Rangefinders are devices that primarily measure distance from an observer to a target. They may be used for measuring distances for construction, golfing, spotting speeding vehicles, GIS data collection and plotting, target shooting, and more activities, usually outdoors, that require the observer to acquire and plot distances. Although measuring distances could be done by simple devices like tape measures and meter sticks, using a rangefinder becomes handy when targets are moving, very distant, or are located in a secluded or dangerous place. Rangefinders make what’s hard easy, and what’s easy becomes easier.
How do rangefinders work?
A rangefinder works by emitting light from the push button. The light is pointed on the target and is then reflected by it. The rangefinder measures the time it took for the light to be reflected back from the target. This is then converted to distance, and is displayed for the observer to see.
Since rangefinders use reflection to measure distances, it is therefore important to know the best conditions to maximize the uses of a rangefinder. Being an optical device that uses reflection to maximize distance, the ability of the target to reflect light is a huge factor in optimizing a rangefinder’s use. The surroundings’ condition should also be conducive for reflection. The size of the target and lasits surface’s nature is also an important consideration.
Metallic or glass surfaces are the best reflectors of light and are the most ideal targets. However, since targets may vary, and may not necessarily be as reflective as these two, knowing targets better and selecting them carefully are vital in maximizing a rangefinder’s use.
Using rangefinders in extremely well-lighted places or under the bright sun could limit its range. Light emitted from the rangefinder could blend in with bright light before reaching the target and being reflected.This is why low-light conditions are ideal for using this optical tool. Rangefinders could be at their best with minimum light, at dusk or on a cloudy day.
However, pitch black or very dark conditions would depend on a rangefinder’s capacity, as black is a color that absorbs more light and minimally reflects. Thus, it is important to try to choose surfaces that have a color that reflects more light instead of absorbing. These colors could be white or light colors. In very dark scenarios, high-end and high performance rangefinders like Lelca and Bushnell are known to especially perform well.
Using Rangefinders in low-light condition really causes much troubles.
Ultimately, choosing the best rangefinder doesn’t always need to be the most expensive or the one with the longest range (although that would be really cool to have). It doesn’t even need to depend on the brand, some brands are just more reliable, and uses better materials, but the best value rangefinder is the one that best fits the observer’s needs. Take note of the environment that you want to use it for, and the target you mostly would have. Depending on these, you may choose a rangefinder that perfectly fits your budget and purpose. Lastly, most rangefinders look the same, but you may choose the size, style, and packaging that is most comfortable for you.