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Steiner Commander 7x30 XP

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#1 plyscope

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

This binocular is working out well for me for marine use. I am pleasantly surprised at how well it does on the night sky as well.

My initial thoughts before trying it were that it would not be very attractive to amateur astronomers but now I'm thinking it is actually quite useful and would be a handy small binocular to use as a spotter along with a telescope. It is lightweight (518 grams), waterproof and very tough.

Comparing it with a Navigator 7x50, I found the better coatings of the 7x30 XP helped it keep up in terms of brightness.

Please refer to Birdforum for more pictures and comments.
web page birdforum Steiner 7x30 XP

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#2 BillC

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

Optically, I'm not a huge Steiner fan--only when compared to the Big 3. However, the Zeiss "style" (two piece) Navigator was what pushed me into laying in some inventory for Captain's. I was VERY impressed. I think that model has been discontinued, at least for the US market. That ranks up there with Nikon killing off the E2.

BillC

#3 charen

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:31 AM

Steiner's do not have a great following on C.N.s. I have had several of the more entry level versions and quickly on sold them as they were nothing remarkable. Steiner appears to spend a lot of money on advertising and their connection with the military and law enforcement agencies. Their advertising to me appears more sales speak and little on actual detail.
Also the various model versions appear to have different names and specs. depending on which part of the international market they are sold. [Somewhat like Nikon].
All is not lost however, as I know some have had good results with the higher end [read expensive] versions with the Hi-definition optics.

Chris

#4 plyscope

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:20 AM

I guess the 7x30 XP is the least expensive model in the high end of Steiners range of porro's.

For strictly astronomy only you could probably do better for the price. This one appealed to me for the compact size and light weight and dedicated marine application.

The Fuji 6x30 or 8x30 might be better if you can find one and don't mind the extra weight in comparison.

There are not many other Steiner models that appeal to me, maybe the 8x30 Nighthunter porro or 80mm observation porro's?

Bill do you have a picture or link for the 2 piece Steiner?

Andy

#5 Mark9473

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

How is the handling on those, Andy? Not too small in the hands? For me the minimum size is that of the Nikon Action 7x35; you wouldn't have one of those to show alongside, would you?

#6 plyscope

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Hi Mark

No I don't have an Action 7x35, I wouldn't mind trying one of them though or maybe the new Aculon version.

The ergonomics are excellent, not too small (for me anyway). They certainly make the Navigator 7x50 seem excessively bulky and heavy. They are very similar in size to a Nikon 8x30 E II.

Andy

#7 Full Sun

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:40 PM

I own both the Steiner Commanders 7x 50 's and 8 x 30 Night Humter XP. Simply put there are no binocular optics any finer in these sizes. This was a revelation to me and I extensively compared them to the very finest Z and S binoculars in the 2 thousand plus category. I mean to emphasize that they are clearly much sharper and believe me I love my Zeiss roofs as well. Hashtag: Porros trump roofs but we all know that is the prevailing wisdom.
I was a bit surprised to learn after I acquired my 8x 30's -NightHunters (from a lesser known distributer in Manitoba) that they were generally not available to the North American market , anyhow they were there when I went looking for a smaller version of the premium quality Commanders , that I had become so enamered with. I did not start out wanting to like the Steiners but I did so immediately , in the first ten minutes of use.
The less expensive Steiners I will say don't do very much for me but absolutely my experience with my higher end models is that these rank at my very top in comfort (eyecups), clarity , depth of focus, and edge of field performance. It becomes clear why these binoculars are so well suited to surveillance work as they are meant for panning the sky or landscape with most everything in focus. For astronomy, it is nice not to be constantly be playing with the centre focus wheel and the diopter to try and dial in perfect infinity .
Seriously some CNers need to give the German made Steiners some respect.
Jerry
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#8 KennyJ

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

http://www.steiner-b...er-May-2010.pdf

#9 Andresin150

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

Interesting,
I recently tried a Swarovski Habicht 8x30 and a 10x40, and unfortunately I was not impressed, in fact, some other lower end binoculars in the store where clearly better, definitely not up to my Swarovski optic spectations....
I've read that there are not many fans of Steiner (in general, seemed to pricey for the performance IIRC), and I had some years ago an Steiner spotting scope that was simply terrible...
I like the configuration, probably those Commanders deserve a try :)

#10 plyscope

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

Interesting insight into the factory, thanks for the link Kenny.

#11 KennyJ

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:36 PM

Although I feel ashamed of not recalling any more details,I remember watching a semi-documentary type of programme on British TV not too long ago( perhaps 2 to 3 years ago) which was very unusual in that was all about BINOCULARS.

I'm not sure if there were elements of "invisible sponsorship" or "stage/camera management" involved,but representatives from various branches of professional users,such as the military,hunting community and marine industry were interviewed, and Steiner binoculars were very well portrayed.

I could be mistaken,but I seem to also remember Steiner could have been the only one of several "leading manufacturers" to have welcomed roving cameras into it's factories,which I can remember thinking presented a very "open and positive" impression of the company and it's products,as opposed to undertones of "secrecy and mystery" the viewer was left feeling about two or three of the other giant European manufacturers.

I actually felt quite annoyed about that at the time,having spent what were to me significant sums of money for some of the latters' products within the previous decade.

Perhaps Simon can remember the TV programme ?

Kenny

#12 planetmalc

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

Although I feel ashamed of not recalling any more details,I remember watching a semi-documentary type of programme on British TV not too long ago( perhaps 2 to 3 years ago) which was very unusual in that was all about BINOCULARS.

I'm not sure if there were elements of "invisible sponsorship" or "stage/camera management" involved,but representatives from various branches of professional users,such as the military,hunting community and marine industry were interviewed, and Steiner binoculars were very well portrayed.

I could be mistaken,but I seem to also remember Steiner could have been the only one of several "leading manufacturers" to have welcomed roving cameras into it's factories,which I can remember thinking presented a very "open and positive" impression of the company and it's products,as opposed to undertones of "secrecy and mystery" the viewer was left feeling about two or three of the other giant European manufacturers.

I actually felt quite annoyed about that at the time,having spent what were to me significant sums of money for some of the latters' products within the previous decade.

Perhaps Simon can remember the TV programme ?

Kenny


A few months ago, I alerted the forum to a "How It's Made" documentary that was being shown in the UK on the Quest channel (Freeview 38), and this showed Steiners being put together. As these programs are subject to frequent repeat, maybe this is what you're remembering.

Like you say, Kenny, they're not shy about opening themselves up to scrutiny, and they clearly believe in their products (and why shouldn't they; their top-end stuff is really good).

I'd lusted after a pair of those 7 x 30 Commander XPs after trying them out in my local Jessop's (RIP), and loved everything about them apart from the fact that the reticle seemed to have no in/out adjustment and was therefore not in focus for my short-sighted eyes when I focused the bins on distant objects (otherwise they'd be in my house right now! :))

#13 Scott Beith

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

http://www.cloudynig...hp?item_id=2598

These are my only Steiners. They are nice little binoculars and continue to impress me each time I use them. I would love the chance to use the Commanders shown in this thread.

#14 plyscope

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:32 PM

You're welcome to come and try them Scott!

#15 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:07 PM

I imagine your skies are a bit better than mine too. ;) :lol:

#16 RichD

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

I think I remember the video of the Steiner's being assembled in the factory. It started an interesting thread on internal construction as from the video it seemed as though the entire binocular was held together with glue and plastic. There appeared to be no metal used in it's construction at all, not even the prism straps seen in most binoculars.

#17 RichD

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Here is the "how it's made" video:

https://www.youtube....h?v=T2_WC5LJdFs

The part where they are glueing the binos together is at 3:48. Also note none of the techs are wearing gloves or any protective gear when assembling the optics.

#18 Neil Sanford

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

A 7x30 or similar format has many advantages. This has been remarked from time to time in this forum (and birdforum), usually by those among us who have matured past seeking in binos simply high power and big front lenses. For we who have arrived at that place, I recommend for consideration the Meopro 6.5x32. It is great.

Over the years while seeking a holy-grail bino for enjoying daytime views, I have acquired a 7x35E, 8x32BN, 8x30FMTR, 8x30E2 and 8x30Habicht, all of which I currently use. (also had an 8x32SE but didn't like it, you know why) Today if I were starting from zero, it's possible I would just buy a Meopro 6.5x32 and stop there. When my wife and I go out walking, I usually grab one of my gems and the Meopro 6.5x32 for her. But when I only want to carry one bino, I grab her Meopro 6.5x32 and do not feel that I am compromising much in what I actually see.

For some time I have felt a strange obligation to praise this bino here ... an obligation to let the forum know ... and strangely an obligation to the manufacturer and retailers who bring this bino to market. Frequently here we wish for this or that product to be available but never see it. Well here is that excellent low power glass that some have expressed a desire for. (remember swarovski 7x30?)

As far as a detailed review and side-by-sides, well maybe one day if I am feeling qualified and time-rich. For now, besides the above quite personal and conclusory recommendation, this additional impression might help some: its view is very similar to my 7x35E, which is a late model with modern coatings. To really nitpick, on pure optics the 7x35 view is slightly better ... of course it does have larger aperture and a bit more magnification. But assuming I could today buy only one, I would probably choose the Meopro 6.5x32. Its view is essentially the same, and its mechanical/ergonomic package is of a very high, modern standard.

#19 KennyJ

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:30 AM

Very interesting,Neil.

My two most memorable encounters with models of similar size/magnification could hardly be more different from each other.

The first was the extra wide field Orion Expanse 7x32,stated TFOV of 13 degrees,almost half of which I would describe as offering little more than "novelty value".

It's worst feature was the almost non-existent eye-relief.

I wrote a 15 page review of it,which can still be found in this forum's "Link to 433+ reviews" virtual library.

The other was a 6.5x32 Leupold Roof prism model that my CN friend Patric brought over with him from Sweden during a visit in the summer of 2009,which was a delight to use,either in spite of,or more likely BECAUSE of it's "Plossl-like" AFOV.

Kenny

#20 Neil Sanford

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

Hi Kenny. The MeoPro 6.5x32 has eye relief about 20mm and TFOV about 8.3 degrees. "About" means that there are slight differences at the websites of Meopta and two reliable U.S. retailers, EuroOptic and Eagle Optics.

In perceptions (versus specifications), the apparent field of view seems neither wide nor constricted. I would say comfortable, that is not particularly drawing one's attention. Of course the true field is generous.

The eyecups are modern with click-stops at three positions. I have shared this bino with spectacle wearers and non. It seems comfortable for all.

I have very narrow pupil distance and deep eye sockets. The trend to large eyecups forecloses many of todays alphas for me. The Meopta 6.5x32 is absolutely comfortable for me. I see the full field with eyecups at middle position.

My wife--also no spectacles, normal pupil distance--does fine with the eyecups full out.

Best,
Neil

#21 KennyJ

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hi Neil,

Yes,the same all-pleasing aspect of eye-relief applied to the Leupold 6.5x32.

There were three of us who tried it,side by side,Patric and myself who wore glasses and my nephew Paul who doesn't.

Here is a photo of Patric holding it:

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#22 Binojunky

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

Nothing to worry about plastics and modern glues being used, companies like Zeiss and other high end makers have been useing this form of construction for ages, the plastics are reinforced with graphite, fibreglass or the like, modern adhesives are used for aircraft construction subject to extremely high loads,DA.

#23 Neil Sanford

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

Kenny, looks like the same 'basic' bino, so probably is. We've seen that before. But I suspect the MeoPro might be an upgraded version. Manufacturer says it's assembled in the U.S. from imported parts. And their website says all air-glass surfaces have a spectacular, proprietary coating. Based on the view, I believe it.

Oh, I forgot, in the U.S. it has been shipping with a ridiculous, useless case--the bino won't even fit in. I think someone on birdform said they griped and received an appropriate replacement. (Not an issue for me. I use a fanny pack.)

Edit after seeing Kenny's reference to Katmai:
Oh, so you were referring to the Leoupld Katmai 6x30. The MeoPro 6.5x32 is larger and optically much superior. Definitely not the same bino. Sorry for previous misunderstanding in this post.

#24 hallelujah

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:47 PM

Hi Neil,

Yes,the same all-pleasing aspect of eye-relief applied to the Leupold 6.5x32.

There were three of us who tried it,side by side,Patric and myself who wore glasses and my nephew Paul who doesn't.

Here is a photo of Patric holding it:


Kenny,

If you look at the photo you will see that the Leupold Katmai is in fact a 6x32 & not 6.5x32. :o

Stan

#25 Scott Beith

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

So as not to hijack the thread can we start a new one on the Katmai's and leave this thread to the Commanders?






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