Just got my Leica 1200 Scan-- oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Best thing since high heels and short skirts. BUT, it's still not perfect, just the closest AFFORDABLE thing to it. See Bob Jourdan's excellent writeup on lasers in PS magazine (a few issues ago).
I have owned the Bushnell 400yd, 800yd and currently have a 1000yd Yardage Pro. I ordered a Leica 1200 to replace the Bushnell 1000yd Yardage Pro. When the Leica arrived I was very impressed with its tiny size and exceptional clarity for a rangefinder.
Since I had not sold the Bushnell yet I decided to conduct a direct comparison of the two. Naturally, I expected the Leica to be much better at ranging, which is the primary function of a rangefinder.
At short range both rangfinders gave readings within 1 yard of each other.
At medium range they also performed similarily.
At long range, the Bushnell was better at picking up small targets.
At ranges over 1,000yds, the Leica had a hard time reading the side of a huge building that was made of brick and glass. The Bushnell gave consistent readings on this target every time even when I extended the range to over 1,200yards. The Leica failed to read here at all.
When ranging pilings which protruded out of the water on an open bay, the Bushnell gave consistent readings at 300+ yards. The Leica was unable to read the pilings at all.
In the end, I kept the Bushnell 1,000 Yardage Pro and sold the Leica to a friend who was aware of my test results but wanted the Leica anyway.
We hunt varmints together and have occasion to range the same target from time to time. More often than not, the Bushnell proves to be a better unit.
While comparing only two units does not really prove anything, the results are interesting and it does show that actual comparasions can be more revealing than just reading a bunch of opinions on the internet.
understand where you're coming from VH, but i've also tested both, though not together, and have had better results from the Leica's i've owned-- generally. According to Jourdan's article the Leica has a smaller beam dispersion than the other offerings out there, among other design features that i can't recall now, but his conclusion was that the Leica's offered a better unit. And most (though probably not all) of the opinions on this board are from a lot of experience afield (including yours), and i think if you took a poll you'd find that that collective experience would be Leica favorable-- probably by a good margin. Now, that being said, a good friend of mine was out hunting with me last coyote season. He had an 800 Bushnell, and i had my Leica 1200, and his Bushnell was keeping right up with the 1200 every shot, so... I think that it's like all other products available to the consumer-- get as much info. as you can before you buy, and hopefully everything will work out-- what else can we go by??
Agreed. I bought the Leica based on Leica's reputation and the recomendation of the few shooters who actually owned one at the time.
Had I not had the opportunity to conduct the comparison, I would have kept the Leica and lived happily ever after. It is a very nice unit.
However, once the comparison was completed, I just couldn't justify keeping a more expensive rangefinder that did not range as well as the one that I already had.
I would like to do the same comparison with one of the newest Leica 1200's and see if the results would be the same. Who knows???
I have both the Bushnell and Leica and agree with your statement. Perhaps the bottom line is that given the constraints (restrictions by the gov't for eye-safety) these instruments must work within as far as the transmittion "power", they just don't have the ability to range reliably out past 5-600 yards in some light conditions. There are times when they are quick and accurate and times when they let a person down. Frustrating but that is the way it is.