Today I’m gonna show you a really cool little product from Nikon. Now, before I start, I want you to know this is not a commercial for Nikon. But that said, I really do like Nikon equipment. I have a long history with Nikon stuff. Particularly their cameras.
I’ve been a photography buff since I was a kid and I’ve always liked Nikon cameras. In fact the first Nikon I ever had was a Nikon f2 and a bunch of lenses with it. I darn near wore that camera out. So when OpticsPlanet offered to send me this little Nikon Prostaff 7i rangefinder, I said, “really? Cool!” So they sent it to me and I’ve been fiddling with it for a month or two. I’ve taken it up hiking and I’ve gone to various different shooting ranges around the county. Some short. Some long. I’ve tried ranging it to see how accurate it was and so on. I found it to be really accurate. I’ll talk about that in just a minute.
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But let me give you some things I like about it from the standpoint of just the way it feels and the way it operates, before I get into all the technical gobbledygook. I really like the fact that it feels the way it does.
First of all, you can tell it’s really, really small and I like that. If I’m hunting or I’m hiking around and I’m lugging equipment around, I don’t want to take something really big around with me.
Secondly, I like the fact that it’s got kind of an overmolded rubberized feel to it. Because when you have it in your hand, even when your hands wet, it doesn’t slip out of my hand. I don’t like stuff… you know… I like to hunt ducks and waterfowl and I’ll go out and hunt anything… I don’t care if it’s raining, snowing, or whatever. Now, this doesn’t help with waterfowl obviously. But, if I’m deer hunting or hunting pigs or I’m hunting something else that I need to find the range on and its raining… or I slip and fall and fall in a creek or something like that, I want to thing to be able to stay in my hand and not lose it. I’ve dropped a few things in creeks because they slipped out of my hand and this is kind of attractive to me. Now, along with the rubberized exterior it’s also waterproof and that was important to me. I’m gonna be totally honest with you. I didn’t take the rangefinder and dunk it in a bucket to leave it there for an hour and take it out to see if it’s really waterproof. It did get pretty wet in one instance and it survived just fine and it works beautifully. So, I don’t know if you drop it in the lake and leave it there till tomorrow if it’s going to survive, but I do know if you drop it in the lake and fish it out right away you’re going to be fine, so I like that.
Now, as far as the shape is concerned, it doesn’t look like much. It looks like a little box… like a little rectangle. But, its got this little bump on the bottom. As stupid as that sounds, I really liked that little bump because you’ll see when I grip it, that slides right into the web of my hand and I have this nice grip on this range finder that won’t go anywhere and my index finger just automatically rest right on top of the control button.
It only has really one main control, but you do everything you’re going to do with this range finder with one button on the top. I like the fact that it just… you know… when I want to use it, it’s a real simple thing for me to line up there and look through it and press the button and I’m good. I get two hands on it to make sure it’s steady, get a good reading and I pressed the button to get the reading and off it goes. It just naturally sort of fines that little space there in that condition. Whoever thought this up and designed it, I thought, did a wonderful job. Must be a hunter who’s dropped a few things in in the drink and had trouble getting things to just kind of naturally fall in their hand.
As far as other stuff is concerned, let me tell you about that. We took this thing up hiking today up in the mountains to see if we could test distances and some of these things I know are fairly known distances pretty simple. There’s not much game out this time of day. There’s not much for us to look at. But, I’m testing it out in an area where I know it’s about 900 yards… right around there. It’s pretty darn accurate. It’s ringing true just about at that distance right now and it’s hitting at 927 yards at what I’m looking at.
You can see what I’m looking at their… that it’s quite a ways away. When we took it out to the range, I took it out to one of the local ranges here, which is 950 yards and found that it was accurate within really, pretty much less than the yard at the range. Those were known establish distances.
You’ll notice, I did not get the camo one. The reason I didn’t get the camo one or the camo case, which I think we set down somewhere… I wanted the black one with the black case because little bitty camouflage stuff like this irritates the snot out of me because I have a tendency to drop things… and then it goes in the bushes and then.. guess what! It’s gone and I’ve just lost something that cost several hundred dollars. So I particularly don’t like the camo ones. The black one, if I drop it, I can find it in the bushes and I didn’t lose my equipment.
The other thing I discovered with it… and I’ve used a bunch of range finders… sometimes… I’m not going to mention any models, ok… but sometimes I have used some different rangefinders from different manufacturers and they’re so stinkin slow to provide me a reading that it’s almost frustrating and irritating. I mean… it’s just… you push the button and their is this obnoxious delay. This thing is fast. It’s the fastest rangefinder I’ve experienced. There may be faster ones. I don’t know. But when you push the button, BAM! That reading is right there. I would say MAYBE it takes a second. You push the button and pretty much it’s got you a reading right then and there and I was super impressed with that.
Also at distance I noticed that there are two modes. There’s yards and meters. But, I don’t pay too much attention to that. I’m an American whose brain functions in yards, however screwy that may be. So I don’t really care about the meters setting. But it does do it.
The other mode is a continuous ranging mode or just press the button and you get a range at that moment. I like the fact that when I hold the button down I can continuously range as I move across an area. That was pretty cool. It just continues to read out ranges as I’m looking at something or scanning something. That was kind of neat.
The other thing I liked about it was… and i know this is common with rangefinders now… Nikon calls it their I.D. technology, which stands for inclined / decline. Essentially, what it does is it gives you a true horizontal distance even if you’re looking down at an object or your ranging up on an object. It’s going to give you that true horizontal distance.
One other thing I neglected to mention and I really like this, but I kind of leave it on the standard setting that is set on. It’s got to settings as far as what it actually… the targeted actually reads. Which I thought was kind of interesting. It’s got a first target priority and that means whatever the closest target is in a clump of targets it’s going to range off that one. Then it’s got a distant target priority, and that means that the farthest targeted a clump of targets… that’s the one it’s going to range on. I found that kind of helpful when I was just ranging… it’s not hunting season yet, so i couldn’t shoot anything… but I found it that was very positive when ranging on dear when they’re kind of hiding in the bushes or they’re hiding behind a or standing behind a tree or something. I don’t want the range to the tree. I want the range to the deer. It was really neat. I played with it back and forth to see how much it would change and it did change the reading by two or three yards because the deer was standing two or three yards behind the tree. I thought that was pretty positive and I’ve just left it on the distant priority mode, because I suspect that that’s probably the one I’m going to use most of the time. All in all, I really liked it.
There are two things about it that I would like to see improved. These are the two issues: one is it takes the I think they’re called CR2 batteries and those are great and they last a long long time. But then it dies and I forgot to bring one or something. So far, it’s lasted really well but then I’ve used it a lot. But… you know… it dies out in the field and I didn’t have one of those or it dies on a hunting trip and I don’t happened to have one of those. If it ran off a AA or some common battery, I know I could go to any little store somewhere and I could grab a AA and I’d be able to put it in there. So that’s the one thing, is their battery selection. It probably adds a longer life to an individual battery and how long it will function, but it does make it a booger when you run out of batteries and you gotta go chase down that particular type of battery. Having something common like a AA would be really kind of cool.
The only other issue I have with it is that it does not have a tripod mount. Maybe that’s important to me because I’m a youtuber and I like to use the rangefinder at the range or if I’m out in the… you know I’m shooting video out in the desert. I want to be able to see the range to a particular target and since it’s so light it does a lot of that, unless you really ankor it down because it weighs nothing. Every time you breathe or your heartbeats… you know how little stuff works. Having it on a tripod with a little tripod mount would be really positive too. But those are both sort of nitpicky little things, if you want to be honest.
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I mean, I find it for… particularly for the price… these things are very, very inexpensive for the quality that you get for ’em. I was kind of blown away by how inexpensively you can buy them. I always try to give honest and forthright reviews. But as far as I can tell it’s the best range finder for the money that I could find. I mean… it’s very inexpensive and yet it’s rock-solid. I’m really surprised that you can get it for the price that you can get for.
Oh… and it comes with a couple things. There’s a little lanyard it comes with that I didn’t put on it. It also comes with… if I can get it on my pocket… it comes with this nice little carrying case which is kind of nice. It closes really positively, so you’re not likely to have it come flopping out of there and jump out of there and fall on the ground. I really like that. I used it carrying it around on my belt while I was hiking the other day.
Thank you again for watching. Have a wonderful week and please be safe.