The brand Steiner often comes to mind when we are thinking of good quality binoculars at a reasonable price. While Steiner is a German brand and has a heritage similar to Leica, Zeiss or Swarovski. The range that Steiner carries surpasses all their similar brands as they have binoculars starting at under $200 AUD to over $2000 AUD to compete with the Carl Zeiss Victory, Swarovski Swarovision EL’s or even the Leica Ultravid.
A good comparison would be comparing Steiner to Volkswagen, Carl Zeiss to Mercedes and Leica as Audi. They are all German with similar heritage but Volkswagen has cars as cheap as the Golf or Polo’s which are in the same price range as the Japanese and Korean cars but Volkswagen carries a 120k AUD Phaeton (Unavailable in Australia, Please Google it) which can Rival the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series.
The Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 10×26 would be a Base Spec Volkswagen Golf. They are the second cheapest on the Steiner Lineup. (OpticsCentral retails the Steiner Ultrasharp 10×26 for $199.95). Any other decent binoculars in this 10×25 configuration would be between $100 and $200 AUD.
Just like Volkswagen’s, cheapest does not mean inferior. These Steiner’s are Made in Germany like the rest of the product range and I can guarantee that you will not find another Brand or Series which are Made in Germany in the same price range. The next one I know of would be Carl Zeiss Victory FL 10×25 which are about $1100. Anything between these and the Victory FL’s are going to be Made in China, Austria or Belarus.
Build Quality And Ergonomics
The binoculars feel pretty solid in your hands and does have a weighty feel to it. While some may not like it as it does feel heavy compared to the cheaper binoculars, most would say that it does feel pretty expensive. Most of the exterior is covered in rubber armoring and parts of the brown aluminium is exposed near the focus wheel. Holding them up is nice and comfortable and those shaped soft rubber eyecups are extremely comfortable.
I normally use 42mm Binoculars and I do miss the Field Of View and the Brightness of the larger lenses. However, I would be happy to make a compromise if I was after something small and compact.
Steiner are very well known for their Optics and despite this being their second cheapest model, they are still impressive. Everything is sharp and nothing seems cloudy or blurred around the edges. For some reason, everytime I look through a 25mm Binoculars, I expect poor quality plastic like lens finishes.
These sit at a unique Price Point of $200 which doesn’t really have any real competition. Steiner says that this is their best selling model when it comes to Volume of Sales and I can see why. Personally, if you had a friend that wanted a Good Pair of Binocular for Cheap, not Made In China and decent quality with Good Warranty, I think this would be the only binoculars that ticks all the boxes.
If this sounds like your ideal pair of binoculars, Amazon normally has the best prices. Buy the Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 10×26 from Amazon Today
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