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Best Low light range finder

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2014 at 12:28
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Optics Apprentice
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Joined: December/10/2010
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Die hard bow hunter here. Looking to ditch the binoculars while I'm in the stand and just use a LRF. Real work scenario I don't have time to look at a deer with my bino's, set them down, pick up the LRF, range the deer, set it back down, etc.....


The problem with my POS Nikon is it gathers no light so I cant see jack through it when most shooting opportunities happen. I don't need the LRF to see a mile. I need it for 20-100 yards and in low light conditions. I hunt bluff country so angle compensation would be a huge plus.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2015 at 23:39
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Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: September/04/2014
Location: Canberra
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Check out the Trupulse 200L
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/12/2015 at 08:17
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Optics Jedi Knight
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Joined: January/08/2007
Location: Oklahoma
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The best optics I have found in a range finder is in the Lieca. Even so they are not what I would call  bright.
      Learn the practice of setting up a range card when you set up your stand. If you wait until the deer have arrived within 50 yards to start fumbling with a range finder the deer will to burn you. I don't even like having binoculars in an archery stand. Deer have good eyes. They will be more likely to pick up movement of a hunter scanning the far horizon long before the deer are ever in bow range. Having Binoculars, Rangefinder, deer calls and whatever gizmos hanging around your neck or fumbling around to put them away in pockets so you can pick up your bow after the deer are in range is a recipe for failure. Do the work ahead of time. Range card, Clear the decks for action,( put everything away that can impede drawing the bow.) Be still then shoot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2017 at 22:16
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Optics GrassHopper
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As another die hard bowhunter, I've not found a dedicated rangefinder that is worth much optically speaking.  Some of the top tier binoculars with built in rangefinders have exceptional optics and can measure distance but none of the small wallet sized monocular type rangefinders that I've been able to use were up to dark thirty to dark thirty optical performance standards that I wanted.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 08:55
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I am very pleased with the low light AND all around performance of my SIG Kilo 2000.  Definitely good during legal shooting hours.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 11:39
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Optics God
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Superstool

Joined: January/03/2008
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The objectives are to small on the to provide enough light
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 11:50
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Better glass helps a little bit, but no matter what - like it's been said - the objectives are too small. That's been my experience with both Swaro (8X) and Zeiss (7X).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 12:15
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Works for me...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 13:30
RifleDude View Drop Down
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If you want excellent low light performance and a single optic that will serve double duty as both a rangefinder and a binocular, you need just that -- a bino with integrated LRF. A dedicated LRF monocular can't even remotely hang with a good LRF bino... not even close. This is due to 2 reasons: 1. the objective lenses on the dedicated LRF monoculars are small, so you have a small exit pupil and lower resolution, and 2. being a monocular, they don't offer the stereoscopic vision benefit you get from a bino. With both eyes involved, more information is delivered to your brain, and you can discern detail much better in waning light. On top of that, with the 4X-7X magnification typical to dedicated monocular style rangefinders, coupled with the small 25mm-ish objective diameters, you have low "twilight factor," which simply means that low magnification AND small objectives together reduces your resolution in low light.

Of course, as with any such devices combining multiple functions into a single piece of gear, there are obvious tradeoffs involved with LRF binos. They are considerably more expensive than equivalent quality binos without the LRF. They are certainly heavier and bulkier than a dedicated LRF monocular, though not more so than having 2 separate optics. If the LRF fails, you are left with less size- and weight- efficient conventional binos. However, if you don't want to carry around 2 separate optics and want LRF capability AND the best possible low light performance, there is no other option remotely comparable in a dedicated LRF.

The Leica Geovid HD-B and Swarovski EL Range are both superb. They are virtually as good as each respective firm's dedicated binos, which is to say they have alpha-level optics and excellent low light performance. they also incorporate LRFs that work better than most dedicated monocular LRFs. Of those two, I prefer the Leica HD-B because it ranges further than the Swaro and as an added bonus, also includes a ballistic drop calculator. I also prefer the ergonomics of their curved barrels.

These are pretty expensive but in my opinion, worth it. Truly spectacular optics that give up nothing.

Bushnell, Nikon, and Vortex also offer rangefinding binos for considerably less money, though they're still somewhat expensive. There may be a couple other brands as well that I'm not aware of. unlike the Leica and Swaro, I've not tried any of these outside a store. Though they won't give you the performance of the two "top dogs," being binos and having larger objectives and greater magnification than most dedicated LRFs, they will still way outperform any dedicated LRF monocular in low light. There's simply no comparison to being able to use both eyes and having both larger objectives and greater magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 14:47
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

If you want excellent low light performance and a single optic that will serve double duty as both a rangefinder and a binocular, you need just that -- a bino with integrated LRF. A dedicated LRF monocular can't even remotely hang with a good LRF bino... not even close. This is due to 2 reasons: 1. the objective lenses on the dedicated LRF monoculars are small, so you have a small exit pupil and lower resolution, and 2. being a monocular, they don't offer the stereoscopic vision benefit you get from a bino. With both eyes involved, more information is delivered to your brain, and you can discern detail much better in waning light. On top of that, with the 4X-7X magnification typical to dedicated monocular style rangefinders, coupled with the small 25mm-ish objective diameters, you have low "twilight factor," which simply means that low magnification AND small objectives together reduces your resolution in low light.

Of course, as with any such devices combining multiple functions into a single piece of gear, there are obvious tradeoffs involved with LRF binos. They are considerably more expensive than equivalent quality binos without the LRF. They are certainly heavier and bulkier than a dedicated LRF monocular, though not more so than having 2 separate optics. If the LRF fails, you are left with less size- and weight- efficient conventional binos. However, if you don't want to carry around 2 separate optics and want LRF capability AND the best possible low light performance, there is no other option remotely comparable in a dedicated LRF.

The Leica Geovid HD-B and Swarovski EL Range are both superb. They are virtually as good as each respective firm's dedicated binos, which is to say they have alpha-level optics and excellent low light performance. they also incorporate LRFs that work better than most dedicated monocular LRFs. Of those two, I prefer the Leica HD-B because it ranges further than the Swaro and as an added bonus, also includes a ballistic drop calculator. I also prefer the ergonomics of their curved barrels.

These are pretty expensive but in my opinion, worth it. Truly spectacular optics that give up nothing.

Bushnell, Nikon, and Vortex also offer rangefinding binos for considerably less money, though they're still somewhat expensive. There may be a couple other brands as well that I'm not aware of. unlike the Leica and Swaro, I've not tried any of these outside a store. Though they won't give you the performance of the two "top dogs," being binos and having larger objectives and greater magnification than most dedicated LRFs, they will still way outperform any dedicated LRF monocular in low light. There's simply no comparison to being able to use both eyes and having both larger objectives and greater magnification.
Fully agree with all stated here.  There is NO competition between the bino and the mono… at least any I have ever seen… mono's, overall, can't compete.  However, doesn't mean they are not useable in low light.  Depends on what you are willing to carry.  As with everything in hunting/shooting paraphernalia… there's always a trade.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2017 at 21:37
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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LRF bins would be better in this situation and in some others. Aside from price, I went with a Zeiss a few years ago because it was light and compact for backpack hunting and shooting is only allowed when it's light enough for it to be effective anyway. But I'd love to try the HD-B if it wasn't so far down my list of toys and tools!
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