We've all seen the infomercial with the hyperactive guy named Vince selling the "ShamWow" towel. He enthusiastically lets viewers know that the product is made in Germany and that "you know the Germans always make good stuff." Well, some of us remember some not-so-good stuff the Germans made, but it is true that modern German products tend to be among the finest specimens of whatever it is they are making, from towels to cars to optics. Zeiss' 8x26 Victory T* PRF is a perfect example of "good stuff" from our Teutonic friends.
This laser rangefinder works out to 1,300 yards, and unlike some other rangefinders, actually delivers readings out to that range on targets of interest, like animals. The optics are high-quality, as is to be expected from one of the world's most respected optics manufacturers, but this unit offers some very helpful features beyond its glass.
For starters, the Victory T* PRF has built-in automatic brightness control, which adjusts the red LED display based on the lighting conditions in which it is used. There's nothing more annoying than trying to get a range in low-light and being unable to find the reticle, a problem you won't have with this rangefinder. Hunters will also appreciate Zeiss' Ballistic Information System (BIS), which provides holdover information for six trajectories. If you know (or find off an ammo company's website) the trajectory for the load you're using, you can match it to one of the BIS settings found on Zeiss' website and program the Victory T* PRF. The rangefinder will then display the range to the target in yards and the appropriate holdover in inches. As Vince told us, the Germans are great engineers, and great engineers appreciate redundancies to ensure against failure. When used in concert with a ballistic or mil-dot reticle, the BIS provides redundancy to aid hunters in a most useful manner.
Though I found the 8x magnification a tad difficult to hold steady, it's probably necessary when acquiring targets at more than 1000 yards. Fortunately, the rangefinder rapidly displays the results of measurement, minimizing the effect of my shaking hands. The Victory T* PRF is a fine tool for any hunter who needs to know with certainty virtually any range within ethical shooting distance and beyond. I guess the Germans do make good stuff.