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Jacob's Photo & Digital
9 Mokoia Road
Birkenhead
Auckland 0626

Rangefinder Buying Guide

We don't sell rangefinders for golf so we will be only covering hunting, archery and forestry products.

Most rangefinders are rainproof, just like a binocular and are reasonably tough. Like all optical products, clarity is tied to the price. A more expensive unit not only will have greater clarity but better range-finding performance as well.

Rangefinders come in two major style:

 

Monocular rangefinder

Leica 2000

These small units offer a accurate distance measurement for hunting, archery and forestry use. They can come with features such as ballistic readout and trigonometry functions.

Binocular rangefinder

Leica HD-B

Rangefinding binoculars combine all the functionality of a laser rangefinder with a hunter's 10x42 binocular. Basic units do simple point-to-point measurements, while more advanced ones can calculate a ballistic trajectory based on an array of variables like air temperature, wind, bullet profile etc.

What you see when you look though a rangefinder

This changes depending on brand but you always see a little circle or cross that you can line up to the object you wish to measure. When you push the rangefinding button on the unit, it will target whatever it's circle is sitting on and measure it. Very simple.

Measurements can either be in yards or meters, not all units do both. Older Leica products will only do yards OR meters for example.

If you have ballistic or trigonometry functions, they will also be displayed. If your using a binocular rangefinder, the information will only display in one of your barrels. The side the rangefinder displays on is brand specific.

 

Forestry workers

In New Zealand, most forestry companies will require you to have the Nikon Forestry Pro, as it is specifically designed for forestry.

Click here for more info on the Forestry Pro

 

The Main Specifications of a Rangefinder

Magnification

This is how many times the object is being enlarged. Example: '7x' is 7 times larger than normal vision) Generally you will be finding that most rangefinders are around 7x, this gives a large FOV for easy targeting. Magnification does not change perspective.

Objective Lens Size

Objective lens size directly corellates to the brightness of the image. As the lens size increases so does the brightness of the image and the weight of the unit. Monocular rangefinders typically have a 24mm objective, whereas binocular rangefinders are typically 42mm.

Range

Longer is better. However the long range units will lighten your pocket. Most users do not realistically need to range @ 2000 yards (1828.8m) so it pays to be sensible in picking a unit.

Battery life

The last thing you want is for it to give up in the field. Make sure it has good battery life or carry spare batteries.

Rangefinding Technology

Most rangefinders do more than simply point to point these days. It's common to find Bushnell rangefinders with Bow modes, Leica's with Barometric displays (atmospheric pressure) and Nikon's with Trigonometric calculations. Most Rangefinders have a scan mode as standard. Please read the listings on each product to find out the various features.

Reticles

Reticles vary from model to model and brand to brand, some will use a crosshair, others a dot. Neither is better, we recommend using what you prefer.

Protection

Lets face it, things happen. Having a well protected unit is going to serve you better in the long run. Top end units are often made out of magnesium alloy where a cheaper unit would be made out of harden plastic coated with rubber armour. The strength of a unit is really tied to it's price again. Rain-protection is standard on all hunting models. A case may not be.

Click here to browse our rangefinders or if you have any questions, please contact us!

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