My brother has one. I have not used it in any real world scenarios, but played with it while driving down the road. I was stunned to find I could range rocky outcroppings at 600 yards - while travelling at 25 mph!
The secret to most rangefinders I have used is to be still and steady. His scan version amazed me for being able to read from a moving vehicle.
I will likely be playing guide for him during his bull and cow elk hunts and will post results when I have real world data.
Used two of 'em on a Texas Hill Country hunt for exotics. Readings past 1000 in bright sunshine on deerstands, hillsides, trees you name it it ranged it. Even gar in the river!
Within a yard or two of each other.
Definitely impressed us.
I lilke my 1200 Leica. I have had Bushnell 400's, 800,s and 1000 yard. The Bushnell 100 would range to 1640 yards after sunset, but on bright sunny days it would get 630 on nonreflective objects. The 1200 Leica do not do as well in bright sun as coudy days, but they always reach 800 yards. The optics are better on Leica. I wish I had scan, but I purchased mine before it was available. Oh, one thing that might interest you. I purchased mine while on a trip, so while my wife shopped I sat in the parking lot and played with my new and old rangefinder. The Bushnells would range through my windshield to 400 yards (they will set off a radar detector in a car also, and it's fun driving speeders nuts)but, the Leica would not shoot through glass at all. Now you may think at first this is not good. I hunt fox here in North Dakota, and I thought I could range the bright white snow to a 100 yards. Not so. The Bushnells penetrate the snow like they do glass, and the snow disperses the light and does not reflect it. My Bushnell 1000 would only range snow to 200 yards. I was in a rush to get home to snow and try the Leica. Sure enough the Leica which would not penetrate the windshied would range snow on the island in the lake east of my house to 900 yards in daylight. So, if you hunt predators in snow like I do the Leica win hands down.
I believe the scan versions are better than the older ones for reliable reading.
I got to use one for a little bit and was impressed with the fact you did not have to be as steady as you had to be with other finders to range at longer distances.
I have played with the normal Leica 800 and the scan 1200 and liked what I saw on the scan version. Has anyone been able to test a Scan 1200 and the older 1200's side by side?
on our Antelope hunt this year all we used was my Leica 1200 we ranged Antelope from 10 yards to 1200 yards ( 1221 was our max ) all day every day with no problems what so ever.. it does have a norrow beam so you need to be stready but and rock or log will do....
I am not sure about the scan models.. I hear they run down batteries real quick like!!
I have a Newcon 1500 I would happily sell for $250. I have used it on elk out to 600. It will range rocks and such at 1000 or so and reflective things (buildings etc) at 1600.
In all honesty though I would apply that money to a Leica 1200. I like to carry my rangefinder where it is handy and the Newcon is kinda big for that.
I'll wait until I've hunted with it to give my final conclusion, but right now I'm pretty sure the latest unit I have will work well. I certainly can't complain about Newcon's customer service. They've been great.
I don't have any experience with their cheaper monoculars. I have a theory that may be totally BS but maybe somebody out there who knows more about how rangefinders work (where has S1 been lately?) could add a little. I'm thinking the performance difference between this unit and the various monoculars might be due to whatever is "looking" for the reflection of the laser is looking through a 50mm objective instead of a 20-something and might be larger/more sensitive itself--even if the actual laser is the same. Most of the new rangefinding binoculars on the market in this price range still use a separate, smaller lense. I don't know, it's just something I've been wondering about.
It's interesting that peoples' experiences with the Leica 1200 have varied so widely--from really good to really crappy. Maybe I was a bit hard on Newcon when my first one didn't work worth a ****--maybe one should expect this variation in performance from all rangefinders in this pricerange?
In any case, I think my idea of buying one from a place with a money-back guarantee and testing it quickly might be a good idea for any rangefinder you buy if you don't want to send it back to the manufacturer and complain like I did.
One more note:
Assuming these things work on real fur as well as I think they will, about the only complaint I can think of is their size and weight. Being roughly the same size as a Geovid, I had just accepted it until I saw this:
Newcon has a new one out--the LRB 7X40. It's over two inches shorter, a bit narrower and thinner and almost a pound lighter (basically more "normal binocular sized"). They sell for a little less than the 7X50. Hmm, if they prove to range as well as the ones I have now I may have to swap for them someday.
In any case, I'll know more about the ones I have now after this hunting season. I just ranged a pine tree at 1604 yds today, I really hope they'll consistantly range deer to well beyond the range I'll shoot. I think they will but time will tell....