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Thread: Which range finder binoculars?

  1. #1

    Which range finder binoculars?

    Help please! I want to buy a pair of range finder binoculars, at the moment I am thinking either Leica, Swarovski or Ziess i.e. something quality, which will last, and I suppose hold their value even though I would not plan to sell in future.
    They would be used for highland stalking and also Fallow/Roe on farmland down here in N Essex.
    At present I don't think I need any fancy ballistic programmes - if it's over 200m then it's too far for a shot for my liking. I don't plan to be 'dialling in' on anything with my second hand but reliable 6x42 S&B scope!
    Can any of you advise which brand and model would meet my needs. I would buy new or second hand.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Swarovski el 10/42 brilliant if you can afford them.
    Paid just under 2200.My last pair swaro's still good as new and held there value for 15 years.

  3. #3
    Secondhand Zeiss 8x45 is the choice I made & I impose the same distance restrictions on myself that you have & I use the same scope. I far preferred them to the Swarovski & found them much easier & quicker to use. I've even been able to range a single flying goose (282m). I've been delighted with them in every way & I'd have thought that you could probably pick a pair up for around 1000 as I paid 1200 for an immaculate pair through a dealer.

  4. #4
    I Have the zeiss ones - all good reports

  5. #5
    All three you mention are the market leaders and not much between them optically. You need to go and pick them up as some will feel better in your hands than others and this is important. Once you have made your decision it is then a case of waiting for a good s/h pair or going to the bank!!


  6. #6
    If you set a self-imposed limit of 200m, I would question the value of a rangefinding binocular.

  7. #7
    As Big Ears says the three binoculars you mention are all top of the range and it comes down to personal preference. Try each of them out and see which suits you best. I bought a new pair of 8x42 RF Swarovskis for 1800 in a sale and can't fault them. Which ever one you choose I'm sure you will enjoy.

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Just my 2p worth. Do you absolutely need the binoculars and the rangefinder to be in one unit? Plus a set of binoculars for the hill may not readily be ideal for woodland stalking. For the hill I have a Gray's telescope and Leica 10x25 pocket binoculars. For woodland I have Leica 7x42 and for a high seat Optolyth 8x56.

    My advice is that rangefinders are evolving and what is expensive today may be cheaper than dirt in ten years time. My first computer was a Compaq 166 Mhz with a 14" television set type monitor. It cost, reduced, 699! Nowadays you can get a laptop that far, far exceeds that for under or around 300.

    Binoculars OTOH are pretty much as good as they are going to get. My Leica 7x42 Trinovid BA aren't that much different to my son's Leica 7x42 Ultarvid HD (or whatever he's got). So I'd buy separate top of the range binoculars and a separate pocket size rangefinder.

    They won't cost much more, if the rangefinder breaks then you've not got what has now become an overpriced set (compared no its non integral rangefinder equivalent) set of binoculars. Plus...and this is are "future law change proof" if the law changes to outlaw the use or rangefinders when stalking.

    Now I know that such a law change would be perverse...but then you never know....

    Oh...and the big plus? As you won't take a shot over 200 yards the early "short distance" rangefinders that "only" go up to 600 yards are now cheap. Everyone wants 900 yards, 1200 yards, 1600 yards! You'll get a 600 yards dirt cheap.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 28-03-2016 at 00:32.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JabaliHunter View Post
    If you set a self-imposed limit of 200m, I would question the value of a rangefinding binocular.
    I'm in a similar position, the vast majority of my stalking is well within 300 yards. I simply have no need for range finding binoculars. Saying that on the open hill or large clear-fells they would be fantastic.

    Although I've never personally owned a pair, I have used Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica and found the new Leica RF binoculars to be fantastic, especially for lamping deer at night. The glass flawless, the display crystal clear, and the range finding feature very easy to use especially if speed is of the essence.

    If I found myself buying a pair it would almost certainly be the Leica.
    Last edited by Cadex; 28-03-2016 at 02:29.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JabaliHunter View Post
    If you set a self-imposed limit of 200m, I would question the value of a rangefinding binocular.
    As I get more familiar with the land I have to stalk over I am sure it will become easier to judge range, for now though I feel like I am missing out on opportunities due to not being confident of my estimates of range - I have quite a few large flat fields up to 40 hectares in size where it's quite difficult to gauge range accurately by eye.

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