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Best rangefinder binoculars in 2021

Best rangefinder binoculars - Leica Geovid
(Image credit: Leica)

Image stabilized binoculars, waterproof binoculars, compact binoculars… binoculars come in more sizes, shapes and configurations than we may at first imagine.  Here we’re focusing on the best rangefinder binoculars. As it sounds, this is a product that will not only enable us to view faraway subjects up close with clarity and detail, but also tell us exactly how far away said subject is using a laser rangefinder technology. Such a feature will prove useful for mariners and golfers, wildlife watchers, nature lovers or those who simply enjoy trekking in the great outdoors.

Of course we’ll still need to pay attention to the core binocular features offered, including magnification and objective lens size, as well as weight, whether or not there is a tripod attachment, waterproofing, fog proofing, and maybe some built-in image stabilization too. The latter is particularly useful if we really are going to be using binoculars on a boat. 

The best rangefinder binoculars will provide an accurate calculation of the distance between us and our chosen subject, whether we’re on land or all at sea; which is after all what we’re looking at this specific sub genre of binoculars for. As these are specialist tools, though, prepare to budget accordingly and to pay a premium over non-rangefinder equipped alternatives. Even if it’s case with the selected examples here of pay more, get more.

So without further ado, we present our showcase of the best rangefinder equipped binoculars we can currently buy.

Best rangefinder binoculars in 2021

(Image credit: Leica)

1: Leica Geovid-R 10x42 rangefinder binoculars

High-end, daytime use rangefinder binocular could prove the only distance measuring viewing device we’ll need

Specifications
Magnification: 10x
Objective diameter: 42mm
Field of view at 1000m: 110 metres
Closest focusing distance: : 5.6 metres
Eye relief: Not given
Battery required: 1xCR2 battery
Weight: 945g including battery
Dimensions: 125x168x70mm
Reasons to buy
+Class leading optical performance+Versatile rangefinder capability+Robust aluminum, nitrogen filled body
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey if you don’t need the rangefinder capability-Weighty at just under 1kg

Though Leica products command premium prices, at least its team here seem to have included everything but the kitchen sink. This includes these porro prism type binoculars being waterproof to a depth of five metres, nitrogen filled and yes, rangefinder-equipped. And of course we get Leica’s class leading optics for optimum clarity as the icing on this particular cake. 

Presented as an all-black body with a traditional design and familiar red Leica logo, this binocular’s combination of useful 10x magnification with large 42mm objective lens suggests suitability for a wide range of purposes. Factor in the ability to display linear distances of up to 1200 yards and the equivalent horizontal range from 10 metres up to 550 metres, and it would seem we have a versatile device as far as its rangefinder capability goes too. If you want the best sometimes it’s worth putting hand deep in pocket, and it certainly feels like that is the case here for this entry point into the world of Leica rangefinder binoculars.

(Image credit: Barska)

2: Barksa Deep Sea 7x50 waterproof binoculars

These waterproof binos suitable for the high seas also come with internal rangefinder and compass built in

Specifications
Magnification: 7x
Objective diameter: 50mm
Field of view at 1000m: 114.54 metres
Closest focusing distance: : 6.5 metres
Eye relief: 23mm
Battery required: Yes
Weight: 453.59g
Dimensions: 18x8.9x19.6cm
Reasons to buy
+Affordable budget option+O-ring sealed waterproof construction+Will even float on water if accidentally dropped
Reasons to avoid
-Magnification power at 7x is a little modest in comparison with alternatives

More affordable is this all-weather porro prism type marine binoculars offering an internal rangefinder and compass, while being O-ring sealed to ensure full waterproofing and dry nitrogen purged to prevent fogging. It will even float on water. A distance indicator on one of its objectives allows users to determine distance when used in conjunction with the rangefinder reticle; a ‘reticle’ being the crosshairs imposed on the rangefinder’s image to assist in seeing exactly what is being targeted.

Further useful features include a rubberized exterior to provide a firm grip when used with wet hands and in stormy seas, while its lenses are fully coated to aid light transmission and deliver plenty of contrast. With BaK-4 prisms used in its construction too, this one ticks the boxes for most of our must haves. OK, so the magnification offered here may seem modest, but without a built-in stabilizer the idea is to allow for a steady image to be delivered even when the waves are choppy. With a carry case, rubber lens covers, neck strap and lens cloth provided, there is no reason why these multi-purpose binos shouldn’t be used in inclement conditions on land, as well as also when their user’s all at sea.

(Image credit: Zeiss)

3: Zeiss 10x42 Victory RF rangefinder binoculars

Best in class waterproof and fog-proof laser rangefinder binoculars that even squeeze in an integrated computer

Specifications
Magnification: 10x
Objective diameter: 42mm
Field of view at 1000m: Not given
Closest focusing distance: : 5.6 metres
Eye relief: 17mm
Battery required: 1xCR2 battery
Weight: 453g
Dimensions: 28.4x27.1x11cm
Reasons to buy
+Rangefinder capability precise up to 2,300 metres+Waterproof and fog-proofed
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Relatively bulky in use

Every photographer knows that Carl Zeiss produced optics are world class – so here’s a pair of wallet-obliterating rangefinder binoculars from the brand that marries its expertise in glass with a built-in laser rangefinder and real-time computer that additionally comes with its own attendant smartphone app. 

Zeiss suggests the rangefinder capability here is precise up to a maximum range of a generous 2,300 metres – in the daytime, at least. Lens caps and eyepiece protector caps are provided, while, as expected in this price range, there is a degree of waterproofing built in too to protect our sizeable investment. If we’re looking for the one and only pair of rangefinder binoculars we may ever need, then we’ve come to the right place, budget allowing. At least for our investment the 1xCR2 battery required is included out of the box.

(Image credit: USCamel)

4: USCamel 10x50 HD Military Binoculars with rangefinder

Waterproofed and capable of floating if dropped, the feature set of these ‘military grade’ binos suggests value for money

Specifications
Magnification: 10x
Objective diameter: 50mm
Field of view at 1000m: Not given
Closest focusing distance: : 5.6 metres
Eye relief: 7.1mm
Battery required: 1xAG13 battery
Weight: 1.22Kg
Dimensions: 18.7x8x14.6cm
Reasons to buy
+Internal reticle type rangefinder scale and directional compass +Will float if dropped in water+Affordable price+Large objective lens and decent magnification
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to hold for longer periods of time

Resembling something Schwarzenegger would reach for if 80s actioner ‘Commando’ was re-made and re-booted, these magnesium construction porro prism type ‘Military Binoculars’ are supplied in army green and are built for the rough stuff, including water sports and mountaineering suggests its manufacturer. Being waterproofed and nitrogen filled, should we drop these in the ‘drink’ despite the provision of an anti slip grip, these will also float. 

Here the core features include much-respected BaK-4 prisms with the aim of delivering bright and sharp images with plenty of contrast, while the internal rangefinder scale and directional compass with illumination switch can indicate the distance and size of the object being viewed, as well as its orientation. Operating temperature is said to be good from minus 40°C to +80°C, making these a go-to option for those on a budget in a wide range of conditions and circumstances.

Best rangefinder binoculars - Leica Geovid HD-R 2700 8x56

(Image credit: Leica)

5: Leica Geovid HD-R 2700 8x56 rangefinder binoculars

Want to measure distance in low light? You’ll find this large objective lens-incorporating rangefinder bino’s illuminating

Specifications
Magnification: 8x
Objective diameter: 56mm
Field of view at 1000m: 118 metres
Closest focusing distance: : 5.6 metres
Eye relief: Not given
Battery required: 1xCR2 battery
Weight: 1.1Kg including battery
Dimensions: 125x168x70mm
Reasons to buy
+Great rangefinder performance even in low light+Huge and bright 56mm objective lens+Razor sharp viewing
Reasons to avoid
-High price tag-Heavy to hold for prolonged periods-‘Modest’ 8x magnification

Want a pair of high-end, aluminum bodied and nitrogen-filled Leica binoculars for use in low light, including pre-dawn and dusk, and not just normal daylight? 

This porro prism style option from the manufacturer exemplar features a large 56mm objective lens to let in plenty of light, wedded to a useful 8x magnification and a laser rangefinder feature that works from 10 yards up to a whopping 2700 yards, or 1,100 metres. Such precise measurements are displayed at the push of a button. 

Featuring a traditional central focus wheel we also get multi coated lenses that claim to be both abrasion resistant and anti reflective, while, naturally, maximizing light transmission too. Additionally, Leica’s binoculars feature twist and pull operation eyecups, an LED display with ambient light controlled brightness, plus waterproofing to an impressive depth of five metres.

(Image credit: Swarovski)

6: Swarovski 10x42 EL Range TA rangefinder binoculars

Gadgets galore on this sophisticated rangefinder binocular from the top-flight optical experts

Specifications
Magnification: 10x
Objective diameter: 42mm
Field of view at 1000m: 119.2 metres
Closest focusing distance: : 5 metres
Eye relief: 19mm
Battery required: 1xCR2 battery
Weight: 924g
Dimensions: 16.8x13.5x7.9cm
Reasons to buy
+Gas filled and waterproof to a depth of four metres+Rangefinder accuracy up to a whopping 2011 metres+Class leading optical performance
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Weighty

Ideal for observing faraway subjects with the minimum of visible shake at 10x magnification, this is another blow-the-budget option for those observers wanting top class optical quality and performance mixed with an impressive rangefinder capability. Here the latter delivers accurate measurements from 9.1 metres all the way up to an incredible 2,011 metres and provides us with an LCD display to boot. 

Such a capability is thanks to a Class 1 laser system described as ‘eye safe’, which records and displays readings within the right tube as quickly as half-a-second. A button located on the right side of the bridge activates these rangefinder functions, with the wide field of view of 127 metres at 914 metres ensuring this is an impressive option for spotting a wide variety of animals in the great outdoors. Gas filled, these Swarovski binos can also be submerged in up to four metres of water without worry, whilst a limited lifetime warranty provides extra peace of mind.

Read more:

• The best binoculars
• Best budget binoculars under $100
• Best marine binoculars
Best image-stabilized binoculars
Best compact binoculars
• Best opera glasses
• Best binocular harnesses
• Best binocular tripod adapter
• The 10 best spotting scopes
• The best night vision goggles
• The best opera glasses
• The best telescopes for astrophotography

Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 year experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography


He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and Rough Guide books.


With his wealth of knowledge he is well placed to recognise great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters, cameras straps and more.