The Steiner Predator 8x42 offers decent all-around performance, but there are better models available in the same price range. The Predator is able to provide fairly bright and clear images, but the Vortex Diamondback 8x28 offers comparable clarity and brightness while costing much less. The Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42 provides a decent step up in optical quality for about the same price. If you already have a pair of these binoculars we see no reason to upgrade, but if you're getting a new pair there are some better choices out there.
Steiner Predator 8x42 Review
Cons: Don't like the funky eyepiece that extend to the side
Compare to Similar Products
Steiner Predator 8x42
|Price||$389.99 at Amazon||$2,659.00 at Amazon||$2,400 List||$489.00 at Amazon||$496.95 at Amazon|
|Pros||Average performance across the board, relatively affordable||Incredible clarity, brightness, comfort, and construction quality||Excellent clarity and brightness, great construction quality, quite comfortable||Very clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable and quality||High quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity|
|Cons||Don't like the funky eyepiece that extend to the side||Prohibitively expensive||Very expensive||On the expensive side||Heavy for backpacking or carrying long distances|
|Bottom Line||Good image quality, but we;ve seen similar image quality in much less expensive products||The best all around bins that we tested, but they also carry a high price tag||High-end bins that are nearly as good as the Swarovskis, but not quite||Just about the best clarity/brightness you can get without a quadruple digit price tag||Good optical quality, but not the best in the price range|
|Rating Categories||Steiner Predator 8x42||Swarovski EL 8.5x42||Zeiss Victory HT 10x42||Vortex Viper HD 8x42||Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42|
|Ease Of Adjustment (15%)|
|Construction Quality (15%)|
|Close Focus Range (7.5%)|
|Field Of View (7.5%)|
|Specs||Steiner Predator...||Swarovski EL 8.5x42||Zeiss Victory HT...||Vortex Viper HD 8x42||Nikon Monarch 7...|
|Multi - Coating||CAT||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC|
|Field of View ft/yards||381/1000||399/1000||330/1000||409/1000||351/1000|
|Size (length x width)||6.9 x 4.9||6.3 x 4.8 in||6.3 x 5 in||5.8 x 5.3 in||5.6 x 5.1 in|
|Weight||26.1 oz||29.5 oz||28.4 oz||24.2 oz||26.3 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Marketed toward hunters, Steiner Predator earns mid-range scores for clarity and brightness. It supposedly has a coating on the lenses to make wildlife easier to see, but we couldn't see the difference.
The clarity of the optics for the Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 is good, which could be due in part to the CAT coating. In our clarity test, on the ISO 12233 chart zone 9 was clear in the center but we could see defocusing around the very far edges. No chromatic aberrations or purple fringing was noticeable in backgrounds along with no noticeable distortion in any of the horizontal or vertical lines.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 binoculars have what the company calls a CAT coating, or Color Adjusted Transmission coating, which is supposed to make animals easy to see by filtering out blue and green light. As for as the brightness of the scene, the CAT coating helps provide decent performance that scores in the middle of our test group. The Steiner Predator is not as bright as the Nikon Monarch 5 8x56, Swarovski EL 8.5x42, or Vortex Viper HD 8x42, but did do a good job overall. While out birding we didn't notice that wildlife stood out more with the Steiner Predator versus the Nikon, Swarovski, Vanguard, or Vortox Viper binoculars.
Ease of Adjustment
The hinge for adjusting the interpupillary distance is smooth and operates easily. The focus adjustment knob moves easily and quickly, allowing for quick close focusing. The diopter on the left eye piece was stiff and hard to adjust. The diopter also had no way to lock so it could be accidentally moved.
Field of View and Close Focus Range
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 has a good field of view with 381 feet visible at 1000 yards. Only the Zeiss Terra ED 8x32 and Swarovski performing better. The close focus range of the Steiner Predator is 6ft, which is good but the Zeiss, Swarovski, and Vortex Viper have better close range.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 has a good thick rubber coating with a spot to rest your thumb, and different nubs and ridges for the fingers. This makes the Steiner Predator easy and comfortable to hold. The eyepieces extend out on the sides to help keep light out of the eyepiece, which can affect the brightness of the scene. In theory this sounds like a good idea, but most testers found it annoying and uncomfortable. It also makes the eyecups more difficult to adjust and gave issues to those with glasses.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 has a good, quality feel and we saw no noticeable alignment issues. Steiner states that the Predator Pro 8x42 can survive an 11g drop. The caps all fit nicely and the quick lock straps work smoothly. Steiner is a german company, but we found no documentation on where this pair is made.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 is best used for birding and/or hunting. It is portable and ideal for this type o viewing. It would also make a good pair of general purpose binoculars to keep around the house or car.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 is a decent value at around $400 dollars. At this price point there are always compromises that need to be made, but Steiner does do a good job of producing a fine pair of binoculars for not too much money. The Vortex Diamondback 8x28 performed similarly to the Steiner Predator, ranking only 4 points behind, but comes in at a better price point (almost half the cost) and includes an excellent VIP warranty so we give the Vortex the Best Buy award over the Steiner model.
The Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 is a good pair of binoculars at a good price point, if you can deal with the funky eyepiece. As with most of the binoculars tested, we are amazed at the quality you can get at the different price points, and the Steiner Predator Pro 8x42 is no exception.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Predator comes in four different ranges starting at 8x22 and going all the way to 10x42.
— Max Mutter and Michael Payne