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#7105988 - 03/09/18 08:23 AM Bino/Rangefinder
kmartinusa Offline

Registered: 04/09/11
Posts: 217
Loc: SW Oklahoma
Living in the sticks, Iíve got to drive hours to touch anything worth buying or wander around cyberdorkville, trying to separate real from garbage.

Iím looking for a binocular/rangefinder. Went on a mulie hunt in Montana three or four yrs ago, guide had a pair of Leicas that a client GAVE him (he said he occasionally gets very nice gifts- some who hire guides, especially in good areas are not like isnít an object). I havenít shaken the urge.

I can sure find plenty of manufacturers and plenty of models but Iíve got NO idea how different they are. For example, Iíve got a pair of Vortex, canít remem model- cost around $1000. Love them. Iím sure thereís much better but these work for me. Ignorance is bliss.

What is best in the different price levels? What are the trade offs?

I learned the hard way to just buy what I want the first go round or Iíll just keep trading up and spend more money in the long run. Buy a $75 rangefinder, use it...hate it. Buy a $200, same story. Buy a nice Leupold, donít need another.

I donít need a combo range/bino. Itís stir-crazy time of year and sometimes I do dumb things about now.
Originally Posted By: LandPirate
We kept it as a pet for several months until it got run over by a truck. Then we ate him.

#7106058 - 03/09/18 09:15 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
Jgraider Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 1145
Loc: West Texas
About the only advantage I can see for an all in one RF/bino is that you have one unit instead of two. I personally prefer to keep them separate though. RF technology is advancing at a rate that far exceeds binocular technology. For instance the Sig 2200 RF has a range that no RF/bino unit can touch. Nikon is announcing a 3000 and 4000 yd unit, Leupy is coming with a 2800 yd unit, and there will be others. Nikon's new RF has one that is image stabilized.

The top end binos like Swaro SV's, SLC HD's, Zeiss SF's and HT's, Leica Nocotvids and Ultravid HD's are at least as good as any RF/bino unit, and most of them are better.

Moral to the story, for me at least, is that with a Swaro SV bino, and one of these new RF's, I'll have tools that are better than any RF/bino unit made. Plus, eventually the RF will die, the display will fade, etc. Then you're left with an oversized bino only unit.

Vortex does offer a combo unit called the Fury. It has optics on par with the Viper HD which are pretty good, and it has a decent RF that may get you out to 1000 yds on the right day. It has a lifetime warranty on the whole unit including the electronics, something no other manufacturer has at any price.

#7106059 - 03/09/18 09:19 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 26107
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I am on this project as well. I want to carry ONE observation optic. I need further testing but here is what I know:

Vortex Fury 10X42 impressive glass, that keeps showing detail well past legal light. I could see tree leaves at 330 yards, 25 minutes after sunset. The laser reticle is small, which I like. It had a 0-3 yard error, all the way down my range in bright morning sunlight. So the sun in its' face, if you recall that on my range. I managed to laser a juniper at 1050 yards at dusk. It really is an impressive optic, especially for the price.

Swarovski, you know the glass will be untouchable. Word is, the reticle is the same as what is in my Swaro Laser Guide. And well, it is just too big. They are very expensive, so I have pretty much taken them off my list.

Leica, a customer of Chad's loaned me a pair to play with. They are a couple of years old, so not the newest model. Very good glass, fast laser, small reticle. Would not laser my shop at 1250 yards. The newer models might. CCoker at Tactical Gun Review cannot say enough good about the new Leicas. And he is someone who's assessment I trust. Keep in mind, though, they introduced a new model claiming 3000 yard capability, at SHOT show this year. I do not know anyone whom has independently tested them as of yet.

Hopefully I narrowed it down for you.

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#7106116 - 03/09/18 10:06 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
BOBO the Clown Offline

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 43850
Loc: Metroplex
As it stands from what I have used... glass and ergonomics

1)Leica geo HDB
2)swaro el
3)lecia geo
4) older ziess

5) no fifth because there is that big of a difference in glass.

6) vortex viper
7) Bushnell

The new revamped ziess RF is suppose to be exceptional. New nikons get high marks to but havet played with them. Iím a 12x bino fan but donít like the ergonomics of the older Leicaís. Until a 12x is produced Iíll stick to sig hand held.

#7106159 - 03/09/18 10:36 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
Jgraider Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 1145
Loc: West Texas
I had the Nikon bino/rf and the Vortex Fury out in the parking lot of Cabelas in Lubbock a couple of months ago. It was a relatively dreary day. The Nikon had noticeably better glass, and would range buildings and signs at a distance of 700'ish yards. The Vortex wouldn't even register a reading on the same targets, and was slow, just like their stand alone RF's.....slow.

#7106206 - 03/09/18 11:33 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
ccoker Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 3948
I LOVE my Geovid HDs
I have ranged calfs to 1800 yards..
The range finder works great on deer out well past what I would shoot and are very fast.

What really gets me is the glass, the huge depth of field, there is no eye fatigue and they are just so easy to glass extended periods of time. I have a pair of Trijicon HD binos that are nice but they aren't in the same league, I mean, at a first glance if both are focused on something 200 yards out, not THAT big of a difference.. but once you use them and are going from scanning through trees at 100 yards then move over to 300 yards and anywhere in between, you aren't constantly having to fine tune the focus. I took a guy from the Silencer Shop hunting a few weeks ago and he cursed me after using them. He proclaimed "that is the most impressive piece of equipment I have ever used"

Disclosure statement
Affiliated with Silencer Shop, Steiner Optics,Trijicon and Wilson Combat. Dealer for Steiner, Flir and Pulsar.

#7106854 - 03/10/18 07:05 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
BigDad Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Melissa, TX
I have the Nikon LaserForce 10X42 bino/rangefinder. I'm pretty happy with them. Super fast range time and I have been able to range tree tops at 1600 yds, contrast and clarity is great better then my Leupold 10x50 binos. Low light is good but not quite as good as my Leupold. I compared them to Vortex Fusion and they seemed a little clearer to my eye. They're a little heavy but that's to be expected and are lighter than other comparable models. The only thing I don't like is the range button is hard to feel and I have to look at it to press it. I'm thinking about putting a dab of epoxy on it so I can feel it.

#7106984 - 03/10/18 09:49 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
ccoker Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 3948
I have a pair of Nikon Monarch 8.5x56 that I bought anput 10 years ago after spending a weekend hog hunting with Bill Wilson. He had some and loved them for night hunting.

They are still awesome binos and work great in low light

Disclosure statement
Affiliated with Silencer Shop, Steiner Optics,Trijicon and Wilson Combat. Dealer for Steiner, Flir and Pulsar.

#7108818 - 03/12/18 10:56 AM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
BarneyWho Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 3117
Loc: Colleyville, TX
I went thru this when I started elk hunting. I did not want to carry two pieces of equipment if I could find a combo unit to do both. At the time there was only one game in town, Leica. I bought the original bulky Geovids. I never regretted it. When Leica came out with the HD-Bs, I wanted them strictly for the ergonomics. When they went on sale when the newer models were released I jumped on them. Supposedly the new models can range to 3000 yards. I have no need to range that far. I've played around with mine in the deer blind and can range cows 1500 yards and under. I will say the jump from the original Geovids to the HD Geovids was eye opening in the clarity of the glass. I wasn't expecting that much improvement. I've been sitting in a bow blind well before 1st light and can hear deer crunching corn. I can hardly make out the outline of a deer. Look thru the Geovids and I can tell if they have antlers or not. I'm way beyond impressed with the glass. The rangefinders perform as well as anything I've put them beside (as long as they aren't in meters huh Bobo? rofl). I can't comment on the ballistic function as I've yet to use it.

It's the one piece of hunting equipment I've never had buyers remorse on, use more frequently than I imagined, would never sell, or hunt without.

FYI, Camerland has been putting up the old HD-B models for $1099 when Doug gets in display models. They last seconds, so you better be calling with a CC as soon as they are posted.

#7109949 - 03/13/18 12:07 PM Re: Bino/Rangefinder [Re: kmartinusa]
Crews Offline

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 927
Loc: Houston, Tx
Another vote for Leica Geovid HD-B. Mine are a few years old, so I don't know if newer better versions are available. The ones I have are just amazing.... the LRF is fast and accurate, at distances way further than i am capable of shooting at. The glass is also amazing. I am very, very happy with the ability to check something out and range it at the same time for hunting. They are expensive, but worth every damned dime if you ask me. One of the very few things that I just wouldn't do without.


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