Range finding binoculars combine two optical instruments in one device – optical technology for viewing objects and a laser rangefinder for determining the exact distance to objects. The downside of this kind of binoculars is that producing binoculars with an excellent optical quality and good enough laser rangefinder present a much higher cost.
The most affordable rangefinding binoculars on the market – Bushnell Fusion Mile 1 still offer precise distance measurements and solid optical performance. Although they cannot be compared to high-grade Leica LRF binoculars, the value allows them to get in the hands of those on a budget that are looking for binoculars that offer rangefinding option. They are able to measure the range up to 1600 meters (1760 yards) in ideal conditions and are very lightweight and comfortable to carry. However, they offer only 8 ballistic profiles, the button is hard to press down and it takes longer for display to show the information.
The newest rangefinding binoculars that launched in summer 2017 are Fury made by Vortex. These 10×42 LRF binoculars offer long-distance measurements with HDC (horizontal component distance) and LOS (line of sight) functions. Great optical performance by Vortex is a result of high-quality optics such as HD glass, XR anti-reflective coatings and hard repelling ArmoTek coatings. The Fury 10×42 is one of the most affordable rangefinding binoculars on the market that can definitely satisfy every hunter and other nature enthusiasts that are looking for this kind of equipment. It can measure the range up to 1450 meters (1600 yards) in good conditions.
Steiner offers legendary LRF binoculars that present precise measurements up to 1700 meters (1860 yards). Makrolon® waterproof housing helps with protection and decreases the weight of these binoculars immensely. The most lightweight rangefinders are definitely comfortable to carry around. These binoculars have individual focusing mechanism so you don’t have to readjust the focus setting when looking at different distances. They are also fully protected with rubber armouring, tight seals and nitrogen gas filling. 8×30 configuration is suitable for mostly daytime use, but these Porro prism system makes them perfect not only for hunting but also for marine applications.
Measuring the distances from 10 up to 1300 meters is possible by another amazing rangefinding binoculars by Leica. Geovid R has implemented EHR function that displays equivalent horizontal range without the need of the previous knowledge of ballistics. Perfect with riflescope with ASB ballistic turret, these rangefinders are suitable for every hunter with great optical properties, watertight and fog-proof protection and lightweight durable build materials. HDC durable coatings and AquaDura lotus effect coatings by Leica aren’t missed in these LRF binoculars either.
Together with Leica and Swarovski LRF, Zeiss Victory RF offer Ballistic information system BIS® for precise measurements. It helps you correct holdover based on the distance. Brilliant optical properties with high-quality materials, technology, and indestructible build features make these LRF binoculars convenient for every hunter who is facing challenging terrain and weather in nature.
EL Range are another excellent rangefinding binoculars on the market coming from the same family as EL Swarovision, offering the best optical performance there is. These binoculars provide users with precise measurements of the range and angle with equivalent horizontal range. They offer extremely balanced weight distribution so they feel very comfortable in hands, despite the bigger weight. The distance scale can be converted from meters to yards.
2. Leica HD-R
Leica offers another rangefinding binoculars with the HD-R series. This Porro system that combines best of both worlds offers excellent optical performance and includes one Advanced Ballistic Compensation function. EHR algorithm calculates the real distance to the observable object. Open hinge-design, full protection that makes them waterproof, fog-proof and submersible is another most prominent features. Fully-multi coated system with durable HDC coatings and HighLux System help with brilliant view-through unlike any other.
1. Leica HD-B
Leica HD-B binoculars are definitely the best rangefinding binoculars on the market. They aren’t excellent just because of the optical performance and Porro system, but also because of the distance measurements they’re offering. HD-B models have integrated three functions: Advanced Ballistic Compensation. With EHR algorithm this system measures a real distance to the target using laser, bullet drop compensator and calculation that take into account air pressure and angle of inclination. Together with great ergonomics due to open-hinge design and full protection against ingress of water and internal fogging, these LRF binoculars are definitely the legendary equipment that would satisfy the needs of every hunter.
This review is not sponsored and it’s completely unbiased. It is made simply out of our own interest in the optics and provides an objective opinion of tested binoculars. Big thanks to Optics Trade who kindly offered us their products to review and test.