Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Steiner Discovery Binoculars Review

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Binoculars
Product: Steiner Discovery binoculars

Steiner Discovery binoculars - ePHOTOzine gets a world exclusive first look at the new Steiner Discovery birding and wildlife binoculars.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
Steiner binocularsSteiner-Optik has been around since 1947 and today is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional, high quality binoculars. Steiner have elected to launch their new professional range of birding binoculars in the UK and Ian Andrews has managed to get his hands on a couple of pairs to try.

Ask any professional or recreational sailor who makes the best binoculars and the answer will invariably be Steiner. That is because they have been making binoculars, and only binoculars, for the last 60 years. Steiner has a number of firsts to their name, including the first to use high tech materials, first nitrogen filled, first compass bearing binoculars etc. In 1999, in co-operation with the World Wildlife Fund, Steiner introduced its first Wildlife range. They have recently celebrated the Silver Jubilee of their famous Commander range, the most popular marine binocular ever.

And now, Steiner are targeting the Birding world by introducing two top end roof prism binoculars, initially in the UK, then Europe, then the rest of the world. The two models, an 8x44 and a 10x44 are at the top end of the binocular market with a number of innovative features and specifications.

 

Technical Data

Discovery 8x44

Discovery 10x44

 

 

 

Item no.

8101

8102

Weight

834 g

854 g

Height

188 mm

188 mm

Width

126 mm

126 mm

Depth

65 mm

65 mm

Exit pupil

5,5 mm

4,4 mm

Luminosity

30,25

19,36

Twilight factor

18,76

20,98

Field of view at 1000m

130 m

110 m

Focussing system

STEINER Fast-Close-Focus

STEINER Fast-Close-Focus

Close focus distance

2 m

3 m

Optics

High-Definition XP-Optics

High-Definition XP-Optics

Distance Control

yes

yes

STEINER Nano-Protection®

yes

yes

Water pressure proof

to 5 m

to 5 m

Nitrogen pressure filling

via 2-way-valve-system

via 2-way-valve-system

Temperature range

from -40 bis +80 °C

from -40 bis +80 °C

Eyecups

Twist-up eyecups

Twist-up eyecups

Rubber armouring

NBR-Longlife

NBR-Longlife

Carrying strap

Comfort

Comfort

Strap attachment

ClicLoc

ClicLoc

Warranty

30 years

30 years

 

Design and Build
Now I have used Steiner bins extensively in the past in the marine world and I was interested to see what they could do with a pair of binoculars designed specifically for wildlife and birds in particular. I wear spectacles full time and have one eye that is considerably worse than the other, so in recent years it has become more difficult to find binoculars that suit. This is where the first of Steiner's innovations scores highly in their Dual Precision Setting, enabling each eyepiece to be adjusted individually. It takes a little getting used to and some fiddling to get it right, but once it is done the settings can be recorded. As birding/wildlife binoculars are a much more personal item of equipment than marine ones, which tend to be used by everyone on board a boat, the need for re-adjustment is much lower anyway. The system does allow for massive differences between the users individual eyes and the accuracy they can be set to makes a worthwhile advantage over the usual single side adjustment. There are also fold down eye cups to shade the sides of the eyes that flip out of the way for spectacle wearers. Twist cups move up and down, but the flaps are fixed to them and rotate into position when extended.

It is no surprise, considering the marine background, that the Discovery binoculars are waterproof to a depth of 5m and the nano-protection dispels water and dirt from the optic surfaces. The Makrolon chassis, which has each tube section constructed in a single piece, and special seals enable the binoculars to be pressure filled with nitrogen and ensures no internal fogging between -40º~80ºC, an amazing range.

Comfort comes in the shape of an ergonomically designed carrying strap with clic-loc quick release attachments that put no strain whatsoever on the neck and managed to stay around my neck all day without getting annoying or uncomfortable. The finish is an NBR-Longlife rubber armouring that gives good grip when wet or dry, hot or cold. It is also soft and shockproof. The Discovery comes with a soft carry case, a neoprene protective cover and objective covers.

Using the binocularsOptical performance
So, the design has been well thought out, but what are they like optically? Well, as with camera optics, things have come a long way and these binoculars seem to literally suck in the light. My old marine binos, even with their 50mm objective lenses, never seemed this bright. The accuracy of the focus mechanism, that only needs one full turn to go from infinity down to 2m or less (depending on dioptre settings) and the internal nature of the focussing means that the clarity of the image is amazing. No evidence of colour fringing is evident even when viewing things like branches of trees against a bright sky.

The only thing that would have worried me had these been a camera lens is a slight tendency to show flare in a small area of the field of view when the optics are pointing close to a bright sun, although with binoculars this is probably an advantage as it gives a little warning that you are straying in that direction.

Verdict
With these binoculars, Steiner have produced a contender to take on the big boys of the ornithology world at a price point which, although not cheap, is certainly competitive in its class. Add to that a 30-year warranty and accessories supplied in the package along with the excellent optical performance and Steiner can become as well known in the bird world as they already are in the marine one.

Plus points:
Excellent build quality
First class optical performance
Accessories included.

Minus points:
Slight tendency to flare near the sun
Eye cups can be a little awkward.
Price, although competitive in class.


FEATURES:


HANDLING:


PERFORMANCE:


OVERALL:

 

Check the latest price of the Steiner Discovery Binocular range here.

Ian Andrews http://www.wildaboutkent.com/

 


Explore More

Vanguard Endeavour ED 1045 Binoculars Review

Vanguard Endeavour ED 1045 Binocular review

David Clapp puts Vanguard's Endeavour ED 1045 Binoculars to ...

MAGPiX B350 Binoculars Review

MAGPiX B350

The MAGPiX B350 combines a pair of 8x21 binoculars with a bu...

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments

There are no comments here! Be the first!
- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.