Best Rangefinder Binoculars

Best Rangefinder Binoculars2019-07-15T15:56:21+00:00

Rangefinder binoculars are more or less similar to the traditional binoculars but unique in that they have distance measuring capabilities.

These binoculars are best suited for people who are actively involved in outdoor activities such as hunting, marine or military uses since they allow you to calculate the distance between you and the target.

How do Rangefinder Binoculars help?

 

Ballistic data shown in Rangefinder

Ballistic data provided by Rangefinder Binoculars

 

 

Most rangefinder binoculars can produce ballistic data that help hunters. When hunters use bow or rifle from extreme uphill or downhill angles, they need ballistic data such as the line of sight distance (LOS), true horizontal distance, degree of elevation, bullet drop, etc. Good rangefinder binoculars should produce these data in the display panel.

Rangefinder binoculars work in 2 ways:

  1. Using a laser-light, the target is zoomed in and the image reflected to the rangefinder. The time it takes for that laser light to be shot out and reflected relays how far the target is to the user.
  2. Using a scaled reticle in the view that you can use to figure out the distance.

Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages and the type ideal for you depends on your intended use and budget.

Below is a list of best affordable rangefinder binoculars that are currently in the market and are quite popular among buyers.

Laser Rangefinder Binoculars

Laser rangefinder binoculars are expensive than the reticle rangefinder binoculars. They give accurate measurement quicker to use.

However, they have their own disadvantages and that is the lower range finding capacity than that of the reticle rangefinders. Their range-finding capacity depends on the object’s size and reflectivity. The higher the reflectivity and size of the object, the higher the distance and accuracy the rangefinder can provide.

Dull and dark animal hair reflects less effectively and hence laser range-finding binoculars may not give you reading more than 1000 yards.

Advantages

  • Gives the most accurate reading
  • Quicker and easier to use
  • Can provide ballistic information for more precise distance

Disadvantages:

  • They are expensive
  • Can’t give longer distance reading
  • Need a power source (battery installment)
  • Ranging over water may give false readings

Reticle Rangefinder Binoculars

Reticle Rangefinder binoculars are cheaper than laser rangefinder binoculars. They may not give as accurate measurements as laser rangefinder binoculars but they can give you highest range readings.

These type of  binoculars use a scaled reticle in the view that you can use to calculate distance. To use the reticle, you will need to match the object being viewed or ranged to the silhouette that is closest in shape and read the indicated yardage.

The distance can be found by with the help of a simple formula or by silhouettes that enable more swift ranging without calculations.

Advantages

  • Can measure long range distance
  • Less expensive compared to laser rangefinder
  • Can measure the height and width of an object
  • Not required power source (battery installment)

Disadvantages

  • Gives less accurate measurements
  • Slower method of distance measurement
Nikon LaserForce 10x42 LR
  • Model: LaserForce 10x42 LR
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Max Range: 1000-1700m
  • IPD: 58-72mm
  • FOV: 320 ft / 6.1°
  • Prism: Roof BaK-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated (FMC)
  • ED Glass: Yes
  • Phase Correction: Yes
  • Eye-relief: 15.5mm
  • Eyecups: Twist-up
  • Battery: 3-volt lithium (CR2)
  • Weight: 876g
  • Price: Under $1000 (17% off)
Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42 LR
  • Model: Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42 LR
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Max Range: 900-1600m
  • IPD: 58-72mm
  • FOV: 305 ft / 5.78°
  • Prism: Roof BaK-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated (FMC)
  • ED Glass: Yes
  • Phase Correction: Yes
  • Eye-relief: 18mm
  • Eyecups: Twist-up
  • Battery: 3-volt lithium (CR123)
  • Weight: 879g
  • Price: Under $1000
Vortex Fury HD LR
  • Model: Vortex Fury HD 10x42 LR
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Max Range: 900-1600m
  • IPD: 54-69mm
  • FOV: 315 ft / 6.0°
  • Prism: Roof BaK-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated (FMC)
  • ED Glass: Yes
  • Phase Correction: Yes
  • Eye-relief: 16.0mm
  • Eyecups: Twist-up
  • Battery: 3-volt lithium (CR2)
  • Weight: 900g
  • Price: Under $1000
Luna Optics 8×42 LR
  • Model: Luna Optics 8×42 LR
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Max Range: 500-1600m
  • IPD: 56-72mm
  • FOV: 340 ft / 6.5°
  • Prism: Roof BaK-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated (FMC)
  • ED Glass: Yes
  • Phase Correction: Yes
  • Eye-relief: 19mm
  • Eyecups: Twist-up
  • Battery: 3-volt lithium (CR2)
  • Weight: 998g
  • Price: Under $1000
Nikon LaserForce 10x42 LR
  • Model: Nikon Aculon AL11 LR
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Objective Diameter: 20mm
  • Max Range: 500m
  • IPD: Not Applicable (Monocular)
  • FOV: 315 ft / 6.0°
  • Prism: Roof BaK-4
  • Lens Coating: Multi-Coated (MC)
  • ED Glass: No
  • Phase Correction: No
  • Eye-relief: 18mm
  • Eyecups: Twist-up
  • Battery: 3-volt lithium (CR2)
  • Weight: 125g
  • Price: Under $200

Having tried several rangefinders, I must admit that Nikon Laserforce 10×42 is my top favorite. Well, it might have its shortcomings, but who doesn’t? Looking at it critically, it is still a top performer.

LaserForce is promoted primarily for the hunting market. It is the only model from Nikon that combines a binocular (of the best optical instrument) with a 1900-yard ranging technology.

In short, with this model for deer hunting, you will achieve a one-time optic solution for picking out the furthest deer and its exact distance before you shoot.

However, here is what makes the rangefinder unique.

  • It uses high-end optic glass to compensate for the inclined and declined angles
  • It is very precise in its ranging
  • Guarantees a rugged performance

Optical Performance

  • ED (Extra-low Dispersion) Glass

Nikon LaserForce 10×42 uses extra-low dispersion (ED) glass to give better color correction. The result is images with more vibrant, crisp and higher resolutio. Once you use these optics it is difficult to be satisfied with other lower quality optics.

          Why is ED Glass?

Too much chromatic dispersion will lead to fuzzy images – chromatic aberrations. This is because the object through which the ray of light passes splits the light differently. To minimize this effect, the rate of dispersion must be corrected by trying to ensure that the lenses used can focus the multiple hues generated as light splits uniformly. This is what an ED glass does. It controls the dispersion and ensures a uniform split.

  • Fully Multi-coated Lens

The lenses of the LaserForce 10×42 rangefinder are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings.

Combined with the ED glass, these anti-reflective coatings increase the light transmission rate, and eventually provide bright and high-contrast images.

  • Prism

Nikon used BAK-4, or Barium Crown prism, in this instrument. This Bak-4 prism has highest refractive index and lower critical angle than the others that gives improved light transmission with less lost because of internal reflection.

  • Prism Coatings

Roof prisms have their own shortcomings that the prism-surfaces do not have total internal reflection. So, the premium quality models always try to raise the internal reflectivity. In doing so they use some forms of coatings on the surfaces. LaserForce 10×42 also uses a mirror coating on the prism surfaces that further improve the image quality.

 

Rangefinding Performance

The rangefinder has a quite clear display and a 4-step intensity adjustment. It is easy to take distance readings regardless of weather conditions. This binocular is also capable of single or continuous rangefinding modes.

  • Nikon ID Technology

The Nikon LaserForce 10×42 comes with the patented Nikon ID technology to compensate for incline or decline angles of the target. ID technology is effective enough to measure almost about 90 degrees either up or down.  It is extremely useful in improving the precision and accuracy of the rangefinder.

  • The Range Capacity

The highest range for reflective targets is 1700 meter or 1900 yard– very impressive. The range for non-reflective targets is also good which is about 1000-1200 meter. So the hunters can easily target deer size animals within one kilometer range.

Overall, the ability to provide precise distance measurement was more accurate than its other contenders.

Additional Features that I Loved

  • Rubber Armoring

I loved the fact that this rangefinder has a rubber armor coating. The coating is further done on top of a rugged metal die-cast body. This means you don’t have to worry about any damages in case your optic device slips and falls.

  • Waterproof

The lenses of the rangefinder are nitrogen purged. This is good especially for those in humid areas. It will prevent any fogging around the lenses and in turn, leave you with very clear images.

  • Tripod Adaptable

Thanks to its full-size model, this bino will give the best images when it is very stable. It is, therefore, a good thing that it is tripod adaptable.

The Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder

When you want high-quality optics with the precise range-finding capacity you have to spend really a good fortune. So, several years ago when I first learned that Bushnell released a super affordable rangefinder-binocular combo, I was pretty much interested in this. This is by far one of the best value binocular-rangefinder combos I have seen on the market.

Before I get into the details on this Bushnell 10×42 rangefinder binocular, let me mention the other models as well.

These rangefinder binoculars have 3 models:

  • Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Laser Rangefinder Binoculars, 8×42: If you want little more compact.
  • Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Laser Rangefinder Binoculars, 10×42: If you want mid to full-size model.
  • Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Laser Rangefinder Binoculars, 12×50: If you want full-size longer range.

 

Optical Performance (Image Quality)

If you ask me which part of this combo (‘optical’ or ‘rangefinder’?) will carry the most marks, I’ll vote for the optical part. The optical performance of this combo is just impressive!

  • Prism and Prism Coatings

The ultra-sharp image quality tells us that it comes with a very high-quality Roof Bak-4 prism. In addition, the prism is treated with PC3 phase coating to increase contrast and clarity. The image clarity and contrast is very similar to Nikon Monarch 7.

  • Lens and Lens Coatings

Bushnell doesn’t reveal the components of the objective and eyepiece lenses. However, I believe each objective lens consists of two or more glass elements in an achromatic configuration. Multiple layers of fully multi-coated anti-reflective coatings on the objective and eyepiece lenses further increase light transmission and produce even brighter images.

The objective and eyepiece lenses are also coated with a hydrophobic coating that prevents water to settle down.

Rangefinding Performance

As I mentioned before the optical part of this device will carry most marks so the rangefinder part will carry the rest marks. But don’t interpret me wrong! The overall performance of this rangefinder is more than enough for hunters.

  • The Range Capacity

The maximum range for reflective targets is 1600 meter – very impressive. However for non-reflective targets, they are not as impressive as the more expensive contenders, but they are a third of the price!

  • Functional Modes

    • ARC Modes: You see, the word ‘ARC’ in the name that means ‘Angle Range Compensation’. With ARC, you can use 2 different modes such as ‘bow’ and ‘rifle’ mode.
    • Targeting Modes: In targeting modes, you can use 3 different options (Scan, Bull Eye, and Brush) to accurately measure the target distance.

 

Pros

  • Very much affordable compared to its contenders.
  • Exceptionally light in weight for full-size rangefinder binoculars
  • High-quality optical performance
  • Very good eye relief (18mm), best for glass wearers.

Cons

  • Range-finding capacity for non-reflective targets are not much impressive
The Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars

The Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular is one of the best in the market as it helps to measure distance with impressive precision. It also possesses clear visual properties.

What makes this binocular special? Take a look at the following and I’ll answer your question with some awesome features of this binocular.

  • Unique scan feature which makes it easier to measure the range of moving targets and smaller targets.
  • Different viewing modes that help to satisfy a number of scenarios for improved versatility. It features 2 modes namely; Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) Mode and Line of Sight (LOS) Mode.
  • Interpupillary distance of the binocular allows for easy placement of eyes and a clear vision.

 

Optical Performance (Image Quality)

Yes, it is a clear fact that the Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular can serve as both a rangefinder and a binocular. Take a look at the following optical features to find out what makes this equipment a good binocular.

  • Prism and Prism Coatings

The Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular features roof Bak-4 prism which help to improve vision of the user. The prisms are designed to balance the entry of light for a clear visual experience. Also, the dielectric coating of this binocular acts as an optical mirror to balance the wavelength of color getting into the prism. The prism and prism coating of this binocular help to optimise the clarity of the field of vision.

  • Fully Multi-Coated HD Optical System

The optical system of this binocular is coated at different levels. It shows the quality of work put into the production of the binocular. It also guarantees that images viewed through the lens have the appropriate level of contrast.

 

Rangefinding Performance

What makes this binocular a good rangefinder? These include the following;

  • Different distance measuring and viewing modes

The Vortex binocular is fitted with different distance measuring modes that provides the user with more versatility and allows users an optimized view in different scenarios. Basically, both modes are used to measure the distance of targets which are perfect for different scenarios. The viewing mode available include Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) Mode and Line of Sight (LOS) Mode.

The Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) Mode is used as the primary distance measuring mode and is perfect for rifle and archery scenarios. During this mode, the distance displayed is the horizontal component distance. It can be used for level ground archery and rifle shooting. It is also useful in measuring targets 400 yards away at a moderate incline or targets 800 years away with a mild incline. The HCD is measured based on the shot angle.

The Line of Sight Mode (LOS) Mode is perfect for rifle shooters who are shooting at targets 500 yards and at angles more than 15 degrees.

  • Range Capacity

The maximum viewing range for this binocular is capped at 1600 yards. However, the range is capped at 1000 yards for deer-sized animals (non-reflective).

Pros

  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Adjustable interpupillary distance
  • High-quality optical performance
  • Solid and durable design

Cons

  • Nothing Much
Luna Optics Rangefinder Binocular 8x42 LD-BN842-LRF

The Luna Optics Night Vision Binoculars is one of the compact full-size rangefinding binoculars on the market. This binocular contains a good number of the features that characterize any top binocular. It has an impressive viewing range, and the range measurement extends to about 2800 for reflective and 1600m for non-reflective targets. It is also designed to be a mean piece of equipment that can be used to view distances through an 8X42 optical system.

What are the special features of the Luna Optics Night Vision 8X42 Rangefinding Binoculars?

Unbeatable range measuring distance which is capped at 2800m for reflective targets and 1600m for non-reflective targets.
Rangefinder features instant feedback time for distance measurement, on average 1.0 second (0.5 seconds for closer distance, ~ 500 m).
Phase correction prisms that ensure that the images of the binocular are always clear.

Optical Performance [Image Quality]

The Luna Optics Night Vision 8X42 Rangefinding Binoculars is a compact rangefinder with an equally impressive optical performance. What this means is that it doesn’t just measure distance but it is also designed to give a clear view through the eyecups. These are the following features that make it also act as a top-choice binocular.

  • Prisms

This binocular is one which is designed with Bak-4 glass prisms. These prisms help to create a clear visual image through the binocular. Also, these glass prisms are enabled with phase correction that results in images without any color distortion or aberrations. As you look through the eyecups of this binocular, the phase-corrected glass prisms will filter the light entering into it and will balance the wavelength of light.

  • Fully multi-coated lens

The Luna Optics Night Vision 8X42 Rangefinding Binoculars also feature fully multi-coated lens for better viewing. The anti-reflective coatings help to ease light transmission for clearer images during the day or night. These multi-coated lenses make it possible to make use of the image regardless of the daylight conditions.

Rangefinding Performance

These binoculars are great for rangefinding due to the following features;

  • Distance measurement

One of the top features of this rangefinder is its ability to measure the distance of targets from the viewer. When looking through this binocular, you can get the chance to measure targets far away from you extending up to 2800m for reflective targets and 1600m for non-reflective targets. The binocular also features instant distance measurement, as fast as 0.5s.

  • Ballistic Performance

These binoculars are integrated with a simple inclinometer that can give ballistic information for shooters and bowers. The ballistic performance is not as impressive as with the expensive contenders but in terms of price, you cannot blame their quality.

Pros

  • Quite affordable compared to its contenders.
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Eyecups are designed for comfortable viewing
  • Tripod adaptability
  • The lenses are protected by several layers of premium coatings
  • Slip-resistant

Cons

  • Distance measurement accuracy is not much impressive
Nikon Aculon Al11 Lrf - Clam

The Aculon 6×20 laser rangefinder is Nikon’s lightest and most compact Laser Rangefinder yet. It is designed especially for hunting (distance target priority mode). That means when your desired target is obscured by trees and bushes you can still measure the farthest object with this rangefinder.

It has a 6x magnification power and is fitted with a 20mm objective lens. It is engineered with 16.7 mm long eye relief that makes it convenient for eyeglass users.

If smaller is better then the Nikon Aculon 6×20 laser rangefinder should be your top priority among the others. It measures only 3.6 inches long by 2.9 inches high and is just 1.5 inches wide. The plastic body makes it extremely lightweight (4.4 oz), compact and portable. I just love it’s super portability and compact design.

The power button and range-finder button are same. One simple click will turn on the reticle on the screen and the next clicks will active the range-finder readings instantly that means the laser acts super great! One single press on the button give you accurate reading from 5 to all the way out to 500 meters. You can set the measuring unit either in meter or yards.

You can also press the button and hold it for few seconds to find continuous measurements. This function is really helpful especially when I feel shaky either on any vehicle or when I walk.

The grip is very comfortable and fits easily in my palm. I can easily slip it in my pant-packet.

Although the lenses are multi-coated, its display is not illuminated thus it gets harder to use it in dimly lit scenarios such as at dawn or dusk.

Pros

  • It is small and portable
  • It is affordable
  • Comes with a CR2 Type battery

Cons

  • It is water resistant but not waterproof
  • Accurate distance measurement capacity is only up to 500 meter.