Can't speak for either of those, but I've been using the Nikon 800 for awhile now, and it's been great... Withstood ALL kinds of foul weather, and has always been accurate.... I don't doubt that the Leica is top shelf, but the Nikon will most likely be just as accurate for less money... Optically speaking, I use my rangefinder for ranging, and my binocs for glassing, so the quality of the glass in the rangefinder isn't as important as it's accuracy, dependability, and durability - and the Nikon has scored well in THOSE catagories for me...
I have a Bushnell that I've been happy enough with. That is untill I looked through a buddies Leica the other day. There was no way to compare the two, the Leica is so crisp. Wish I had gone the extra $100 for the Leica the first time because I know eventually I'm gonna have to buy one. Wanna buy a slightly used bushnell?
Well, I've was a real believer in Leica and managed to talk my wife into letting me spend $500 for the LRF 1200 model. That was in August 2002. Well I was having some problems sighting in my broadheads at 40 yds. I was about 6 - 8 " high. Was tearing out what little hair I have left when along comes this guy with a 3 year old bushnel range finder. He wonders why I'm shooting from the spot I'm at and I say it ranged 40 yds. He says Hmmmm and ranges from the same spot. Guess what ! He gets about 35 yds. So we start to compare different ranges and my Leica is off at 30 , 40 , 50 and 60 yds. Varied from 3 yds. to 6 yds. I say Hmmmm and shoot from his ranged locations and lo and behold my bow is right on the money. Needless to say I'm not very pleased as it's now Sep. 2003 and deer and elk season is currently happening. It turns out that Leica only has one place in the entire U.S. that is an authorized repair facility. My range finder is on at 20 yds. so thats something at least. I guess all my care and planing is for nought. I'd really think twice about buying a Leica if I were you. Just my 2 cents worth.
I have a Nikon 400 which works real good. The best part with this one is the price. I paid $179 on sale at BP.
Keep in mind not all range fingers are perfect. But they are close enough for our needs. Cabalas also have a unit under their name. A friend of mine bought the Cabalas unit. We stood side by side and ranged the same object. There was a 1% difference between the two range finders. I'll take 1% variance all day long.
My recommendation - buy a name brand with a good warranty and at the best price. The most expensive is not always the best.
While I don't personally have a rangefinder my buddy just bought Lecia. The first unit was way off. 6yrds at twenty! We measured with a tape and it was off at every distance! Not by 6 yrds but enough to make us wonder. Anyway we took it back and the shop gave us another one, but that too was off by 3 yrds at 20. My buddy was going on a caribou hunt and thought it was good enough to use. To be fair the guy at the shop said the Lecia's were very sensitive between like and dark colors and that was proven for our testing. While I havn't tried any other makes I'm not so sure I personally would be satified Lecia. It sounds like a Nikon or Bushnell maybe more accurate. I would want to "test" the models I would buy, but in all honesty I don't think I would spend the money on a Lecia. For that kind of money it should be a lot more accurate then what I say with those 2 units. Although I would give it great marks for clairity. Just my 2 cents worth, hope it helps.
I love my Nikon 400 in Realtree... If I could change anything about it, I would go with say 4 power. The eight is nice in bright sun, but under overcast or the first 10 minutes or last ten minutes of legal hunting time it is useless.
I have both range finders and I prefer my Leica. It is more rugged, has better optics and uses a red led light to display yardage. The red is invaluable in low light situations. I hunted in the first bands of Isabel (hurricane) and I did not have any problems with fogging or such. As far as the accuracy...... I do get a 1 yard variation. The leica wants to be 1 yard long all the way out to 100. It is a consistent flaw so I chose the better optics and red reading.
Both are great pieces of equipment. Enjoy whichever you choose. DCM
ps. At the ATA Swarovski will be introducing their rangefinder. I hear it will be right up there with the best. Just a thought. DCM
I'm with you on that one, Mel - I have the Nikon Buckmaster 800 rangefinder, and a pair of Monarch 10x40's, and when combined with a good spotting scope, is all the optical battery any hunter could ever need - mine have been OUTSTANDING!!!
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