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OT - Range Finders

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  • OT - Range Finders

    I don't play golf and I'm not into photography so my knowledge of range finders is somewhere between slim and non-existant. However, on a couple of trips I found myself looking at things with no reasonable reference points to get a sense of scale or distance. I was really at a loss in Glacier Bay and Denali. I hadn't the slightest clue as to how big things were or how far away they were. That info would have made the already impressive even more so.

    So, do range finders exist that are of reasonable size (and cost) that would measure more than a few hundred yards? Thoughts? Experience?

    Many thanks in advance.


  • #2

    I have two laser range finders. The small one is a Stanley that I bought a couple of years ago. They claim that it is accurate out to about 100' or so. It works well indoors but over 30' or so the sunlight will wash it out. I also have a Disto that I bought about 4 years ago. This is a nice unit although pricey at about $1,000. Disto claims 5mm accuracy out to 600'. It works well out 100' or so in bright sunlight, but washes out much further than that unless you use a target. With a target I have accurately measured distances up to 1200' in bright sunlight. This Disto came with a detachable telescopic sight that allows you to see the laser dot at long distances. I use these for measuring sports fields (baseball, football, soccer etc.) when developing proposals to renovate their lighting systems.

    I am not sure these would work for as they need targets placed at the distant point to work properly. I have seen some optical range finders that shooters use, maybe something like that would for you.

    Merry Christmas,



    • #3
      I think a good map with GPS grids (Delorme) and a GPS would do better than a range finder.
      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


      • #4
        I remember from my time in Defence Forces a tool that they used to see how far some target was. It was like binoculars, except they widened your eye-to-eye-distance quite much and they had a some sort of scale inside that you could see. The end result was that you were able to tell how far some target was, but they required some training to use it.

        Maybe someone knows the name of this?
        Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.


        • #5

          Just what Phil needs but a little on the bulky side.



          • #6
            The only range finders that Ive used that were worth the effort were by Bushnell and Nikon.

            The US made Bushnell imho is by far the best.. They do versions for golf or for hunting...and binocular versions aswell


            I have a tour V2 that has optics upto 1000yrds (300 to a golf flag) and the pro1600 model has optics upto 1600yrds (400 to a flag)

            The only con is the batterys...they are a CR2 3v lithium pile battery that are fairly expensive over here.

            Last edited by MrSleepy; 12-24-2011, 09:21 AM.


            • #7
              I have a Nikon "Laser 1200" that's good to about 1000 yards (shooting target frames) and accurate to 1% over that range. It wouldn't read on reflective tape at 1500 yards. Mine was fairly inexpensive as a refurb from Widener's.


              • #8
                I use a laser range finder all the time. There is general rule with all of them. All will work no problem out to half the rated distance. Then it depends on the reflectiveness of the target. When we set up targets out to 1000yds we aim at the reflector on the 4wheeler to get a good reading. Now we had a laser range finder in the Army. That was good to 9990 meters. And it worked without problems. But it wasn’t eye safe. We had to wear laser eye safe glasses.


                • #9
                  I think Phil is talking about something else.

                  Think of the mountain west in the U.S. Where it's hard to tell if a prominent feature is 2 miles away, or or 20 or 200. Well, that may be a slight exageration, but you get the idea. The eye and brain are just not accustomed to decoding the visual cues on a scale like that.
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                  • #10
                    Range finders

                    I have a 1200 yard Bushnell that works well out to that range.
                    I use it for shooting my big bore guns - 50 BMG and my cannons.
                    If I need longer, 1000s of yards or miles, I use the ruler on Google Earth.
                    I cut it off twice and it's still too short!