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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Reliable At Distance Than D3
After spending an hour and a half measuring a large room with a tape, I finally broke down and bought a Leica DISTO D3. While that unit is very well built, compact, and the price was not too painful, I found many problems using it at longer distances and on some surfaces even at shorter distances. The D5 is everything the D3 is and a little more, but is much more reliable...
Published on January 5, 2010 by Bennett Prescott

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
It's pretty good, but in direct sunlight, its very hard to see the pointer, and it can give you false or no readings. One needs to really work with it to know to use. The red filter glasses are a must also
Published 17 months ago by Vince Salzer


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Reliable At Distance Than D3, January 5, 2010
By 
Bennett Prescott (Jamaica Plain, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
After spending an hour and a half measuring a large room with a tape, I finally broke down and bought a Leica DISTO D3. While that unit is very well built, compact, and the price was not too painful, I found many problems using it at longer distances and on some surfaces even at shorter distances. The D5 is everything the D3 is and a little more, but is much more reliable at longer (100'+) range. Measurements I was having real problems taking come out no problem, and the color LCD screen is much friendlier to use. I don't need the bluetooth communication capabilities of the D8 or the A series, so the D5 is really the best possible tool for the job. Quick, accurate, very well built, it came recommended by others I trust in my industry and now I know why.

You should be aware that Amazon's price is about $100 higher than this unit can be found for elsewhere. I returned my Amazon-bought D3 as it wouldn't reliably take measurements it claimed to be able to, and upgraded to the D5 for another $50.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just short of great, June 1, 2010
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This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I use the Disto D5 primarily outdoors, which is why I purchased this model. I purchased a set of infrared goggles but the target finder largely eliminates the need for them, which is a good thing.

For straight length measurements using the device hand held is easy enough. If you need to use any of the indirect (Pythagorean) modes a tripod is a must, but not a great inconvenience. So far I have not needed a purchased target, I have used a piece of paper taped to the corner. Accuracy is great, if you hit your target.

My only complaint is that the tilt sensor should go beyond 45 degrees. The few times I have tried the function it has been a limiting factor.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Instrument, April 12, 2009
This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased the Disto D5 for laying out foundations for a house I'm building. The D5 is reasonably simple to use. I spent a couple hours playing with it and now feel comfortable using it. I've layed out my batter boards for the foundation to within 1/32 in. accuracy. A level of precision I would have never been able to obtain with a sagging tape measurer. The D5 is compact, and you get a sense of quality when holding it. You simply aim the laser at a surface to be measured and you spot the laser dot or find the item in a cross hair on the LCD screen. The color LCD screen is bright and surprisingly so is the laser dot. Within distances found on a construction site the dot is large enough to see with the unaided eye in full sunlight-surpirse for me. The indirect measurement functions are handy, volume and areas calculations are pretty straight forward. For long measurements 50' or more you will need to steady the instrument (hand shake) and probably could use a tripod. The unit has a flip out bracket on the back to wrap around edges or fit inside corners. The D5 senses the bracked and the tripod screw and tells you where the measurements are referenced from, i.e, front, back, tripod screw, bracket inside corner, bracket outside edge. I bought my unit on Ebay for $450. I'm sure with time the price will drop. I do believe the D5 with it's color display will be the standard that other lasers range finders will be compared too.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed for outdoors use., October 27, 2010
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This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I'm a real estate appraiser and was using the Disto D3. It works pretty well, but bright, sunny days the laser would get washout at medium ranges, less than 40 feet. Upgraded to the Disto D5 a couple of months ago, and it works great for those sunny days. Love the built-in spotting camera, very cool and dead on. Can do hand held measurements out to 60 feet bouncing the laser off a rain gutter. It is challenging pressing the Distos "blister" buttons and keeping the laser on target. The units blister buttons take more pressure than it should, too bad they didn't use buttons like on a TV remote, something a little easier to press. Sort of like a softer trigger pull on a gun. I haven't had the opportunity to learn of use the advanced functions, but I'm sure they work fine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is the unit., December 2, 2012
This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
I have bought, and returned, two different units: One a less expensive Leica, one a Johnson. Neither fit my needs. This unit does it all. Even in bright sunlight it works well, because it has a sighting mode that allows you to see where the laser dot is positioned. Unless you have this in a laser measuring unit, you cannot use it for outside work. As a Certified Arborist doing tree surveys, other units I tried, that lacked the onscreen sighting feature, were worse than useless. Also, the timer on this unit allows it to fire without being touched. For measuring longer distances you must have this feature: Without it, the dot moves wildly when you push the button, and that destroys any accuracy you're trying to obtain. This unit also has a built in level that shows you the angle you're shooting at, up to about +\- forty-five degrees. With all due respect to Amazon, you can buy this unit, online, from another company, for exactly $100 less, with free shipping. You also get an extra year added to the two-year warranty, when you register with Leica, online. I have already used Leica's tech support phone line, for instructions that are omitted from the supplied manual, and it is great. I needed the unit to measure from its tripod mount, and the manual leaves out two crucial steps for setting this feature. No problem once the tech walked me through it. I highly recommend this unit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great replacement for my 1st Generation Disto, June 21, 2013
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This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
Great improvement in size, weight and functionality. It fits easily in my pocket or the downsized holster. Having the zoom makes long or bright shots easier -- never really liked the peep hole. I like the way the last several measurements are stored, a brilliant feature for an appraiser at my age/stage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for appraising, July 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is a must have tool for a residential appraiser. The view screen makes exterior measurements easy even during the day with full sun obscuring the laser. This has made my life much much easier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Disto!, February 9, 2014
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This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
Bought this as a gift for the husband, and he loves everything about it. It has made work so much easier for him, and the viewfinder is an excellent feature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Quality!, June 22, 2012
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This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
Straight away when you pick up the Disto D5 you can feel the quality and you know you're holding a professional instrument. The unit works perfectly as advertized, even outdoors. You will need a tripod to get the full benifit of the digital zoom though.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Benchmark of Quality and Utility, May 24, 2013
By 
C. Kiefer (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leica Disto D5 Digital Laser Rangefinder with 2.4-inch Screen and 45-degree tilt Sensor (Tools & Home Improvement)
Lasers in general are great because they allow a single person to accomplish all measuring tasks solo. I have used the Leica D5 at a number of interior and exterior (single building) sites, and find it indespensible. If using for any commercial purpose, the device quickly pays for itself, given its incredible efficiency in both time and manpower--as well as its quality assurance.

Leica vs Tape Measure
Tape measures sag. Lasers are straight. This simple fact alone makes the laser better. Leica's onscreen tilt angle display is probably my second-favorite feature, and is the only way to ensure a level measurement. No more eyeballing required.

Leica D5 vs Others
Despite its first appearance in 2004, the Leica Disto D5 is still the device to beat nearly 10 years later. In my opinion, the built in digital camera makes a world of difference. The laser yields a red circle about 1/8" diameter, which inevitably becomes invisible to the human eye at a distance. With this Leica, simply switch on the target zoom camera to ensure the aim is level and hitting the right spot. The camera gives a quality assurance that other non-camera lasers simply cannot provide. For me it's definitely worth the added price when I can avoid traveling to a job site twice or second-guessing my measurement.

Personally, I'm a fan of using 2-AA batteries, despite not lasting as long as Lithium-ion. The AA versatility is unbeatable. I rest assured knowing that I can pop into any convenient store on the planet and find batteries for this device day or night. However, lithium-ion batteries are usually a proprietary shape, slow to charge, have a finite lifespan of charge cycles over 3 years at best, and are expensive to replace. This device is not like a digital camera or cell phone that fails after 2-3 years. The ability to insert fresh AA guarantees the device will remain useful for many years. It is not unreasonable to expect this to last a decade or more.

Best Features:
Bright laser
Digital camera zoom targeting
Onscreen tilt angle display
Takes (2) AA-batteries
Indefinite lifespan

Cons:
Uses batteres quickly (when camera is engaged)
Push button not sensitive enough
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