Newcon LRB 7X40 3000 Pro Initial Impressions:

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Jon A, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    I've only had it a couple of days, but here are my thoughts so far:

    Damn!

    It compared with my 7X40's 1500 Model with a 300 RUM round for size perspective:

    [​IMG]

    While it may look the same, the laser inside of this thing is a whole different animal...you can actually hear it fire! While the beam divergence was only slighly larger on the 1500 model (it's pretty good), the laser in the 3000 Pro is about 10 times brighter (rough eyeball estimate) and is completely free of voids, etc in the pattern.

    In any case, enough mumbo jumbo. I've only had it a couple of days so these pictures aren't representative of its ultimate capabilities, they're just what I happened to have handy at the time. I've only had it out of the house once so far for a few minutes looking for stuff to range (damn work schedules/wife's work schedule/kids to take care of!)...most of the stuff from the vantage point I chose was too close to be interesting. But here are a couple shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't the absolute worst conditions, but you can see the sun is shining and there's a fair amount of mirage between me and the targets. Had there been any good targets in view a couple hundred yards farther I have no doubt it would have gotten them. And under better conditions....

    The sun had gone behind the cloud for these shots so it was better conditions:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In bright sunlight it tops out between 1800-1900 yds on those trees. Of course they're over relatively level ground (you have trees in the reticle separated by over 1000 yds distance) so I think it will do even better on steep hillsides in mountain country. Nevertheless, not to bad.

    But one of the best features as far as hunting is concerned, is target selection. About the only "limit" I felt with the old 7X40 up to the 1500 yd range was ranging small objects. Sometimes you just couldn't get them. It could range a hillside or big tree at 1500 but a deer? No, not even close. I got them out to 1000 when things were perfect but beyond 7-800 or so you had to be really careful you weren't reading the hillside behind the deer. Luckily this was better during hunting season and the worst in the summer time with tall grass that hid most of their bodies.

    This is pretty typical of all rangefinders. They'll give you the range of whatever returns the strongest reflection. The first method for improving this is keeping the beam divergence as low as possible so a larger percentage of the laser is on the deer vs. the hillside behind it. And these have the best that I know of short of the Vector IV (yes, I actually measured it):

    [​IMG]

    But even with a tight beam, at some range it is simply so much bigger than the deer you're likely to get a reading from whatever is behind him because more of the signal is returned from that range. This is the natural way most "hunter grade" rangefinders work. And it's the way this one works in "Automatic Selection Mode."

    The difference is, this unit will range both the deer and the hillside behind it. It'll let you decide if you want the range for whatever returns the strongest signal, whatever was the farthest object (if you need to range through a screen of brush or something this would be useful).

    But most useful for I figure over 90% of LRH is the setting it to return the "first target" range. It'll range the deer and the hillside behind it. But it'll tell you the range of the deer.

    Here's an example of this at work:

    What most rangefinders would say:

    [​IMG]

    It is telling you the range of the trees behind the pole, because that's where most of the laser is reflecting from.

    In First Target Mode:

    [​IMG]

    First target, every time. This thing ranges small objects like nothing I've seen. I can't wait to see how far I can range a deer next month.....

    Another big thing people will notice is how friggen fast it returns ranges--basically instantly. The old 7X40's were pretty darn fast most of the time, but on longer range objects where they were struggling a bit it might take close to a second (I think it actually fires the laser again or something).

    But not these, the specs list less than 0.3 seconds and I believe them. It's pretty much as fast as you can press the button whether you get a range or not. And of course you can just hold down the button for rapid fire "scan mode" but I find it ranges so fast when you do that it's hard to even read the ranges before the next one comes up.... In any case, it'll either range it or it wont pretty much instantly...you don't have to spend a bunch of time waiting and hoping.

    Anyway, just some initial comments on the rangefinding abilities I've found so far. I'm quite impressed. I'll have more as I get more time with it....

    This thing is the real deal, folks. Just a couple of years ago I was lusting over trying to find a Vector 1500, or find a used "Old" Geovid for a price I could afford (expecting to pay way more). Technology is catching up...just a few years ago anything with this capability would have cost 5 times as much....

    BTW, many of those pictures look a little phunky with lots of black around them...this is the fault of my camera not agreeing with the eyepiece of the rangefinder--it couldn't get the full FOV. Don't worry, that's not what it looks like with your eyeball.
     
  2. rwleonard

    rwleonard Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review, very interesting. I look forward to reading more about the Newcons. I find my ground hog shooting limited by my ability to range a 'hog standing in the middle of a fairly flat fied. Maybe these are the answer?

    Rick
     

  3. Meister

    Meister Well-Known Member

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    Nice peice of technology. I'm hoping it does as well for you in field conditions. Newcon has come quite a way since I last looked at one. Have they solved the repeatability issue?
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Jon A,

    That is very impressive. Could you tell us if these range readings of +2000 yards are repeatable or a one in ten tries type thing.

    If they are consistant and repeatable I would say that is the best "ranging" range finder on the market. The Swarovski will not do that at +2000 yards consistantly.

    I have gotten several 1800-1900 yard measurements with a VERY few right at the 2000 yard range but nothing consistantly past about a mile with the Swari in bright light conditions.

    Good report, now spill the details on cost and such!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  5. Crane

    Crane Well-Known Member

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    Found it on Ebay for $1,687.40 [buy it now]
     
  6. deerkiller

    deerkiller Well-Known Member

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  7. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    Kirby, the first two pics it would do it every time I pressed the button. That's why I'm pretty sure I could have still gotten them even if they were a couple hundred farther away. But I know what you're talking about and this will do that when you get to the limit of range/target size/reflectiveness/conditions. For example, I have gotten trees beyond 1900 in bright sunlight but usually when that happens I'll try 5 more times and not get it...just too far for that target and those conditions...but when the sun goes behind the cloud or horizon it'll get the same ones every time. Trees in the 1600-1700+ range are every time, easily, even on the brightest day. And like I said, I think if I had a steep hillside facing me they'd do a lot better than they are over that flat ground.

    Sorry, I was sure I had mentioned the price...$1650-$1680 depending upon where you buy. I'd suggest buying from a well respected source that has a good return policy--as I would for any range finder, especially one this expensive--in case you get a dud (which can and does happen with all brands). But I will say a few years ago when I delt directly with Newcon for my dud 7X50's their service was excellent and they exchanged it for one that worked no problem.

    Meister, I'm not sure what you mean about consistency issues. I don't have any experience with their cheap monocular units, but I've had the original 7X40's a while and had 7X50's for quite a while before that:

    [​IMG]

    Neither had any sort of repeatability issue. Now my first 7X50's could have been described that way I guess. That POS just didn't work worth a damn. But as mentioned, I complained to Newcon and they exchanged it for one that did. I've been happy with the stuff ever since.
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Jon A,

    I just looked on their web site. I really like the looks of the 4000 m model but from what I see it will run about $3500 to get one!!! Better start saving some pennies!!!

    Keep us posted to the results you get in the field!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Great pics and thanks for your efforts. Very interesting read. Seems this unit is the cat's meow of rangefinders.

    One thing I noticed was how much detail there was in the trees at almost 2000 yards. Seemed much more magnification than just 7x. Did you use any other optics in the photo to get that much detail?
     
  10. ds

    ds Well-Known Member

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    Jon A,

    Has the construction improved since the LRB 7x50`s? I had a pair of them very briefly and pos is a fair description - loose front lens (just screw it back), trapped wire between the metal plate and plastic case - where the oculars are...etc. Not warterproof and opticaly crap.

    This is not saying in anyway that what you have is like like that but can you tell me if the unit is warterproof and what the optics are like - say compared to a normal set of binos and how is it constructed (does it still have that Russian feel?).

    Again no flame, I am curious if the overall package has improved.

    David.
     
  11. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    Rick,

    A standing P-dog on flat ground is about as tough as it gets for rangefinders. I would guess these are going to be as good or better (much better in most cases) than anything you'll find even close to the price range for that but I haven't tested yet. We only have a few dogs on our place but I'll try and test next month if I can find any standing around. If I can't, I'll try and simulate it with a small wooden stake or something as I'm also curious. But like I said, don't expect to range those things at 2000 with these...or anything else for that matter...but they might get you significantly farther than whatever you're currently using.

    Damn DK, that's easily the best price I've seen for them lately. Wish I would have found that....

    Will do Kirby. I should have mentioned in my description of how easily they were ranging the things--that was all handheld. All those ranges above were handheld first as I was zapping stuff trying to figure out what would make a good picture. Once I decided to take a picture, I did mount the unit on a tripod obviously as I'm not nearly coordinated enough to hold both it and the camera on something. But those descriptions were for hand-held, they'd probably do better on the tripod but I didn't really pay attention as I was more focused on getting the pic--but obviously had no trouble even aiming through the LCD screen of the camera.

    Goodgrouper,

    I just stuck my digital camera up against the eyepiece with it zoomed all the way out which shouldn't have magnified anything, actually I think it's slightly wide angle at that setting. When the pics are cut to size so they look OK on a computer screen they do sort of look bigger...I could take a zoomed in pic of something if you'd like. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Keep in mind those are pretty huge trees and being on skyline like that makes them stand out well. But yes, I'm quite happy with the optics. Come to think of it, I made no effort to focus the ocular to the camera instead of my eye...maybe I could even make them look better. But focusing through an LCD viewer on a digital camera isn't very precise either...maybe I'll try next time though.

    Something else, those are taken through the right eyepiece in order to see the "stuff." Looking through the left eyepiece it's actually more clear, sharper and brighter optically since you aren't looking through the LCD screen and all the laser hardware. Not by a huge amount, but it's noticable.

    This is another advantage I think the binoculars bring to the table--you don't notice the difference between the eyes when looking through both at the same time, but the brighter, sharper left side will help give you an overall better picture than if you had to only look through the right side. And of course you get the depth perception of the "stereo view" that I find so important when trying to find critters.

    I haven't tested it next to the latest monoculars. Back when I was first interested in getting a range finder, I tested I think a Nikon, Leica and Bushnell (400 or 800 models back then, I can't remember) at a store and it only took me about a minute to decide they just weren't going to cut it (not even close) for glassing for game. I couldn't see crap and I'd have a headache in a few minutes. They were all piss poor, like looking through a "$20 .22 scope" I figured. So I set out trying to find a used Geovid...had no luck at anything even close to $2000 and this was years ago...so I ended up with the Newcons.

    That was a while ago and I realize they're much better now, I haven't tested the latest Leica, Swaro, etc so I can't comment on how it compares to them. But that's why I went down the path I did.

    I haven't compared, but I'd guess the Geovids are better optically just based upon reputation. I really do like good optics, but I just can't see spending that much for a rangefinder that's so limited. Everything's a compromise.

    ds,

    Man, no wonder! I don't blame you for being skeptical of Newcons at all. If my dud 7X50's were like that I would have wanted my money back and never would have bought another! That's horrible, I don't blame you.

    But mine didn't have any of those problems (except being only rated "water resistant" instead of "water proof"). They just wouldn't range worth a crap.

    I know what you mean about the "Russian feel," they certainly did feel like something designed a few decades ago. But I got along with them OK all except for their size and weight. That's the only reason I swapped to the 7X40, I just couldn't stand carrying the 7X50's around anymore. I think they'd be great for stand-type hunting but that's not what I do most of the time.

    Anyway, in addition to the dramatic size and weight decrease, the 7X40's are much, much nicer in feel and construction. Much more modern, more rubber coating, collapsable eyepieces that are nice rubber, more ergonomic, etc. Newcon says they're waterproof. I don't plan on dunking mine in the bathtub just to make sure anytime soon just to check, but I'm not at all worried about moisture. I've used them in the rain quite a bit (both the 3000 and the old 7X40's). Also you'll be happy to know the lense covers on these are actually very nice and work very well! I ripped the useless POS things off the 7X50's and went without the whole time I hunted with them...which meant I was often scooping snow out of the objectives. But these work really well.

    If you want to get a feel for the construction/quality/feel, you might try and find a store that has a Burris 1500 in stock. Same thing physically and being a bigger name you're more likely to find one in a store.

    As for the optics, see my comments to Goodgrouper above. In addition to that, I really wish I had a whole inventory of everything so I could compare and rate them for people. But I don't, so much of this is just guessing and using common sense.

    I have no doubt you can get a pair of binoculars for a fraction of the price that is as good or even better optically. I know these are better than any I ever had before, but those were all relatively cheap compact ones. The regular 7X40 only goes for $650 or so...and for that you're also getting a laser comparable or better than the Leica 1200. So naturally the best set of $650 binoculars will probably be better optically, especially since you aren't looking through the laser hardware. And the extra $1000 for the 3000 Pro I think pretty much all goes to the laser/detection hardware/computing power and I suppose the compass adds a bit.

    Like I said, everything is a compromise. I'm much too spoiled by the LRF/Bino combo to ever go back now. If somebody comes out with a better one for something a "non-lottery winner" can afford I'll be all over it. But at this point I don't know of a better laser for anywhere near this price, much less built into a pretty decent set of binocs.

    I was really hoping a couple years back that the new Geovids would have upgraded to, at the very least, a Vector 1500-level laser. But they didn't, they actually went back in some areas. The beam divergence is larger on the new ones which hampers their ability to pick up small objects and they don't range significantly farther on big objects.... Like I said, compromises--they might be great glass but there are tons of people on this sight that will be outshooting the laser in no time.

    Looking at my above posts, I left a few things out I think should be added:

    First, I mentioned measuring beam divergence but didn't mention what it was...oops. As well as I can measure, it's 1.8 Mils wide by about .68 Mils high. That will be plus or minus a bit as the size reference (the window in the picture) as well as the laser change size depending upon the focus of the camera and the brightness of the picture.... But that's pretty close.

    I also haven't even talked about one of the reasons I thought these would provide usefulness beyond the added range--the compass! They have a mode that'll measure just azimuth. They also have a mode that'll measure both range and azimuth with a single press of the button and display both.

    I see many potential uses for this. Last year I hunted elk in mountains that were completely new to me. I was using a compass, map and GPS all the time just to know where the hell I was! Working along with the added range, I think this thing will be very useful for navigating in such conditions.

    Say you want to go to a clearing on the next mountain over but will be walking through timber on your way to it. Range, azimuth, put that into your GPS, mark the point and start walking.

    Say you shoot something a long ways away and there's some nasty stuff between you and it, you'll lose sight of it on your way to it, it'll be dark when you get there, etc. Same thing: range, azimuth, put it in your GPS and start walking!

    Much faster/more accurate/more convenient than eyeballing over a hand held compass and trying to "walk the line." Yes, you can accomplish the same thing with the "old tools" but that doesn't mean this won't be really nice to use in that way.

    There is one area where this unit lags behind the performance of the 1500 yd 7X40's. That's battery life. The laser being so much brighter takes a lot more power...it has to come from somewhere. So it will go through batteries many times faster than the standard 7X40's. But the batteries basically lasted forever in those things. You could just stick a fresh one in and forget about it all season. Not these, you'll want extras.

    On that note, I don't know if they'll all come with this or if it depends upon where you buy it (the instruction book says it's "optional")...but I was very suprised to see a high capacity Ni-MH battery and charger tucked into the box when I opened it. I thought that was a nice touch. In any case, it's just a regular 9 volt battery which are available anywhere you can buy gas and pretty cheap. I'll carry a couple extra for the added ranging performance. They're easy to change, no tools required. But I figured I should give a heads-up. That's the only potential downside I've noticed so far.
     
  12. magicofmt

    magicofmt Well-Known Member

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    Any more updates Jon A???? I'm getting close to buying a new unit.
     
  13. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    Not much, I haven't gotten to play with it much lately or take any more pics, etc. It still works the same though. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    To date the farthest it has ranged has been around 2450 yards. Those have been on grassy/sagebrush hillsides (summertime vegetation, not very reflective) after sundown. On the same it seems to top out around 1900 + or - a bit in bright sunlight depending on the angle, color, etc of the hill. Anything with some shine to it (tractor, backhoe, pickup, etc) it was getting out to 2150 in bright sun.

    I didn't happen to see any deer at what I would expect to be its max range on them. I saw tons under 1000 and it easily ranged all of them. And I did happen to spot a couple at over 2K (I could range the hillside behind them at 2100 something and a tree in front of them at 2K) and it would NOT range them. But that's not too surprising. I'll be back in Montana next week so hopefully I'll be able to fill in the 1-2K gap a bit. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif If I get a big buck early in the break, maybe I'll have time to take more pics. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    In short, so far so good, but I've only had them a little while.
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Time to retire my Leica and pick one of these up. I'm tired of not being able to range beyond 700 yards at first light ..when the Elk herd is just past what the rangefinder will do.

    Jay