I have a Newcon 1500 and here is my opinion.
Overall I like it, and I think it is a good rangefinder for the price ($250). I have used it next to a Leica 800 and they would both give similar ranges (+/- 5 yds) out to 900 yards, then the Leica would not range. Circumstances were ideal when I was doing those tests - mid day, ranging to sandstone mostly. I have used the Newcon to range elk and cattle out to 800 yards, and reflective surfaces (buildings) at 1600 yards.
Here is the opinion, buyers advice part. Don't buy the Newcon (unless you want mine for $230!). Spend the extra money for a Leica as they are better overall. The Leica 800 will not range as far, but is more compact and I believe will range under worse conditions than the Newcon (Leica 800 ~$300). The Leica 1200 is the same size as their 800 and works over 1200 yards more consistantly. Leica also has some new (more expensive) models that do constant scan mode which I have heard great things about.
Buy Leica if you have over $300 to spend. If you don't, then go ahead and get Newcon as it is better than the Nikon / Bushnell 800 models I have used for the same price.
With any of the rangefinders, being steady is the biggest key.
My LRB 7X50's are at Newcon right now being repaired or replaced. We'll see how the pair they send me back works.
I really liked them as the optics were good and they ranged things really well (deer at 900+, buildings to 1300+)--but only on a nice sunny day. Most rangefinders don't work very well in bright sunlight but will work much better in low light conditions. These things were the opposite. They were worthless during low light conditions (last 1/2 hour of shooting light, etc--even worse on a cloudy, gloomy day).
Newcon couldn't explain it (it even says in the owner's manual that they won't work as well in bright sunlight) so hopefully there was just something wrong with them. We'll see. If they work after the sun goes down as well as they do at high noon, I'll be happy. If not, I'll be looking for something else.
Anybody find a decent price for the Vector 1500's anywhere yet?
Wyo. I bought newcon LMR1500 recently they will range farther than my Leica800.They seem very finicky to lighting conditions.Also the aiming square in them is HUGE. I would spend a little more money and stay away from Newcon. Tater Man
Newcon sent me a replacment pair of LRB 7X50's. So far my testing has only been on pine trees from the deck of my new house (I bought a house!). The real test will come in the field on live animals, but from the above I feel confident in saying:
Holy ****, these things friggen work!!!
They'll range the very tip-top of a single pine tree at 1530 yards. In bright sunlight. Consistantly. Not just that tree, but the one at 1512, the ones in the 1300, 1200 range, a few around 1000 and I have numerous ones in the 600-900 yd range. I can't stump them! I thought my last ones worked OK in bright sunlight but they never worked like this! After 800 yds or so, even in the best of conditions for them, they had trouble reading a pine tree.
The biggest thing that makes me happy is these will read all the same trees exactly the same way until it's so dark I can't even see the trees anymore! After the sun went down my old ones wouldn't range a tree at 250 yards, much less 1500+.
Oh yeah, that's all hand-held. Leaning my butt against the railing on my deck just holding them. God knows how they'd do if I went out looking for big white buildings with a tri-pod.
So, I'm happy. I'm confident these things will serve me well for my purposes.
Would I recommend them to somebody else? Hmmm.... Flip a coin.
I doubt I'll ever know the whole story and without that I can't be definitive on a recommendation. By the whole story I mean:
It's natural for a product such as this to vary in performance at its outer envelope of range somewhat. So maybe most of the units sold work as well as my current one and the first one I got was just "a bad one." Or maybe, since I was the "squeaky wheel" and sent mine back and demanded better, they "hand picked" me one of their best performing units. I just don't know.
Another thing that confuses that issue: The LCD screen has changed. On the old ones if you chose the "box" instead of the "crosshairs" the box was small and square. On these new ones it's only slightly bigger but it's taller and skinnier. Maybe they've changed the shape of their laser? If so one could expect all of their newer ones to perform like mine. But I just don't know.
This I know:
I don't know what the hell they did, but whatever it was I like it! They work! I doubt any rangefinder in its pricerange could outperform this thing. But I can't guarantee that the one you get would work as well as this if you ordered one today. I really would hope so, but don't order one and send me hatemail if it doesn't. I simply don't know.
That probably doesn't help people a whole lot, but it's all I got....
The only gripe (but another reason I'm hesitant to recommend them) with my new unit is that the LCD screen is a little difficult to read. It doesn't look like a design issue to me, more like it's just slightly misaligned--kind of like looking at a pocket calculator sideways. But after getting used to it I have no problems reading it.
And they range so well I'm not about to send them back for that! My last ones had a perfectly clear display--the only problem was it was blank when I really needed it....
Yeah Brent, it's good to know the product really does have potential to perform this well. I would think it could serve a large number of people on this board very well. Not everybody needs to range a deer at 2000+. And at 1/3 the price of a Leica Geovid and about 1/8th the price of the bottom of the line Vector, it really opens the door to many who simply can't spend that much money on a hunting toy. But it does seem they have some quality control issues. So buying one may be a gamble but given how my current one works the reward of getting a good one might be worth it for some people.
I'll ask them what was wrong with my old one but I won't hold my breath for an accurate answer.
Marlow, I got mine from www.binoculars.com for about $620. Come to think of it, if one is considering buying one of these things I think I've come up with a strategy:
If I remember correctly, they have a 30 days, no questions asked, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back return policy. (But double check that before you take my word for it!!!)
So, I would wait to order until I knew I'd be able to really put the thing through the ringer, testing it thoroughly as soon as it came. If it doesn't work worth a ****, send it back within 30 days and get your money back.
That sounds like a plan to me! But just remember everybody, how much you paid for this advice!
I have the 1200 yd variety, a little finicky
but over all works good. i have tried several brands owned by friends and the 1200 will do better than some and not as good as others. It is what it is low end, but if you get one that works good there you go.