Review: Nikon Laserforce 10X42 Rangefinding Binocular
By Matt Cashell, Rokslide Staff
Rangefinding binoculars are a great idea. The convenience and utility of having your rangefinder available at an instants’ notice are obvious. Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski all offer incredible rangefinding binoculars … for those that can afford them at around $3,000.I have really enjoyed using Nikon cameras and lenses over the years and was excited to learn they now offer an affordable rangefinding binocular. For the past several months, I have been using the Laserforce 10X42, and after a successful bison hunt with my son, I feel comfortable rendering an opinion.
The Laserforce is a 1900 yard rated laser rangefinder in a sturdy 10X42 binocular with a current street price from $1000-$1200. I was able to get quick and reliable ranges from 10 yards right up to, and over, the 1900 yard rating. The angle compensation mode was accurate right into the archery ranges of 10-60 yards. The CR2 battery lasted a long time, and the rangefinder operated effectively right down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The optics are usable but had some warts. The Laserforce has a decent 6.1-degree field of view. There is substantial pincushion distortion and blur towards the edge of the field. While sharp and bright enough for serious use, the depth of field was limiting, and I found myself using the focus knob often. Chromatic aberration was visible in the center of the field and distracting at the edge. The thing that I found most troublesome was the left and right barrels had a different color bias. The left barrel was warm/yellow, while the right barrel (with the display screen) was cold/blue. This caused a bit of a struggle to bring the two images together into one.
The build quality is robust. Nikon is so confident in the build of this binocular, that they not only warranty the optics for life but the electronics as well! You can see why when holding the instrument.
The Laserforce offers quite a bit of value at 1/3 the price of its European competitors or compared to purchasing a binocular and rangefinder separately. Be sure and take into consideration the excellent warranty. Hunters who want the convenience of a rangefinding binocular, but don’t glass for extended periods of time, may well find this their optic of choice, but I can’t give it a full recommendation. Nikon came close on this one, but I am more excited for the follow up to this first offering.
You can ask Matt questions or discuss this review here.