Zeiss Victory PRF Review: Good German Engineering…From Japan?

Zeiss Victory PRF laser rangefinder
Zeiss Victory PRF laser rangefinder

The Zeiss Victory PRF (Pocket RangeFinder) is made by the German company Carl Zeiss, but according to information I found, it is actually put together in Japan. That’s probably not a bad thing. I suppose it saves on the cost of this still-pricey rangefinder.

Don’t just look at the source and the price, though. Take a look at what you actually get from this award winning (Outdoor Life “Editor’s Choice”) optical device by reading this review.

What Are the Main Features of the Zeiss Victory PRF?

The full name of this device is the Zeiss Victory 8×26 T* Pocket Rangefinder. Zeiss is the manufacturer. Victory is the product line. 8×26 means it magnifies 8 times actual size and has a 26 millimeter objective lens. T* is the Zeiss designation for the lens coatings. Pocket means it’s small, and rangefinder describes its function, accurately determining long distances – which is what you’re really looking for here.

Besides its small size and weight (310g / ~11 ounces), another feature that Zeiss seems to want you to know about is its integrated ballistic information system (BIS®). This is simply the Zeiss terminology for calculating holdover which is pertinent for rifle hunters and shooters. (Why Zeiss doesn’t capitalize the words “ballistic information system”, I don’t know.)

Zeiss says this about the BIS.

“This innovative software uses the selected ballistics curve, the calibre and the distance measurement to find the appropriate correction value, which is sure to increase your hit rate.”

Apart from that system, you can choose either 100 meter zeroing or GEE (most favorable zeroing range). GEE is the acronym for the German Günstigste Einschieß-Entfernung which literally means “best shooting distance”.

Another plus for the Victory laser PRF is the speed in which you get feedback regarding distances. It should take less than half a second from the time you release the unit’s button to the time you see the distance displayed on the LED readout.

Zeiss claims that you can range just over 1300 yards (1200 meters) with the Victory. Many times this figure is overblown by manufacturers, but according to multiple owners, it is understated in this case.

“I consistently got 1463 yards.”

“First try it hit 1389 yards.”

If the ballistic information system is in effect, you will see the corrected value as well. You don’t need to press the button more than once. This should give you fewer errors due to hand movement or shaking.

You can switch readings between meters and yards – whichever is your personal preference. Perhaps you have another piece of gear that gives measurements in just one or the other, and you want this reading to match it.

The glass in this rangefinder is top notch. Quoting Zeiss again…

“The Carl Zeiss T* multi-layer coating ensures high transmission; in other words it lets plenty of light in. This elaborate lens coating gives you a bright and clear image even in poor light conditions.”

Zeiss also implements something they call LotuTec® coating. Apparently this makes the lenses water resistant. They say that rain and snow will simply roll off the glass. It sounds like one of those products you can apply to your windshield to keep the elements off.

That last note about “poor light conditions” really refers to dusk and dawn, times when you are likely to be doing a lot of your hunting.

The Zeiss Victory PRF is waterproof and dustproof. I couldn’t see whether or not it is nitrogen filled. Nor could I find how deep, if at all, you can submerge the rangefinder without damage, so you might want to be a little careful here.

Rubber coating protects the unit from bumps and bruises. This is pretty much standard stuff these days. I wouldn’t buy a device that didn’t have some type of armoring.

Check out this brief video review by the Sportsman’s News.

What Are the Downsides of Owning a Victory PRF?

Actually, I couldn’t find any.

If it’s out of your price range, that hardly qualifies as a downside. You simply aren’t considering it in the first place.

What’s the Verdict on the Zeiss Victory Pocket Rangefinder?

If you already own a pair of Victory binoculars, Zeiss says this monocular with rangefinding capabilities is a nice complement. I would agree.

If the Victory PRF is within your budget, go for it. This is a case where getting what you paid for is a good thing and well worth it.

If the Victory 8×26 PRF does look like the one you want, click the button below.

Zeiss Victory Pocket RF

Check the pricing and availability of the Zeiss Victory Pocket Rangefinder at Amazon.

If the Zeiss Victory PRF doesn’t have everything you need or want, check out this article about other rangefinders. You may see a unit there that interests you more.

Gary Sonnenberg

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