TEINER’S BINOCULARS HAVE
Slong had a reputation for high quality at a price point some way below the ‘big three’ manufacturers, so this venture into the sub-£300 market is bound to attract plenty of interest from birders. First impressions are of a bright image with excellent contrast, the latter being something Steiner are pushing as a major selling point. The colours feel natural, with perhaps a slightly warm, yellowish cast. Against bright sunlight, I did find some colour fringing, especially when scanning, so it’s worth testing for yourself – getting a comfortable eye position helps eliminate this. Overall, the optics feel good, if not packing quite such a wow factor as some binoculars costing £200-£275. The field of view feels wide, with the image staying crisp up to the edges, and focus was precise and easy to find. Close focus, at 2m, is good for anyone wanting an all-round wildlife binocular. You expect excellent build quality from Steiner, and that’s largely what you get here. The focus wheel is a finger wide, with chunky ridging for grip, and it turns smoothly and moderately stiffly, taking 1.5 anti-clockwise turns from close focus to infinity. The dioptre setting, on the left barrel, is not calibrated, but sets easily and is stiff enough to avoid accidental movement. The body’s good, with chunky, heavily ridged armour, yet a light weight that feels even less thanks to a well-balanced design. The eyecups were a gripe, though. They twist up and down, but had some rather indeterminate intermediate positions. When fully extended eye relief was more than adequate, but the soft rubber eyecups themselves weren’t the most comfortable – this can depend on individuals’ eyes, though. Accessories include an excellent rainguard (easy to fit, easy to take off), an adequate strap, a case, and removable, tethered objective lens covers.