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Early results for leica Disto D3 are good

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Peter Freeman

The new little gadget has now been used seriously in a cave (though by Jim, not by me) and nicely does what it’s supposed to. There are no reports of useability issues, and it copes well with 100% humidity and a slightly splashy environment. I suspect it would baulk at any immersion or severe splashiness.

My only (and very minor) criticism, noticed when I first was trying out the electronic inclinometer function, is that the sign (+ or -) of the inclination angle is displaced well to the left of the number, and so in haste could be missed. Of course, you usually are well aware of whether the thing is pointing up or down, but for small angles it could lead to minor error if not always careful.

Apart from the clino, it has two features that I really like. The first is a countdown timer to its measurement instant. This avoids you moving the beam off its target when pressing the measure button. The second great feature is ‘maximum distance scan’. To measure an inaccessible location (especially the far end of a passage that you can’t get along and that is very narrow to aim through), you can just wave the disto around to get the max penetration distance. Your aim doesn’t have to be accurate or constant.

In summary – it’s great. Cost was just under A$400.