourite Products
Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
- It comes at an amazingly affordable price, offering a high value of deal for its cost. You’ll be hard pressed to find any better value at such a cost.
- It has high-quality optics, along with multi-layer coatings.
- It’s able to display units in both yards and meters.
- It offers you with high level of accuracy.
- The rangefinder comes enclosed in a durable casing.
- It’s programmed to prioritize the distant targets.
Bushnell Tour V3 Rangefinders
- Provides accurate readings up to 300 yards for flags
- Features the Bushnell PinSeeker and Jolt Technology which gives a slight vibration once locked in on the target (This could be one that I love most!)
- Clear distinction of targets despite larger obstacles in the background
- Includes batteries with a lifespan of 6 months
- Ready to use once turned on without the need for recalibration (If you’ve ever known how terrible it is to do re-calibration)
Compare Different Rangefinder Models
Taking a look at a comparison table is the fastest way to compare different prices, features and designing of various rangefinder models. In order to assure the accuracy of product price, I estimate the range of price following the following rules:
Rangefinder Reviews – Check out 5 of Our Favorites
Forget the standard black or gray rangefinder. Bushnell’s V3 looks real snazzy compared to its precursor model, the V2. Decked out in a red/white/blackcolor scheme, its exterior is sure to stand out against any verdant or concrete landscape; meaning it’s going to be hard to lose this one once it’s been dropped in the course.
Light, compact and easy to carry, the new V3 is also rainproof and comes in a handy new bungee case.
- Utilizing the state of the art Pin Seeker technology common in Bushnell’s line of golf lasers, The V3 allows you to hone in on your target –whatever the target. The Pin Seeker technology will focus on the target you point it at and produce a measurement at the speed of light.
- Even if a tree is behind your flag, the V3’s advanced electronics will provide you the range of the flag because despite multiple targets, it is able to find the single focal point. I recommend investing in the version that includes slope compensation as one of its features for a more accurate number. The device takes into account horizontal distance and height distance (of the slope) before presenting you with an accurate measurement.
- Another special feature of the V3 is its JOLT technology which works hand in hand with the pin seeking aspect of the device. It works by giving off a short and mild vibration once the laser has fixated on your target. Although there is nothing negative about the JOLT technology, a few rangefinder reviews find it as an unnecessary excess in the laser. Many users have found the anticipation of the buzz a bit exciting providing some form of gratification once the device does finally vibrate. But hey, to each his own, right?
The Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt Standard Edition Golf Laser Rangefinder when bought undiscounted comes at a whopping price. But with its ability to track targets at distances that reach up to 200 yards and up, it is no surprise that even with its high price, many rangefinder reviews have hailed the product.
Unlike the previous product, the Simmons LRF 600 fares well for hunting rather than for golfing. In a sleek black facade, this no-frills rangefinder will give you exactly what you paid for.
- Easily held with just one hand, the Simmons LRF 600 gives the impression of a concentrated device. Although tiny, it effectively utilizes all its specialized features to aid the user more proficiently. With a relatively lower selling price, don’t expect the Simmons LRF 600 to be flanked with accessories. Apart from a pouch that isn’t even meant to act as a protective casing, you pretty much have to make do with the most basic parts.
- But it is the portability of the Simmons LRF 600 that has caught my attention. A mere 4.2 x 3.6 x 1.9 inches, its durability to sustain all kinds of weather conditions surpasses its compact exterior.
Do not be fooled by the price of the Simmons LRF 600 because it performs just as well (or even better) as the more expensive laser rangefinders in the market today. Featuring a magnification up to four times, the device is perfect for hunting and long range shooting as it allows a clear and close up view of the prey or target. The Simmons LRF 600 is also surprisingly accurate considering it only weighs a mere 8 ounces. Giving the user the exact range of the target from 10 to 600 yards, the device relies also on the reflectivity of the target for a better measurement. Although the product claims to reach a distance of 600 yards, past rangefinder reviews will give it a 300-yard maximum. Still pretty impressive.
- Another useful feature of the Simmons LRF 600 is its ability to switch between units of measurement such as from yard to meters and vice versa. Because of this along with its pinpoint accuracy, the device is best recommended for hunting and distance shooting but is also effective in cross-differential work between the distances of buildings.
It’s right on the budget too. The Simmons LRF 600 outperforms and outlasts many of its competition. It is value for your money: cheap yet effective. Models come in black and camouflage.
A product tribute to marksman Chuck Adams, the Bushnell Bow Hunter is highly suggested for hunting and archery.
Unfortunately, the company no longer makes this particular model anymore so your best shot at getting your hands on one of these babies is on Ebay or Amazon for a second-hand device. Flaunting a dark green exterior, the Bow Hunter has a classy retro look. Measuring 1.4 x 2.9 x 3.8 inches and weighing only 5.3 ounces, it is even smaller and lighter than the Simmons LRF 600.
Portable and compact, the Bow Hunter also comes with a case, a neck strap and a set of batteries.
- What makes this series of rangefinders so unique within the brand is the Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology. Much like the slope compensation feature found in golf-specific Bushnell lasers, the ARC takes into consideration both vertical and horizontal factors before providing a measurement. It calculates distance depending on the angle of your shot. This lessens the margin of error; thus, increasing the accuracy of the shot dramatically.
- Now, as mentioned above, another advantageous element to rangefinders are the various modes that manufactures will equip them with considering their specialization. With the Bow Hunter, users are treated to a Bow Mode where a target’s true horizontal distance from 5 to 99 yards is displayed along with its angle and line-of-sight. The company claims that the Bow Hunter can also give the overall line-of-sight distance of a target from 5 to 850 yards away and offers up to 4X magnification. Rangefinder reviews have been positive about the clear and polished display of the Bushnell Bow Hunter.
Of course, there are some downsides. And like most lasers, this model is not very effective in fog and is reported to wash out in low light conditions.
The Bow Hunter comes at a modest amount and it seems that users are happy with the price correlation to its effectiveness as a laser. In fact, many have been keen to try it for golf as it is a few hundred dollars below the Bushnell V3.
Upon first look, the Leupold is reminiscent of a vintage camera, where every part of its exterior has a characterized texture. Not as sleek as the previously mentioned models but definitely the most handsome and the best rated in other rangefinder reviews. Interested buyers may choose from three designs, namely black, gray or the moss/oak which costs a few dollars more for that camouflage quality.
- The outer shell of the Leupold is simple enough with a fold down rubber eyecup, multicoated lens and a weather-proofed body for unexpected conditions. But the secret of this particular model is in its interior workings.
- Combining Leupold’s signature True Ballistic Ranging (TBR) technology and their newly developed DigitallyeNhanced Accuracy (DNA) engine, the results are pinpoint precision and extremely fast results. TBR readings go up to 125 yards while providing measurements as close as 1/10th of a yard, however, the device can display up to 1000 yards for reflective targets. With a built-in inclinometer and a variety of modes, users are allowed to tinker with the system to find the perfect setting for certain conditions. The technology is so specific that it can work alongside your firearm, displaying the compensation for inches, minutes of angles, and more for long distance shots. Shot corrections are also possible through a milliradian-based system. This is probably why the Leupold is a favourite of many hunters and firearms hobbyists.
Users can also choose from a triple reticular system which includes the Leupold Plus Point, Duplex and a combination of both.
But what really makes the Leupold stand out in outdoor gaming is its OLED display which provides a clear and bright optics.
As if that isn’t enough, the technology includes adjustable intensity settings to match lighting conditions. With up to 6X magnification and a wide field of view, the Leupold is especially useful in hunting as it allows users to detect movement easily.
- Even at a high price, the Leupold is a great deal for serious hunters and shooters. Durable and highly efficient, the Leupold112179 RX-1000i TBR w/DNAis the leading laser in rangefinder reviews and has recently been exalted as Optics Planet.com’s 2013 Brilliance Award Winner and Best Rated Product.
Lightweight and portable, the Nikon Prostaff 3 fits snugly in the palm of your hand. The device is a mere 5.1 x 1.5 x 2.7 inches in size. Flaunting a modern design and a smooth finish, its body allows for easy grip and can be quickly stored or grabbed from your pocket, belt or pouch.
The sleek device is both waterproof and fog proof which is a relief during unexpected showers or in higher altitudes. The technology may be resistant to rains however the battery chamber is not.
- Now what many rangefinder reviews are pointing out for the Prostaff 3 is the simplicity of its design which still allows the laser to work effectively sans the complicated technology. In fact, the Nikon Prostaff 3 has just a single operation button that keeps everything conveniently in order.
- Another great feature of the device is how Nikon kept the LCD display neat and understandable because working a rangefinder shouldn’t be rocket science.
Nikon’s reputation for high quality optics is part and parcel of the Prostaff 3. Offering up to 6X magnification and multi-coated anti-reflection lens, expect your images to be in high resolution in almost any lighting conditions.
But what really makes the Prostaff 3 best for long distance target shooting and hunting is that its maximum range is up to 550 yards and even higher for reflective surfaces. Another notable feature is its display of half increments that go up to 99.5 yards for a more accurate measurement.
At a very reasonable price bordering on cheap, the Nikon Prostaff 3 is worth every penny.
Combining impressive technology with the simplicity of design produces a very user friendly and powerful device. Although the Prostaff 3 is mostly recommended in rangefinder reviews for activities like hunting and target shooting, it has also caught the interest of golfers for its accurate measurements and far reaching range.
You’ve gone through the list of our favorite lasers. Of course, this is just one of the many rangefinder reviews that thoroughly tackle the specs and features of these devices (you can also check out other discussions about best rangefinders mode today here). Do keep in mind your personal preferences when searching for a rangefinder that will suit your needs as well as the activity you will use it for.
Many rangefinder reviews will recommend particular models for certain hobbies like golf and hunting. However, many do perform multiple functions and can serve the needs of both golfers and shooters. I for one am not very technologically savvy so despite the superior technology of the Leupold, I still prefer the simplicity and affordability of the Simmons LRF 600 and the Nikon Prostaff 3. But then again, to each his own (budget and all). Finally, please don’t forget to enjoy these 3 amazing posts from us: “best rangefinder“, “range finder reviews” and “hunting rangefinder reviews” since they will bring you more information about each kinds of rangefinders.
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