Mark van den Boogaart
Straight out of the box I liked the Ѕtеіnеr Predator 10x42mm binoculars. Why? Because you get lots of cool Steiner features at a competitive price - tough, lightweight, roof prism design binoculars which fit well in the hand and won’t take up too much space in a pack.
For your money come binoculars which use Steiner’s Makrolon housing system, essentially a polycarbonate chassis wrapped in NBR Long Life rubber armour with an impact rate of 11G. To finish off the build the binoculars are then sealed using the N2 Injection dry nitrogen system designed to prevent fogging in both hot and cold climes.
Combined with high-build quality the multi-level coated lenses used in the Predator bracket feature the Colour Adjusted Transmission (CAT) treatment which provides great light transmission and low-light performance, while controlling it all is the Fast-Close-Focus central focusing wheel, a precise adjustment dial which allows you to really tune focus at a particular distance, like a red deer rack.
Finally there’s the smart ClicLoc system which does away with a buckle and loop fitment for the neck strap and uses a push-in, click-out connector ‑ simple but really useful. If there’s one thing I don’t like so much about the Predators it’s the flip-down objective lens covers. While a great idea, they just they don’t work as well in the field as they do on the test bench and my answer to the lens covers would be to use a binocular chest rig and remove the covers when hunting.
My first outing with the Predators was to the range. I was actually reviewing a new red dot sight and while I had my spotting scope with me, the visit gave me the chance to see how they performed. As an alternative to a spotting scope the Predators worked remarkably well and affixing them to a tripod I was able to use them to help set up the red dot sight. While not a true test the outing further reinforced my opinion these are good binoculars at a reasonable price.
My next test was in a hunting situation and the chance to take a red deer on a property not too far from home, which was good enough reason for me to hit the road at 3am. I was also under instruction to leave the stags alone which meant I’d have to be particular about target selection. In the field the Predators really came into their own and following my own advice I carried them in the Marsupial Gear chest rig. Throughout the day I was constantly surprised by the quality of these binoculars when compared to the cost as they certainly outperformed their price tag.
Light to carry, easy to focus and readjust they performed well and even though they were review binoculars, I didn’t have to ‘baby’ them which meant I could focus on the hunt and not worry about the gear. Unfortunately, while they performed well, all I saw through them was stags - in the open and among the trees I spotted numerous deer, all carrying timber.
With an Australian RRP of $599 the Steiner Predator 10x42s face some stiff competition for your hard-earned dollars but when you consider you’re owning quality European optics with a host of high-end features, I firmly believe they’re top of their class.
At the risk of repeating myself, Steiner Predator 10x42s are excellent hunting binoculars and with the addition of a chest rig would be ideal for hunters who spend a lot of time on the move. Alternately, if you’re after quality European binoculars which might travel in a vehicle, straight out of the box the Steiner Predator 10x42s would make an excellent choice with the objective lens covers and armoured body well suited to the task. Distributed by Beretta Australia, Steiner Predator 10x42mm binoculars won’t let you down.