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Thread: Rangefinders--opinions on what's available

  1. #1
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    Default Rangefinders--opinions on what's available

    I'm looking into purchasing a rangefinder (mostly for long range but will use it during archery also). I was wondering if I could get some opinions. I've used Leupold (TBR model)--seemed to be sufficient but have not tried anything else so not much to compare it with. I've looked at some of the reviews on Cabelas for some models of Leupold and was surprised at their terrible ratings.

    Does anyone favor any Bushnell models, or any opinions on other brands?

    What about a set of rangefinding binocs such as the Leica's?

    Thanks for any feedback...

  2. #2
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default thats easy...

    Get a set of Leica Geovids and don't look back...
    1300+ yards of ranging finding capability and world class glass combined.

    Doug @ Cameraland had insane 1/2 price deals on these binks in both 10X42 and 8X42, donno if that is still going on...
    Give him a call...

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    Default easy...

    thanks for the input fullkurl. That seems to be the most sensible solution, especially since i've been wanting to upgrade my binocs. I wonder if I could sell that to the wife...

    Do you know what Leica's warranty on the geovids is? I used a pair of Leica binos about 10 years back and will never forget how impressive they were

    I hope to hear some input on some lesser expensive rangefinders to weigh the options

  4. #4
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    Default

    I would do Leica Ultarvid binos and a Leica CRF like I did or just go with the Geovids. The weight differential is the same, so for me the deciding factor was having them seperate. Since I bow hunt I can ditch my binos with my frame pack and still have a very small and light weight range finder to take in with me for the shot.

    I had a Bushnell before and it was garbage! Having better quality glass and a red digital readout and reticle makes a huge difference at last light. I wouldn't even consider one unless it had a red readout. As for brightness you can compare range finders side by side.

    Brett

  5. #5

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    I like the Leica crf 1200 and separate binos.

    The leicas have much brighter optics than the nikons I have used. They have a red readout rather than a black, also a plus in low light situations. They range instantly the first time, nearly everytime where others often require multiple attempts and sometimes don't register at all. Leicas have an easy to push button which makes one handed ranging more steady than others. My 1200 Leicas are slightly more compact than a Nikon 550/800 and way more compact than a nikon 1200.

    The only thing I wish it had was angle compensation. But then I guess it doesn't hurt to have to use my brain once in a while. With a little time a cut chart isn't to hard to remeber or reference.

    When I am on stand or stationary glassing, I range objects and memorize them, then tuck it away in a chest pocket so it is out of the way and only use binos and/or spotter. When I am walking or stalking, I start by glassing, put the binos in the other chest pocket. Range multiple ridges/ravines/objects so I have some hard points if I have to act fast and start walking with the rangefinder out and ready if time permits.

    The warranty on a Geovid bino/rangefinder is only 5 years because of the electronics just like the rangefinder. Where the straight binos have a lifetime.

    Leica crf 900/1200 weighs under 9.7oz
    Leica ultravid 10x25 weighs 9.4ox
    total 19.1oz and fits in chest pockets

    Leica ultravid 10x42 weighs 26.5oz
    total w/crf 36.2oz

    Leica geovid 10x42 weighs 32oz
    4.2 oz less

  6. #6

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    Have the 10x42 geovids. These things will range a ground squirrel at 400 yds over flat hardpack dirt with clumps of grass scattered about. Simply fantastic. Very repeatable readings. They just work. I ponied up the 2K a couple of years ago and that was that.

    Also had an early gen unit from Nikon. Was almost useless under real hunting conditions. Would probably be fine at archery ranges, but introduce a little complexity to the ranging scenario and it just couldn't sort it out.

    I don't like having a second item hanging from my neck. Combining binos and rangefinder works very well for me.

  7. #7
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    Default Geovids...

    What is the difference between the Geovids and the Geovid HD's? (Besides $600)
    Thanks...

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    HD has better glass. My understanding is that it's a combination of two lenses fitted into each other that counter act the color distortion commonly seen on the perifery of objects. One lense slightly distorts the light coming through it so the colors aren't as sharp as with the eye. The second lense if designed properly can counter act that bending of light by the first lense by bending it back so the eye sees a colmination of the two lenses as a clear image.

    Brett

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    HD has better glass. My understanding is that it's a combination of two lenses fitted into each other that counter act the color distortion commonly seen on the perifery of objects. One lense slightly distorts the light coming through it so the colors aren't as sharp as with the eye. The second lense if designed properly can counter act that bending of light by the first lense by bending it back so the eye sees a colmination of the two lenses as a clear image.

    Brett
    = A sharper image and outline of image. Especially at a greater distance.

  10. #10

    Default Hunting

    If you intend to use them for bowhunting you may come out better off with 2 seperate units. The Leica CRF rangefinder has great optics as well as an incluttered field of view; NOPE it doesn't have a compass or thermometer. The target box is the right size and the right color (red) as it is contrasting in low light conditions on dark animals. It also allows you to range an animal that is moving and the range changes as long as the button is depressedand the animal is moving (Scan Mode). It has ONLY one button so there is no confusion as to what you want it to do.
    The CRF unit is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and light.
    I purchased the LRF version and like it better than the CRF model. It uses a standard square 9 volt battery and is held with both hands as a pair of small binos would be. I found the CRF a little harder to hold on target as it uses only a one hand hold.
    When bow hunting the 7 power optics of the rangefinder are adequate without a pair of binos.
    And what if you want your binos a different power than those that come with a rangfinder enclosed. Also if your rangefinder needs service you have to send your binos in for repair at the same time.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    If you intend to use them for bowhunting you may come out better off with 2 seperate units. The Leica CRF rangefinder has great optics as well as an incluttered field of view; NOPE it doesn't have a compass or thermometer. The target box is the right size and the right color (red) as it is contrasting in low light conditions on dark animals. It also allows you to range an animal that is moving and the range changes as long as the button is depressedand the animal is moving (Scan Mode). It has ONLY one button so there is no confusion as to what you want it to do.
    The CRF unit is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and light.
    I purchased the LRF version and like it better than the CRF model. It uses a standard square 9 volt battery and is held with both hands as a pair of small binos would be. I found the CRF a little harder to hold on target as it uses only a one hand hold.
    When bow hunting the 7 power optics of the rangefinder are adequate without a pair of binos.
    And what if you want your binos a different power than those that come with a rangfinder enclosed. Also if your rangefinder needs service you have to send your binos in for repair at the same time.
    I had the Leica LRF and not run the CRF. I agree the LRF with both hands is a little steadier than the CRF with one. But thats why I often use both hands to range with my CRF as well. Chances are at a distance that requires me both hands to get a steady reading on instead of just one hand I'm not going to need my rifle in other hand (I'll have time to set it down and pick it up). However, when stalking with a bow in hand at less that 100 yrds the less movement the better so the one hand operation of the CRF works for me as my midget hands couldn't operate the LRF one handed very well.

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    Default range finder

    Just a thought,
    My son and I play a game all the time guessing the distance and checking the distance with what ever we've got, odometer/ GPS /mesuring tape . It keeps us sharp. It's completely hands free, no batteries required. Unless your vision is impared, tis a great skill to develop. Set markers for your self while driving ,in your yard.
    With in 100 yards what ever.If your accurate with in 20 feet your a pro. My son beats me every time .

  13. #13
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm a sheep and goat hunter.
    I also glass a lot for elk, moose, deer... hunting mostly with a rifle. I do bowhunt, but far less than rifle hunt.
    If you are a serious bowhunter get a small dedicated rangefinder. If you are a rifle hunter get the combined unit.
    I've found that less in the pack is more. The combined unit weighs more, but some things are worth the extra ounces.
    One unit--especially with such fine glass--is the way to go.

    I wouldn't trade my 10X42 Geovids for anything.

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    Default more difficult

    Thanks to all who gave some feedback on the rangefinders. Now my decision seems to be harder--not sure if I'm able to swing the $ on the rangefinding binocs this year, which ultimately was my first choice. I was hoping someone would interject somewhere in the thread and tell me how great their $300 rangefinder is Like most gear, I find you get what you pay for and seems to be so true in optics. Probably why it's taking me so long to upgrade my binocs.

  15. #15

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    You have a onetime opportunity on the Geovids through the end of the year. I suspect they have discontinued the non-HD units. If Doug at Cameraland is out of them and can't fix you up, I think swfa still has them. Leica is running a $350 rebate so net cost is $1350 for a set of 10x42's (non-HD). That is a fantastic price that you just won't see again in the forseeable future for Leica gear. That price is so good I'm seriously tempted to pick up a second pair!

  16. #16
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    Default and the winner is...

    I've got a pair of Leupold RX-1000TBR's on their way. I had a pair in-hand at the store the other day and they sold me. It was a toss up between them and the Leica CRF 800 (only $80 more). It still is a toss up--I could still go either way. I like Leica glass and the fact their unit is listed as waterproof. I've been told they are better at greater distances, and the CRF 800's go beyond 800yds.

    However, the TBR (true ballistic range) feature on the Leupold I just couldn't let go of, especially with all the time spent in the mountains. I used the TBR on a long range shot on a goat and I think it was one reason why he's hanging on the wall. Some say it clutters up the screen, but I've used a pair out hunting before and like that feature. I've been told the new RX-1000 is very consistent out to 800 yds, and average beyond that. That I think I can live with. They now have a red LED display which was a must for me, or I would've gone with the Leica. Almost identical in size and weight (fraction of an oz) to the Leica also.

    Hope there is no regrets. Leupold almost got it right on this model--they just need a weatherproof casing. And I wonder if Leica will be producing a model in the future with an angle compensation feature?

    I also had my hands on the Geovids at the store--and with the rebate on the non-HD--it was very tempting, but decided to go with the separate unit. My binocs will probably not be upgraded for another year or two.

  17. #17
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    Default Cheaper option

    Quote Originally Posted by akwired View Post
    Thanks to all who gave some feedback on the rangefinders. Now my decision seems to be harder--not sure if I'm able to swing the $ on the rangefinding binocs this year, which ultimately was my first choice. I was hoping someone would interject somewhere in the thread and tell me how great their $300 rangefinder is Like most gear, I find you get what you pay for and seems to be so true in optics. Probably why it's taking me so long to upgrade my binocs.

    Take a look at the Nikon Monarch Gold 1200 rangefinder. Closer to your price range and good enough for most anything you'll want to do with it. I've had one for @ 4 years. Works fine for my needs. I use it for improving my non-aided distance estimating and on rare occasions for determining shot distance if I'm trying to decide if a shot is farther than I'm willing to take.

    Optics are more than adequate and it's simple to use. Probably not in the same league as the high end but adequate for my needs.

    Cabela's has it on sale for $420: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...233&hasJS=true

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akwired View Post
    ...I was hoping someone would interject somewhere in the thread and tell me how great their $300 rangefinder is...
    I have a nikon monarch 800. It will range out to 500yds. I've never gotten it to go any further but that's okay I gues. It's light, 7ozs. 7x. It works fine, I paid I think about 200-225 for it. It doesn't range as fast as a Leica CRF 1200 and the optics aren't as bright but it's also less than half the money. This year I got to use it 3 times in actual hunting situations ranging game. Once on a dall sheep at 150yds, sub legal ram. It returned the range fast. Twice on moving grizzlies, one at close to dusk type of light. First at 275 or so yds then at 165 after I closed the gap, I got to shoot that one! Again, it ranged fast. 3rd time was another grizzly that was moving pretty quick in bright sunshine. 225 yds. Ranged it right away. So, all in all I'd say it has worked pretty good for me. If I'm sitting watching an area I'll range a few objects, trees, rocks, brush, etc. to get an idea of my shooting range and it's worked for that okay I guess but not as fast as the leica. But again, I have not gotten it to range beyond 500yds. So, I'd say it's a 200 dollar, 7oz, reliable 500yd range finder. Hope this helps.

    EDIT: google them up or hit ebay and you can find them now for less than 300.
    Last edited by Snyd; 12-23-2009 at 21:08.

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