Nikon isn’t the first brand that jumps to mind when you think about golf or rangefinders. But given their strong reputation in the field of optics and photography, the jump into the golf rangefinder market doesn’t come as too surprising.
However, as newbie Nikon lack the long-standing reputation in the golfing industry which other brands, like Bushnell or Leupold enjoy. So does Nikon cut the mustard in the competitive world of rangefinders? And, specifically with the Coolshot 40i?
We reviewed the Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder as part of our Best Golf Rangefinders Review – click here to read it.
If you already own the Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder please feel free to leave your own review in the comments at the end of this article.
Nikon Coolshot 40i
Nikon promote the 40i as being all about “power”, but for us we were most impressed by its sheer efficiency. Efficiency in weight and size, efficiency in distance accuracy, efficiency in its ease of use – and all for a great price.
The design is fantastic too, and the flexibility in modes is a big plus. The European Tour Caddies Association continue to give Nikon products a resounding endorsement, and so do we we.
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4.4 x 1.4 x 2.8 inches
Yes (ID technology not for tournament play, unless local rules permit)
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Nikon Coolshot 40i Detailed Review
Build Quality & Features
It’s waterproof, it’s well designed (ergonomic), it’s accurate (to within 0.5 yards) and it’s made of tough stuff. But the features are what make this rangefinder really stand out.
The HYPER READ Technology ensures that you’ll get your measurements in a flash (0.5 seconds). Golf Mode and the ID Technology for slope-adjusted distances that come with it means the 40i reserves its place among the cream of the crop (and we made sure the measurements were consistent when we tested them).
The First Target Priority Mode ensures that you’re locking onto the pin as your target, as opposed to any other narrow objects in the background.
And yet if you’re in the trees and your view is obscured, you can also select Distant Target Priority to make it easier to pick up the flag. Brilliant!
Size and Weight
At 5.6 ounces, can you really argue? Any rangefinder these days should fit easily into your shirt or trouser pockets, or slot in nicely to your bag.
This is a wonderfully compact device, and it really has a lean and clean look about it.
You’ll notice that it grips nicely in your hand as soon as you pick it up, and there’s just so much to be said for the sleek ergonomic design.
I would actually go as far as to say that size and weight one of the most important selling points of the Coolshot 40i – they really have got it spot on.
Ease of Use
Right, don’t be intimidated by the different modes like I was initially. These various settings couldn’t be any easier to navigate really.
To get the 8-second continuous measurement (great for measuring other objects besides the flag), all you have to do is briefly hold down the Power button.
From there it’s even more of a doddle to use this device.
The field of view is 7.5”, which is vast by any standards, and the multi-coated lenses make it very easy to bring into focus whatever you may need to.
The 18mm Long Eye Relief is a great touch too, and makes for comfortable viewing. There is also an orange LED function, which can be very handy when reading the display if the light outside is a bit dull.
All in all, operating this rangefinder makes pouring milk look difficult by comparison.
Value for Money
At 300 bucks, Nikon have priced this at little more than mid-range, and that will no doubt resonate with a large portion of casual golfers – not to mention the better players too.
So whichever category you fall into, that’s the first thing to take note of.
From there, the question becomes “what bang am I getting for my buck?” The answer? More than enough.
It’s easy, it’s compact, it’s efficient, it delivers all the features you’d expect and more – and yet it still beats the asking price of many of its competitors in the upper echelons of this niche.
I am impressed with what Nikon have produced here, and I think they have pioneered something that is going to win over a lot of people. So, will you be one of them?