Best Nikon rangefinder

Camera & Photo

Until they were first sold commercially by Bushnell in 1996, laser rangefinders typical were used in applications including space-shuttle retrieval missions and brought unparalleled accuracy to the sport of hunting.

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Which Nikon rangefinder is best?

Whether you are an avid oudoorsperson, bowhunter, golfer or amateur ornithologist, knowing the precise amount of distance between yourself and your target can make all the difference in ensuring a successful shot of whatever sort. As such, the acquisition of a purpose-built laser rangefinder by a renowned manufacturer such as Nikon will only improve your overall perception, accuracy and spatial awareness in whatever outdoor pursuit you find yourself enjoying. In fact, with the Nikon 50 Laser Rangefinder 6X Magnification Bundle at your disposal, you can determine the exact amount of distance between you and the object of your choice with a single button press.

What to know before you buy a Nikon rangefinder

Environment

Regardless of if you would rather hit the golf course at the crack of dawn or prefer to spend your sunsets waiting hidden in a deer stand or duck blind, having the ability to clearly see what you are aiming at is rather crucial to properly enjoying said activity. That being said, the last thing you want is to try and line up the perfect shot only to end up being thwarted by a rangefinder that leaves you effectively blinded.

As such, all of the selected models have been specifically chosen for their ability to accurately calculate distance in a variety of both normal and low light situations, thus ensuring that you can get the lay of the land at whatever time you happen to be out and about. Furthermore, some units are even suitable for night time excursions as long as you can successfully make out the outline of whatever object you are interested in rangefinding.

Image stabilization

Unless you happen to be lucky or skilled enough to have hands capable of remaining completely steady, you might have issues with accuracy when using a conventional range finder. Since rangefinders rely on you being able to maintain a relatively stable connection to allow the built in laser to fire, hit its target and bounce back to a sensor, excessive movements or nervous tremors can make getting a good reading extremely difficult.

Thankfully, Nikon rangefinders are renowned for their ability to compensate for shaky hands via their proprietary image stabilization technology as well as greatly simplifying the process of locking onto your desired target quickly and easily. By using a Nikon rangefinder, you can help make sure that any physical issues don;t prevent you from taking part in your favorite activities.

What to look for in a quality Nikon rangefinder

Uses an appropriately classed laser

For those who are unfamiliar with the different types of commercially available laser technology, they range from Class 1 to Class 4 and each class represents a stark difference in both power and legal limitations on their usage in specific environments. While Nikon rangefinders are equipped with Class 1 visible laser technology used in CD players, Class 2 lasers are used in barcode technology and Class 3 technology includes everyday laser pointers. 

However, improper exposure to a Class 4 laser can cause significant damage including skin burns, damage to vision and even permanent blindness. What all this essentially means is that your Nikon rangefinder’s laser technology is capable of causing damage to your eyes, but only if viewed directly through optical instruments such as a jeweler’s loupe, magnifying glass or other viewing device.

Adequate protection from the elements

If you’ve gone to the time, trouble and expense of acquiring a rangefinder for the express purpose of getting the perfect shot, having a unit that is prone to fogging, condensation and other water-based distortions would be an unfortunate waste. Furthermore, the ability to transition between electronically powered monocular sights and diopter adjustment lenses for greater accuracy can provide significant benefits.

Fortunately for you, Nikon rangefinders come equipped with a wide range of technology to resist and even fully prevent water intrusion, from lens and prism surfaces being applied with multi-layered coatings to being fully filled with nitrogen in order to completely eliminate all forms of internal condensation. Whatever kind of weather you get caught out in, you can rest assured that your trusty Nikon rangefinder will remain unfogged and unobscured and make sure that you stay on target.

Advanced features

Now that you have decided to purchase a rangefinder, you want to purchase a model that meets or exceeds your desired sighting range and offers quick and accurate distance measurement as needed. However, any hunter who needs to take the angle of attack into account when sighting their prey may find a conventional rangefinder delivers unsatisfactory results.

As such, some models of Nikon rangefinder come equipped with features including advanced ID (Incline/Decline) technology to provide an accurate horizontal distance to your target, magnetic mounts to attach it to metal surfaces, target and distant target priority modes and much more. No matter whether you are patiently waiting for a deer to come into range or figuring out the perfect bank shot to get out of that troublesome sand dune, a Nikon rangefinder will help you get the job done.

How much you can expect to spend on a Nikon rangefinder

Depending on your desired features as well as any budgetary considerations, a quality Nikon rangefinder can cost $187-$297 and sometimes more.

Best Nikon rangefinder FAQ

Where should you keep your rangefinder when it is not being used?

A. Since rangefinders are primarily designed for active use, many models of rangefinder come with various methods to keep the device secure and safe at hand. Such methods include elastic or corded lanyards, belt loops and hooks or regular binocular harnesses.

Will your rangefinder wear out with use over time?

A. Yes, your rangefinder is certainly vulnerable to the effects of age and overuse. Two of the most commonly affected components that require you to purchase a new unit include the processor which calculates distances as well as the efficiency of the laser itself.

What’s the best Nikon rangefinder to buy?

Top Nikon rangefinder 

Nikon 50 Laser Rangefinder 6X Magnification Bundle

Nikon 50 Laser Rangefinder 6X Magnification Bundle

What you need to know: A fully equipped Nikon laser rangefinder, it is ideal for bowhunters and other outdoors people.

What you’ll love: This unit features a 6-2000-yard ranging capacity displayed in increments of a single yard, as well as Nikon’s advanced ID (Incline/Decline) Technology, which gives you the horizontal distance to a given target even at various decline or incline shooting angles, a lightweight and ergonomic design, nitrogen-purged and O-ring installed for complete waterproofing, red internal display and Tru-Target Technology that lets you instantly swap between two ranging modes at will.

What you should consider: Users have reported issues such as the lanyard being awkward for non left-handed users as well as the case’s clips snapping off easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Nikon rangefinder for the money

Nikon Prostaff Laser Rangefinder Bundle with 3 CR2 Batteries and Lumintrail Cleaning Cloth

Nikon Prostaff Laser Rangefinder Bundle With 3 CR2 Batteries and Lumintrail Cleaning Cloth

What you need to know: This is an affordable Nikon laser rangefinder for a wide range of outdoor activities.

What you’ll love: This unit offers a 6-1000 yard measurement range with a 6x high-quality monocular as well as continuous measurement for up to four seconds with Tru Target, the ability to range an object as small as a fence post or display the furthest target measured in a given group of targets, multilayer water resistant coating applied to all prism and lens surfaces, a case, cleaning cloth, batteries and a lanyard.

What you should consider: Users have reported issues such as the display being hard to read and the unit being poorly suited for those with large hands.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nikon COOLSHOT 50i Golf Rangefinder Magnetic Mount Bundle

Nikon COOLSHOT 50i Golf Rangefinder Magnetic Mount Bundle

What you need to know: This is a great Nikon laser rangefinder for those who love hitting the links.

What you’ll love: This unit comes with an innovative built-in mounting magnet to secure it to metal surfaces as well as lenses with high contrast and anti-glare coatings, is completely rainproof, weighs in at under half a pound and comes with a brightly lit OLED display. 

What you should consider: Users have reported issues such as trouble using the pin lock on feature as well as poor performance in bright sunlight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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