When it comes to the shooting sports, there are some things shooters have to experience for themselves to appreciate the value of choosing quality. Good, solid shooting rests and premium ammunition are two that come to mind. Another is quality optics.
It’s easy to make the mistake of shopping for optics based on price alone. After all, many scopes and binoculars on the market today appear to have similar features at extreme price differences. But once you experience the resolution and brightness of truly premium optics, you realize they’re worth the added cost. Steiner’s new Peregrine XP binocular is an example of a premium optic that excels optically, mechanically, and physically.
Optically, Peregrines have a very high level of light transmission afforded by 44mm objective and 30mm ocular lenses. Further, those lenses are fully multi-coated, as are the roof prisms. As light enters any lens, some is reflected, reducing overall light transmission. Coatings help light “ease” through a lens with less reflection, and different coatings are needed for different light waves across the visible light spectrum. Loss occurs with each air-to-glass interface, so fully multi-coated lenses are better than “multi-coated” or “fully coated,” both of which sound good but may indicate lenses with less than optimum treatment. A simple comparison test between equal size/power binoculars you can do is to block off the ocular lens while looking into the objective lens. The binocular that reflects your image the least should transmit light better.
|OBJECTIVE LENS DIA.:||44 mm|
|OCULAR LENS DIA:||30 mm|
|LENS COATINGS:||Fully multi-coated|
|EXIT PUPIL:||4.4 mm|
|FIELD OF VIEW:||328 feet at 1,000 yards|
|SHORT FOCUS DISTANCE:||6.5 feet|
|EYE RELIEF:||20 mm|
|OVEARLL LENGTH:||7.5 inches|
|OTHER:||Water-, Fog-, and Shockproof|
The 40+ coatings that make up Steiner’s XP technology used in the Peregrines allows for light transmission equally across the entire visible light spectrum. Without equal transmission, images can have color casts or are otherwise degraded. Some optics may compensate for missing parts of the light spectrum by adding color filters to “balance out” what’s missing, but filters introduce another air-to-glass interface and may reduce light transmission or provide incorrect image color.
In addition to the lens coatings, the Peregrine’s prisms receive special treatment, too. All roof- and porro-prism-type binoculars use prisms with mirrors to “bend” the light back and forth within the optic to increase the effective length between the objective and ocular lenses. Traditionally, those mirrors are silver or aluminum, but those metals reflect only part of the visible light spectrum. To maintain the high image quality transmitted through its lenses, Steiner takes the extra step of dialectic coating its mirrors so that they, too, reflect the entire visible light spectrum. This is in addition to the phase coating normally found on better roof-prism binoculars to prevent internal reflection, or interference, at the roof-edge surface.
Mechanically, there are a few niceties with the Peregrine that are immediately apparent. First are the twist-up eyepieces with soft rubber eyecups for use with or without eyeglasses. The cups are teardrop-shaped to conform around the user’s eyes, acting as sidelight screens. There is about 13/4 inches of interpupilary adjustment, and the left ocular has an adjustable diopter to calibrate the binocular to individual eyesight.
Physically, Peregrines offer light weight and strength afforded by the magnesium barrels. The barrels and their joining hinge are cast of one piece for added strength and to assure perfect colli
mation, or alignment, of the two barrels. Without perfect alignment, users can see a “double image.”
Other physical attributes worthy of mention include Steiner’s “NANO” hydrophobic lens coating. This coating causes water to bead up and roll off the lenses. Further protecting Peregrines from the elements is nitrogen filling to prevent internal fogging. Steiner’s unique two-valve system protects seals during filling and reduces air content within the binocular to a minimum.
A binocular should be chosen with no less attention to quality and detail as one would when choosing a rifle, a scope, or a hunting outfitter. When one considers quality and the lifetime of use a binocular can provide, the features offered by the Steiner Peregrine become obvious.