The thought of rangefinder binoculars were somewhat far fetched to me growing up. It was something that I thought would be cool, but also something that I never thought would be readily available or affordable. Fast forward to me in my early 30’s and let’s just say things have changed and changed for the better, as far as optics go. The glass that we have today is simply unmatched to that of the past. Clarity is through the roof and we can look through these all day long with no issues in the form of headaches. Pair that stellar glass with rangefinder capabilities and you’ve got a pretty cool toy in your hands. There are 3 RF binos that stick out to us at Ross Outdoors. They are the Vortex Fury HD , Zeiss Victory RF, and Leica Geovid HD-R 2700. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Here are our opinions on 3 Rangefinder Binoculars you need to check out.
Vortex Fury HD 5000
Vortex has been a top manufacturer of optics for quite a few years now and have made their impact on the hunting world. They are most notably known for their no guff warranty where they will replace any and all optics under any circumstances. That spells peace of mind in the field. On top of that, Vortex makes some pretty killer glass. It was no surprise when all of us heard that they were coming out with rangefinder binoculars. When the Vortex Fury HD 5000 was released, I was skeptical for sure. I think everyone was. New technology can be hit or miss from time to time. If you are familiar with the Vortex line though, these are basically a Viper HD with a built in rangefinder. I ran the Vipers for years and loved them. It’s good clear glass. How was the rangefinder though?
Well, the rangefinder is similar to that of any. You click the button, a reticle pops up, you click it again, and the range is displayed at what you were aiming at. Sounds simple right? It’s pretty cut and dry. I took these out of the box and just started using them pretty easily. Of course the Fury comes equipped with the HCD(horizontal component distance) so that you don’t have to worry about those steep angled shots. It will also grab ranges for you out to a whopping 1600 yards on a deer and 5,000 yards on a reflective target. This set of optics will run you about $1,199.99, making it the most economic choice of the three rangefinder binoculars we will chat about. It comes in 10×42 magnification. A great all around binocular.
- Good bang for the buck
- Easy to use
- Decent glass
- Compact for a RF bino
- Tricky to keep them focused
- No lock on the diopter
Zeiss Victory RF
Where do I begin with the Zeiss Victory RF? Zeiss has put out top tier glass for quite some time now and I’ve never heard anyone complain about the quality of a Zeiss optic. They’ve got the durability, great edge to edge clarity, and don’t settle for “good enough.” WIth that being said, the Zeiss Victory RF is no exception to those perks. In fact, it pushes the mold even more. They didn’t just throw a rangefinder in a Zeiss binocular. They jam packed this optic with features that will aid you in the field and on the range. The Victory RF is actually Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to connect the binocular to your phone via the Zeiss app. Yes, you read all of that correctly. By doing this, the user can upload up to 9 different ballistic profiles, which are saved in the binocular itself. Because the Victory has a built in weather station, it calculates atmospheric pressure, barometric pressure, and temperature. All of this is taken into account when it calculates your holdover data. This will come in especially handy when calculating for those long range shots. Of course the Victory comes equipped with angle compensation and range readings from 11- 2,500 yards, making it a good choice for bowhunters as well. All of that and this feels like a normal binocular. It’s not bulky at all and the only way you would know if it was a RF bino is by looking at the buttons on the top. Speaking of those buttons, you can actually invert them. This makes it your choice to pick if you want the RF button on the right side or the left side. Pretty wicked right?
When I got a chance to actually use this technological beast of a binocular, I was blown away by how fast it was. In all honesty, it was actually startling to me how fast the range reading popped up. There weren’t any glitches or anything. It was as if the optic was telling me, “cool, what else do you got for me?” This was happening out to 750 yards with ease. The fact that the binocular isn’t shaped like an RF binocular is something I really appreciated. The Victory easily fits into a standard bino pack. Like I said above, it looks like a normal binocular giving it a slight edge over the competition. Now, of course all of this awesomeness comes at a price. The Victory RF is going to run between $3599.99 – $3799.99 and you’ve got your choice of 8×42, 10×42, 8×54, and 10×54.
- Really lightweight and sleek
- Bluetooth capable
- Ambidextrous buttons
- Great glass quality
- Price is on the steep side
Leica Geovid HD-R 2700
The first word that comes to mind when someone brings up the company Leica is “quality.” Leica is no stranger to producing quality optics as they’ve been doing so for 110 years. Spend that amount of time doing something and you’ll most likely come out knowing a thing or two. They are also no stranger in the realm of producing Rangefinder Binoculars. Leica was actually the first company to bring this product to market back in 1992. Being as ahead of the curve as they were, you can expect nothing but top tier quality and performance in their new Geovid HD-R 2700 model. It offers superior glass, a great feel, and quick accurate read outs out to 2,700 yards. Of course the 2700 comes with Leica’s EHR(Equivalent Horizontal Range) which is their angle compensation mode. This will range critters from 10 – 1,200 yards. While doing so their algorithm also calculates a true ballistic curve taking into account barometric pressure and temperature to get the most accurate shot that you can. The 2700 can be purchased in either 8×56, 8×42, or 10×42 and run from $2549.00 – $2899.00 depending on which magnification one goes with.
First thing is first. These Leica Geovid HD-R 2700 binos feel fantastic in the hand. The bino is for sure on the big side, but I wouldn’t say it’s a deal breaker. One wouldn’t automatically think these were an RF bino, unless they saw the buttons. Now, they are a bit tall, but that really comes down to personal preference. I just mention that, because they might have trouble fitting in your bino pack if you usually run a normal 10×42 bino. If you’ve never looked through a Leica binocular, I would urge you to do so. The glass is incredibly clear and definitely takes the cake between these three options we have talked about here. Edge to edge clarity is great and these are a pleasure to look through overall. The buttons are easily reachable and they give you incredibly fast read outs. This was actually my first experience looking through a Leica and I’ve gotta say, I’m impressed.
- Fantastic glass
- Medium price point for an RF bino
- Feels great in the hand
- Pretty tall overall and might have an issue putting them in a bino pack
- Still expensive
And the winner is? The fact of the matter is each of these options has their place in the optics world and there is a choice for everyone. For the economically conscience the Vortex Fury HD 5000 is going to be the absolute best bang for the buck. They are a killer RF bino at a much more affordable price point than the others. For the tech and data guru who wants anything and everything out of their equipment and isn’t worried about price, the Zeiss Victory RF should be on your radar. Then there is the Leica Geovid HD-R 2700 coming from a company that pioneered the rangenfinder binocular, it provides excellent glass, accuracy, and reliability. Any of these rangefinder binoculars would be a fantastic choice. Something that I personally wish each of these had though, was a locking feature on the diopter. I would have thought that would be standard on optics of this magnitude. I’m sure it will be added to models in the future, as I think it would be a pretty easy fix. Again, not a deal breaker, just my personal observations. Season is approaching fast and now is the time to grab some of these up if you’re in the market. If you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area swing by Ross Outdoors and you can check out any of the models and more that we’ve talked about today!
Written by Josh Kirchner of Dialed in Hunter