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Unread 10-31-2006, 10:55 PM
daj daj is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 26

After reading every range-finder article I could find on the net, I decided to buy a Leica CRF 1200

The CRF is touted as being the smallest and lightest high quality range-finder on the market, and while its ranging may be somewhat limited compared to a Swarovski Laser Guide, it excels in enough areas to represent good value for money.

Having decided which LRF to buy, the next question was where to buy it.

Camera Land in New York USA has been advertising Leica-Certified used CRFs at $499 USD, claiming that the condition of the units is "as new". With Australian Customs not interested in articles worth less than $1,000 AUD, the Camera Land deal was looking promising, so I phoned the owner, Doug, to find out more. I was informed that the CRFs were:

"Demos from trade shows, demo day events and internally @ Leica, Salesmans Sample, Other dealers overstock inventory balance units, Refurbs, Damaged box goods.
They are all checked out to be sure that they are in operationally and optically perfect condition, certified, and made available for resale under a reduced warranty of 3 months Vs 2 years for brand new ."

Though somewhat apprehensive, I decided to take a punt and ordered one of Doug's "used" CRFs the next day. It arrived in Australia three days later, and was delivered soon after. Excellent service, I think you'll agree.

As promised, the CRF appeared brand new, not a mark or blemish anywhere. It came packaged in its original box complete with CR2 battery, padded belt-carry case, lanyard, manual and warranty. The total cost, including postage and handling, was $540 USD.

I then spent two days ranging on every target I could find in different environments - flat country, hills, mountains, midday full sun, dusk, but unfortunately no snow, rain or fog. The results are as follows:

<font class="small">Code:</font><hr /><pre>Conditions Target Range Comments

Bright sun Street Sign 2' x 2' 1,254 yds Ranged every time - could range further

" Reflector 2" x 2" 960 yds Ranged every time - could range further

" Bushes 950 yds Ranged most times - species dependent

" Cows 500 yds Ranged most times - color dependent

Dusk Bushes 1145 yds Ranged most times - species dependent

" Cows 720 yds Ranged sometimes - color dependent </pre><hr />

Scan Mode seemed more useful when ranging difficult targets at moderate ranges than when ranging at the limits. At the limits I could range a target with one ping that would not register on Scan Mode.

Ranging distant animals is best served by pinging a nearby bush, tree or even a light coloured rock as fur is a very poor reflector, especially dark fur.

A steady hold is absolutely essential for pinging small targets at long range.

CRF 1200 Summary:

Strong Points:
Light weight (220g)
Small size (113mmx75mmx34mm)
Quality optics
Quality build
Long battery life (2,000 ops)
Waterproof (1m)
Aiming reticle (small red LED square for precise aiming and high visability in low light)
Scan mode (for ranging difficult targets)
Simple to operate

Weak Point:
Difficult to ping fur targets @ &gt; 500yds in bright sun (use nearby bushes instead)

Optional Extras:

The usefulness of a laser range-finder when hunting, or field target shooting, can increase dramatically when it is used in conjunction with an inclinometer, a barometer, a thermometer, and a PDA loaded with ballistics software to bring it all together. Fortunately, most of these extras are available at reasonable cost.
The inclinometer on my CRF (see photo) cost $15 from a marine supplier.
Combo temp/barometers are available on ebay for under $15.
Palm Z22s are the cheapest PDAs I could find for under $100.
PSSF Ballistic Software for Palm PDAs is FREE from here http://www.freewarepalm.com/calculat...rfriend).shtml

For those who want to move onwards and upwards in range-finder performance, here is a quick comparison list of the Newcon Optik vs Swarovski vs CRF:

<font class="small">Code:</font><hr /><pre> Newcon Optik LRB 3000 Swarovski Laser Guide Leica CRF 1200

Range 3,000 m 1,600 yds + 1,200 yds +
Optics 7x40 8x30 7x24
Weight 970g (34.2oz) 386g (13.6oz) 220g (7.8oz)
LxWxH 158x145x69 (6.2"x5.7"x2.7") 120x99x46 (4.7"x3.9"x1.8") 113x75x34 (4.5"x2.75"x1.25")
Features Compass &amp; Velocity Waterproof Waterproof
Batt. Life 2,000 ops. 1,000 ops. 2,000 ops.

Cost $1,600 USD $900 USD $600 USD</pre><hr />

Good Shooting

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Unread 11-01-2006, 12:13 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chickasaw Point, SC
Posts: 206
Re: LEICA CRF 1200

Great post; very informitive with good details. Thanks for sharing.
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Unread 11-01-2006, 07:18 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: LEICA CRF 1200

Weak Point:
Difficult to ping fur targets @ &gt; 500yds in bright sun (use nearby bushes instead)

This is a deal breaker in rolling sage brush where every thing is nearby bushes and nothing reflects.

I love my Leica LRF except for when attempting to range in sage desert country.

I appreciate your detailed evaluation. Good post!
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 11-01-2006, 08:57 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Utah
Posts: 163
Re: LEICA CRF 1200

i have been pleased with mine so far.

there have been some instances that it had some difficulty ranging like in a BLINDING SNOW STORM [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] recently but i can find very little fault in this wonderful little unit.
very similar test results. the one i have seems to ping a little more reliably than yours, with consistant confirmed ranges to 1112yds on intended species...mule deer [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. i was ranging a pair of bedded bull moose consistently at 616yds, later i was ranging them as they were feeding/milling around at various distances. my notes say 654, 712,838, then they were out of sight. didnt even think to test in the fog/clouds, but it did range in light snow and wind to 600 yds (rocks).

a great value...you "stole" that one.

HEY!??? where did you get that angle indicator?? VERY NICE ADDITION [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] How much?

nevermind....found it...lev-o-gage.com [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Unread 05-28-2007, 04:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: bluefield,va,us
Posts: 339
Re: LEICA CRF 1200

Lev-O-Gage. I know what it is for but did it come like that or is it an add on. Where can you get one at,

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Unread 05-31-2007, 12:17 AM
daj daj is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 26
Re: LEICA CRF 1200


It's an add-on. If you want to attach it just use the double-sided tape supplied on the back of the Lev-O-Gage.

I bought mine at a marine supply warehouse but 4WD shops also sell them.
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Unread 06-22-2007, 12:49 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 32
Re: LEICA CRF 1200

Good information everyone should do rundowns like these when they review a product. I like how you showed the weakness and the strength in the product. You even gave test results and examples. Great job Daj
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