Review of Leupold RX4

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by goodgrouper, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    I could sum up my review in one word: dissapointing.

    If you're into details, then I can give you a few.

    Tested a brand new RX4 unit today on various objects in my local canyon including trees, cliffs, rockslides, hillsides, brush patches and so on. Also took along my Leica 1200 (non scan model) to compare to.

    First thing I noticed pulling the RX4 out of the box was the green ring around the eyepiece. THis is Wind RIver's color not Leupold's which means it was probably made in CHina. Sure enough, next thing I noticed was that it was stamped, "made in China" on the bottom. Not good I thought.

    Then I read the destructions to figure out the rather busy menus on the unit. After about an hour of using the process of elimination to figure out the best "combo" of functions that would best serve my purposes, I had to set the unit down before I threw it down. WAAAYY to much %&$* going on in that screen! Truthfully, even after playing around with it for an hour and then testing it in the canyon for another hour, I can only get the thing to do about 80% of it's functions. I'm starting to think that this particular unit does not have all it's wires hooked up!


    Comparing it's optics to my LEica, I can say that the Leup has as good of resolution but to my eye is half as bright as the Leica. The Leica would give at least an extra half hour of use in the evenings. The Leup also has a "yellowish" tinge to it's contrast.

    In ranging objects, I never got the Leup to bounce a reading back farther than 850 yards and it is supposed to go to 1500! I even bounced a huge cliff that my Leica said 1010 yards three times in a row and the Leup never gave me a reading! I started to think that the laser or circuit board in my particular unit may have just been robbed from the RX2 or RX3 and would not go past 900 yards.

    The RX4 was good at giving identical readings as my Leica to things under 500 yards but was twice as slow to display them.

    The digital inclinometer worked flawlessly and was a good idea as was the compass. However, to use some things like these, you have to shut off other functions.

    I finally got the TBR function to work but I think that it only corrects for targets no further than 800 yards away. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    The readout is kinda fuzzy, and the backlight functioned only so-so. It illuminated only parts of the view similiar to the old Casio watch corner lights before Indiglo backlights.

    The Moa, holdover, and Bal functions I got to flash, but never got them to work. I have no clue how they are supposed to function. Very frustrating.

    The multiple aimers are a good idea, but you have to toggle through each one every time you run the mode function and I think there were 13 to choose from.

    The thermometer was nice but seemed to be effected slightly by direct sunlight on the black housing of the unit.

    On some of the functions, you have to use a combo of bottons to get them to be used. I would have liked to see several more buttons in the design rather than have to use combos of the only three buttons to operate 20 different modes. This just adds to the frustrations. I felt like if I had been trying to range a 2point deer, by the time I actually got the unit to give me a range the deer would have become a 4 point or would have died of old age!


    The size of the unit is great and it is lightweight. And the carrying case is far superior to the damn thing Swaro sends with their rangefinder.

    The RX4's threaded tripod adaptor bottom also kicks the crap out of the Leica tripod adaptor.


    All in all, I would rate the Swaro rangefinder a 9 out of 10, the Leica 1200 (non-scan model) an 8 out of 10, and the RX4 Leup a 4 out of ten. I have not played around with the Bushnell 1500 as extensively but I would rate it a better unit than the Leup for pure ranging capabilities although it does not have some of the extra features of the Leupy.


    I am a tried and true Leupold fan (yes, I said Leupold Pete!)but I don't think I could back this product. Of course, it has more genes from Wind River than it does Leupold and I've always hated Wind River stuff.

    In Leupold's defense, I could point out that ALL the major manufacturer's first attempts at rangefinders were troubled at best. The first Leica 800's that came out all had to be sent back for system failures and were late on re-introduction. Swaros first unit had a "dissappearing" readout with funny orange colored mirage objects in the view. Not to mention the aimer was bigger than Rosie O DOnnels butt. It has since been shrunk (the aimer, not the butt). So maybe Leupold is having the same beginner problems. I would have liked to see them make a unit that truly ranges out to 1500 or 1700 yards and have brighter glass without so many busy features and have it cost a little more. I would gladly pay $900 for an American made ranger that had the same glass as Leupy's riflescopes and could give me readings to 1 mile and only have an inclinometer as an extra feature. The thermometer and compass are nice but probably forced Leupy to reduce the quality of the laser or glass. We don't need that!

    Anyhow, I ain't sellin' my Leica or my Swaro that is in transit to buy a Leup RX4 at this time. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  2. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Goodgrouper,
    I'm sure glad I did not wait for them. So far I'm happy with my bushnell 1500. Thanks for the report.
    Note:
    William (my 15 y/o) came to me one afternoon laughing real hard. I asked him what was going on he said: " I think I'll become a member of LRH and my name will be <font color="blue">bettergrouper </font> ..." we both laughed knowing that he was joking, you are safe for now! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    Again, Thanks for the report.
    JOM
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    GG,

    Good review and write-up. What's the odds of you getting ahold of a Burris 1500 to compare against the Leica?

    I have a Leica 1200 Scan that for chucks and stuff along river canyons is fair and w/a steady rest a bit fairer but I can't range a cow/horse or lama over 400 yds.

    Am about to strongly considering switching to the Burris and hope it's better /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    Eaglet,
    How about this. I send you my Leica, you do a good healthy comparison and send back to me the one that works best /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Just kiddin' but if it comes to something like that to get a comparison, I'd send it. I've done stranger things. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Roy and Eaglet.

    I have only limited access to a Bush 1500 and couldn't perform the level of testing I would prefer with it to make a fair comparison. I did get one to bounce a reading of 1100 yards once though. Optics don't look as good to my eye as the Leica, but all in all it seems to be a good unit.

    I have heard recently of guys who have been getting bad performance from the Leica 1200's and it makes me wonder if they have cheapened them recently. Or maybe they downgraded them when they made them vertical? I don't know.

    I bought one before they were actually on store shelves several years ago and have been extremely happy with it. I get similiar readings to the Swaro and it has beamed all my long range big game kills for the past two years except for a buffalo. That day, it would not read but it was over 1000 yards away and very bright sunshine. The Swaro actually had to be used on that buff to get a reading.

    It is possible that my Leica works better than everyone else's because it is not a scan model but there were not many of mine made. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    BTW Eaglet,
    bettergrouper sounds like a fitting name for your boy. He is already shooting better groups than me when I was his age! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  5. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Roy in Idaho,

    [ QUOTE ]
    Just kiddin'...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm glad because not long ago that's what I did, tested between the two and the Bushnell 1500 was out performing the Leica 1200 and for less money. Just what I experienced.

    GG,
    The boy can be funny. I'm trying to pass on to him all the good stuff that I learn from you all.
     
  6. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

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    That IS dissappointing...if it doesn't do the lazing all that other sheet doesn't matter a lick /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    JB
     
  7. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    hmmm, that sucks, I wonder if you got a lemon? thanks for the write up...jon
     
  8. 7mmRHB

    7mmRHB Well-Known Member

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    GG, I see that your assesment pretty much follows my opinion of the RX4. I didn't say too much when I gave it to you so you wouldn't have a bias one way or another.

    If this unit truely represents what is going to be on the shelf soon, Leupold should be very embarrassed!!! This unit is so cluttered and difficult to use, that I can't even imagine trying to use it in the heat of the moment on anyones hunts. I never got it to read past 775 yds on pretty good reflective targets. The Gizmos don't matter if you can't get a range. If this unit is defective (and I hope it is)we'll try to test a different one If the Rep is still speaking to us----7mmRHB
     
  9. srhaggerty

    srhaggerty Well-Known Member

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    Very dissapointing to say the least. I would have expected more from Leupold. It can only get better from here.
     
  10. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I don't think anyone is excited about what we have read, but I want to see a production model compared with the Leica and Swaro.
     
  11. victor

    victor Well-Known Member

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    GG,

    Thank you very much for the informative write up. I was really looking forward to the inclinometer feature, but it seems like the package is deficient as its currently made.
    I have a Leica 1200 scan model and am happy with it. It consistantly ranges to 1000 yards, optimaly reflective targets, a little further.
    I will keep it and be content.

    Regards,
    Vic
     
  12. 7mmRHB

    7mmRHB Well-Known Member

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    Guys, our concerns have been relayed to the Rep. and Grouper or I should be getting a call to discuss our findings. We'll let you all know about what they have to say.----7mmRHB
     
  13. 7mmRHB

    7mmRHB Well-Known Member

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    The head of marketing at Leupold has made contact with us and wants to send a unit to try with phone support from the designers to make sure we get all questions answered and the set up correct.

    GG and I will let you know how it goes.---7mmRHB
     
  14. robbor

    robbor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. I have a non scan Leica 1200 and I am shakey as h@LL. I can easily range 500+, if I steady up a little I can probably go to 700 max and anything further usually requires me to rest it on something. I used the tripod adapter to range an object at like 1125. For me, I never had trouble getting a bounce, I felt it was me shaking that was disrupting the return. And I have not really been impressed with the glass on the leica. It seems a little dark to me. As for leupold, they are going down hill like everybody else im sure. I bought a 12-40 spotter and had to send it back for not staying focused through out the zoom range. The scope was never out of the house and they spec a cleaning and new parts, but would not say what.