Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder Review – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated June 14, 2021

The Prostaff 3i Rangefinder matches the quality standards that Nikon offers with its wide-range of optical products.

This Nikon rangefinder is not only known for its accuracy (i.e. up to 650 yards) but also for several other exquisite features.

So, let’s take a closer look at its specifications to see how well it performs.

  • Uses state-of-the-art technology for speed and precision
  • Design is compact and highly portable
  • Tru-Target technology is accurate and crystal clear
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Nikon Prostaff 3i

Nikon (16229) Prostaff 3I Rifle Range


  • Durable Design
  • All-in-One Rangefinder
  • Effective and Easy to Use
  • Bright Multi-Coated Optics


  • Not Steady
  • No Option for Turning the Automatic Shutdown Off
  • Not Always Accurate for Small Targets Over a Long Distance

Nikon Prostaff 3i Specs

Magnification Level: 6x

Effective Objective Diameter: 21 mm

Angular Field of View: 7.5°

Exit Pupil: 3.5 mm

Eye Relief: 18.3 mm

Measurement Range: 7.3-590 meters/8-650 yards

Compatibility: Bows and rifles

Dimensions (length/height/width) (mm): 112 x 70 x 36

Weight: 5.6 ounces approximately (without batteries)

Lens Coatings: Fully multi-coated


The following are some pros of this kind of rangefinder:

All-in-One Rangefinder

The Prostaff 3i has three main features that every hunter looks for in a rangefinder. It provides the user with:

  • Angle compensation through Incline/Decline technology

  • Target priority to find your target instantly through Tru-Target technology

  • Scan mode that further helps in tracing a moving target while double-checking the distance

It also features pocket-sized portability, multi-coated optics, long eye relief, and waterproof ruggedness. In a nutshell, the Prostaff 3i Rangefinder has all the features to help you up to your hunting game.

Effective and Easy to Use

This rangefinder comes with an ergonomic design and a high-profile display. It easily fits into a pocket or a sack or you can even attach it to a belt. It has a single button operation, so you can carry out functions like turning on the device and firing the laser more easily. 

Moreover, you can measure the accurate distance of your subject in no time. This is because the technology used in this rangefinder ensures accurate measurements from 8 - 650 yards. Additionally, you also have the benefit of getting a single as well as a continuous measurement for up to approximately 8 seconds. So, the application is very easy to use and also effective at the same time.

Bright Multi-Coated Optics

The rangefinder can autofocus to infinity. Moreover, the optics are fully multi-coated. A combination of a 6x magnification level and a 21 mm objective lens gives you outstanding image quality. It also provides an accurate range, regardless of what time of the day it is. 

You’ll get proper readings, providing you can see the LCD displaying it. So, if you intend to get a rangefinder to assist you while hunting in any type of light, go with the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder. It features bright multi-coated optics that provide you with high-resolution imagery.

Durable Design

The build of the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder is quite strong and durable. You can use it at any time of the day as it is rainproof and water-resistant. However, be careful not to drop it in any water like puddles, streams, or rivers as it is not waterproof.


However, it comes with some drawbacks, including:

Not Steady

You need the support of another object or surface to keep it steady while holding it. It can take several readings if you fail to keep it steady.

Make sure you make pre-arrangements and provide enough support to ensure accurate readings.

Not Always Accurate for Small Targets Over a Long Distance

Sometimes, if you want to target a small object over a long distance like, for example, 450 yards or beyond, the Prostaff 3i may focus on a tree or any other backdrop, but not the target. So, it is not the best rangefinder if you wish to target small objects over a long distance.

No Option for Turning the Automatic Shutdown Off

Shutting off automatically after 8 seconds is a good feature to conserve battery life. The same feature, however, can cause a headache when you have to turn the device on several times in a single shot. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option of turning this feature off.

Best Uses for the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder


The presence of features like 6x magnification level, large ocular lens, the incline/decline technology for angle compensation, and the Tru-Target technology for setting the last target priority mode can make your next bow and rifle hunting excursion a grand success.

Target Shooting

The Prostaff 3i Rangefinder comes with a scan mode; an essential feature to have for any rangefinder. Using this, you can move from target to target, trace your subject even while it’s moving, and also double-check the distance while getting the continuous reading for up to eight seconds.


Even though its design is best for shooting and hunting, it will also work for golfing. The scan feature works great for ranging pins and other golf course obstacles. You can add an extra element to your golfing game with the Prostaff 3i Rangefinder’s high level of accuracy and mind-blowing ranging capabilities.

What Makes the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder Stand Out From the Competition?

The Nikon Prostaff 3i has been termed the budget dual-purpose rangefinder as it is versatile enough to be used for both hunting and golfing. This unit has a 6x magnification level, is equipped to make angle compensated readings, and comes with both ‘first’ as well as ‘distant’ target priority modes. 

Moreover, it has the flexibility of reporting the distance in both yards as well as meters for your convenience. With a simple button operation, you can get rapid and accurate distance readings in no time at all. Above all, it is so compact and light in weight that you can operate it with one hand and can fit it in your pocket easily.

Comparison Overview

Nikon Prostaff 3i vs 7i


Nikon Prostaff 3i

Nikon Prostaff 7i

About the Product

It has Tru-Target priority settings as well as ID technology for true horizontal range capabilities

It is a long-range, compact rangefinder with both angle compensation and target priority features





Black – LCD

Black – LCD


5.6 oz

6.2 oz

Maximum Range

650 yards

1300 yards

Deer Range

550 yards

1000 yards








2 years

2 years

Nikon Aculon vs Prostaff 3i


Prostaff Binoculars

Nikon Aculon Binoculars

Prism Type



Magnification Level



Objective Lens Diameter

21 mm

42 mm

Angle of View

7.5° (Actual)

6° (Actual)

Exit Pupil Diameter

3.5 mm

4.2 mm


Lightweight, multi-coated lens, waterproof and durable

The rubber armor offers shock-resistance. The lens, being multi-coated, gives minimal distortion of the image even on the borders


Low to the mid-range price bracket


Ideal For

Bowhunting, rifle hunting, target shooting, and golfing

All day-to-day activities like getting a closer look at an animal or bird, enjoying clearer landscape views, or getting a closer view of the pitch during a sports match

How to Use the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder

Getting readings through Nikon Prostaff 3i isn’t difficult. All you need to do is follow these steps:

1. Preparing

Install a battery in the battery chamber. For this, you need to open the battery chamber cover by rotating it counterclockwise. Next, follow the indication seal to insert the battery in the exact position. Last, close the battery chamber cover by rotating its cover clockwise. Be sure you have closed the cover properly.

2. Adjusting the Diopter

Obtain a clear LCD indication in the viewfinder by adjusting the diopter properly. For this, begin rotating the diopter adjustment ring counterclockwise. Continue doing this until it comes to a complete stop. Now, press the POWER ON button and start rotating the diopter adjustment clockwise until you see the internal display. Remember, the diopter should match your eyesight. You won’t be able to target your subject if it is not adjusted properly.

3. Measuring

Before you begin to measure the distance, confirm each mode setting, including the measurement display mode, target priority mode, and distance display unit. Once confirmed, go ahead with turning on the power while confirming that you can see the internal display. Now, try aiming in such a way that the subject should align with the center of the reticle. 

The Prostaff 3i gives you two options here. For a single measurement, press the POWER ON button and get the single measurement. For continuous measurement, press and hold the POWER ON button to start continuous measurement for approximately 8 seconds. This measurement will stop as soon as you take your finger off the button. 

The power will turn off automatically after 8 seconds. If you press the POWER ON button again, it will start taking another measurement.


Go with Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder if you want a pocket-friendly device that is highly capable of ranging targets not too far away.  The useful features and easy operation make it a versatile option for fantastic viewing for rifle hunting, bow hunting, and target shooting. 

It is mainly used for hunting as it does not come with features like flag-lock, vibration on target-lock, etc. but, other features like angle compensation, a long-range, and accurate readings make it a great choice for the occasional golfers all around the world.

People Also Ask

Can’t find the answer you’ve been searching for? Don’t worry. These are some of the more frequently asked questions that arise in the minds of customers while they are reviewing the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder:

What Kind of Warranty Does the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder Come With?

The Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder is backed by a 2-Year Limited Warranty that protects against defects in material as well as workmanship.

How Much Does the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder Weigh?

The Prostaff 3i unit weighs approximately 5.6 ounces or 160 grams, approximately without the batteries. It is compact and lightweight and can fit into a pocket or a sack. You can even consider attaching it to a belt without making it cumbersome or too heavy to carry with you.

Can You Use Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder in Low Light?

Yes, it features bright multi-coated optics that will allow you to get high-resolution imagery. Also, as the LCD is very clear, you can get accurate readings even in low light conditions.

How Long Does the Battery Last on the Nikon Prostaff 3i Rangefinder?

The battery life with the continuous operation is around 10,000 times approximately around 20°C. However, this figure may vary according to temperature and other aspects like target color, shape, etc.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.