What Size Rangefinder? – Everything To Know About with FAQs and More

People often ask, what size is a rangefinder?

Let’s find out!

What Size Is a Rangefinder?

Most range finders fall in the 20 to the 25-millimeter range. For comparison, most binoculars have 40 to 50-millimeter objective lenses and spotting scopes will be 50 to 100 millimeters.

The higher magnification of a spotting scope makes it easier for you to see details on your target. The lower magnification allows you to get closer to your subject without losing detail.

Weighing less than 2 pounds, spotting scopes are easy to carry around and use. They’re also lightweight enough that they can be used as a backup or secondary weapon if needed.

How to Choose a Rangefinder? – Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re playing sports, hunting, or shooting clay pigeons, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right equipment. A good range finder is essential if you want to hit your target accurately.

Laser rangefinders, optical rangefinders, and GPS-enabled rangefinders are all great choices depending on what you want out of your range finder.

Lasers rangefinders can help you find things that you might otherwise miss. For example, if you’re hiking through an area where you know there are deer, you could set up a motion detector and then aim a powerful beam of light at the ground.

When the beam hits something moving, such as a deer, the device will alert you. You’ll know exactly where the animal is located without having to rely on your eyesight.

How Rangefinders Work?

Laser rangefinders measure distances using a laser beam that is reflected back to the instrument by an object. The distance from the instrument to the object is determined based on the time it takes for the light pulse emitted by the instrument’s laser diode to return and be detected by the instrument’s photodiode.

The accuracy of a laser rangefinder depends upon its ability to accurately determine when the returned light pulse has been received, which is affected by atmospheric conditions.

Optical rangefinders work similarly to lasers but do not emit their own light pulses. Instead, they detect the returning light pulses emitted by other instruments.

GPS-enabled rangefinders use satellites orbiting above Earth to calculate the distance between them and the location being measured. This information is displayed on the unit’s LCD screen.

Most rangefinder cameras have three lenses:

  1. Objective lens
  2. Light-receiving lens
  3. Eyepiece lens

The objective (or focal) length determines how large an object appears in the viewfinder. A longer focal length allows for greater magnification, which makes objects appear smaller.

The light-emitting lens emits an invisible beam of light that bounces off objects and returns to the receiver. The receiver uses the returned light to determine the distance to the object.

The eyepiece is the last part of the rangefinder you use to measure distances.

Golf vs. Hunting Rangefinders

There are some rangefinder models that let you shoot and then track targets using them, but it’s important to make certain that the rangefinder you choose has the right features for your needs.

A golf rangefinder measures distance by using lasers to detect the position of targets. It bases its measurements on the closest one since the flag on a green is usually the closest object in your line of sight.

Some golf rangefinder models include features specifically geared towards golfing, such as helping you select clubs or determining the slope of the terrain.

Rangefinders prioritize distant objects over closer objects. Since hunters often range game animals in open fields, they need their rangefinder to ignore any trees or bushes that might get in the path of the object.

Some models even estimate your bullet drop based on the type of ammunition you’re using.

If you’re looking for a rangefinder that works well for both golfing and shooting, make sure it has a feature that allows you to switch between near-target mode and far-target mode.

Also, don’t be fooled by the fact that most rangefinders come equipped with multiple modes; they may not be suitable for your specific applications. Instead, choose one that fits your needs best.

What Size Rangefinder?

What Size Rangefinder?

Rangefinder Features Include

Before buying a rangefinder, consider these factors: Its maximum distance, its magnification, the size of the device, and the available modes (e.g., optical vs. laser). These will help you narrow down the options and choose the best one for your needs.

Maximum Distance

When choosing a rangefinder, consider its maximum distance. You’ll want to pick one with a maximum distance several hundred yards greater than you plan to use it for—this ensures you’re never too far away from where you need to be to take accurate measurements.

A typical rangefinder has two maximum distances: one for reflective objects like golf flags or specialized targets and one for non-reflected objects like animals. Because rangefinders depend on reflections, the reflective range will typically be greater than the non-reflecting range.

When deciding which lens to buy for your camera, consider whether you’re going to be using it mainly for shooting wildlife at distances up to 400 yards or shooting landscapes at distances from 200 to 300 yards. If so, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 will probably work best.

For golf rangefinder, the same principle applies to choosing a range finder with a maximum range higher than the longest hole you plan on playing on.


The magnifier shows how much closer an object appears when viewed through the lens. A low magnifier (6x) means the object is close enough to see without zooming in; a high magnifier (10x) means the object can only be seen if you’re very close to it.

To get the best results, try holding the camera steady and focusing on something about half the size of the frame.

Most people prefer a rangefinder for its ability to provide clear images at different magnifications. It’s especially useful when shooting sports or wildlife photography.


A good rangefinder should be comfortable to handle and give you quick access to its controls. For example, if you’re carrying a camera bag, you’ll probably want a smaller rangefinder so you can easily reach into it without having to take off your backpack.

Also, consider how much room you have in your pocket or purse. If you carry a lot of gear, you may not have enough space for a large rangefinder.


Some modern rangefinder models offer a number of different measurement methods. These additional measurements can help you get better results when shooting.

When using the laser rangefinder, the rangefinder will continually measure the distance between you (the shooter) and your target (your subject). This is most useful for shooting targets that move away from you.

When using angle compensating mode, you get the distance to your target, but also take into account the incline or declination of your target. This allows you to compensate for the drop of the projectile and adjusts your aim accordingly. Most rangefinders with this feature let you turn it off.

Rain or Fog (or “Rain” for short) modes eliminate the effects of rain or fog on the rangefinder’s readings. Since raindrops can refractor the light from the sensor, the distance measurement may be slightly off when there is rain or fog present.

Rain (or “Rain”) modes override this refraction, giving an accurate measurement regardless of the weather.


We hope that this guide has been useful. If you have any questions please let us know in the comment section below.


  • Herman Riggs

    Herman is a writer, researcher, and product reviewer here at The Outdoor Stores. His knowledge and expertise in firearms are immense. He knows well which gun is suitable for which purpose and how to handle it correctly. You can benefit from his passion by reading his posts on this website.

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