Nikon Rangefinder Comparison - Hunting Rangefinders
The Nikon rangefinder line saw the addition of one new model in 2016; the Arrow ID 3000 which as the name implies is designed for bowhunters. This appears to be built on an Aculon chassis but with a couple of features added to make it well suited for archery hunting. The rest of the Nikon rangefinder line up stayed the same as last year.
Nikon Rangefinder Comparison Charts
| New Nikon|
Arrow ID 3000
|Dimensions||4.4 x 1.5 x 2.8||4.4 x 1.5 x 2.8||4.4 x 1.4x 2.8||3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9||3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9|
|Max Range||1300 yards||600 yards||650 yards||550 yards||550 yards|
|Target Priority||First & Last||First & Last||First & Last||First & Last||Last|
Nikon Prostaff 7i
- ID Technology for angle compensated readings
- Waterproof for protection from the elements
- One of the most affordable 1000+ yard rangefinders
- Online Average $299
The Nikon Prostaff 7i is a long range, compact rangefinder with both target priority and angle compensation features that sells for under $300. This rangefinder will appeal to a lot of hunters who are looking for a simple rangefinder but yet one that is still full featured but easy to use. Warning the old model Prostaff 7 looks very similar to this and is priced similar and only has about half the ranging capability so make sure you get the new version Prostaff 7i.
Nikon Arrow ID 5000
- Suitable for rifle use out to 600 yards
-Tru Target for First or Last Target Priority
- Distance Displayed in .1 yard increments
- Online Average $279
The Nikon Arrow ID 5000 fills the hole left by the discontinued Archer's Choice model, and while nearly identical to the previous model in appearance, perfomance and most specifications, the new Arrow ID 5000 does not feature the LED backlighting found on its predecessor the Archer's Choice. As mentioned earlier Nikon appears to be getting away from that feature on both its hunting and golf rangefinders this year. Overall, the Nikon ID Arrow 5000 is probably now a pass in the archery category not because of any fault of its own but rather the Arrow ID 3000 below offers the same features and 4x magnification at a cheaper price, however, the Arrow ID is rated as waterproof while the Arrow ID 3000 is not.
Nikon Prostaff 3i
- ID Technology for True Horizontal Distance
- First and Last Target Priorities
- Easy to read Black LCD Display
- Online Average $229
The Nikon Prostaff 3i is a completely different rangefinder from the previous model Prostaff 3 which shared its housing with older Nikon models like the Riflehunter 550. The new Prostaff 3i has both Nikon's Tru-Target priority settings which allows the user to select either a "first" or "distant" mode (hunters will generally want to set it to distant), and also Nikon's Incline/Decline for true horizontal range capablities. Because of these features, similar ranging capabilites, and a $50 lower price tag the Prostaff 3i is probably a better choice for the archery hunter than the new Arrow ID 5000. Furthermore, we expect to see this do well in the budget/entry level category as well do to its near $200 price and features.
NEW Nikon Arrow ID 3000
- Angle Compensated Readings
- Target Priority Modes
- 4x Magnification
- Compact and Lightweight
- Online Average $199
The Nikon Arrow ID 3000 archery rangefinder has a lot going for it. First, it is capable of giving angle compensated readings for steep shots. Next, it features first and last target priority modes; last target prioroty mode being favored by bowhunters when ranging through cover. Also, a 4x magnification makes for easier targeting at close range and less image shake while using the rangefinder one handed. These are all desirable features on a bowhunting rangefinder; and while there are other rangefinders that also have these features, the Arrow ID 3000 comes in at just under $200 which is significantly cheaper that most rangefinders with this feature set.
- Reads in Meters or Yards
- Distant Target Priority for ranging through cover
- Simple and Easy to Operate
- Online Average $169
The Nikon Aculon model is Nikon's budget model; and while not as feature and technology rich is some other models in the Nikon rangefinder line it does have a lot going for it. First it has a distant target priority setting, meaning that if you hit two objects on one push of the button it while display the furthest of the two, which is what most hunters want since they are generally ranging through cover trying to hit their target. Second, it is an extremely small and lightweight unit making it easy to carry in a pocket or pouch where it can be quickly accessed when needed but out of the way when not in use. Finally, at $169 it is one of the more affordable options on the market; for those not needing angel compensated readings this saves about $60 over the above Prostaff 3i. For more info indepth look at this rangefinder check out our complete Nikon Aculon Review
Nikon Rangefinder Features
Tru-Target – Many Nikon range finders are equipped with a Tru-Target feature, this is essentially Nikon’s version of target priority. The units equipped with this feature can be set to either First or Distant Priority. While in First Priority mode if the rangefinder receives a split reading (i.e. two objects in one push of the button) it will report the closer of the two objects. Conversely when the unit is in Distant mode, it will report the further of two objects when encountering a split reading, this is helpful when trying to range through branches or similar cover.
ID – Some rangefinders in the Nikon line feature the ID technology, which stands for Incline/Decline and is Nikon’s version of angel compensation. When in angle compensated mode the rangefinder will return angle compensated distances.
Simplicity – Another common feature of the Nikon range finder line is their relative simplicity; even models that feature options like Tru-Target and ID technology are very straightforward and user friendly.
Dual Use – Most of the range finders in the Nikon line are of a 6x magnification, which generally make them well suited for either archery or bowhunting. Furthermore, models like the Riflehunter series can be used for either bow or rifle hunting without having to change to a “bow” or “rifle” mode like many other rangefinders on the market.
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