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Leica LRF 1200 Laser Range Finder
Obviously this page is under construction.
The Leica LRF 1200 laser range finder is arguably the best laser rangefinder on the commercial market. It features top of the line German and Swiss technology to produce a reliable and durable compact rangefinder for rugged professional use.
This highly specialized equipment is used by boaters, navigators and long range shooters. It is also used to some extent by photographers. What it is best known for in military and tactical circles is that it is the preferred laser rangefinder for use by sniper/spotters. They have also proven to be popular as a private purchase item used by artillery spotters, reconnaissance, and scouts.
The device is pretty simple in purpose and operation. You use it to determine nearly exact distances out to 1200 meters. This is usually an important issue when determining range and trajectory settings for ranged weapons, and it can play a minor role in land navigation. For navigation, it works well as a supplement to map, compass and GPS for helping to determine and locate exact spots within a fairly small known area, such as the location of a buried cache which would be in an exact location between to known points. You zap the range off the corner off three fixed objects, like buildings, and you can narrow down the location you need to look or start digging.
Operating this rangefinder is very simple. The single operating button turns the unit on and gets your range reading. Look at the target through the magnified eyepiece, press the button once to turn on the recticule (a small red box), and then hold the button down to get a reading. The laser will cycle about every half second (which is still a noticeable delay between cycles) and give you a new reading. This is what they call the "scanning" feature. It is a big point they make as an advanced feature, but I personally could live without it. What sets the Leica apart from other laser range finders on the market is not so much any whiz-bang features (in fact it lacks many that other rangefinders have), but its simplicity and renowned accuracy. What can you say about feature packed laser rangefinders that turn out to be inaccurate? They are useless for serious purposes, while the Leica guarantees better accuracy at longer ranges than just about anything else on the market.
The rangefinder uses a single 9 volt battery for main power. Removal of the batter compartment lid reveals another switch used to change the unit from meter to yard scale on the range indicator.
In general, the unit is compact, durable and extremely accurate. I did not test it for water proofness, but it appears to be constructed with water resistance in mind and the cold damp northwest does not seem to phase it. I do think the actual interface and readout could use some improvement. The scanning feature is cute, but gimmicky since I also could just as well press the button every time I want a new reading rather than waiting the second or so between scans. I would also want to see some sort of analog type readout on a scanning feature, not unlike a bar graph or something other than simple digits telling the yards or meters. Given that the Leica is currently the best on the market, those changes will probably not be coming soon since the rest of the industry has a lot to catch up to before reaching the quality of this unit.