Rangefinder binoculars: The benefits and drawbacks Complete Guide

Are you looking for the perfect rangefinder binoculars? Whether you want to explore new terrain, track wildlife or enjoy an outdoor concert, rangefinder binoculars could be the ideal tool to help you.

Discover the advantages and drawbacks of this type of outdoor vision device. Let’s get started and find out what these binoculars have to offer!

Rangefinder binoculars are a specialized type of field binocular that allow the user to measure distances to objects in the field. These binoculars are designed for use by hunters, photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts who need precision and accuracy in distance measurement. Combined with modern digital optics, rangefinder binoculars provide exceptional image quality and an enhanced level of image detail that traditional porro prism or roof prism designs cannot match.

In this guide, we will provide an overview of how rangefinder binoculars work, as well as discuss their advantages and disadvantages. We will also explore the various types of rangefinders on the market today, what factors to consider when shopping for them and offer advice on choosing a suitable pair for your needs!

Benefits of rangefinder binoculars

Rangefinder binoculars provide a number of advantages that standard binoculars do not. First, they offer a unique type of precision and accuracy not found with other types of optics. Rangefinder binoculars use technology to combine two optical tools into one, which allows for measuring the distance between you and your target without any guesswork. This increases the efficacy of your shots as well as making them more accurate over longer distances. Rangefinders can also be used for other purposes such as spotting fish in deeper water or keeping tabs on wildlife such as game, birds or large cats.

Furthermore, rangefinder binoculars incorporate advanced features such as laser rangefinding capabilities and digital zooming to ensure you get the accuracy you need at any given distance; the technology is especially useful for hunters who often hunt at long ranges. Additionally, rangefinder binoculars are generally smaller than traditional spotting scopes allowing you to take them easily along on hunting trips or hikes.

Finally, there are also comfort features that make rangefinder binoculars preferable to regular optics such as adjustable eye relief, rubber coating and depth perception settings that enable users to effectively adjust their settings according to conditions and personal preference when viewing an object in their line of sight.

Improved accuracy

Rangefinder binoculars offer several advantages over traditional binoculars, the primary being improved accuracy when measuring the height and distance of objects. Rangefinders are equipped with a built-in laser rangefinder which, combined with specialized algorithms, provides reliable data on distances between two objects. This can be extremely useful for a variety of activities such as hunting, bird watching, painting and photography.

Another advantage of using rangefinder binoculars is increased zoom capabilities; they allow users to zoom in closer on distant objects and remain accurate in their measurements. In addition, they are smaller and lighter than conventional binoculars since they do not require additional bulky hardware to measure distance.

However, rangefinder binoculars also have some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before purchase. For one thing, they typically cost more than regular binoculars due to the added cost of manufacture for the laser range-finding technology. Additionally, some users find them too bulky or heavy for extended use, making them less ideal for activities that require long hours of continual viewing such as birding or wildlife observation. As well, laser rangefinders have inherent limitations when it comes to measuring further distances depending on light availability and object reflectivity; this means it can be difficult to get accurate readings when trying to measure beyond a certain point.

Faster target acquisition

Binoculars with integrated range-finders provide a more convenient way to quickly obtain range information for target acquisition. The advantage of using a rangefinder binocular is that it allows you to keep your eyes on the target and see the exact range from the display within a couple of seconds without losing track of the location or obscuring your field of vision.

This can be particularly useful when hunting in thickly forested or otherwise difficult terrain. Additionally, many models are designed for use in low light environments due to the use of infrared range finding technology. Rangefinder binoculars also tend to be quite durable, enabling them to withstand impacts, dirt and other environmental factors while still providing accurate readings over lengthy periods of time.

Better image quality

Image quality is desirable for rangefinder binoculars, and for good reason — it’s never fun to look through a pair of binoculars and not be able to make out any details. Rangefinder binoculars provide a sharper image than standard binoculars, resulting in images that are crisper, clearer, and more vivid. This makes the rangefinder ideal for birding, wildlife observation, hunting, or any other activity where you need to make out even small details like patterns in feathers or facial characteristics.

The improved image quality is achieved through a combination of the higher quality lenses typically used in rangefinder binoculars coupled with improved image stability due to the light frame design. Standard binoculars tend to be much heavier than their rangefinder counterparts due to their greater size and weight; this can cause motion blur when you move them around as you might with all day wear and tear. The lighter design of the rangefinder eliminates this motion blur so you can get an extremely sharp image without sacrificing portability.

The improved optics also means that even at longer distances the image will still remain clear rather than becoming distorted or grainy like an unfocused lens might cause. At very long ranges though your field of view will start to diminish as it does with all optical equipment; more powerful magnification lenses require larger diameter barrels which leads to a reduced field of view as well as reduced light transference levels which can also limit brightness and clarity levels at very long ranges.


Multi-function rangefinder binoculars offer a wide variety of features beyond the basic ability to measure distance. Most models come with digital compasses and inclinometers, helping you to determine precise navigation data. Other functions vary depending on the specific model and can include altimeters, barometers, thermometers, GPS mapping, gimbal controls and more. Many rangefinder binoculars have Bluetooth connectivity so you can link them to compatible apps for enhanced features such as Star Gazing maps and photo/video capturing ability.

Some multi-function models also provide 360-degree imagery for a full panoramic photosphere that is capable of recording color video in up to 3D resolution. These advanced imaging capabilities enhance your capability by allowing you to preview a large area or make quick identifications from afar. The benefit of crosshair image capture is that it not only provides clear images but also gives you the ability to obtain measurements without having to be in the direct line of sight with your targets.

The major drawbacks associated with multifunctional rangefinder binoculars include their relatively high cost (compared with non-multi-functional models) and weight of the device due to all its electronic components housed in its bulky housing. Additionally, while they do allow easier access when trying to record measurement data from distant or difficult locations, they may be less accurate at longer ranges due to atmospheric conditions or operator input errors that can distort range readings over significant distances.

The Pros and Cons of Rangefinding Binoculars - Western Hunter

Ideal for long-range shooting

Rangefinder binoculars are specially designed binoculars that can be used to precisely measure the distance between two points. This makes them ideal for long-range shooting, as they provide you with an accurate and reliable way to gauge distance when lining up your targets.

Rangefinder binoculars will allow you to determine the exact distance between you and your target, allowing you to adjust elevation and windage accordingly. This accuracy is invaluable when shooting at long distance.

Additionally, rangefinder binoculars are compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport from one location to another.

Features to consider when choosing rangefinder binoculars

Choosing the best rangefinder binoculars requires understanding the various features offered in different models and determining which are most important for your individual needs. Here is a breakdown of some of the most common features and what to consider when making this decision:

Optical Coatings: Coated lenses provide improved light transmission, better contrast and a brighter image. It is important to ensure that all of the glass surfaces, including prisms, bean ends and eyepieces, are coated with cutting-edge antireflective coatings that can increase light transmission by as much as 27 percent.

Magnification/Objective Lens Size: The higher the magnification and larger objective lens size, the farther you will be able to see with your rangefinder binoculars. However, higher power also increases size and weight, making them harder to carry around or use for extended periods of time. Consider what type of activities you plan on using these for and choose an appropriate magnification and lens size.

Objective Lens type: Rangefinder binoculars use lenses from either “standard” or “ED” (extra-low dispersion) glass. Standard lenses offer excellent performance at a lower price tag, whereas ED glass gives you razor sharp images even in low-light settings at a higher cost – An ED glass rangefinder binocular is sure to provide you with premium quality images even if your budget is tight.

Field of View: This feature measures how much area can be seen through your rangefinder binoculars at 1000 yards away (measured in feet). Wider fields of view typically offer greater comfort while viewing objects at longer distances such as wildlife or birds on a hillside or mountain crest – The field width should remain consistent even with varying magnifications so that moving targets can easily be tracked more efficiently by quickly shifting eye position across the field of view rather than having to move through excess steps per degree change in field width while tracking an object during its flight path (also referred to as Zoom Ratio/Power Factor).

Magnification power and objective lens diameter

The two most important factors of a rangefinder binocular are its magnification power and objective lens diameter. The magnification power relates to the size as objects appear larger or wider, while the objective lens diameter refers to the diameter of the lenses. Magnification powers come in several different ranges, from 8x – 12x, 6x – 10x, and 10x – 15x. A higher magnification generally offers more detail and clarity, but it can also reduce your field of view making it harder to find your subject. In some cases, this can make using rangefinders with higher magnifications more difficult for new users.

Objective lens diameters vary between 20mm and 50mm indicating the size of each lens in millimeters. Rangefinding binoculars with larger objective lenses will provide better light transmission and superior image clarity compared to smaller lenses. However, they may also be heavier which could make them less comfortable to carry around or observe things over extended periods of time. So if you plan on using your rangefinding binocular often choose an optimal size that won’t hinder you while still providing clear images.

Range finding capabilities

Range finding capabilities are one of the greatest benefits of the rangefinder binocular. Many binoculars come with built-in rangefinder reticles that allow you to measure distances quickly and accurately. The rangefinder function can be used for a variety of outdoor activities such as birding and hunting, measuring golf course hole-distances, observing wildlife from a distance, and surveying distant terrain.

Rangefinder binoculars come in various sizes, configurations, and power ratings. Most models have a magnification set at 8x or 10x, while more advanced models may have higher magnifications, such as 15x or 20x. A 8-15×35 binocular is ideal for nature viewing and most outdoor activities, while higher magnifications are more suitable for activities like hunting or golfing.

Most rangefinders also contain built-in digital compasses on the eyepiece that can be used to help calculate distances in the field. These allow you to adjust lens settings from long distance objects to close up ones without changing the entire setup.

The downside of all this versatility is price; rangefinders usually cost more than other types of binoculars due to their added features, so budget shoppers might want to think twice before investing in a costly model when there are cheaper options available. Additionally, certain conditions such as fog or extreme weather can affect their effectiveness if they aren’t designed with proper waterproof seals and weatherproof materials.


In conclusion, rangefinder binoculars are an incredibly helpful tool when scouting and surveying potential hunting grounds. They enable hunters to quickly measure the distance of potential game from an ideal shooting location, making field preparation much more efficient. Furthermore, rangefinder binoculars can be used to measure the distance between other natural elements in your field of vision such as distinct landmarks or trees.

However, these technological advances do not come without drawbacks: rangefinder binoculars are often expensive and include a learning curve that some new users may find overwhelming. Additionally, weather conditions such as fog or overcast skies can adversely affect rangefinder binocular accuracy, though most manufacturers have taken precautions to ensure precision remains consistent regardless of the environment.

Though they may not be essential for every hunter all of the time, in some cases a rangefinder binocular is essential for accurately assessing potential quarry before making a shot — when it comes down to it being prepared for your hunt is key to having an enjoyable experience and successful kill rates during hunting season.

Rangefinder Binoculars: The Definitive Guide 2023


What is the difference between binoculars and a rangefinder?

Binoculars are used for observing and magnifying distant objects, while a rangefinder is used to measure the distance between the observer and the target.

What are the uses of rangefinder?

Rangefinders are used in hunting, golfing, surveying, and military applications to measure the distance between the observer and the target.

How do rangefinding binoculars work?

Rangefinding binoculars work by emitting a laser beam towards the target and measuring the time it takes for the beam to bounce back, which determines the distance between the observer and the target.

What is the difference between scope and rangefinder?

A scope is used to magnify and aim at a target, while a rangefinder is used to measure the distance between the observer and the target.

Are rangefinders better?

It depends on the situation and the user’s needs. Rangefinders are useful for certain applications, such as hunting and golfing, while binoculars are more versatile for general observation purposes.

Which type of binoculars is best?

The best type of binoculars depends on the intended use and personal preferences. Some factors to consider include magnification, objective lens size, and quality of optics.

What is a disadvantage of a rangefinder?

One disadvantage of a rangefinder is that it may not work well in low-light conditions or if the target is partially obscured.

Why are rangefinders good?

Rangefinders are useful tools for determining the distance between the observer and the target, which can help with accuracy in activities such as hunting and golfing.

What is the best rangefinder?

The best rangefinder depends on the user’s needs and budget. Some highly rated options include the Leica CRF Rangemaster and the Bushnell Elite.

How far can a rangefinder see?

The maximum range of a rangefinder depends on the model and conditions, but some models can accurately measure distances up to several thousand yards.

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