New Rangefinders and Optics from Leica

catorres1

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Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
450
Leica has ramped up their rangefinder iterations and released some significant improvements to their line. Yes, there is more distance, in the case of the CRF, lots more. But the changes are actually a lot more significant from what I am seeing because they include improvements to a lot of the supporting tech that make a good RF system a great one, and if it all comes together as I think it will, Leica has brought improvements to the table that we will actually be able to use in the field. At SHOT, they introduced two new top end rangefinders as well as a new scope aimed at PRS/tactical shooters. While I don’t have test samples yet, the RF’s look like strong upgrades to the current fleet, and I am really looking forward to checking them out.




Starting with their flagship RF line, Leica has now upgraded the 3000-b Geovid to the 3200.com. The 3200 adds Bluetooth connectivity like the 2800.com boasts, allowing connection to a mobile app, a Kestrel with AB, and new for this year, an Apple watch. Just like on the 2800.com, you can connect the 3200 to a Kestrel and have it do all the ballistic calculations and then display the solution back into the RF. And of course, there is also the option to use the onboard ballistic system, which will now provide a solution out to 1100 yards when using a custom curve uploaded in the RF via the app.

Performance wise, we are expecting to see a pretty nice boost as well, more than the basic number has indicated, as Leica have improved their foundational tech so that even more targets (much less reflective), which may have not been picked up in the past, will be able to be measured, and under more difficult circumstances. In the past, the distance rating for Leica’s standards, were for reflective targets only. However, due to internal tech improvements, the ratings for Leica’s new RF’s are for non-reflective targets, and under less than ideal conditions. So while the distance increased to 3200, I am expecting to achieve that on a lot more targets, particularly on the kinds of targets we tend to care about the most, ie game. We should see better performance in poor weather or bright light as well.




On the CRF side, they also released the 3500.com. From the outside, nothing has changed from the 2800, it retains it’s standard shape, size and user interface. It also has the same connectivity capabilities that the 2800. However, for the 3500, Leica has somehow resolved the issue with the EU and class 3 lasers, and have upgraded the 3500.com to now reach 3500 yards with their CRF. In addition, the 3500 also gets the same upgrades to the foundational tech as the 3200-b, so that it can achieve that distance on non-reflective targets and in difficult weather or light conditions that are not ideal.

One other upgrade that Leica mentions that both the 3200 and the 3500 share pertains to the Bluetooth connectivity. One of my only criticisms of the 2800 was that it’s connection time could be too long, and the connection was not as stable as it could be when using a Kestrel. In the new RF’s, Leica has cut that connection time in half, while at the same time increasing connectivity distance by nearly 100%. In theory, this should give us an RF that will connect with the Kestrel in a much more effective timeframe, while also increasing connected stability. I’ll definitely look forward to testing this as, like I said, the connectivity on the 2800 was the only significant area where I wanted to see some improvement.

Speaking of connectivity, the ability to communicate with an Apple watch is interesting. When I first heard about it, I did not think much about it. But having just returned from a hunt with my sons, and thinking about the spotter shooter relationship, it becomes more interesting. This feature allows a spotter with an RF to silently and effectively communicate holds to the shooter. The spotter simply ranges and the data populates on the shooters watch, where they can implement the solution quickly, accurately, and silently. Granted, this feature won’t be useful to everyone, but for situations like these, it is an interesting option, at least from my perspective.

Leica are also making some changes to their app and ballistic software. I have not seen these just yet, but will be interested to see if the ballistics are more in line with AB and more user friendly. I am told they are, I am looking forward to seeing for myself.


Finally, Leica has announced a new scope that is clearly focused on the precision rifle crowd. The new PRS 5-30x56i scope is a first focal plane scope with a 6x erector. Leica has given particular attention to making sure the clicks on the turrets are tactile and that the scope tracks well throughout its adjustment range, which is 32 MRAD’s, or about 110 MOA in the MOA version, of elevation adjustment. It has a multi-turn elevation indicator and a configurable zero stop, and the reticle is a new as well, being designed like many modern tactical reticles to make holds for windage and elevation accurate and efficient. And of course, it’s got Leica glass.

All in all, I look on these releases as signs Leica is paying attention, and probably particularly to the guys at Leica USA. In the past few years, they have been making internal improvements to their customer service, something that was a weak point in the past. I know from conversations with my friends at Leica that many of these guys are real shooters and hunters and know what the American market wants, and they have been actively advocating for the US market to the mothership. These products, and the speed at which they are now iterating, suggests their input is having an effect on product development that is very beneficial for American shooters in terms of what Leica is putting out on offer. It’s a win win for all of us because as Leica continues to innovate and compete, doubtless, competitors will push back and the quality of product available to all of us will benefit. Good things to come, I look forward to seeing how well these new releases fare in the real world!
 

C.O. Shooter

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Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
2,222
Location
Pennsylvania
I got to handle the 3500 and 3200 at the GAOS in Harrisburg yesterday. Very nice. Both were very fast and I liked the circle reticle! Obviously indoors, wasn’t able to stretch them out.
 

gs98

New Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
4
Location
PNW
Liking the RF bino's! Wish they were making them in 12x50 as an option personally.
 

highdrum

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Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,447
Does the 3200 bino have the ability to set a wind a s give windage w/o having the kestrel send the wind values? Kinda like how you set the wind in my kilo2400abm?
 

CBS

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Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
531
Too bad their warranty is terrible and repairs are expensive! I won't buy another product from leica!
 

catorres1

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
450
Leica had an apparently well earned reputation for less than stellar customer service in the past. But in the last couple of years, they put an immense amount of resources in trying to rectify that. No one is perfect, but from the accounts I have heard and experienced lately, they have done a good job, as customer service has been prioritized by Leica USA.

If you are currently having a problem, I have some contacts there and would be glad to try and help, just PM me.
 

CBS

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
531
Sent a spotting scope in last year. $500 for a new objective lense. There's too many companies out there that go above and beyond for me to spend money on leica. I sold both of my spotting scopes and will sell my geovids next. Love the glass! But I won't buy again.
 

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