The laser rangefinder just as the name suggests uses an invisible narrow laser which should be pointed to an object to determine the distance it is from the user. After being pointed to the object, it will be reflected off that particular object and back to the laser rangefinder. Check out the best rangefinders article on Rangermade.
The rangefinder will then use a high-speed clock to determine the amount of time it took for the laser to bounce back and use a mathematical equation to calculate the distance between the rangefinder and the target object. In scientific terms, this process is referred to as the time of flight.
The distances which the rangefinders can calculate effectively varies from 100 meters to 25 kilometers. Super long distance rangefinders are usually designed for military purposes and used by snipers and artillery units.
The average person will need a shorter distance rangefinder than that used by the military. For most people, only 1000 yards is more than enough range. Most laser rangefinders in the market are rated to range in excess of 1000 yards.
Even though a rangefinder may have a certain rated distance, it does not mean that this is what you will get. The maximum distance rangefinders will depend on the current conditions and intended object’s reflectivity.
The maximum rated distance is what most manufacturers put on the box and figured in ideal conditions on a reflective object. For example, on deer sized animals, you will be lucky to get 75% of the maximum range and less than ideal conditions will drop the effective range. This discrepancy is less with more expensive models.
Most of the rangefinders have magnification in form of monocular while some have it in form of binocular. The magnification usually ranges between 5 and 8 power.
The quality of the optics varies depending on the quality of the rangefinder. The more expensive models offer far superior optics clarity and magnification than do the cheap models.
Laser rangefinders are very accurate. Most of them will guarantee an accuracy of plus or minus 1 meter. This is close enough for the average person but not good enough for commercial engineering or military use. For this, it is better to use GPS range finding techniques and triangulation equations.
Rangefinders have been around for some time back in the 19th century. Laser rangefinders only became popular 20 years ago. They have been used for commercial and military operations for some time now.
However, these models are very big and heavy and may be too much for the average person on a day to day basis. They are also very expensive for the average person that it may be very difficult for most people to afford.
When it comes to selecting a laser rangefinder, the first thing you need to look out for is the potential range and application. Potential range varies depending on the type of rangefinder. Whether you are out golfing or competing in an athletic, outdoor sport, laser rangefinders can be very effective for any of these applications.
How Does A Rangefinder Work?
Find out how a rangefinder works in this edition of Mr. Wizard’s Challenge. Watch the video: