Nikon Prostaff 3I Rangefinder Review
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- True 650-yard ranging capability
- Easy-to-view LCD display is uncluttered
- Simple single-button operation
- Requires CR2 Lithium Battery
- Rainproof, but not waterproof
- Buttons are a bit small for use with gloves
Welcome to our review of the Nikon Prostaff 3I Rangefinder. Nikon is known for quality optics, so I was anxious to put the Prostaff 3I rangefinder through its paces. This laser rangefinder is billed at being accurate out to 650 yards, so let’s look it over and see how it performs.
What’s the Range of the Prostaff 3I
Like I said, Nikon claims this rangefinder is accurate out to 650 yards, so I was eager to put that to the test. If you’re ranging a large, highly reflective object, it can certainly pick it up and give you an accurate range from 650 yards. When ranging deer or other not-so-reflective targets, you’ll have much less range; more like 300 yards.
This particular rangefinder is accurate to within +/- half a yard, which is outstanding. Even better, though, it’s the response time that really excites me about this rangefinder. It is really fast to give a reading, which most rangefinders are not.
How Easy is the Rangefinder to Use?
With single-button operation, the Nikon Prostaff 3I is both simple and not-so-simple to operate. If you want to use the extra bells and whistles, you’ll have to press and hold a lot to access them, but that’s the price you pay for an excellent feature set with single-button operation.
The LCD display, though, is truly a thing of beauty. It’s perfectly backlit, and is uncluttered to make it a breeze to use. It provides you with the battery level, the range to your target, the inclination or declination, and other important information in a spacious, easy-to-read format.
The rangefinder itself is ultra-compact, weighing just 5.6 ounces without batteries. Eye relief is a comfortable 18.3mm, giving you room to use the rangefinder with or without glasses. There’s also diopter adjustment of +/- four diopters.
The device is not exactly contoured to the shape of the hand, but it’s still a nice fit with or without gloves. The only problem is that the buttons are difficult to access and press with heavy gloves on.
How is the Nikon Prostaff 3I Powered?
This rangefinder is powered by a CR2 lithium battery, like most of its competitors. I really wish the CR2 battery would go away, but at least it’s starting to be a bit more commonly carried in convenience stores. The problem is that it’s almost never locatable in a store near hunting grounds, so make sure you carry a spare.
The Prostaff 3I offers great battery life, though, so a single battery should last you the full season, easily. It doesn’t come with a battery, so make sure you buy at least one when you order your rangefinder.
What Features Can I Expect From this Rangefinder?
In addition to the standard feature set for a rangefinder, the Prostaff 3I offers inclination and declination technology, so it’s great for hunting in hilly terrain. The Tru-Target Ranging System can give you the range on a coyote, even when he’s in thick brush, or pinpoint the fenceline among the trees.
You can choose between two targeting modes. In First Target Priority mode, you’ll get the closest distance in a group, allowing you to target smaller objects among bigger ones. In Distance Priority Mode, you’ll get a readout of the furthest target among a group.
What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Rangefinder?
Light transmission on this rangefinder is quite good, allowing you to use it in almost all lighting conditions. It provides accurate range no matter what time of day it is, as long as you can see the LCD display.
How Are the Optics and Focus on This Rangefinder?
Nikon has designed this rangefinder with autofocus to infinity, and it’s quick to lock in. The optics are fully multi-coated, and the image quality is outstanding. You’ll get 6X magnification from the 21mm objective lens.
Field of view on this rangefinder is a very wide 393.75 feet at 1,000 yards, giving you plenty of viewing capability to find and range your target.
How Durable is the Rangefinder?
The Nikon Prostaff 3I Rangefinder is very durable, but it could be better. It’s nitrogen-purged to be fogproof, but it’s rated at just being rainproof and water-resistant, not waterproof.
Nikon Prostaff 3I Rangefinder Summary
If you’re looking for a high quality rangefinder, the Nikon Prostaff 3I is definitely that. It offers fantastic viewing, but you need to be careful not to drop it in the river, stream, puddle or any other body of water. It’s rainproof, but not waterproof.