Definitely one of the more popular pieces of optical equipment today, rangefinder binoculars are becoming more and more commonplace out in the woods – and especially out on shooting ranges – as time goes on.
In fact, there are some industry insiders that have predicted that traditional binoculars (ones that do not include information about distance built right in) won’t even exist in 10, 15, or even 20 years – just because the rangefinder binoculars technology becomes that ubiquitous and commonplace.
You may find that you could really use a set of rangefinders out there in the woods, and will want to pay close attention to all the information provided below to make your decision moving forward.
Rangefinder Binoculars Review: Watch Video Below
Rangefinder Binoculars Comparison Table
|Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC||8x32||393 ft/1000 yds||30.8 oz||4.2||$$|
|Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B||10x42||342 ft/1000 yds||34.7 oz||4.8||$$$$|
|Swarovski EL Range 8x42||8x42||411 ft/1000 yds||31.6 oz||3.5||$$$$|
|Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-B||8x42||385 ft/1000 yds||34.6 oz||N/A||$$$$|
|Swarovski EL Range 10x42||10x42||330 ft/1000 yds||31 oz||4||$$$$|
|Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 10x42||10x42||305 ft.||31 oz||4.2||$$|
|Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 12x50||12x50||252 ft.||32.7 oz||4.2||$$|
|Zeiss Victory Rangefinders||8x56||377 ft/1000 yds||4.6 pounds||N/A||$$$$|
What Exactly are Rangefinder Binoculars?
Rangefinders are basically the exact same as binoculars (or spotting scopes, or any piece of advanced optics that you used to “zoom in” on a target) with one major exception: they have a built-in distance measuring capabilities that are becoming more and more accurate as time goes on.
The original rangefinders were pioneered by military organizations looking to provide their soldiers with critical pieces of mission data in real time, and the technology has trickled down into the commercial enterprise and hunting world.
There are people out there that used binoculars every single day of their lives that wouldn’t be caught dead with a pair of “dumb binoculars” now that rangefinders have become so commonplace, affordable, and accurate.
How do Rangefinder Binoculars Work?
It’s becoming more and more tricky to answer this question, simply because there are so many different tools and technologies built into rangefinders to produce distance data than ever before.
However, the overwhelming majority of affordable rangefinders use laser light technology that is first “shot out” to a target, and then reflected back to the rangefinder – with the amount of time and distance measured accordingly.
Obviously, early technology was nowhere near as accurate as modern day technology is (is likely that technology will continue to advance in the future), but you should still be able to get a fantastically accurate reading every single time you bring a pair of rangefinders up to your eyes. There are definitely some limitations to this technology, however.
For instance, laser light technology works best when there aren’t other ambient sources of light interrupting with the laser beam transmission. When you are dealing with tremendously sunny days (or a lot of fog that is reflecting moonlight), you can be looking at some skewed distances that are not as true as they should be.
There are other natural circumstances that can conspire against you to eliminate or at least cripple the ability of rangefinder binoculars, and you need to be aware of the circumstances ahead of time.
Luckily, most of the elite level solutions available on the market right now provide training to use their equipment before you head out into the woods or out to the range – and it is advised that you pay as much attention to that information as possible moving forward.
What is so Advantageous to Using Rangefinder Binoculars?
Again, this is a bit of a tricky question to answer, but only because there are so many different advantages that you (or anyone else) could leverage when you use this technology.
The uses for having incredibly accurate distance data provided to you in real time are limitless, especially for those in the military, those in commercial operations, or those that are looking to enjoy all that the wilderness has to offer.
For instance, imagine how much more effective of a soldier you would be if you knew exactly how far out a target was. This information could that be relayed back to the rest of your squad, to air support, or to anyone else that needed the data in real time – helping you save lives and wage war much more efficiently.
At the same time, the right set of rangefinders can help streamline commercial operations and construction projects, all while at the same time making much more efficient and effective measurements with just one quick glance around the job-site.
5 Best Rangefinder Binoculars: Watch Video Below
Finally, if you’d like to enjoy a bit of hunting (or even just some bird watching), you can use rangefinder binoculars to understand just how far away your target is. The applications for this technology are literally endless, and we are just now barely beginning to scratch the surface of these tools.
Should I Invest in High-Quality Rangefinder Binoculars?
This really is the million-dollar question and one that you’re only going to be able to answer on your own.
Depending entirely upon how you plan to use these binoculars, and whether or not you are able to accurately measure distance all on your own through “traditional means”, rangefinder binoculars might be the best thing that you could purchase – or the worst.
Really sit down and outline exactly how you would expect to use these pieces of technology, and try to figure out whether or not they dovetail in with your experiences out in the wilderness or out using binoculars.
There would be nothing worse than purchasing an expensive pair of these binoculars and then using them only a handful of times, instead leaning on your “outdated binoculars” to do the bulk of your glassing.
Hopefully you found the information included above to be useful. You can use all of the information to streamline your decision-making process as to whether or not you want to purchase rangefinder binoculars, and also use it to better educate yourself about this technology – as well as others. They are definitely incredible tools, but may or may not be useful in your specific circumstance or situation.
Most Popular Rangefinder Binoculars?
Leica Geovid HD-B
The Leica Geovid HD-B is a beautiful creation that integrates high image quality brought about by a truly functional multicoated optical path with the state-of-the-art processing power of an integrated ballistics computer and the unparalleled functionality and accuracy of a 2,000-yard laser rangefinder.
This makes it one of the most versatile equipment a shooter or a rifleman can ever use to help improve the accuracy of shot placement.
Leica’s Geovid series of rangefinder binoculars come with its patented Advanced Ballistic Compensation technology. This allows it to process a lot of data that may affect the accuracy of the shot.
Leica Geovid HD-B: Watch Video Below
It includes air pressure and ambient temperature readings which, when combined with rangefinder information, user-defined ballistics curve, and information on zeroing distance, can provide the rifleman with the most accurate ballistic compensation values.
The ABC technology allows the shooter to encode his very own zero distance and choose one of 12 preloaded ballistics curves which correspond to a variety of ballistics for different calibers and weights.
In cases where the shooter uses a ballistics that is not on the pre-loaded template, he can store alternative ballistics curve data on a microSD memory card and have this uploaded to the ABC system of the Geovid 8×42.
The ABC digital information is displayed on an in-view LED which is similar to the HUD of a fighter pilot’s helmet allowing viewing of crucial information without taking the shooter’s eyes off the target or the visual scene.
The Geovid HD-B also comes with a fog-proof housing that has been filled with nitrogen to allow the shooter unrestricted views even in hazy conditions.
The lenses are multicoated with fluoride to allow for the more accurate transmission of color-faithful and highly luminous images. The binocular’s excellent color fidelity and depth of field is ensured by its unique Perger Porro phase-corrected or phase-detection prism design.
The exposed surfaces of the lens are coated with the proprietary AquaDura and High Durable lens coatings of Leica.
Leica Geovid HD-B Binoculars Specifications
|Leica Geovid 10x42 HD-B||Leica Geovid 8x42 HD-B|
Eye Relief20 mm
Eye Relief18 mm
Field of View342 ft/1000 yds
Field of View385 ft/1000 yds
Close Focus16.5 ft
Close Focus16.5 ft
Rangefinding distance2,200 yds / 2,000 m
Rangefinding distance2,200 yds / 2,000 m
Dimensions125 x 174 x 70 mm
Dimensions125 x 178 x 70 mm
|READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS|
These technologies prevent dirt from ever adhering to the precious glass surfaces of the binocular while at the same time repelling moisture so any individual who has the Geovid HD-B will be able to use it even in very unforgiving weather or environmental conditions.
The superiority of its glass technology, of which Leica is famous for, allow for excellent low light performance.
Rangefinder binoculars require premium image quality as well as broad functionality. In these aspects alone, the Leica Geovid HD-B doesn’t fail. Additionally, its design has been centered on ergonomic handling as well as a user-friendly interaction with its patented ABC system.
Its center focus wheel is located on the rear of the dual-bridge configuration to help balance the housing of the binocular and helps stabilize it when in use. It has an 18-mm eye relief to allow for more comfort while viewing.
The Geovid 8×42 HD-B also comes with click-stop eyecups which can be adjusted accordingly to provide excellent and comfortable viewing distance. The brightness of the display can be automatically adjusted for added eye comfort.
The Leica brand is an advantage in itself. Its Geovid HD-B further strengthens the company’s position as a premium optics manufacturer.
It has a best-of-class optics with its HD fluoride glass in an innovative Perger-Porro prism design. Under ideal environmental conditions with a much larger target, its rangefinding capabilities can reach beyond its published 2,000-yard range.
Perhaps, its major advantage is its patented ABC system which can allow customization of ballistics curves depending on the caliber and weight of the ballistics you’re using.
Leica products always come at a premium price. Additionally, the ABC data only reflects imperial measurements such as yards and not the metric system. This limits its use in other countries where the metric system of measurement is used.
Swarovski Optik EL Rangefinder Binoculars
Designed primarily for the bow hunter of today, although it is not unusual that it can also be used by other types of game hunters, trekking the mountains and through the forests, the Swarovski Optik EL Range Binocular is one serious piece of optics to get.
Bow hunters are always faced with the prospect of danger at any corner and as such they need to be always on their toes.
The EL Range Binoculars come with high quality, space-age rangefinding binocular design elements that includes a handful of patented technologies to improve overall vision and image quality.
The 10×42 EL Range Binocular from Swarovski Optik uses a patented SWARO-BRGHT technology that is described as a broadband antireflective multicoating.
The technology allows for optimum vision by minimizing loss of illumination, enhancing color fidelity or true color accuracy, and increasing image brightness for superb and comfortable viewing.
Swarovski Optik EL: Watch Video Below
It boasts of a 63-degree apparent angle of view to allow for fast, easy, and instantaneous spotting and accurate tracking of game and other wild animals or objects as targets.
The Swarovski Optik EL Range Binocular also comes with a very precise infrared laser rangefinder that allows for very accurate measurements for distances of up to 1,500 yards.
The accuracy of the measurement can be placed at ±1 yard in a fraction of a second. Bow hunters and riflemen with stationary targets on their sights can use the 10×42 EL Range Binocular’s single-measurement mode to allow for more precise measurements.
For targets on the move, selecting the scan mode can show highly valuable and accurate distances to the target within split seconds. The data is continuously updated within a fraction of a second to keep object-tracking a breeze.
Best of all, its built-in in-view LCD display allows for the presentation of information either in the imperial system of measurement (yards) or the metric system of measurement (meters).
This is a very welcome feature as many of the other high-end rangefinder binoculars only come with the imperial system.
The SWARO-AIM ballistic algorithm of the EL Range Binocular works pretty well with its built-in inclinometer and laser rangefinder to allow for improved shot placement. This allows the bow hunter to compensate for the angle of the trajectory.
The system measures the relative angle of the target in relation to the shooter and displays the adjusted distance that must be considered to make the necessary compensation. All of these features are readily accessible with a single button.
Swarovski Optik EL Range Binoculars Specifications
|Swarovski EL Range 8x42||Swarovski EL Range 10x42|
|19 mm||17 mm|
Field of View
|411 ft/1000 yds||330 ft/1000 yds|
|16 ft||16 ft|
|Class 1 EN/FDA||Class 1 EN/FDA|
|31.6 oz||31 oz|
|6.5" x 5.4" x 3.2"||6.3" x 5.4" x 3.2"|
|READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS|
The housing of the EL Range Binocular is made of magnesium alloy to provide for absolute lightweight and durable construction. It also has a rubberized texture armor body to allow for a firm, non-slip grip while at the same time protecting the optic.
It has an open-bridge configuration which provides excellent balance in the hand.
The optical tubes are filled with nitrogen to help ensure for fog-free viewing performance even in harsh environmental conditions.
Its O-rings give it water-sealing properties allowing it to be submerged in water for up to 13 feet.
Its SWARO-AIM ballistic algorithm provides excellent shot angle compensation. Its scan mode is also excellent as games are usually up and running and never on a single spot at any given time.
The EL Range Binocular is also considered as a very accurate rangefinder especially designed for today’s bow hunters.
Its SWARO-AIM system also allows for very quick updating of range distances. This allows the hunter to make split-second decisions when to release the arrow.
Unfortunately, the only lament about the EL Range Binocular is its single-button control. While it may be an advantage in terms of not pressing the wrong button, going through the different menu options can be time-consuming.
Additionally, the minimum range of the EL Range Binocular extends well beyond 30 yards which could pose an issue for bow hunters.
Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile
Designed for the enthusiast outdoor game sportsman, bow hunter, rifleman, and hunter as well as those who engage in long range shooting but are not yet fully prepared to purchase a few thousand dollars’ worth of rangefinder binocular.
This is not to say however that the Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile provides less than spectacular performance. The product provides optimum quality and performance at a friendlier price.
The Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile features an Angle Range Compensation system that allows the shooter to be immediately notified of any changes that need to be made in the minute of angle.
This should enable the shooter to make minute adjustments in the aim to compensate for the angle of trajectory.
Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile: Watch Video Below
It has a variety of selectable modes depending on the type of hunting weapon used as well as the nature and type of the target. The Scan Mode is excellent for tracking moving game or targets across the viewing panel of the LCD display.
Distance range measurements are continuously updated to allow you to have an excellent understanding of how far the target is from your position.
The ARC technology of Bushnell allows for the dialing of several modes. The Bull’s Eye Mode of the Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile Rangefinder Binocular is perfect for zeroing-in on smaller stationary targets.
The Fusion 1 Mile
This mode only measures the relative distance between the shooter and the small target. In cases where there are more than one target clustered in a particular area, the target closest to the rangefinder is considered for distance range measurements.
Putting the Fusion 1 Mile into Brush Mode will allow you to disregard the foreground and focus instead on the target beyond the tree branches, boulders, and brushes which may obscure range distance readings and render them highly inaccurate.
The Bow Mode of the Fusion 1 Mile is particularly useful for bow hunters as it provides excellent line-of-sight information, true horizontal distance, and the angle of trajectory for up to 99 yards with a minimum of 10 yards.
The Rifle Mode is almost similar to the data display of the Bow Mode except that it adds information on holdover and/or bullet drop effects.
Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC Specifications
|Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 8x32||Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 10x42||Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 12x50|
Lens CoatingFully Coated
Lens CoatingFully Coated
Lens CoatingFully Coated
Field of View393 ft.
Field of View305 ft.
Field of View252 ft.
Close Focus5 ft.
Close Focus10.5 ft.
Close Focus10.5 ft .
Dimensions5.3 x 2.7 x 7.6 in
Dimensions6.8 × 6.0 × 2.4 in
Dimensions5.3 x 2.7 x 7.6 in
|READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS|
Aside from the Angle Range Compensation system of the Fusion 1 Mile, it also features a Variable Sight-In technology which allows the shooter or to dial-in into your rifle’s zero the bullet drop or holdover information that you wish to use.
You can also use the system’s 4 pre-loaded sight-in distances for instant access to accurate information.
The Fusion 1 Mile boasts of a combination of PC-3 phase coating, fully-functional multi-coated lenses, and a state-of-the-art BaK-4 prism glass to provide for highly enhanced illumination and image resolution.
The lens is coated with a water repellent technology known as the Rain-Guard HD system which, when combined with its waterproof and fogproof construction, allows the rangefinder binocular to be used in all-weather conditions.
Its Vivid Display Technology also allows for enhanced readouts of data.
The Fusion 1600 1 Mile is excellent for the accuracy and reliability of its ARC and VSI systems.
Its lightweight and weatherproofing construction makes it an all-weather performer. Best of all, however, it provides true value for money.
Despite its VDT, the display itself can be washed in extremely bright light.
It is often very difficult to read the information on the display. It also tends to be quite sluggish in cold environmental temperatures.
Zeiss Victory Laser Rangefinders
The Victory range of binoculars from Carl Zeiss is built for the modern marksman whatever it is in front of his sights.
It features innovative optics, a unique ballistic information system, a state-of-the-art laser rangefinding technology, and innovative holdover point correction to empower the hunter, rifleman, bow hunter, or even a geosurveyist make highly accurate measurements of his distance to the target regardless of environmental conditions.
The Carl Zeiss Victory RF relies on its 56mm objectives to provide the hunter with superb image resolution and illumination while at the same time providing for a distortion-free and phase-corrected roof prism design to enhance the overall accuracy of range distance measurements and the color fidelity and clarity of viewing scenes.
Zeiss Victory Laser Rangefinders: Watch Video Below
All of Carl Zeiss’ lenses are coated in multiple layers of T* anti-reflection coatings to provide for superb viewing. Additionally, the surfaces of the external lenses are coated with LotuTec coating that makes it highly water-repellent while ensuring the best viewing scenes in any possible condition. Its field of view is clear, crisp, and wide.
One of the most useful features of the Carl Zeiss Victory RF binoculars is its ballistics information system or BIS which, when combined with its laser rangefinding features, can allow for split-second range distance measurements which can prove critical if you have your eye on the prize.
The system provides you with invaluable data which you can use to make the necessary corrections in your holdover points.
The system integrates pre-selected ballistics curves, range distance measurements, and the caliber class to make the most accurate corrections to help ensure bull’s eye-like shot placement.
The Victory rangefinder binoculars of Carl Zeiss also allows you to key-in your own ballistics curve data.
The luminous LED display allows for very accurate viewing scenes as it automatically adjusts in display brightness depending on ambient light conditions. This simply means you don’t have to squint and take your eyes off the target because the response programming of the LED panel adjusts brightness so as not to injure your eyes.
Zeiss Victory Laser RF Specifications
|Zeiss Victory Rangefinders 8x56||Zeiss Victory Rangefinders 10x45||Zeiss Victory Rangefinders 10x56|
|17 mm||15.5 mm||16 mm|
Field of View
|377 ft/1000 yds||330 ft/1000 yds||361 ft/1000 yds|
|16.4 ft||18 ft||16.4 ft|
|Class 1 laser||Class 1 laser||Class 1 laser|
|4.6 pounds||2.2 pounds||4.6 pounds|
|5.3 x 5.3 x 7.6 inches||5.3 x 5.3 x 6.6 inches||5.5 x 5.5 x 7.6 inches|
|READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS||READ REVIEWS|
The information displayed includes the corrected value if the BIS has been activated. Its laser rangefinding is effective up to 1,300 yards or about 1,200 meters. The Victory RF also comes with a very convenient SET button which gives you instant access to three most commonly used functions.
The SET button can help you activate or deactivate the BIS technology, choose the appropriate ballistics curve program, and choose between imperial and metric systems of measurements all at a touch of the SET button.
The Carl Zeiss Victory RF binoculars are constructed from heavy-duty magnesium alloy and carefully treated with an innovative and highly effective anti-corrosion surface coating.
Its rubberized non-slip armoring provides it with an excellent grip. The ocular is filled with nitrogen to allow for fog proof and waterproofing capabilities.
The name Carl Zeiss is always equated with premium quality high-performance optics. It is also dustproof, fog proof, and waterproof so that it can be taken anywhere regardless of the environmental conditions.
Its highly intuitive fingertip controls allow for superb ease of use and its self-illuminating LED should be a welcome relief to the eyes. Best of all, its ballistic information system truly does an amazing job.
Some users may find Victory RF a little heavier than usual but this should not be a major issue unless you have frail hands. One major drawback, however, is the price, which can be as much as 4 times the cost of the Bushnell Fusion Arc.
These are the world’s four best rangefinder binoculars. If you are working on a rather tight budget, then going for the Bushnell might be a good idea. However, Leica and Carl Zeiss seem to provide excellent features commensurate to their price.
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