Optics aficionados and fans of Steiner Binoculars are very familiar with the Steiner Peregrine Binoculars. They probably became even more familiar in 2008 when the Steiner Peregrine XP were awarded the “Optic of the Year” award by American Hunter Magazine. This high end binocular comes in two variants: Steiner 10×44 Peregrine XP Binoculars 814, and Steiner 8×44 Peregrine XP Binoculars 804. These binoculars feature some of the most cutting edge attributes available, which makes them useful as both bird watching binoculars and hunting binoculars.
The Peregrine binoculars XP by Steiner use lightweight magnesium housing as well as Steiner’s unique nitrogen purging and pressurization system to keep water out. These are one of the most waterproof binoculars available. From an optics standpoint, you cannot help but smile. 44mm objective lenses mean that you will be receiving plenty of light. The specially coated 30 mm ocular lens alongside XP Lens Technology mean that focusing time will be minimal for both up close and distant objects. In addition, the new specifications offer the user an unusually high depth of field, uncommon with roof prism binoculars and extremely advantageous in low light bird watching.
Once you get your hands on these binoculars, you will not want to let go. The new ergonomically designed body, and the durable protective rubber covering give these binoculars a very sturdy feel.
How do you decide which of these German Binoculars to buy? As always, Optics Planet Inc. recommends purchasing products that fit your needs. The same way you do not need a sledge hammer to drive in a thumb tac, you do not need extra magnification if you plan on observing from relatively close distances. If this is the case, you should get the Steiner 8×44 Peregrine XP Binoculars 804 because their magnification is smaller. There are advantages to having lower power binoculars; a wide field of view is one of them. At 1,000 yards, the Peregrine XP 804 have a 390 feet FOV, while the Peregrine XP 814 Binoculars have a field of view of 328 feet. Also, 8x magnification results in a larger exit pupil which translates to a slightly brighter picture. Finally, the 8x Peregrine Binoculars are easier to focus because they are less sensitive to the slight trembling in your arm when peering through them. Do not be discouraged from buying the 10x Peregrine Binoculars. These are extremely powerful binoculars for bird watching, and in the right hands can yield a spectacular image. Just keep in mind that they are more difficult for novices to use as birding binoculars.