And now for something completely different…Least known of the laser companies and lacking the distribution of the heavy hitters, Opti-Logic offers the Opti-Logic Insight GL laser rangefinder, built in the good ol’ U-S-of-A.
The Opti-Logic Insight GL is a horizontally-oriented rangefinder (similar to traditional binoculars), featuring a standard mode and a “pin-locating” mode.
While the Opti-Logic Insight GL is easy to hold and pinpointing targets is intuitive using the distinctive “red dot”, we found that the device’s interface and ability to target objects at a distance couldn’t keep up with the competition. That being said, as the least expensive laser rangefinder tested and with respectable, if not outstanding, performance, the Opti-Logic GL offers a reasonable value for those who are looking to save some dollars and don’t require readings to the flagstick from the longest distances.
- Comfortable to hold
- Easy to aim
- No magnification in viewfinder
- Slow to register distance readings
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EASE OF USE
The Opti-Logic InSight GL is lighter than the other horizontally-oriented laser rangefinder in our test, the Bushnell 1600 Slope Edition, and a bit smaller as well. The shell is smooth plastic, and while the device doesn’t sport a rubber or tacky gripping surface, it is easy to hold. The Opti-Logic comes with a basic carry pouch, which has a latch to secure its lid and a clip to attach to a user’s bag or cart. It’s nothing flashy, but it does the job.
The viewfinder is located on the left side of the device. Unlike other laser rangefinders, the Opti-Logic features a red aiming dot in the viewfinder that allows you to easily pinpoint targets (think of all the action movies you’ve seen in which a sniper puts a red dot on the target’s forehead, and you’ll get the idea). The laser is not fired until after the device’s single button is released (which we found somewhat counterintuitive). The distance read-out is displayed in red in the lower right corner of the viewfinder, and is clear and easy to read against any background, an advantage when targeting against dark backgrounds such as groves of trees.
The Opti-Logic also has an external display, just to the right of the viewfinder. The display is primarily used to show the user the selected mode and settings, though it will provide distance readings as well. We’re not sure why a user would want to fire the laser, then pull the device away from their eyes to look down for the distance, but you can do so if you’d like.
In keeping with doing things differently, the Opti-Logic has only one button. This button, located on the top on the rangefinder, is used to turn the device on/off, fire the laser, and switch between modes.
The Opti-Logic Insight GL is factory pre-programmed to use either yards or meters, so the measured units are not adjustable (reinforcing the good old American disdain for the metric system!). Additionally, unlike on all other devices, there is no adjustment to focus the display.
The largest drawback of the Opti-Logic Insight GL is the lack of any magnification within the viewfinder. While the red dot technology helps pick out targets at most ranges, when longer distances (generally 225 yards or more) are combined with darker targets (say, a blue flag against a grove of trees), it can be exceedingly difficult for the user to determine whether the red dot has been placed correctly. You may be close, but the lack of certainty can be disconcerting, and chances are that you will be left wishing you had a device with magnification.
The Opti-Logic Insight GL takes one 9-volt battery, good for an estimated 1,000 readings. When the battery needs replacing, a low battery symbol appears.
Suggestion Box: Magnification! As much as possible, please! All other rangefinders in our test provide a minimum of 5x magnification, and adding that to the Opti-Logic would be a huge help in targeting flagsticks and other objects. As it is, this is the largest negative of the device, and one that for most users will be the deal-breaker. Oh, and the battery cover is just not that easy to get open… there’s a little bit of a leap of faith that pushing hard on the plastic tab won’t break it. Minor, but when you compare devices side by side, every little bit matters.
For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of laser rangefinder ease of use.
The Opti-Logic InSight GL features two modes: Line-of-Sight and PinPoint. Each mode also offers four different setting options: standard, reflective (for use on a course with flag mounted reflectors), standard with chirp (the device will make an audible “chirp” sound after the distance is acquired), and reflective with chirp.
The mode most often used during play by our reviewers, Line-of-Sight mode is simple point-and-shoot for the distance. The user pushes the button, places the red dot seen in the viewfinder on the target, and then releases the button (which fires the laser) and waits for the dot to disappear and a distance to be provided (which is displayed on both the internal viewfinder and the external display). If the “chirp” setting is enabled, the device will make an audible “chirp” when it provides the distance. While the Opti-Logic Insight GL does not provide the “panning” mode offered by all other laser rangefinders tested, the distance readings are provided quickly enough that this turned out to not be as great an issue as we originally feared. For our reviewers who generally did not care for the “panning” mode on other devices, this was a complete non-issue.
PinPoint Technology mode
PinPoint Technology is Opti-Logic’s version of a “pin-locating” mode, and enables the device to focus on the highlighted target and ignore the background, such as trees or other objects (similar to Bushnell’s “PinSeeker” mode). There is no indication in the viewfinder that the device is in PinPoint mode – the only way to tell is to look for the “MODE 2” indicator shown on the external display. The user operates the device in exactly the same manner as in the standard line-of-sight mode, by simply pushing the button, placing the red dot on the target, and then releasing the button.
Given that there is only one button on the device, a bit more time is required to cycle through the different modes. To change modes, the user holds down the button for approximately four seconds, releasing the button immediately after the display “- – -” disappears (you will hear two chirps if you are already in a chirp mode). The user then presses the button again to cycle though different modes – i.e. Mode 1 standard, Mode 1 reflective only, Mode 1 reflective + chirp, Mode 1 chirp only, Mode 2 standard, etc. Once a new mode is selected, the user needs to wait just a second for the device to save the setting before beginning use. To be quite honest, our lazier reviewers were loathe to change the mode at all.
As for the multiple setting options, our belief is that most users will leave the chirping off (or endure the wrath of their playing partners if they try to get distance readings during someone’s backswing), and likely will not select the reflective option either (although this really depends on whether the courses you play have reflective flagsticks or not).
Suggestion box: A dedicated mode button, and perhaps an additional settings button for reflective targets and audible alerts, would make cycling through the different modes much smoother (though likely at a higher cost). It would also be nice if the user could save their preferred setting (i.e. no reflective targets, with chirp).
OBTAINING DISTANCE READINGS
Opti-Logic claims that the Opti-Logic Insight GL is able to obtain distances at up to 1,200 yards. But if you can see a target at 1,200 yards with no magnification, you are probably too busy working as a sniper or Air Force pilot to be playing golf.
Ease of Locking on a Target:
- At 150 yards and less, it was easy to lock in on a flagstick with the Opti-Logic Insight GL, just as it was with all of its competitors.
- Beginning at about 200 yards, it becomes more difficult to lock in on a flagstick. While still doing a reasonable job, the Opti-Logic Insight GL starts to trail the competition as distances increase past 250 yards. Here the lack of magnification really hurts the device.
- At 300 yards and above, the Opti-Logic really has a tough time locking on a flagstick (and depending on the conditions, such as a blue flag against a dark background, you may have a tough time even seeing the flagstick through the viewfinder). Most devices struggle at this distance, though the InSight GL had a slightly more difficult time than the Bushnell 1600 Slope Edition, Leupold, and Callaway devices.
The Opti-Logic Insight GL lagged most of the competition in our speed test for obtaining distance readings.
- Panning Mode: When we compared the Opti-Logic in its Line-of-Sight mode (since it does not have a “panning” mode) against other devices in their “panning” modes, it finished in the middle of the pack.
- Pin-Locating Mode: When we compared the Opti-Logic in its PinPoint mode against other devices in their “pin-locating” modes, it finished last.
- Using Both Modes: The Opti-Logic also finished at the back of the back in the speed test when devices were allowed to use both modes together – caused primarily by the time-consuming method of changing modes.
For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison for Ease of Obtaining Distance Readings.
The Opti-Logic InSight GL retails for $329.95, making it the least expensive in our cost comparison of laser rangefinders.
The main issue that most users will have is the lack of any magnification to help them target objects. It’s like the relationship with your high-school girlfriend when you go off to college. Things are great when you’re close to one another, but put a little distance into play, and it starts to require a lot of effort, so at some point you pretty much just give up.
Secondarily the less user-friendly interface can be off-putting (at this point, any analogy to your high-school girlfriend may or may not apply – truthfully, we don’t want to know). We prefer devices that perform better on long distance targets, but for consumers looking for a straightforward device to be used on flagstick readings at under 200 yards, the Opti-Logic Insight GL provides a possible low cost option.