Nikon has just announced a new product that has caught our attention. Over the past few years there has been some dramatic improvements to the small and affordable handheld laser range finder (LRF) market. The Sig Kilo 2000 & 2400 series seemed to get the ball rolling on getting manufacturers serious about this market segment which caused some others to make improvements to their own products. Now Nikon has joined in on the fun.
The Nikon Monarch 3000 is a small handheld LRF with a few unique features of their own. First is a powerful laser that Nikon claims can reach to 3000 yards in .1 yard increments. They do not indicate whether this is a reflective target or not, but we are going to assume that it is, meaning the real world performance is likely to be around the 2000-2400 yard capability like the Sig. But they do offer another feature that will likely help that performance, and that is image stabilization that is built in. It helps stabilize the image to prevent jerkiness from hand and body movements when trying to laze a target. This will no doubt help improve getting readings on small targets.
Beyond those two distinguishing features, the Monarch 3000 has incline/decline value for angled shooting as well as two different ranging modes to set target priority levels between first target and distant target. The optics have a 6x zoom magnification and are fully waterproof and fogproof. The list price for the Monarch is a very reasonable $419.95. We are anxious to get our hands on one for test and evaluation.