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Ranger Laser Rangefinder 1500 8x42 Binos

By Nik Maxwell

Long and extended range shooting and hunting have become common practice in today’s scene. Our rifles, ammunition and optics are being continually developed and tailored to shoot with outstanding accuracy at considerable distances. With that, the costs involved in these technical advances have increased and are ultimately passed onto the consumer.

 

The old adage that you get what you pay for can certainly be applied when purchasing optics and the prices can
vary from affordable to bordering on second mortgage!

 

Thankfully, we are fortunate enough to have the choice of an enormous range of optics at both ends of the price scale. If you’re looking for some price-point range-finding binos, these Ranger 8x42s might just be the ticket.

 

OVERVIEW

Well, they look like most other binos to be honest. Standard features include retractable rubber eyecups with dual diopter adjustments, a central focus dial and neck strap fasteners.

 

The exterior is protected by heavy duty, full rubber overmoulding and looks like it could handle some serious use. The focus dial is aluminium with a rubber inset for better grip. I reckon some heavier grooves/notches are needed on the rubber however, as my finger tended to slip a little as I rotated the dial.

 

The power and functions buttons are within easy reach but could be a little more pronounced.

 

Claimed to be both waterproof and fog proof, my pair appeared to hold up to that task although they weren’t pushed to the limit on this test.

 

Positioned on the right-hand barrel are the power and function buttons. The binos power on almost immediately. The function button is dual purpose – hold it down to switch between metres and yards and press once to move between rain, reflection and long-distance modes. These modes are designed to optimize the binos’ capabilities in those situations.

 

“If you’re looking for some price-point range-finding binos, these Ranger 8x42s might just be the ticket.”

 

To explain, rain reduces the ranging ability, which makes sense, whereas white or reflective targets for example increase the range-finding ability. A small bar graph type indicator relays the quality of the signal.

 

I have to be honest here and say that when I first looked through them I thought they were broken! At the bottom of your view there’s an opaque semi-circle that displays the data. I was expecting the data to be “floating” over the viewed image but later learnt that this is where some compromises have been made to save on production costs. You pay another $1000 dollars to avoid that.

 

PRICE COMPARISON  
Ranger LRF 1500 8x42 1146gr $899
Bushnell Fusion 10x42 879gr $2,099
Vortex Fury HD 10x42 915gr $2,249
Leica Geovid 10x42 R 972gr $2,999
Swarovski EL 8x42 895gr $4,090

 

The display does restrict the view slightly but hey, they still do the job. The image quality is pretty good, there is a slight greenish tinge or hue but it in my opinion this does not negatively impact the view.

 

When I first handled the Ranger LRFs I immediately thought “Jeez, these are heavy!” However, a quick look online soon revealed that they are only +/-250gr heavier than some other leading brands. Not bad when you start comparing prices (RRP).

 

Included with the binoculars are a hard-shell carry case and strap, neck strap, cleaning cloth and a Panasonic CR2 lithium battery. The battery is housed under the left-hand barrel.

 

IN THE FIELD

I used the binos both on the range and in the field. At the range they held firm from 25 metres out to 300m, as they should. A trip into Spion Kop in the Kawekas would provide a decent test at much longer distances.

 

Over the course of the trip I was able to spot several far-off sika as they went about their business. The LRFs performed well and I was pleased at how quickly they ranged.

 

Against a low contrast hillside, the Rangers went over and above their stated range capability. NOTE: Photo taken via a phone through the barrels. Actual view does not have the edge colourisation and distortion.

 

With so much open country to cover I was able to push them to their limits and I was easily able to range beyond the 1500 yard/metre stated benchmark. This was also against low contrast bush and scrub covered hillsides. High contrast objects such as clay pans and rock formations allowed ranging towards the 1600 mark. Job done!

 

CONCLUSION

The Ranger LRF 1500 8x42s performed as well as you could expect for a sub $1k unit. If you want more, you pay more. These are price-point optics for the budget-minded hunter and/or shooter requiring the functionality of a rangefinder/bino combo.

 

They may not provide the prettiest view but they do what is required and they perform as advertised.

 

Nik

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