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Steady, brilliant optics and fast precise measurements are just a few of the headline features of the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED laser rangefinder. Slope adjusted distance and compact size add to the appeal.
My conclusion after testing the original Nikon COOLSHOT PRO STABILIZED [full review HERE] was that it was “wicked good.” Even now, having used it for over two years, that assessment hasn’t changed. So when the second generation, the COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED, was unveiled I was more than curious to find what, if any, useful changes had been made. As it turns out, team Nikon figured out how to make a wicked good laser rangefinder even better.
Setup & Ease of Use
Insert the included CR2 battery and the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED is good to go right out of the box. The rangefinder comes pre-set in the Golf Mode (more on that momentarily) with distances in yards. If you’ve ever used a laser rangefinder, operation is intuitive. The button closest to your eye and under your index finger turns on the unit and locks in your target. Twisting the eyepiece allows you to adjust focus.
The MODE button is utilized to change settings, and I like the format of the new model. I found it much simpler and quicker to get to the “Slope Off” setting. Not that I have the need to be in compliance with tournament regulations, but it’s nice to know I could be ready almost instantly. Regardless, I recommend reading the instruction manual to understand the modes and to learn how to navigate them smoothly.
With the unit on, briefly pressing the MODE button switches between four measurement modes: Golf Mode with actual and slope-adjusted distance, actual distance mode, actual distance plus height mode, or horizontal distance plus height mode. The latter two modes may be great for elite golfers or caddies that prefer raw data, but I don’t see ‘normal’ golfers like me ever venturing away from Golf Mode.
Pressing and holding the MODE button brings up three additional modes, toggled by the PWR button as follows:
F1 gives you the option to adjust the brightness of the display. Default is A, which automatically adjusts for the brightness of the surroundings. You can also manually set the brightness from 1 to 5, with 1 being darkest and 5 being brightest. To date, I’ve found the auto setting to provide the right amount of luminance.
F2 switches between yards and meters.
F3 switches the new audible flag lock confirmation on or off.
Accuracy & Performance
The true standout feature of the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED is the namesake stabilization. Even with shaky hands or blustery wind, the image stabilizes almost instantly. It’s amazing to witness if you have the rangefinder at your eye when you turn it on. Also impressive is the speed of the measurement. Nikon calls it HYPER READ technology that clocks in at 0.3 seconds – I call it virtually instantaneous.
As you would expect from Nikon, the optics are crystal clear. With 6x magnification and a large field of view, zeroing in on the target is simple. The graphics are crisply displayed in red, which I find easier to read than black. Locking onto the flag is noted by a green circle and, new to the PROII, a staccato double beep. I thought the audible feature might be overkill, but I found it actually sped up my cognitive processing so I could focus on the numbers.
Speaking of numbers, they’re presented with one decimal point, which just screams accuracy. Nikon states the accuracy inside 700 yards is +/- 0.75 yards, and I found measurements nearly identical to those of other top quality rangefinders. If you want a quick survey of what lays in front of you, holding down the power button provides continuous measurements.
The Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED utilizes a flashing green light on the front left of the unit (see above) for visual confirmation that only straight line distance is being displayed. If you’re playing with me, you won’t see the green light because I’m all for slope-adjusted yardage – I need all the help I can get on the course.
At $450, the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED is well positioned in the field of high quality slope rangefinders. The stabilization feature in addition to the unbeatable optics should put it on the short list of contenders for anyone looking for a premium rangefinder. Also compelling is a 5 year warranty in addition to the unit being fog and waterproof.
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Compact and lightweight, the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED is great for walkers and those of us with medium-size hands. Similar to its predecessor, the PROII may not appear as substantial as other brands. However, my years of using the original have proven it more than capable of withstanding the rigors of frequent use. I like all the changes Nikon made to the COOLSHOT PROII, plus the new contouring and additional rubber coverage that makes the unit feel even nicer in my palm. There’s no doubt that the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII STABILIZED continues the lineage of wicked good laser rangefinders.