Acuracy - 90%
Magnification - 90%
Features - 70%
Ease of use - 89%
We like this rangefinder because it is cheap, yet has a great accuracy and magnification.
The Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder is not designed specifically for golf. It is mainly advertised as a hunting rangefinder. However a lot of customers are purchasing this rangefinder for golf. So we though that we should take a closer look at it and see if it can be of any use to golf players. The great thing about this rangefinder is that it is very cheap. Costing around $149.00, this rangefinder is about $150-$200 cheaper than the average rangefinder. According to numerous customer reviews, its performance is similar to that of the more expensive rangefinders. So it’s worth a shot!
Since this rangefinder is quite cheap, we don’t expect it to blow us away with an amazing accuracy. Nevertheless, it has some interesting features such as the multilayer coating which provides a high transmittance across the whole light spectrum, thus providing a more natural view. Moreover, since Nikon is a leading optics brand, we don’t doubt the quality of the laser technology or the of the 20mm lens. The 6X magnification is pretty impressive since most rangefinders in this price range feature a 4X or a 5X magnification. It also has an impressive accuracy. The 550 yards range quite weak, but it works for beginners.
The Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder weighs 4.4 ounces (without batteries) and has the following dimensions: 3.6″x2.9″x1.5″. It is one of Nikon’s most compact rangefinders. Its small size makes it very comfortable to use on the golf course. In fact, it is smaller than most smart phones and comfortably fits in the palm of your hand. Being also very light, it can be worn in your shirt’s front pocket or around your neck.
The Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder is not packed with a lot of innovative features, but it gets the job done, and considering its price, we are willing to overlook the lack of fancy features. It does have a couple of features that are worth mentioning. The distant target priority mode is a great feature which makes it possible for the rangefinder to display the measurements of the furthest target. This features shines best if the target is hidden behind grass. We like the fact that the rangefinder powers down if it has been inactive for eight seconds, thus saving battery life. We also like the 18mm long eye relief feature.
Ease of Use
As we mentioned, this rangefinder is quite compact, so it is easy to hold and use. The display screen is simple and uncluttered. You don’t have to adjust any settings as the device is programmed to measure the distance to the farthest target on screen. Just press the button and you will receive the measurement instantly. You can also press the button continuously and receive a continuous measurement for up to 20 seconds. This is a feature more useful for hunting than for golf, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. The main problem with it is that due to the fact that it is not designed specifically for golf, it can have some troubles locking onto the pin on long distances of over 100 yards. Iff you have stable hands, it can be done, and if not, you can always target the ground at the base of the pin
The measurements can be displayed both in yards and in meters. The Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder is sturdy and water resistant. This is great, especially if you are a daredevil golf player that likes to play in harsh weather conditions. The product comes with a 2 year warranty which is standard for all Nikon rangefinders.