When it comes to binoculars, you only want the best, most rugged set you can get your hands on. They need to be reliable and able to take the abuse you might give them out in the wild, whether you’re exploring an untamed mountain side or searching for that deer you’re certain you just pegged. With the Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars, you’ve certainly got a good start.
This set of enhanced spectacles comes with a 170-feet field of view at 1000 yards, giving 20x magnification with a 50mm objective diameter. To put that into perspective, an object a mile away would look like it was only 264 feet away. Best of all, they come with a 45 foot focusing distance; this means that you can focus them in on a specific object within your view. This makes them fantastic for spying on animals from far away.
One Touch Focus
Bushnell’s patented single touch focusing system helps to keep a specific object in very close focus with just a single touch. If your hands have a tendency to shake, this system will allow you to keep your target in view at all times, even if you can’t rely on yourself to hold still. The Insta-Focus works for moving targets, as well. This is a great set of binoculars for bird watchers.
Okay, so they don’t actually have ‘night’ vision – but things do seem a bit brighter when viewed through the lenses. This makes it much easier to see targets in the dim light of dusk, making these a great choice when hunting in the early morning or later in the evening. The lenses feature multi-coated optics which transfer light more effectively when there is less to transfer, allowing you to see more clearly.
At just 30 ounces, the Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars are easy to carry with you when you need them. They’re equipped with nonslip rubber armor. Not only are they easy to hold onto, but if you do happen to drop them, the rubber surrounding the binoculars will absorb the majority of the shock and keep them in one piece. These binoculars are designed to go long and hard in all conditions. When not in use, the fold-down eye cups will protect the lenses from harm.
Easy Set Up
The Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars have an initial set up that owners will need to go through when using them for the first time. Taking the time to do this helps you learn to use them quickly in the future, rather than spending precious time fiddling with the focus to get it just right. This set up also establishes your own papillary distance, setting the binoculars to work specifically for you rather than someone else.
Starting at just $49.99, these binoculars are practically a steal. They come in a variety of sizes: 10x50mm, 12x50mm, and 20x50mm. The cost for each size varies depending on a number of factors, but the Bushnell Powerview is, on average, more affordable than comparably priced models.
No matter what you need a set of binoculars for, whether it’s hunting, paintball, or spying on people at the beach, this set won’t let you down. The Bushnell Powerview Surveillance Binoculars are a good entry-level set that isn’t likely to confuse beginners, making it a great gift for someone interested in getting a set of binoculars for themselves.
We had a few people ask about a brand that was making the rounds on Google, so we decided to check them out: the Eagle Eye Z100 Binoculars
This brand invested a ton in advertising earlier this month, so they received quite a bit of attention with their flashy website. When we purchased our pair, the website itself was doing even more than it is currently — there were countdown clocks and flashing signs urging us to buy now before the price goes up, and buy right now before they’re all sold out.
The site always claims they’re nearly sold out and that 800+ of 1000 have been sold.
This type of advertising can be a bit manipulative, so we weren’t big fans right off the bat. I went looking for some reviews online to see if anyone reputable had tried these out yet. Unfortunately, the only reviews available are obviously fake.
Google Results for “Eagle Eye Z100 Reviews.” Note the domain names.
The site claims that they’ve been featured on major media outlets (thus, they are now almost sold out). I have been unable to find Eagle Eye Z100 on any of those outlets they claim.
On one of the landing pages, too, the design mimics Amazon review layouts, so it gives the impression that there are many 5 star reviews (and probably on Amazon). These are not available on Amazon, so any of these reviews would come from somewhere else.
Despite our misgivings about the practices of this brand, we took a chance and ordered anyway, paying around $100 plus $9 for shipping. The website and ordering process assured us they would ship within 7 days.
Two weeks after ordering, I emailed back and asked about the order as we never got a shipping confirmation and they had not yet arrived. No one responded, so we planned to file a chargeback through the credit card company. A week later, they arrived, having been shipped priority 2-day from a fulfillment place in Georgia. (And they never did respond to my email!)
The binos and packaging
As you can see, the packaging is completely generic. The company’s logo does appear on the top, but nowhere else. It’s pretty easy to tell when a pair of binos is generic simply by looking at the focus knob — if there is no logo there, the brand likely bought in bulk and slapped a small logo sticker on.
Additionally, there’s a very generic manual that does little to explain how to use the binos, and there is no information anywhere about specs.
These kinds of binoculars do not have ED (extra-low dispersion) HD glass, which is what you want in a good pair of binos. The focus knob on the pair we got is very loose, which makes it much harder to focus.
The Eagle Eye Z100 website claims that these are “completely waterproof,” which is likely incorrect. First, no optics can ever be completely waterproof — they are typically weatherproof or water resistant. It’s highly unlikely that this pair has gone through additional waterproofing to ensure they are “completely” waterproof (so don’t drop them in the tub!)
The body looks nice and feels hefty when you hold it, so, aside from the generic focus knob, they seem fine in person. As far as sizing, these are fairly compact but seem pretty heavy.
I was able to get a fairly clear view when I tried them out, but that loose knob is finicky. The lenses are nothing extraordinary, so I’d say these are on par with most inexpensive binoculars we’ve tried out.
Should you buy the Eagle Eye Z100?
We did not have a great experience with purchasing the binoculars, and overall the operation is very suspicious. The manipulative advertising isn’t professional, and the fake reviews and problematic ads are likely to get the company in trouble with search engines.
We’ll give these a more rigorous test next time we go out in the field, but we wanted to share our initial impressions as soon as possible. Because these are so generic, there’s just not anything out of the ordinary about the binos given our experience testing out so many different pairs over the years.
The $100 price tag (after all their pop-ups and extra special discounts) isn’t terrible, but I’m not convinced it’s worth the risk for this particular pair. The $300 list price the company claims is very unlikely to be true — these are simply not $300 binoculars. You can get a pair that is equally as good (if not better) for the same price elsewhere. We’ll keep an eye on this brand, but for now, we just can’t recommend them.
A trusted name in optics, Bushnell’s G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder combines ease of use with cutting-edge performance. This rangefinder is perfect for the experienced user, offering precision and clarity in a range of conditions. The G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder is also good for the new user, boasting intuitive controls and quick response time.
The G-Force replaces the Bushnell Legend 1200 ARC rangefinder, a popular product with bowhunters that has now been discontinued.
The G-Force DX ARC is built to last. Bushnell equips the rangefinder with a metal housing that holds up in rugged conditions. The rangefinder comes with rubber grips that provide comfort and slip-resistant handling in wet and cold conditions. Powered by a 3V lithium battery and weighing less than 8 ounces, the G-Force is light and easy to hold for long periods of time. It also fits easily into a pocket. With one-button operation and targeting, the G-Force is a cinch to use. With 6x optics, Vivid Display Technology, and an effective 5-1300 yard range, this rangefinder is clear and accurate. The V.D.T. yields peerless image clarity and great image contrast. With several light intensity settings, users can adjust the rangefinder to fit all outdoor lighting conditions.
Bushnell’s second-generation E.S.P. technology makes the G-Force DX ARC quick and accurate. Shooters will find accurate ranging within a few feet. The response time between sighting and ranging is fast. With an integrated inclinometer and settings for both bow and rifle hunting, the G-Force provides precise readings for a variety of users. Bow hunters will find accurate horizontal distances, while rifle hunters will be able to use bullet-drop readings to maximize shot accuracy. With the tripod mount, Bushnell affords shooters stability over long outings.
Although the G-Force DX ARC allows users to adjust the intensity of its display, the red readout can be difficult to see in certain conditions. The single-button operation is effortless; however, the button that operates the rangefinder also selects the finder’s various modes and can be easy to bump. Finally, the $400 price tag may be a bit steep for some users.
This excellent rangefinder offers a wide array of shooting modes and angle range compensation. Angle range compensation allows for shot correction on the rangefinder itself. Rifle and Bow Modes help shooters scope accurate horizontal distances and account for bullet-drop and lag time. Brush Mode lets shooters to ignore foreground objects in order to range accurate background objects, and Bulls-Eye Mode offers the opposite experience. Shooters can range small foreground objects with precision and ease.
Reviews suggest that red display on the G-Force DX ARC is the rangefinders biggest drawback. A black display would be easier to adjust and to read in a wide array of conditions. However, the overall performance of the G-Force DX ARC is strong enough that many users will be able to overlook this issue.
Most Unexpected Feature
This rangefinder is fully waterproof. The lens is coated in a water-repellant coating. Rain Guard HD makes the lens resist both water and fog as well as humidity-induced or early-morning condensation. Clarity and visibility are never compromised.
Bushnell makes quality rangefinders, and the G-Force DX ARC is in a class by itself. With superior accuracy and image clarity, this range finder is easy enough for a novice shooter to use while still providing the cutting-edge technology and precision that experienced shooters demand. Durable and accurate in any condition, the G-Force DX ARC is costly. However, the performance of the G-Force more than compensates for its price. The G-Force DX ARC may be the only rangefinder a shooter ever needs.
Anyone who uses a gun for target practice or hunting will agree that having a sight is essential for being able to accurately hit a target. Traditional iron sights can be used to achieve this desired accuracy; however, red dot sights provide a faster way to aim and shoot without missing. While these sights were typically used by the military, they are now often employed for recreational means, including hunting and paintball. Red dot sights are popular to use for aiming at moving targets, especially since this type of sight allows you to line up the target and take a shot at a quick rate of speed. Let’s take a look at some of the best red dot sights on the market, and then we will cover key features to look for and evaluate when purchasing a red dot sight.
If you are unsure of what a red dot sight is or how it differs from other types of sights, here are some additional details to go over before exploring the following options: Any non-magnified, illuminated sight that can be equipped to a shotgun, a rifle, or a handgun is considered a red dot sight. The reticle or “red dot” is created by an LED or a laser diode light that is reflected or projected into the field of view. This “red dot” is aimed directly in your line of sight to become the aiming mechanism that lines up the gun with the targets to make the perfect shot.
The Vortex SPARC 2 is a well built, extremely sturdy sight that provides great features at a really reasonable price. An upgrade to Vortex’s original SPARC, the light weight sight is built to impress, and many reviewers have not had problems with it standing up to the tests of time at all. The battery life of this sight at minimum brightness can last up to an incredible 5,000 hours. A six hour auto shut down feature is also present to help preserve battery life. A simple button press makes it easy to adapt the color, shape, and illumination of the reticle. This sight also features a fully multi-coated lens as well as waterproof optics to keep moisture, dust, and debris away from the lens. It is also parallax free, which allows for more rapid shooting while you have both eyes open. Click here to see the current price.
The Aimpoint PRO is a great sight that has new, never-before-seen features incorporated into its’ design that maximizes the performance and battery life of the device. The sight can be turned on and left on for at least three years before a new battery will be required. The service date and battery change reminders are perfect for tracking and making sure that you never let your batteries die while you are out on a hunt. The front lens of this sight also features a band-pass coating, which enables compatibility with most types of night vision devices. Both the front and the rear lens are set back from the edge to cushion the sight from impact devastation and safeguard it from scratches and fingerprints. The Aimpoint PRO also has a mount with a removable spacer as well as a torque limiting twist knob that optimizes the pressure places on the rail. Click here to see the current price.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD is ideal for someone looking to purchase a high quality, cost-effective sight. The double pane lens helps to eliminate parallax, which is a very helpful and common feature among red dot scopes, and the sight has four different reticle patterns to allow for maximal customization. You will also have the unique ability to mount the sight in front of a night vision monocular to create a co-witnessed sight setup. Furthermore, if you are in pursuit of a fast target, this sight is equipped with a quick detachable rail mounting system and an internal interlocking system that holds zero extremely well; therefore, you won’t have to worry about frequently readjusting this sight in the field. Finally, you can be sure that this scope will hold up in multiple types of environments and situations due to its durable aluminum frame and metal shield. Click to see the current price.
The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a great, durable, lightweight sight that does not lack in quality. The multi-coated lens has an amber bright, high contrast coating that is designed to help you quickly distinguish where your target is in any lighting. The parallax free design adjusts to your eyes, which allow rapid shooting with both eyes open. The sight has the ability to adjust the size and the illumination of the reticle to three different levels and preserve the battery life. An additional feature that is useful for shooting excursions in the great outdoors is the waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof construction. Click here to check the current price.
The Burris FastFire III is a very versatile sight that was built to stand up to rugged outdoor life for long periods of time. Windage and elevation adjustment upgrades are available with this sight. This Picatinny mounted sight has a 3 MOA dot reticle that can be adjusted to three brightness settings, and it also sports an automatic brightness setting that adjusts to the current lighting conditions. Battery access is conveniently located on the top so the sight so that it does not need to be removed when the battery needs replacing, and the low battery indicator will help you best prepare to have a fully powered sight for your next adventure. This Burris FastFire III also comes with waterproof and shockproof features.
Choosing the right sight is imperative for any hunter or marksman. Whether you are shooting for the fun of the sport or for the competition of it, it is best to find a sight that you are comfortable using. The key is to be able to make an accurate shot without spending a long time lining up the shot, especially if you are aiming at a moving target. Red dot sights are a great option for accomplishing that, but make sure you are aware of the important features to consider when purchasing one. Remember, expense does not always equal quality. The five sights listed are all excellent choices, but continue reading the content below before deciding which red dot sight is best for you. Click here to see the current price.
Benefits of a Red Dot Sight
• Faster Targeting Capabilities
Once a target is acquired, it is easy to quickly center the reticle on the target and fire the gun. There is no need to align the sights and take time to aim. This type of sight gives a much greater accuracy rate when taking aim at a moving target.
• Greater Field of View
Red dot sights have a wider field of view than most tube style sights. Having a wider field of view allows for a shot from a greater distance, but the sight is still not magnified so being reasonably close is still recommended.
• Unrestricted Eye Relief
For most sights, it matters how far away the shooter’s eye is from the sight, but with a red sight, the eye relief is unlimited. This feature allows for faster targeting, because it takes away part of the restraint placed upon someone who is aiming with another type of sight.
• Works Well with Low Light
Red dot sights are easy to aim in the dark of night. The cross hairs of most sights become invisible in the dark, but the red dot is even visible in the darkest environments.
Features to Consider when Purchasing a Red Dot Sight
• Housing Configuration
A red dot sight can come in either a tube style or an open style. The tube style is closer to a traditional sight in appearance. This type of housing allows the shooter to apply filters and protective covers to the lens, which could make the “red dot” easier to see in bright sunlight. Open sights do not have the classic tube style. These types of sights consist of only the bare basics, and objective window to see through and a source of illumination. Since an open housing configuration has less room for flair, filters cannot be used to enhance the viewing experience.
• Type of Projection
Red dot sights include both holographic and reflex sights. With a holographic projection, the sight is illuminated from the front of the lens and a laser diode light is projected onto the viewing window to create a holographic red dot to assist with aiming at a target. Reflex sight projections are much more common in red dot sights that are used for recreation. A reflex sight reflects an LED light that is positioned behind the lens into your line of sight.
• Style of the Reticle
The reticle is effectively the “red dot” that is used to bring the gun in line with the target. All Reticles are designed to be illuminated to make it easier to shoot in low lighting conditions, but they are not required to be red or to be a simple dot. The color and patterns of red dot sights vary, so it is best to find one that allows comfortable shooting. Styles range from a single dot, to cross hairs, or even bullseye patterns that can be displayed in a red or green color. A good sight will be able to utilize multiple patterns and adjust to the desired color. The size of the reticle can also often be adjusted. A bigger dot typically means that targeting is faster. Make sure to avoid fancy styles; it is important to naturally align your eye to the center of the reticle for faster target finding.
• Battery Life of the Sight
The battery life of any red dot sight is extremely important. You need to know that the reticle will be there when it is needed, and a sight that has a short battery life presents the chance of the light going out when you are getting ready to aim for a target. Without the reticle, targeting becomes more complicated and accuracy can suffer. Reflex sights that use LED’s to create the “red dot” consume much less energy than holographic options. A good sight should be able to get roughly a thousand hours of usage before the battery life diminishes. Make sure to preserve battery life whenever possible by turning the sight off when it is not being used. Shooing in cold weather can also be a factor of how long the battery life will last, so make sure to always carry a backup just in case.
Tips for Choosing a Red Dot Sight
• Higher Price does not mean Better Quality
Spending a lot on a sight is not always going to guarantee that the quality is better than the cheaper models. Sometimes advertising will suck you into a more expensive red dot sight that is missing key features, like being able to change the shape or color of the reticle to something that allows your eyes to focus at a faster rate.
• Compatible with Gun
Not all sights are able to be mounted to just any gun. Sights are designed to go with certain types of guns, and they will only fit properly on those styles. Make sure the sight that you are looking to purchase is compatible with the gun you own or are looking to own.
• A Comfortable Size and Weight
Make sure the sight is an appropriate size for your gun and the area where it will be stored. The weight of the red dot sight will affect the overall weight of the gun. Make sure that the gun can still be handled effectively with the sight attached to make assure that the accuracy of your aim is not diminished.
• Mounting the Sight
Mounting the sight to the gun is an extremely important step. If the sight is slightly off, then your whole aim will be off as well. Take your time when mounting and adjusting the sight to assure that it is straight. Your precision when mounting the sight will help you nail the target every time.
Overall, there are multiple features to take into consideration when making your red dot sight purchase. A sight equipped with all of the right features fit for you will take your recreational hunting or target shooting to the next level.
If you’re a hunter, bird watcher, target shooter, or engaged in any activity where enhanced vision is an asset, a spotting scope is a fantastic investment. Spotting scopes are designed to be used with a tripod, and are less portable than a pair of binoculars. However, they offer the best magnification and clarity of any type of sporting optic, making them ideal for spotting animals from long distances. This article will review what to look for when making an investment in a spotting scope to help you choose the best scope for your needs.
It is incredibly difficult to name a single spotting scope as the best available. But if you’re looking for a general use scope that can be used for a variety of activities, has good features, and is priced within the realm of reason for most outdoorsmen, you should really consider the Upland Optics Perception HD. A 20-60x60mm scope, it has the ideal amount of magnification for spotting, and the large objective lens lets in plenty of light without being excessively heavy. Its extra low dispersion glass gives it unbeatable image quality that you won’t get with very many other scopes, especially in that price range. Our partner company Upland Optics does a great job, and we feel like they are the company to beat in the optics world right now.
Typical Spotting Scope Uses
Spotting scopes can be used in a variety of contexts, but they are generally used to provide greater magnification than a pair of binoculars. These scopes are often used for hunting, archery, birding, and spotting wildlife. They can also be used to magnify a beautiful scenic mountain range. A spotting scope can be attached to a camera to take a long ranged pictures of a majestic animal without disturbing them or putting yourself in danger. Some people who use spotting scopes use them in conjunction with guns. This allows the person that is hunting to get a better view of the actual target before taking a shot. Spotting scopes are also used during target shooting to view the target hit at greater distances.
Features to Consider When Buying a Scope
There are two types of spotting scopes: an angled body spotting scope, and a straight body spotting scope. Both work well in most situations, but one may be preferred over the other in certain viewing circumstances. An angled body scope is great for looking either up at your target or across flat ground. This type of scope is also perfect for viewing from the window of a vehicle. A straight body scope is best for viewing from a higher position, like from an elevated point on a mountain to catch a glimpse into the valley below.
The absolute best option for a spotting scope is a high quality objective lens that is comprised of high performance glass. Always go for lens quality over size if you have to choose, as a larger lens of poor quality will result in a mediocre view when compared to a smaller lens of optimal quality. A larger lens will always produce a superior image at higher magnifications than a smaller lens of the same quality. Objective lens size can make a massive difference in price; expect to pay more for a larger scope.
The magnification of a spotting scope is designed for viewing at ad distance where conventional binoculars no longer function. Most observation done with a spotting scope requires a magnification of 30x – 40x, which assures that most scopes are capable of producing reasonable images. As the lens quality goes up, the quality of the image increases as well. A bit of quality will always be lost at higher magnifications, but a higher quality scope will reduce the image drop-off quality.
The atmosphere also plays a big factor in the quality of the image being viewed. Humidity, glare, wind, and dust can all lower the quality of the image. High altitudes with dry climates are bound to produce higher quality images at high magnifications. Low altitude areas that are wet and humid may require a low magnification for a clear image. Many spotting scopes do not go higher than 60x due to the limitations set by the atmosphere for magnified viewing in the daylight.
Lens coating is an important feature of a spotting scope, especially for viewing images at high magnifications. The lens can be fully coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated. Each lens coating improves the light transmitting into the lens, but the quality depends on the coating chosen for the specific scope. Premium spotting scopes all tend to be fully multi-coated to produce the optimal viewing experience.
Eye relief is the distance the viewer’s eye can be from the eyepiece without losing any of field of view. This feature is especially necessary for people who wear glasses. With a big enough eye relief, even people who wear glasses with thick lenses will be able to see the full image without an issue. For those who require glasses to see, it is recommended to have at least 14mm of eye relief on a spotting scope.
Most spotting scopes are refractors that use prisms inside the scope to flip the image right side up and left to right. There are two different types of prisms used in spotting scopes: a roof prism and a porro prism. The roof prism spotting scope is slim and compact, but it tends to lack some key features like interchangeable eyepieces. It is an extremely portable scope that is perfect for someone who is always on the go. The porro prism spotting scope is the most efficient and the least expensive prism to produce, which makes it the most common.
When purchasing a spotting scope, be aware that sometimes the eyepiece is not included in the price of the scope. If the eyepiece is included in the price, the eyepiece may not be removable. Higher end spotting scopes have removable eyepieces that often do not come included with the price of the scope, to give the buyer a chance to choose from the different options available. A single powered eyepiece has some optical advantages, but most people who use spotting scopes prefer the convenience of a zoom eyepiece. With this type of eyepiece, the magnification can be changed easily in a situation where the atmospheric conditions are not stable. A zoom eyepiece that is high quality will have a great eye relief as well as produce exceptional image quality.
A close focus is the nearest distance a spotting scope can view. Most spotting scopes do not have a close focus of less than 20 feet, so make sure the image being viewed is an adequate distance away. This feature is perfect for viewing birds and seeing intricate details on their feathers.
Waterproofing and Fogproofing
Waterproofing and fogproofing are not absolute necessities, but they are features that protect the spotting scope from atmospheric conditions. The seals that are produced to keep moisture out will also keep dust and debris from the scope, which will keep the spotting scope in good condition for a longer period of time.
Due to the magnification levels of a spotting scope, a tripod or some support is needed to keep it steady during the viewing process. A car mount works well if viewing from a vehicle, but in most situations a tripod is required. All spotting scopes are threaded like a traditional camera, so there is no need for a specialized tripod. The tripod needs to support the scope, so if the spotting scope is heavy, the tripod needs to be heavy as well. For anyone using a spotting scope while hiking or traveling, make sure to consider the weight of the scope and the tripod before you commit to a long haul.
Most spotting scopes can adapt to a camera to take long distance pictures. This process is often referred to as “digiscoping.” Make sure the scope and camera are compatible to assure a great picture from the mountain top. To properly “digiscope,” specific adaptors may be required for the camera to produce vibrant, razor sharp images that are of exceptional quality.
To learn more about the basics of spotting scopes, check out this awesome video:
Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting
For an avid hunter, the scope used to identify a target can mean the difference between a prized catch and the one that got away. A spotting scope will allow a hunter to get a better look at an elusive deer before taking a shot. It can offer a chance to pick an animal from a herd with enough magnification. Hunting spotting scopes all differ slightly, but they can be a tremendous help when using a rifle or a bow and arrow. Here are some of the most reliable spotting scopes for hunting:
This 80 mm scope is a straight scope design that is perfect for hunting in the great outdoors. The scope features high density glass and a fully multi-coated lens to produce a razor sharp image. A rotating tripod ring gives the hunter some much appreciated positioning flexibility. With a close focus of 16 feet, wildlife near or far can be viewed with great results. The aluminum alloy body is a lightweight, sturdy solution for trekking through the woods, and the scope is coated with a Swaroclean Coating for extra protection from the elements. This water and fogproof scope also features a sunshade to help reduce the glare and shield the objective lens. With this model, the eyepiece is sold separately.
This angled spotting scope comes at 85 mm. It has a close focus of 16 feet and produces crisp enhanced images through its sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system. The compact, lightweight magnesium alloy body is equipped with an adjustable eyecup as well as a duel focus feature that allows for fine adjustments to image clarity. The Vortex Razor spotting scope is coated with an ArmorTek Lens Coating to repel oil from the lens. The scope is a model that has been weatherproofed against rain, snow, and fog suitable for any hunting expedition. A 20x – 60x magnification eyepiece is included with the purchase of this spotting scope as well as a rotating tripod ring to allow for more flexibility when positioning the scope.
Mentioned above as our overall favorite spotting scope, hunting is where the Perception HD really shines. Upland is a company that focuses exclusively on hunters, and this scope is a fine example of that. Weighing just 2.5 pounds, you can actually carry this scope with you into the field if you wanted to instead of just leaving it in the truck at the base of the hill. Should anything happen to it on your adventures, it is covered by a lifetime warranty. And perhaps most appealing to many hunters is its price, which rings in literally thousands of dollars cheaper than options from other top brands.
Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting
In regards to target shooting, the distance for magnification may vary. Rain may not be an issue in this scenario, but it is important to remember that other atmospheric conditions such as humidity, air turbulence, and dust can affect the performance of the spotting scope. A few of the more dependable spotting scopes for target shooting are listed below.
The SX-1 Ventana 2 features a sleek design and excellent optical quality. It delivers high contrast, bright visual, and has a good (and expansive) field of view. The angled eyepiece is comfortable and twist up eyecups and smooth focusing enhance the experience. It has fully multi-coated lens coating, is fog- and waterproof, and is less expensive than many of the other premium scopes it competes with.
The Swarovski ATX is a high-powered, angled scope that uses cutting edge lens technology to take the viewer to their spotting destination. The 30x – 70x magnification range will define a razor sharp image anywhere within the range that is free of distortion. The focus wheel and the zoom wheel are within easy reach to allow for a quick zoom with little to no adjustment. The high density, fully multi-coated lens produces a brilliant optical image, even in low-light situations. This scope is a bit on the heavy side, but the rotating tripod ring minimizes the need to move the scope once it is positioned.
Best Spotting Scopes for Birding
Birding has been revolutionized by spotting scopes, especially angled body scopes that are perfect for viewing an area where birds might be observed. A good quality spotting scope can be used to enhance images of a bird’s plumage in both short and far distances. A high magnification lens will bring to light the finest detail on a bird’s feathers, which will allow for species identification from greater distances. You can also combine your scope with a camera using digiscoping techniques to capture amazing pictures. Here are a few of the more popular spotting scopes available for bird watching:
The Kowa TSN is a spotting scope that is perfect for birding because the lens and optical features are included. The dual focus, fluorite crystal lens provides superb images with enhanced features, such as color, contrast, and resolution. The fully multi-coated lens and the porro prism allow for a viewing experience that has exquisite light intake, even in low-light settings. Viewing birds at long distances results in a sharp, undistorted image, and higher magnification levels maintain an impeccable image quality. A lens of this quality is a bit heavy, so the body of the scope is made of a corrosion resistant, magnesium alloy material to help offset the weight. Eyepieces for this model are sold separately, but the design includes a locking mechanism to lock the removable eyepiece in place.
The Leica Televid APO is an excellent angled spotting scope for bird watching. Compared to previous models, this scope has a six percent light yield increase that makes the image resolution even more distinct in any lighting. The fluoride glass brings vibrant color and detailed contrast to the table without sacrificing any range of view. This scope comes with a fog and water proof seal as well as a AquaDura Lens Coating that will repel water and moisture. These protective layers assure quality images are not obscured by dirt or fingerprints. The 12 feet close focus on this spotting scope is designed for bird watching. An avid bird watcher can use this scope to identify a bird from across the lawn to across the lake.
Best Compact Spotting Scopes
A compact spotting scope is a great tool for hunters and wildlife observers who are always on the move. Having a lightweight scope that can easily be managed on trails or in dense foliage will make a wildlife expedition easier and more exciting. Some of the best compact spotting scopes available on the market are listed below.
Another great compact scope for those on the go is the Bushnell Legend in 12-36x50mm. This scope is a lightweight instrument perfect for hiking and other modes of travel. The fully multi-coated lens and the extra low dispersion glass give the scope a high-quality image with excellent light transmission. Make sure the image is pristine with the dual focus feature. Unfavorable weather is not a threat for the weatherproof protection.
Best Spotting Scope for the Money
When deciding which spotting scope to purchase, one should consider the features of the scopes as well as its performance. A great scope will be one that has most of the optimal features, but is offered at a lower price than competing scopes. After careful consideration, a few of the best buys for spotting scopes are:
The Vortex Razor HD exceeds the quality level of many spotting scopes with heftier price tags. The top of the line lens features high density glass that is implemented to produce impeccable images free of imperfections. The high resolution and astounding sharpness can be seen throughout the entire field of view; it is even evident at full magnification. The angled body scope has a close focus of 11 feet, so wildlife that is nearby can be viewed without difficulty. In addition, a 16x – 48x magnification eyepiece is included with the purchase of the Vortex Razor. This specific spotting scope is protected from most atmospheric conditions, including rain, fog, snow, wind, and humidity. The protective layers also safeguard against dust, debris, and unwanted fingerprints.
The Celestron Regal M2 is another great buy. This spotting scope produces exceptional images without distortion. The extra low dispersion glass enhances the image with a crisp resolution as well as vibrant colors. The edges of the viewing area are never out of focus, even at increased magnifications. Fine adjustments can be made with the dual focus feature. This light weight scope has a magnesium alloy body to prevent corrosion, and the optics are fully protected from the elements. A 16x – 48x magnification removable eyepiece is included with the purchase of the Celestron Regal M2 as well as a photo adapter that helps get the scope ready for “digiscoping” in the great outdoors. The scope is also equipped with a rotating tripod ring for greater flexibility while viewing and a sunshade to reduce the glare on the pictures taken.
Best Spotting Scopes under $200
Some situations call for products that don’t break the bank. Here are a few suggestions for quality spotting scopes under $200:
The Redfield Rampage is a great selection for anyone looking for a spotting scope in a low price range. In addition to a 20x – 60x magnification range, this spotting scope offers many features that are commonly seen in more expensive models. This lightweight scope will give you a clear image, especially at the mid range magnification levels. The fully multi-coated lens increases light transmission, giving the viewer a sharper image. The Redfield Rampage is designed to be rugged; the scope features weatherproof qualities to protect from the rain and fog.
Another great spotting scope under $200 is the Barska. This spotting scope features a straight body model that has a high magnification range of 30x – 90x, which is exceptional for this class of spotting scope. A fully coated porro prism helps increase the optics, giving the viewer a bright, high quality image. The Barka maintains noteworthy image quality and clarity in low light situations and at higher magnification levels.
Best Spotting Scopes under $500
Mid-ranged spotting scopes can still exhibit exceptional features. After some careful consideration, here are some great selections below the $500 price point:
The Vortex Diamondback is an excellent mid-rang spotting scope. The great value is matched by a great performance that has a reputation for being on par with spotting scopes that cost twice as much. The fully multi-coated lens is coupled with a dielectric prism coating that optimizes light transmission, which gives the viewer an image that stays true to the bright colors seen in nature. The classic straight body design also features fog and water resistant seals that will protect the scope from moisture or debris. The Vortex Diamondback is a very sturdy scope that is great for “digiscoping.” A sunshade is included to help reduce the glare in the field of view.
A spotting scope with a top of the line reputation at a reasonable price is the Vanguard Endeavor. Vivid colors and sharp details are the result of an extra low dispersion glass and a fully multi-coated lens. This scope features a close focus of 14 feet and a magnification range of 15x – 45x to produce picture perfect, distortion-free images. Small adjustments can be made with the dual focus feature. This scope design also features weatherproofing as well as rubber armoring that are meant to protect the scope from damage. The Vanguard Endeavor is a scope that has an extended eye relief for more comfortable observation in the impressive field of view.
Best Spotting Scopes under $1000
Most people are willing to pay a little extra money to get the spotting scope features and the magnification levels they desire. A few of the choice spotting scopes under $1000 are listed below.
The Vortex Viper is an angled body HD spotting scope that sports all of the top of the line features that are often seen in high end scopes. The optics on the Vortex Viper produce exceptional high resolution images that remain vivid in color and contrast. The lightweight design also features a rotating tripod ring and an adjustable eyecup for more comfortable viewing. It also has a dual focus feature that allows for coarse, fine adjustments to the image. The design is waterproof and fogproof with some added protection to keep any oil and debris from the lens. This model does include a 20x – 60x magnification eyepiece, which makes the overall value even better.
The Pentax PF ED is a popular straight body spotting scope that offers extremely high performance at an affordable price. The lightweight scope has a magnesium alloy body that is easily portable for the spotter on the go. The extra low dispersion glass and the fully multi-coated lens give the scope an optical excellence characteristic of high end scopes. This model includes a 20x – 60x magnification lens that is combined with a sunshade to reduce glare. Images that are fully magnified maintain the clarity and vibrant detail seen at low magnifications. This scope can also be fit to a variety of astronomical eyepieces that create possibilities for the spotter to have a view into the galaxy.
There are a lot of different spotting scopes available on the market today, but not all scopes are created equally. This article was designed to introduce someone who is new to birding or other recreational activities where a spotting scope is useful to the different features that are available. Once a spotter is sure of the magnification they need, it comes down to knowing the price restraints for purchasing the scope and determining which extra features should be included in the price. If “digiscoping” is an ambition, make sure the spotting scope selected can accommodate. Hopefully, this article will help a new spotter determine which scope is best suited for them. Make sure to consider the suggestions made above, but also do additional research so your spotting scope lasts generations to come.
The Upland Optics Perception 1000 is our favorite rangefinder. Click the picture above to learn more.
Rangefinders belong to an innovative class of technology that has been evolving over the last century. These handheld gadgets are useful in a variety of situations. The system itself arose almost one hundred years ago, primarily adapted alongside cameras. In recent decades, these helpful tools have been utilized for solo performance in a variety of fields. They offer great benefits for hunting, archery, and golf.
This technical guide explores the vital specifications of these revolutionary devices. Before detailing the essential characteristics of a sound rangefinder, we will present the best ones available on the current market. While the functional mechanics remain relatively identical, minor modifications allow these machines to be employed for a variety of different purposes.
Hunters use rangefinders to gauge the distance between themselves and their prey. Once they know how far away the prey is, they can make a more accurate shot. A rangefinder works exceptionally well when paired with a rifle scope. Here are the best gadgets for an accurate shot:
Upland Optics is the brand we recommend the most for hunters, and their all-new rangefinder is a perfect example of why. Simple and effective, this device is built to be rugged enough to handle the extreme conditions that hunters often face.
With an effective range of 1000 yards, this rangefinder will be dialed in on distances well outside the effective range of most hunters. You will always know exactly how far of a shot you are taking or how much distance you have to cover to get within range.
Lightweight and portable, the device isn’t even noticeable when added to your other heavy gear. I personally carry it on my chest attached to my binocular harness, making it very easy to access quickly. Click here to see the current price.
This bestselling device from Nikon tops our list for a variety of reasons. Priced well below the higher end rangefinders, the Aculon is perfect for someone who doesn’t need ultra high-end features, but still wants to get the job done.
With a range of just 550 yards, others on this list have far more impressive stats. However, 550 yards is a much greater distance than most hunters can safely and ethically take shots.
Another huge benefit of this device is how easy it is to use. The user-friendly design allows for an accurate read with a push of a single button. It also is small and lightweight, making it easily portable. Available in gray or Xtra Green, this compact rangefinder is an excellent option. Click here to see the current price.
For an authentic hunting experience, experts recommend this rugged rangefinder. Bushnell machines always carry a proud legacy, but this Collector’s Edition release is especially unique. The camouflage exterior lends itself to a gritty outdoor lifestyle. This tough appeal is not just for show, either; in fact, this boisterous device is meant to handle extreme environmental conditions. One of the special attributes of this model is its rainproof shell. The compact design also makes it extra portable.
This gadget simplifies the hunting experience more than any other machine. All functions have been condensed to a single-button operation. With a magnification versus objective lens ratio of 4X21mm, this viewer can spot anything between 10 and 600 yards. Accuracy is always within three feet.
The primary asset of this rangefinder comes in the form of advanced low light abilities. It is known to deliver unprecedented levels of bright crystalline optics in near darkness. Click here to see the current price.
The Best Rangefinders for Archery
Archers use rangefinders to hone their accuracy while developing an understanding for environmental factors. To make every arrow count, look into one of the following machines:
Archery aficionados swear by this premiere rangefinder from Nikon. All measurements are very specific. The increments are given for every 0.1 yards or meters. The gadget comes with First Target Priority Mode. This is the main selling point, mainly because it can be used to aim onto really small objects. It is designed to read thin fence posts 100 yards away. The mapping interface also does not falter with close range distances down to 5 yards. The objective diameter is an ideal 21mm.
This machine is durably suited for tough conditions including fog and rain. The 89 degree angular range is truly impressive, and it enables straight shots up and down. An 18.3mm eye relief zone enshrines true comfort. The CR2 lithium battery promises reliable use for extended periods of time. It is water resistant and rainproof, so you don’t have to worry about the elements. Click here to see the current price.
To launch arrows a greater distance than the usual hundred yards, archers flock to this notorious Bushnell creation. This is probably the most accurate design currently available in the field. It extends its reach up to 1,300 yards, and the precision is on the dot. The units are given for every 1/10 yards. For the nearest 475 feet, shots are guaranteed to land within 1/2 yard without human adjustments. Everything beyond that marker still promises a single yard range of accuracy.
The legendary 6x optics are brilliantly enlivened by Vivid Display Technology. This approach severely boosts clarity and contrast. Another specialized feature that has been built into this machine is Variable Sight-In (VSI).
There are three different modes available for the bow and arrow, and each one is sincerely advantageous. Bulls-Eye mode emphasizes sharpshooting, while Brush and Scan focus on panoramic aiming practices. Finally, the machine possesses a powerful protocol known as “Extreme. Speed. Precision.” This software is the most renowned rangefinder mainframe being offered to casual customers today. This stylish piece of machinery can be further enhanced by a tripod, which can be linked into its factory-installed mounting chamber. Click here to see the current price.
For archers just getting acquainted with the sport, it is impossible to go wrong with this Simmons model. It combines all of the basics at an astonishingly affordable price.
This release earns rave reviews non-stop, especially since this rangefinder brand has a name for swift precision. The magnification of 4x is more than enough for beginners. A tightly compacted vertical layout makes this gadget a breeze to bring anywhere.
With a capacity in between 5 and 600 yards, this bold device contains LCD visuals within the view itself. The optics are exceptionally bright and crystal clear, which is surprising for this price range. It is also housed with a superior casing that is resistant to harsh weather situations. Overall, this machine boasts accessibility and efficiency. Click here to check the current price.
The Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting
When archery is applied in the field, the stakes are raised even higher. A dependable rangefinder must be on-hand to guarantee a successful experience. This surveillance equipment instills safety through awareness, and it allows perfect opportunities for exact kills. Here are the most trustworthy tools for these rigorous hunters:
Here’s a go-to rangefinder for bow hunters in the middle ground. This dashing device is equipped with all of the necessary accessories for a successful wilderness excursion. Bushnell’s equipment is especially useful for handling targets in motion, and it tracks distances between 7 and 850 yards. The powerful 4x zoom extends 199 yards, and it grants pure horizontal perspectives. This forceful machine is pocket-sized, and it is equipped with a comfortable anti-slip surface for tight gripping all the time.
It has a truly complete angle range that touches 90 degrees on both positive and negative ends of the scale. The Clear Shot interface gives immediate data on every shot before and after it is taken. The precise angle of each arrow is instantaneously provided.
This brand always makes the best carrying cases, and the one that comes with this model is no exception to the rule. It also comes with a handy neck strap for rapid access. Click here to check the current price.
For something a little more powerful than the previous entry, check out this upgrade, which is also from Bushnell. Angle displays are fully tackled by an automated inclinometer. The magnification reaches a whopping 6x, and MOA is fully integrated.
This release also contains Bulls-eye, Scan, and Brush, but all specifications are extra detailed. The exterior also boasts the benefit of being handsomely decorated with symmetrical layouts, anti-slip grips and an iconic logo. A lithium ion battery is included, so this product can be used immediately. It is economically savvy and ergonomically sound.
Here is perhaps the most extraordinary tool bow hunters have available. Once again, this rangefinder ditches the traditional monocular approach to enshrine more accuracy, focus and distance. These benevolent binoculars can detect activity up to 1,760 feet away.
The rangefinder itself is an Angle Range Compensation (ARC). This revolutionary piece is attached alongside a 96×48 Pixel Matrix Display. Aesthetics blend with functionality, and the PC-3 Phase Corrective Coating is dazzling on both counts. This machine also contains state of the art BaK-4 Prisms to instill total sharpness and crispness for images.
Because the conjoined reader retains a minimum of 80% light, it can be used in several dim environments. This light retention rate leads the entire rangefinder industry! Click here to check the current price.
The Best Rangefinders for Golf
To pick the right golf club before every stroke, wise players must take several conditions into account. Luckily, a rangefinder can do most of the measuring work! Here are our top recommendations:
For a truly well-rounded golfing experience, it is hard to top the state-of-the-art equipment that is featured in this mainstay from Bushnell. This is the most popular tool of choice for golfers around the world. Its stylish contour is outfitted with a stellar 24mm objective alongside 5x magnification.
This device can precisely calculate ranges up to 1,000 yards, and its minimum distance is a mere 10 yards. With the combo of PinSeeker with Jolt, players can estimate flags within a single yard of accuracy up to a total of 300.
The laser is top-notch and completely safe. A sturdy carrying case is provided, and the 3-Volt battery is a standard inclusion. This design features an ergonomic structure that has one of the most stable grips available. A generous two year warranty is granted, and it is legal for official tournaments. Click here to check the current price.
If accuracy is your top concern, then check out Leupold’s signature rangefinder. With Prism Lock, it is possible to precisely locate any pin from a distance. Quickness is also a prominent feature of this brand. They often deliver measurements after the very first target return.
Anyone who plays golf in adverse environmental conditions will want to consider this rangefinder based on its trademark Fog Mode. This feature detects all vital surroundings regardless of environmental conditions or changes in topography.
This sleek device boasts refined technical specifications, and its interface is astonishingly accessible. The commands are all very intuitive; plus, it automatically beeps and freezes upon recognizing a properly outfitted flag stick. The grip is suited for intense conditions and the laser is truly beyond comparison. It comes housed in a fine bag that is complete with a protective strap. Click here to check the current price.
For a dynamic approach to golfing, it is difficult to beat the simplified technology of TecTecTec!. Crystal clear imagery is a focal point of this gadget, and it is embedded with 6x magnification. Every shot will be within a one-yard accuracy zone up to 540 yards.
This tool can completely replace binoculars. Its optic system is a stand-out in today’s industry, especially since it showcases the most evolved digital circuit design currently possible. For golf amateurs, this may be the prime choice.
The key to this item’s innovative success lies in its three unique modes. The First Target Priority Mode simply measures distance in regards to the nearest object. Distant Target Priority does the opposite by seeking the farthest object. All of the essential visual data is streamlined immensely, and the view makes it possible to gauge exactly where all hazards are lurking with Scan Mode.
Once you have picked out a rangefinder to take with you on the golf course, check out this awesome tutorial on how to use it effectively:
The Best Rangefinders for the Money
On a financial scale, rangefinders can be costly. Luckily, their powers are available in several affordable variations. For the penny pinchers, this list of inexpensive devices will be invaluable:
Here is a nifty device that is the perfect mix of functional and affordable. It looks prototypical, but it is actually capable of viewing up to 1,000 yards. It has a field of view that cuts off at 325ft, however, the viewing angle is limited to 6 degrees.
This is a laser intended for use primarily by hunters. It aims to capture mobility with refined accuracy. At a mere 5 ounces, it is also one of the lightest rangefinders in production. It is also outfitted with single-button mechanics for immediate comprehension and use. In terms of objective lens diameter, buyers can look forward to a respectable ratio of 23 mm / 0.91″.
So, how did a $700 rangefinder end up on this list of economically oriented selections? Well, it is because the value is still out of this world. With limitless potential in a 2,00 yard range, this model receives flawless reviews from plenty of customers and critics alike.
The plastic exterior is reinforced with an advanced carbon treatment to ingrain as well as an indestructible surface. The bold black finish is simultaneously suave and purposeful. It also comes with special lenses that received a rare AquaDura treatment. This product comes with several effective ballistic modes and it can be applied in endless fields.
If you are still not convinced, you may just have to check it out for yourself. Afterwards, there will be no turning back. These are the kind of clear optics for which you typically would have to spend thousands of dollars. Click here to check the current price.
The Best Rangefinders for Under $200
Here are some more affordable rangefinders. These products condense all of the vital elements into a compact product that can be mass produced. The rangefinders listed here are suitable for curious hunters and first-timers.
For being sold at such a low price, this model is still a step up from the standard version. Priced under $150, this grand device flaunts intuitive Tilt Intelligence. This interface rapidly calculates True Horizontal Distance.
All modes of use can be simplified to one button. The carrying case is surprisingly slick for being an automatic add-on accessory. With 4x magnification and 600 yards of range, the LCD in-view picture is stunningly clear every time. It has the welcome bonus of being bright and weather-resistant.
While this model is ideal for golf, it can also be useful for archers and bow hunters. Those who need extra ballistic controls may need to look elsewhere. Click here to check the current price.
This stellar Dragon Eyez release is currently being offered at $187. This price is unbelievable, especially considering the maximum range of 1,500 yards. Of course, this is with the implementation of an exclusive reflective surface, which can be subject to shutter speeds. Luckily, it also has an uninterruptible standard field of view that extends to an even 1,000 yards.
Rifle owners will fall in love with this mighty machine. Its astute measurements can be used to line up the perfect shot time and time again. Prize caribou will have no chance escaping the hunter that confidently utilizes this tool.
The 25mm lens is pretty big, and it comes with a fine cloth for long-term preservation. A lanyard and case are also provided for customer convenience. Finally, the LCD display is cutting-edge! Click here to check the current price.
The Best Rangefinders for Under $500
For a little more cash, you can get some serious bells and whistles. Here are some of the best rangefinders available within a more reasonable price limit:
This is one superb piece of technology right here! Vortex has crammed a ton of special amenities into this $380 model. It has a regal rubber exterior that protects from heavy impact while simultaneously allowing for a seriously unrelenting grip. Each one of the lenses is coated to enshrine anti-reflective powers, which leads to a wonderfully high level of brightness during use.
The O-ring instills one of the best moisture prevention methods possible. This tight seal completely combats all interference from dust and debris. It is also programmed to fully prevent moisture contamination. These machines are known to emphasize a streamlined diopter, which refers to the curvature of its interior mirroring. Thus, focus is crystal clear no matter the occasion. Click here to check the current price.
This is the rangefinder that professionals demand! At just under $400, it factors in every possible measurement of distance. It can keep track of complex elements including vertical separation, horizontal distance, angulations, and elevation.
It has two distinct modes to toggle between priority detections. The striking yellow surface represents true industry savvy. The module contains three separate units and users can freely switch between yards, meters, and feet. In the end, this release trades extra calculations for a shorter overall range. The 6x magnification lends itself to an ample 999ft field. Click here to see the current price.
History of Rangefinder Use
Rangefinder equipment for cameras originated in 1916. They were an exceedingly prevalent means of photography for several decades, but single lens reflex (SLR) cameras rendered them somewhat obsolete. Fortunately, the technology lingered on outside of the picture taking field.
Today, the rangefinder industry covers a lot of different ground. They are regularly used for land surveying purposes. Many navigation systems rely on them as well. Digital cameras still sometimes use rangefinder technology to instill proper focus for their images. The military is also presumed to use high-tech variations of this hardware, but this information is presently classified.
The Components of Conventional Rangefinders
Most modern rangefinders involve some variation of an electronically outfitted monocular. The techniques they use to estimate space can vary widely. Laser rangefinders are becoming increasingly prominent, but other approaches include ultrasonic, radar, and simple trigonometry.
Most of these machines are meant to be held, but they can be attached to tripods for maximum stability (similar to a spotting scope). Angular mounts can be applied to uncover exact measurements of elevation. Spherical coordinates may be precisely deduced as well; for the non-layman, a proper term for these rounded measurements is “azimuth.”
Lasers work by calculating the exact time of flight for each burst of light. Their mathematical determinations are rapid and exact! Meanwhile, radar applies pre-determined numerical figures for quick estimations. For the most accuracy, rangefinder connoisseurs stick with the traditional means of triangulation. With the mere power of sine, cosine, and tangent, this type of standard model can still trump all of its fancier competitors.
To convey useful data, a screen is usually mandated. These monitors can come in a variety of forms, but their most common incarnation is liquid crystal display (LCD). Lately, this high-tech inclusion has been structured into the viewing apparatus itself.
Why Rangefinders are Useful
These visual aids can be used to measure vast distances. The most advanced versions are equipped to detect distant objects. This prioritization over close objects commonly sets hunting rangefinders apart from their golfing counterparts.
These devices are equipped with ultra powerful lenses that can accurately capture an entire panorama at once. Sharpshooters often utilize these gadgets to figure out ideal ballistics before firing. This enshrines the zenith of accuracy for every shot. The same is true for archers and bow hunters. Basically, rangefinders are divine accessories for anyone who desires a fuller comprehension of their visual field.
This list may be detailed and comprehensive, but it is by no means complete. The truth is that everybody should conduct their own research to ensure that their rangefinder needs are met. Hopefully, this guide is able to help you make a decision in regards to your next rangefinder purchase!
If you’re looking for a pair of versatile binoculars that can go toe-to-toe with much more expensive models, the 10×42 Diamondback by Vortex Optics may be just the perfect thing. The small details about this model, as well as the superior optics, make the Diamondback a popular choice for a variety of uses.
A little refresher course in optics here: the number 10 in the binocular configuration refers to the power of magnification. The 42 refers to the size of the objective (front) lens. Ideally, you want a combination of magnification and aperture that gives you a large, bright field of view without being too heavy, too unwieldy or too outlandishly expensive. The Diamondback 10×42 won’t disappoint in this regard.
At 24.4 ounces and 6.4 inches, these binoculars will fit in a field coat pocket and easily hold steady in your hand, yet give you great visibility even at dusk and dawn (345 feet at 1,000 yards).
The Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 are roof prism binoculars, with phase correction to eliminate interference between different light phases reflected in the prism (known in optics as phase shift). What does this mean for you? Higher resolution and crisper contrast in every image because the fuzziness that can accompany phase shift has been corrected.
O-ring seals and argon gas purging keep the Diamondback 10×42 fogproof across a wide range of temperatures. They are waterproof, as well, which makes for a great set of hunting binoculars–you won’t miss a thing in the bush with this model.
Waterproofing and fogproofing are essential for birding, too. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if you’re birding on a pristine, clear day, changes in temperature and humidity between the house, car and outdoors can cause fogging without a mechanism to prevent it. And of course, some of the world’s best birding takes place in dripping jungle habitat or by the spray of the sea.
Comfort & Design
Most folks will be taking the Diamondback 10X42 out for a full day of activity, so you want a model that’s comfortable and can handle the high use. With their forgiving eye cups, these binoculars will work with or without eyeglasses all day. The rubber outside casing offers a durable, non-slip surface for use with both bare hands and gloves. This is key if you’re going to be hunting in the snow or taking them to the nosebleed seats for some late-season football games up north.
The Vortex Diamondback 10X42 Binoculars have a right diopter to adjust for the difference in vision between your two eyes, in addition to the center focus wheel. You can easily mount them on a car window, and they are also tripod adaptable.
Vortex: A Trusted Brand
If you’re comparing brands in binoculars, you’ll find that a lot of companies out there don’t just make binoculars; they make cameras, electronics and even jewelry and home goods. Vortex Optics specializes in sport optics, so you know they are pouring all their resources into a limited number of related products, like binoculars and rifle scopes. This allows them to offer an unconditional lifetime warranty on their products, the Diamondback 10X42 included. Available at under $300, this model is a steal when you compare it to comparable performance in other lines. Known for their customer service and attention to detail, Vortex Optics is rapidly developing legacy customers, to no surprise.
If you’re going to take your Diamondback 10X42 Binoculars into the field, you might want to consider a few extras. While this model comes with a molded carrying case and strap, a harness might serve you well over bumpy terrain or climbing your stand. Additionally, a lens cleaning kit will keep your binoculars in tip-top shape, so you can enjoy them for years to come.
Overall, there are few drawbacks to the Diamondback. There are still shadows that most binoculars have trouble with when you move them around sharply, but they aren’t a huge deal if you find some sort stabilizer (like a tripod) for them.
The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars include BaK-4 internal prisms and multicoated optics. These features produce improved vision with brighter resolution, which is of top importance for quality binoculars. Included with the Skymaster Giant 15×70 binoculars are a tripod attachment adapter and a soft carrier case. The imagery processing and visibility are top-notch. Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars’ eyepieces are also excellent.
Let’s take a look at the overall power of these 70mm optics.
Field of View (FOV)-4.4 degrees
FOV at 1000yds-230
Diopter range- -4 to 8
Close Focus Distance 52.5
70mm lens are some of the biggest lenses you can have on handheld binoculars. As a result, you have some of the greatest light gathering power on the market. The diopter settings range from -4 to +8, meaning you can adjust to low or high light situations.
Where some binoculars have trouble focusing and can have a tendency to shift, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars have little to no wobble and are equipped with an amazing center-focus apparatus. In addition to this, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars offer high quality eye relief at 18 millimeters, which is great news if you wear eyeglasses. You can adjust the eyepieces by taking the big cap off from the exit or objective lens and then looking through to adjust the focus of the center ring between the barrels until clear. You can do this for both the right and left separately to achieve optimum clarity.
These binoculars are lightweight but operate best when they are used with an attached tripod. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are optimal for a multitude of purposes, including stargazing at both the terrestrial and astronomical level and bird watching. They can be used during the day as well as during dusk. Although the size may make you rather noticeable, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars can also be used at sporting events and concerts. The lightweight nature of the binoculars will allow you to utilize them almost anywhere with very low bounce rate.
The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars sport a 15x magnification and utilize very large 70 millimeter objective lenses. These lenses also assist in providing maximum brightness for both dimly lit and long-distance conditions. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars have excellent across the field viewing with precise focus. Coated with a rubber protection layer, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are able to provide users with a no-slip firm grip.
In addition to these incredible features, Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars also come with a no fault warranty which covers protection and support for the product. The warranty includes Celestron’s promise that all binoculars are free from defective material and that they are appropriate for a lifetime of usability. Celestron will replace or work to repair the binoculars if they are sent in, with prepaid postage and a proof of purchase. Celestron will replace or fix the binoculars, regardless of how they were damaged, without asking any questions.
The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are one of Celestron’s most popular models in their Skymaster series, due in large part to their tremendous quality and lightweight functionality at such an affordable cost. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars exact specifications include a 4.4 degree angular field of view, 4.7 millimeter exit pupil, the near focus is 43 feet, and the binoculars come with an IPD minimum of 56 millimeters and maximum of 72 millimeters. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars come with caps, a strap, a nylon carrier, and a tripod adapter. The Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are also water resistant and weigh 48 ounces.
These are incredibly high quality binoculars at a very reasonable price that are perfect for the casual user or for those that are more experienced. Whether you plan to take these on a hike for bird watching, check out the night sky for some amazing star gazing, or a myriad of other purposes which require distance viewing, the Celestron Skymaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars are a perfect fit at an incredible value.
70mm lens are some of the biggest lenses you can have on handheld binoculars. As a result, you have some of the greatest light gathering power on the market. The diopter settings range from -4 to +8, meaning you can adjust to low or high light situations.
Since these binoculars are made by Celestron, you can already guess what they’re good at. The moon is one of the brightest objects in our night sky and with the 70mm’s variable diopter settings, you’ll have no difficulty seeing it up close when the sky is clear.
These diopter settings work the same during daytime and landscape viewing as well. They come with a tripod adapter as they do weigh about 3lbs free handed. Birding and nighttime sky watching are going to be the biggest and most logical uses for the 70mm’s. 70mm means that you’re going to soak up whatever is giving off light, notably objects in the sky and the moon.
Versus Other Sporting Optics
These binoculars are big, hence why more often than naught, you’ll see them hooked up to a tripod. They don’t make the best hunting binoculars because they are designed for extreme range viewing rather than detailed viewing. Remember, just because a pair of optics has big lenses, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best details of an object.
Swinging these binoculars isn’t going to be easy due to their size and weight. Compared to wide angled binos and other smaller sporting optics, the 70mm’s aren’t the most logical to take on hunts when you’re lugging them around for hours at a time. Unless you plan to stay in given area, you’re better off using a smaller pair.
It’s astonishing to note that the 15x70mm’s aren’t the biggest or smallest pair of binos in the SkyMaster series. Regardless, the 15x70mms sit in the middle of the SkyMaster series and provide astounding images for a cheap price compared to other Celestron products.
The 15x70mms don’t have the power to see stars or planets beyond the moon up close and personal but provide a sort of middle ground between mainstream sporting optics and telescopes.
The Rangemaster CRF 1600-B from Leica makes some big promises as a range finder right out of the gate. It lives up to virtually all of them with only a few minor caveats. Despite a few cons that any honest review would mention, this rangefinder along with its advanced features is worth the extra money when compared to other equipment in its class.
The CRF 1600 comes with a considerable number of advanced features. However, this means that operation is slightly more complex than comparable units. Rangemaster took this concern into consideration, providing a one-touch operation mode for simple range measurements. The secondary button on the unit provides you with access to the more-advanced features. The actual range for the equipment is listed at 1,600 yards. At the outside edge of this number, the finder is only performing in top tiers when a reflective object is in the picture. Still, where gauging the distance of deer and trees are concerned, the abilities of this equipment are certainly impressive.
Before we get more in-depth into the accuracy and build, here’s an overview of the key features of the CRF 1600-B:
Range: 10-1600 yards
Integrated thermometer/barometer sensors
Waterproof & fogproof
Good light gathering capabilities & easy-to-read LED
7x magnification & wide FOV
The accuracy of the CRF 1600 is par for the course. Up to 500 yards, you can count on being within your target reading by one yard on the outside. When reading distances closer to 1,000 yards, you may experience inaccuracy by as little as two yards. Above 1,000 yards, most experts have found that the accuracy hovers within plus to minus 0.5 percent. The number of benefits one can gain using this rangefinder are nothing to underestimate. On top of the outstanding range, the complete unit is extremely durable and well-suited for almost any environment. It goes on to provide atmospheric temperature and pressure readings as well.
The advanced features continue to expand in the various additional modes, offering users angles of inclination in relation to targets and potential ballistic curvatures once you have entered information concerning the particulars of ammunition. Another major selling point for this equipment is the optical clarity and its ability to gather light. It can collect visual information in a impressive array of environmental conditions in addition to presenting a stunning LED readout. The optics for the piece excel thanks to the inclusion of Aqua-Dura coating and P40 phase-correction coating. The result is a clear and crisp image in any setting as long as the temperature is between 14 and 131-degrees Fahrenheit.
The durability of the rangefinder is made possible by plastic that features carbon-fiber reinforcement. This coating is complimented by an interior chassis composed of cast aluminum. Maintaining the comfort of the piece is a soft lacquer finish on the exterior. Unlike many units developed over the past decade, there is no worry of fogging due to the fact that the most critical components are nitrogen-charged. The unit is also totally water tight for depths of up to one yard for a duration of under half an hour. Raw performance also adds to the list of strengths for this field companion. It auto-focuses in seconds, and the linear field of view is generous enough to allow you to locate and close in on targets rapidly.
The versatility of the CRF 1600 is worth mentioning as well. The viewfinder features a rubber cupping that is retractable, compensating for use with corrective lens or the naked eye. Users also have the option of utilizing diopter compensation control in order to adjust the image sharpness for their individual eyesight. The piece is powered by a single 3V, CR2 battery. While this hardware is powerful, replacements can be hard to come by in most markets. All points considered, this rangefinder puts itself at the top of the pack when looking at the field as a whole.
Like Icarus, popular optics manufacturer Vortex is aiming high. Their Razor HD spotting scopes are designed to deliver super premium performance similar to market leaders in this class like Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss. They want to do it at a fraction of the cost, too. Have they succeeded? Yes! Vortex’s spotting scopes soar high without getting too close to the sun.
The core of the Razor HD scope is a triple-apochromatic lens array designed to provide maximum clarity and minimal color aberration. The outermost lens has an AmorTek coating to protect against scratches, dirt, and corrosion. The inner lens elements are made of high density low dispersion glass, earning the scope its “HD” title.
The standard eyepiece on the scope is an adjustable 20-60x zoom model. A few alternatives are also available (see “accessories” below). The zoom adjusts smoothly. It has no presets, but it’s sturdy enough to hold any position it’s set to. At 1000 yards and minimum zoom the scope delivers a 117 foot field of view with this eyepiece; the maximum zoom FOV is 60 feet. The scope’s eyepiece mount is a standard bayonet system with an integrated button-release locking system.
Focus control on this scope is provided by a dual focus knob. This is a first for Vortex; the manufacturer has used single adjustments on all of its previous scopes. Vortex really knocked this feature out of the park on their first try. The coarse focus adjustment is truly coarse, taking the scope from its closest possible focus distance out to infinity in less than two full turns. This is fairly exceptional performance, and the fine adjustment knob also works smoothly.
Razor HD scopes have some very nice operational features that make them a real joy to use in the field. There’s an integrated lens hood to minimize lens flare and a basic sighting tube attached to the lens mount. The lens caps are sturdy and fit tightly; in fact the objective lens cap is extremely snug.
Vortex has released the Razor HD in both straight and angled versions to suit the needs of different users. (Angled spotting scopes are often preferred by prone and range shooters, while those more interested in straight glassing find straight scopes more convenient.) The straight version of the scope is about a half-inch longer than the angled one; they’re otherwise identical.
These scopes are completely sealed and purged with argon to prevent internal fogging and water intrusion. The frame is made of a magnesium alloy to reduce overall weight. The armored body of the scope is grey with a dark green textured overlay around the prism housing, making handling a little easier.
The manufacturer offers a few extra eyepieces to expand the versatility of the Razor HD scope. These include a 30x fixed magnification wide-angle eyepiece and a 23x long eye relief model ideal for range use. Vortex also makes an excellent camera adapter for digiscoping that fits multiple cameras from point-and-shoot models up to full DSLRs.
Vortex’s case deserves special attention. A very good zippered, padded case is included with the scope itself. This case has multiple high-quality zippers allowing access to the lens, eyepiece, and tripod mount without removing the case, making the scope fully usable. It has two carrying handles and a removable shoulder strap.
Price! The current suggested retail price of the Razor HD spotting scope is just $2000. It easily delivers performance comparable to much more expensive models while costing only half as much.
Versatility. The quick focus adjustment and simple controls make this an ideal scope for use with moving targets. The availability of both straight and angled models makes it easy to match the scope to the user’s needs, too.
Comes with a great case. A padded, durable case that allows you to operate the scope without removing it should normally cost one to two hundred dollars. Vortex throws it in for free.
Performance at extreme focus is slightly lacking. Pushing all the way up to 60x zoom results in some minor image degradation and color aberrations. This is normal for high-zoom scopes, though.
Tight fits on both the objective lens cap and the eyepiece mount. Removing the lens cap for the first time is a real struggle, and most users will likely elect not to replace it fully. The socket for the eyepiece is similarly a very tight fit, requiring a little force to lock the eyepiece into place.
While Vortex’s Razor HD spotting scopes aren’t without flaws, there is no alternative scope that overcomes them at a price that’s anywhere close to the Razor’s. This scope offers outstanding premium performance for just $2,000; Buying an even better scope can easily cost twice that much or more. This makes the Razor HD a superb choice for spotters who want outstanding optics and great reliability without a sky-high price tag.
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