German Precision Optics (GPO) has released new rangefinding binoculars that seriously challenge the best European optics at a more affordable price. I first discovered these at the GPO booth during NRA Houston and was impressed. However, the cavernous Brown Convention Center is not conducive to evaluating any optics. I had to wait a while to get my hands on a pair but I recently spent some time out on the ranch with the GPO RANGEGUIDE 8×32 model.
First impressions are of a compact, high-quality product. Everything from the packaging, to the carrying case, to the binoculars convey a sense of attention to detail. The controls have a smooth, tactile movement while the rubber armor coating provides a tough, protective finish.
My reference binoculars are a Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B 3000 that are several years old. I consider these to be the benchmark that I measure other binoculars against. Of course, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 32 is not a direct comparison if for no other reason than the difference in magnification and objective lens. I would be remiss in also pointing out that with a list price of $1200 the GPO is less than half the cost of the Leica. That is a significant consideration.
As you can see, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 32 are very compact. It is quite amazing that they also include a built-in rangefinder! There is an old saying that the best tool is worthless if you don’t have it with you when you need it. This is where the GPO RANGEGUIDE 8×32 really excels. It is small enough to fit in most any backpack or even a coat pocket. It doesn’t weigh you down either. Binoculars, strap, and lens covers come in at 29.6oz (the bare binoculars weigh 24,7oz).
You can read through GPO’s complete technical specifications here. As you would expect, they are waterproof and fog proof. Ability to display angle or temperature. HD glass is treated with their GPObright coating. The image is crisp and bright.
When it comes to binoculars, I have two primary goals. First is that they have sufficient light transmission that I can clearly identify game at several hundred yards thirty minutes after sunset (legal shooting hours in Texas). After using these several times in the field, I have confidence that they are more than capable in this regard.
Secondly, I hate binos with a shallow depth of field and finicky focus. Deer may be twenty-five feet back in the woods, not just standing right on the tree line. Binos that require you to constantly nudge the adjustment knob for minor corrections are worthless. The Leicas are superb in this regard. As are the GPO RANGEGUIDE binoculars! If you focus on a tree line at 300 yards, you can still clearly see back into the woods without touching the focus. Not only is this less annoying, but there is less fatigue on your eyes.
I always search for at least one fault when reviewing products. Sometimes, these faults are obvious, and sometimes there are many. Quite frankly, it is difficult to find any fault with the GPO RANGEGUIDE binoculars Ultimately, the focus knob has a very slight play to it when making small adjustments. This is certainly the most minor of complaints ever but it is all I could find.
My complaint about the Leica Geovids is that there is no manual override to the auto-adjusted display brightness. While the auto-adjustment works fine most of the time, I sometimes have trouble reading the display on a bright day. The GPO allows you to quickly select the desired brightness levels (1-9) to accommodate a full range from bright summer day down to twilight. At twilight you want a barely visible ghost image so that the light doesn’t wash out your pupil. The GPO is great in this regard.
The days of carrying a pair of binoculars and a separate laser rangefinder are gone. These modern binoculars with the rangefinder built-in are the way to go!
The GPO rangefinder is simple to use. Simply acquire the target, press the button with the forward arrow, and the distance is quickly displayed. It is fast. The GPO also includes a scan mode that provides three readings per second. It was interesting to range trucks moving down the road and watch the yardage update in real-time.
I thought it would be informative to compare yardage readings. The GPO was consistently slightly longer in yardage compared to the Leica. Which one is most accurate? Not sure it matters, they are both very capable and the difference is negligible in any real-world use.
All GPO products are backed by their Spectacular Lifetime Warranty. This is a fully transferable, lifetime warranty. GPO authorized retailers may replace non-functioning products on the spot.
The GPO RANGEGUIDE series of binoculars offer world-class performance at an attractive price. The RANGEGUIDE 8×32 is an excellent choice for those seeking compact binoculars with a built-in rangefinder. It really is a gamechanger to be able to instantly range a target without fumbling for a secondary device or losing sight of the target. The RANGEGUIDE 8×32 can range a hard target up to 3062 yards and game animals up to 766 yards.
If you are looking for rangefinding binoculars at an attractive price you would be hard pressed to beat those from GPO. You can pay more (a lot more) or a bit less but none come with GPO’s outstanding warranty.
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