Leupold Hunting Rangefinder Comparison and Reviews
Leupold pretty much did a clean sweep of their hunting laser rangefinder line in 2015; discontinuing six models while introducing three new models. The Leupold RX-1200i models will be replacing their popular premium version RX-1000i rangefinders; while the new Leupold RX-650 model will be replacing the entry/budget RX-600i DNA model. It appears Leupold is content to let their RX-800i series, and Full Draw archery rangefinder drop from the line up without replacing them.
Leupold Rangefinder Comparison Chart
|Display||OLED - Red||OLED - Red||LCD - Black|
|L x W x H||3.8 x 1.4 x 3||3.8 x 1.4 x 3||3.6 x 1.4 x 2.9|
|Reflective||1215 yds||1215 yds||650 yds|
|Deer||800 yds||800 yds||575 yds|
|Warranty||2 year||2 year||2 year|
New Leupold RX-1200i TBR DNA
- TBR for Angle Compensated Readings
- Same Price as Previous RX-1000i TBR
- 2 Year Warranty
- Online Average $399
The new Leupold RX-1200i TBR DNA features an aluminum metal housing, a red OLED display, and as a maximum range listed as 1215 yards. Two things stood out when comparing this model to its predcessor the RX-1000i TBR DNA. First, this unit was priced the same as the previous 1000 yard version with the black model coming it right at $399 and the camo model for about $25 more. Second, while the maximum range on the RX-1200i TBR was boosted by a little over 200 yards (215 yards to be exact) the more impressive number is Leupold now rates this unit as capable of reading deer out to 800 yards under ideal circumstances vs. the 600 yards on the previous model. This should give hunters more first time readings at more common ranges under normal weather and lighting conditions.
New Leupold RX-1200i DNA
- Housing made from aluminum instead of plastic
- Red OLED Display for Brighter Image
- Compact Size for Easy Carrying
-Online Average $349
The standard RX-1200i DNA version is very similar to the above version except it does not feature Leupold's TBR (True Ballistic Range) mode for angle compensated readings. However, its maximum ranging capabilities are the same; and features Leupold's higher end red OLED display, and metal housing. Again the real bright point here is improved ranging performance over the previous 1000 yard version and at the same price of $349. No camo version in available on this standard model.
New Leupold RX-650
- More Compact than Previous Version
- 2 year warranty
- Cheaper than Previous Version
- Online Average $199
The Leupold RX-650 replaces that popular RX-600i DNA series which had been updated serveral times. As with the other new models Leupold introduced this year, the theme seemed to be more performance at the same price, or in this case appartently a little cheaper as the RX-600i DNA usually sold in the $219 - $225 range, while the RX-650 can be found many places online for right at the $200 dollar mark. Interestingly the new RX-650 no longer carries the DNA designation (see below for explanation of Leupold's rangefinder technology). Another interesting find was that this model seems to have gotten a bump up the 2 year limited warranty found of the RX-1200 rangefinder series as opposed to the 1 year warranty on the previous budget and mid level models.
DNA – Essentially, this is an improved processor in these units that allow them to read faster and with more accuracy than previous versions. While we tend to think of rangefinders as optics it is important to remember they are electronics as well, and the technology aspect tends to progress at a faster rate than the optics. So its good to see a manufacture making these upgrades to keep their models up to date.
Last Target Mode – The RX-1200i rangefinder series is equipped with a last target mode, while in this mode if the rangefinder receives a split reading (i.e. the rangefinder hits two objects at once) it will return the distance to the further of the two objects. This is useful feature for hunters who often have to range through cover like grass or branches.
TBR - Currently only the RX-1200i TBR DNA model features TBR or True Ballistic Range. The details would take quite awhile to explain but here are the basics. TBR includes three modes: LOS, Bow, and Rifle.
LOS – Stands for line of sight and is the linear distance to target. (i.e the angle to target is not accounted for)
Bow – When in this mode the unit will return true horizontal range (angle compensated readings) out to 125 yards, reading farther than that will be returned in LOS distance.
Rifle (TBR) – Readings can be displayed in one of the following ways after selecting a closely matched ballistic path from one of their preprogrammed charts.
1) True Horizontal Range
2) Hold over in inches or centimeters
3) Adjustments in Mil
4) Adjustments in MOA
Scan + Yards and Meters
RX series rangefinders are all equipped with a scan mode for quickly getting readings on multiple targets or on a moving target. This mode works by simply holding down the range button and the display will be updated as you move from target to target. These units are also capable of reading out distances in either yards or meters (in all modes) not just scan. While this is now a pretty standard feature there are still rangefinders that have to be ordered in either yards or meters versions.
Compact & Lightweight – All models of the RX rangefinders are of the compact vertical design and feature a 6x magnification, which make them well suited for a variety of big game hunting with either bow or rifle. These models also all weigh in at less than 8oz which is a welcome factor for those who put in several miles on foot when hunting.
While not all Leupold RX models are built from the same housing material they are all equipped with some rubberized gripping surfaces on the housing. This rubber material offers protection for the unit’s housing but more importantly provides a good surface for you to hang onto to in wet conditions, or when your hands get sweaty.
These units are powered by a CR2 battery, as are most of the newer rangefinders on the market and are not rechargeable.
RX-1000i DNA – The RX-1000i DNA series is available in both a standard and TBR version. These units feature an aluminum housing and the longest ranging capability of any current Leupold rangefinder. These units also come with a red OLED display with three different manually adjustable intensity settings.
RX-800i DNA Series – This series also consists of both a standard and True Ballistic Range model. The RX-800 series has replaced the older RX-750 series of rangefinders. These models feature an improved LCD display with black readout and fall in the middle of the line up in performance and price between the RX-1000 and RX-600 models.
RX-Full Draw – As the name gives away, Leupold designed this rangefinder for the bow hunter. In many ways it is similar to the RX-800 line; however there are some key differences. For example, this model has a 5x magnification for more field of view at close range. Also the Full Draw rangefinder operates exclusively in the TBR “Bow” mode, giving angle compensated reading out to 125 yards then line of sight readings after that.
RX-600i DNA – The entry level model of the line up, the RX-600i recently received an upgrade and now contains the DNA technology found in the higher end models. There is no TBR model available in this series; however, the RX-600 still has three different reticles options, can display readings in yards or meters, and is equipped with a scan feature.
Vendetta – (Note: Leupold still currently lists the Vendetta on their website but it is absent in their 2015 catalog.) A bow mounted archery rangefinder, this unit is calibrated using one of the archer’s sight pins to aim the unit and displays readings on an external red LED display. The unit is activated by a pressure switch located by the grip of the bow so the user can get yardage readings while at full draw. However, this unit is not legal to hunt with in every state.
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