Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binoculars

Fast-Focusing, Rugged Steiners Offer Great Image Quality for under $250.00

This past week, your Editor was in New Mexico, on a prairie dog expedition. While in the field, my companions and I used two pairs of Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine binoculars to spot the critters. Finding the Prairie Dogs (PDs) could be challenging in the high grass. Often, a PD would reveal only its head — a small target at distances approaching 400 yards. We really needed sharp optics with high contrast to spot the dogs hiding behind tufts of grass or dry brush.

The Steiner Military/Marine binoculars performed superbly. I came away very impressed with these armored 8x30mm binoculars. The glass is bright and super-sharp. And the rubber-armored body is truly rugged. These binoculars offer both right and left diopters — important for me as my right eye requires more correction than the left eye. One great feature of the Steiners is the focusing system which keeps everything you can see in focus. This really is a big deal. You don’t have to constantly fiddle with focus — everything past about 20 yards is in sharp focus all the time. And the sharpness is impressive. I compared the Steiners’ image with a 6.5-20×40 Leupold EFR riflescope set at 8X. Both 8×30 Steiners were brighter than the Leupold scope, and the Steiners resolved individual blades of grass and fine details better than the Leupold. Of course, comparing a binocular optic with a riflescope is like comparing apples and oranges. The advantages of binoculars (compared to a monocular scope) are well known — the brain combines the two images (left eye and right eye) to create a more vivid, 3D effect, with greater perceived contrast.

Good Binoculars are a “Must-Have” Item for Hunters
After three days in the prairie dog fields I came away convinced that a good set of binoculars is absolutely essential for any varmint hunter. As the PD population was fairly thin where we were shooting, we probably spent 5 minutes glassing for every minute actually behind the trigger. Over 90% of the dogs were first spotted with binos rather than riflescopes. We had a fixed (non-rotating) bench so it was difficult to swing the rifle more than about 30° from one side to another (60° total arc). With the binoculars, and their wide field of view, we could quickly scan a much wider arc, approaching 180°.

Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocs are Just $225.95
At the end of our hunt, I told my host that I planned to purchase a Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocular just like the one we used during our hunt. When I arrived home I was amazed to see that the Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine is available for just $225.95 on Amazon.com, with free shipping. That’s a great value, considering the ruggedness and optical quality of the unit. The 10×50 Steiner Military/Marine is also offered on Amazon.com. It has more magnification and better low-light performance. However, it currently runs about $499.00, more than twice the price of the 8×30 Military/Marine.

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