When you go hunting or bird watching, wouldn’t it be great if you could take something along that made spotting the animals easier? I don’t just mean larger but actually easier to see. Steiner Predator binoculars are just what we’ve been looking for.
Steiner makes several Predators as part of their Hunters line. Each of them has technology that makes using them out in the wild, where many mammals and birds are browns, blacks, and grays, exactly the optic device you want.
If you’re in a hurry, use this table to skip to the part that interests you the most or just continue reading the entire review.
- 1 What Makes Predator Binoculars So Special?
- 2 Why Might You Want the Steiner Predator 8×42 Binoculars or 10×42 Binoculars?
- 3 Why You Might Want a Pair of Steiner Predator Compact Binoculars
- 4 Why You Might Not Want a Pair of Steiner Predator Compact Binoculars
- 5 Can I See the Data All in One Place?
- 6 Is One Pair of Predator Binoculars Better Than the Rest?
What Makes Predator Binoculars So Special?
The Steiner Predators have many good features, but the one that makes them great for finding wildlife is the CAT – Color Adjusted Transmission. This is a lens coating that especially enhances the browns, black, and grays in your field of vision. Those colors are interpreted differently from the others – most notably the greens – so animals stand out more from their surroundings.
You’ll see that some of these binoculars come in Predator (formerly Predator Xtreme) and Predator Pro versions.
Steiner gives every surface of each lens of the Pro models its PC-5 coating so they produce a higher contrast image and allow greater transmission of light than their earlier models.
The rubber armor of Predator Pro binoculars has been engineered so it is virtually silent when you handle them. There will be no scaring away your target due to noisy binoculars.
The soft, quiet rubber coating is more tactile in nasty weather. When you’re out in the cold or in wet conditions and are wearing gloves, you’ll appreciate the large, central focus mechanism that is easy to manipulate in all circumstances.
The Predator Pro’s forest green color blends with most camouflage patterns. If you’re dressed in camo too, your binoculars will seem to be part of your outfit.
Some information from Steiner states that all Predator binoculars are fogproof, but only some of the models specifically show that they are nitrogen filled. If you require nitrogen filled binoculars, this would be a point to check with the manufacturer before making your purchase.
All models come with a case and protective rain caps. They are all waterproof to some degree, but some are more secure than others.
As is common to most modern binoculars, both Predator and Predator Pro models have eye cups. Though they are optically identical, the Pro glasses have flat cups, and the Predators have winged cups to guard against stray light and reflections.
The cups roll back to accommodate eyeglasses. Thus, you can use them with or without your spectacles. This can be quite handy if you need your glasses (as I do) to read a map or other directions.
Let’s take a look at four specific popular Predator models – the 8×22, 10×26, 8×42, and 10×42. We’ll examine the two full-size models first, then the two compact sets.
Why Might You Want the Steiner Predator 8×42 Binoculars or 10×42 Binoculars?
If you do your hunting or birding near water, you’ll appreciate the fact that these binoculars are both waterproof to a depth of 3 feet. That’s not a great depth, but it should be enough for any creek or pond that you might walk near.
Both of these sets of optics have luminosity (27.6 and 17.6) and twilight factor ratings (18.4 and 20.5) that should make them useful in low light or even at night. Comments from Steiner, however, indicate that these were not designed for such use. You can probably find different binoculars with equal or even better ratings that were specifically designed for low light conditions.
The Predator line receives raves from users regarding their clarity. Combining that with other features already mentioned, especially the CAT technology, makes both the 8×42 and 10×42 models among the best available for spying on prey and birds.
The Steiner Predator 8×42 binoculars have the widest field of view (381 feet) of these four models as well as the closest focus point (6 feet). While you’re probably not going to be within 2 yards of whatever animal you’re looking at, having a wide field of view should help you find the critters more easily in the first place.
These binoculars are of medium weight. The 8×42 weighs just over 26 ounces, and the 10×42 is just over 28 ounces. If you don’t plan to have them hanging around your neck all day, these should be fine.
Why You Might Want a Pair of Steiner Predator Compact Binoculars
Sometimes hunting and bird watching can take you across some pretty rugged terrain. It’s then that you appreciate a light weight, small pair of binoculars like the Predator 8×22 or the Predator 10×26. Each weighs just over 10 ounces and is no more than 5 inches long. You could tuck them away in any decent sized pocket.
For spotting those wild creatures, each pair gives you a field of view of over 300 feet – a full football field in width.
Why You Might Not Want a Pair of Steiner Predator Compact Binoculars
If you must wear glasses all the time, you might not like these compact Steiner binoculars. Their exit pupil is less than 3mm out.
Both pair are rated as waterproof, but there’s no depth given, so they might only be water resistant instead of completely waterproof.
Neither the 8×22 nor the 10×26 come with covers for the objective lenses, so you need to be more careful about dirt and scratches when not using them.
Can I See the Data All in One Place?
Here two tables summarizing the facts and figures for all four of these Predator binoculars.
|Model||FOV||Close Focus||Exit Pupil||Luminosity||Twilight Factor|
The field of view (FOV) is measured at the standard distance of 1000 yards. Close Focus is measured in feet. Luminosity is in millimeters. Weight is in ounces. Length, width, and height are given in inches.
If you ever need to know the exact year of manufacture, you should examine the serial number on the binoculars. Combine the first and third digits to get the last two numbers in the year in question.
Is One Pair of Predator Binoculars Better Than the Rest?
In a word, no. As is usually the case, each model has its own pros and cons. Each is better for one situation than another.
It’s worth repeating that all of these are great for hunting and birding due to the CAT lens coating system.
Beyond that, if you need light weight and a wide field of view, you probably will opt for model 8×22.
On the other hand, the 8×42 model seems to be the best in general. It’s waterproof, not too heavy, has the shortest close focus point, and should work okay in low light.
Consider your most common circumstances and match them to the Predator model that matches them best.
If not of these seem to suit you, check out the ultimate Steiner binoculars buyers guide here.