Nikon is celebrating 100 years of optics innovation in 2017, which puts the poetic introduction of the Nikon LaserForce 10×42 rangefinding binoculars right on schedule. I remember as a kid the Nikon film camera my grandpa used to capture my little league games on and as you might expect, it’s just plain fun to dive into a product that has made its name by bringing countless objects into focus for 100 years.
The ED, extra low dispersion glass and coatings collect ample light in low-light situations and after a solid day of use revealed very low eye fatigue. The nitrogen filled design makes them resistant to condensation and mold and the fully waterproof housing will keep you in the field during all types of conditions. The eyecups are easy to adjust and both right and left eye diopters can be focused to bring a clear image for any eyesight.
Our field test on the rangefinder revealed good return readout speed. I have field tested a few rangefinder binos lately on which the delay made me wonder if I had hit the button correctly. No concern with that here. I was able to get good display readouts on a small, reflective surface at 1,105 yards, deer out to 922 yards and a solid band of trees at 1,444 yards. This is all while hand-holding the binos in a hunting situation. In a non-hunting situation ranging a reflective surface, I was able to get a positive reading at 1,877 yards that is incredible by any standards. For most of us, these distances are much farther than we can accurately shoot.
The navigation through the menu is a simple two button process, which is a welcome attribute for those of us intimated by technology. The setting options are, in order of navigation: four luminance choices for the brightness of the display, next the option for yards or meters and finally for those critical moments while ranging an animal to shoot, Horizontal Distance Compensation. This is displayed with a small angle in the top right corner of the display.
The rangefinder is also equipped with scan mode for those pesky critters that don’t want to stand still. Just press the power button once and then hold it down while following the animal. The range will appear every 1.5-seconds as you follow your target. Out of the box, the Nikon LaserForce comes complete with a 3V CR2 lithium battery, which is good for approximately 4,000 uses. A neck-strap for carrying, flip-down objective lens covers as well as eye caps to ensure the glass stays in optimum condition for the life of the bino are also standard.
Another simple, but noticeable feature is that the power range button is on the right side of the binos. This allows for the right handed archer to hold the bow in the left hand, as well as range and glass with the right instead of having to set the bow down to range before the shot. I found this total package to be the best in product comparison and more than sufficient for practical hunting situations at an affordable price of $1,199.95.