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Virtually all major optics manufacturers – Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss, to mention just a few – make rangefinder binoculars. Even Nikon has their own RifleHunter 1000. So why would anyone come out with another model like the LaserForce rangefinder binocular?
Let’s take a look at the LaserForce to see why Nikon would attempt such a feat. Was it worth their time and effort or not?
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What Makes the Nikon LaserForce Special?
I won’t leave you in suspense regarding the best feature of the Nikon LaserForce. It has many of the same features that many other rangefinders do, but this one is rated out to a distance of 1900 yards.
They might as well have called it the LaserForce 1900, just like they named the RifleHunter 1000 for its 1000-yard rating.
Now, don’t get too excited about the number 1900. Nikon themselves state that this number is “for reference”. Here are their exact qualifying statements.
“For reference. Under Nikon’s Measurement conditions. The specifications of the product may not be achieved depending on the target object’s shape, surface texture and nature, and/or weather conditions.”
What you can realistically expect when hunting is a range of around 1100 yards instead. That’s still pretty good and more than double what you could expect from a RifleHunter 1000.
What Are the Main Features and Specifications of the Nikon LaserForce?
As I hinted at above, most of the other features of the LaserForce are the same, or nearly the same, as those you’ll find in most other rangefinder binoculars today.
- Magnification – 10x
- Objective Lens Size – 42mm
- Ranging Distance – 10 to 1900 yards
- Incline / Decline Angle Rangs – +/- 89 degrees
- Glass – Extra-low Dispersion (ED)
- Eyecups – Turn-and-slide, rubber
- Lens Covers – Flip down for objectives
- Waterproof? – Yes
- Fogproof? – Yes
- Tripod? – Optional adapter
Watch this video (sponsored by Sportsman’s Warehouse) to see these features and much more in use in the field.
Many of the items I’ll mention next were covered in the video above, but in case you didn’t watch it, here they are in print.
You can set the distance and angle display to any of 4 different intensities. This lets you easily see the readings no matter what the condition of the ambient light.
You can take a single or continuous measurement that lasts up to 8 seconds. This can be especially helpful when your target is on the move. For close targets under 100 yards (or meters), the rangefinder is accurate to 0.1 yards (or meters). Over 100, it’s accurate to the nearest 1 unit.
If you read about Nikon’s ID Technology, understand that this refers to Incline / Decline angle, not some sort of identification feature.
The ED glass, which is fairly common these days, corrects chromatic aberration (color distortion) that can otherwise occur especially at higher resolutions. I’m not sure that this matters much to a hunter. It’s more useful if you intend to use these as a birder or other wildlife enthusiast.
The glass in these binoculars is apparently the same as what you would find in Nikon’s Monarch 7 binoculars – an excellent series of optics.
The video above mentions that there are both left and right diopters on the LaserForce. I’m not sure why Nikon deemed this feature necessary. Normally, you have just one diopter, usually on the right-hand tube. The purpose of a diopter is to adjust the focus of one tube for one eye (which may not be the same strength as your other eye) so that you can then use the master focus properly for both eyes.
Having two diopters sort of defeats the purpose of having a diopter at all. I suppose someone might prefer using either just the left or just the right diopter, but it would be silly to use both of them in all but the most unusual of circumstances.
Field of view (FOV) of the LaserForce is a decent 320 feet at 1000 yards. The eye relief is 15.5 millimeters, which is also respectable.
Some have complained about the weight, which is 30.9 ounces, but this is no heavier (in fact, it’s a shade lighter) than other comparable rangefinder binoculars.
Below you can see the promo video from Nikon.
What’s the Verdict on the Nikon LaserForce Rangefinder Binoculars?
The LaserForce is a vast improvement over Nikon’s own RifleHunter 1000, but you may not find much of a difference in features or specifications when comparing to other manufacturers’ offerings, such as the Swarovski EL series.
No difference, that is, until you look at the prices of each. You can see this using the link below.
One user had this to say about his first use of the LaserForce in the wild.
“I took these binoculars out for a pre-deer season scout. These glasses are crystal clear in late evenings and early mornings and the laser rangefinder is great!”
Another reviewer, who actually did a head-to-head comparison with Swarovski, had the following comments.
“Swarovski was a tick brighter in both daylight and at the edge of darkness. The LaserForce imaging showed better contrast, however.”
“Swarovski field-of-view at 1000 yards is also 5% larger (336 ft. vs. 320 ft.).”
If those features really matter to you, you’ll know which one to get. But is it worth the difference in price? You get to be the judge of that.