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Steiner 8 x 56 Nighthunter/Shadow Quest

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Old Friday 5th October 2018, 22:47   #1
Anansi
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Steiner 8 x 56 Nighthunter/Shadow Quest

Does anyone have one of these? If you do, how are they for glassing? Are they easy to hold? How is their view? I'm sure they would be very good in low light conditions, but would like to get some input on this too.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 08:10   #2
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Anansi,

I got one of those and like it a lot (I have mixed feelings about Steiner in general, they sure know how to make good binos, and some of them are very good, but some are really not convincing; the new Nighthunter belongs to the first group).

There are some recent threads on CloudyNights about the ShadowQuest / Nighthunter, see e.g.

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...y-impressions/

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...t#entry8829419

Overall, Steiner seems to have done a good job with the Nighthunter.

Canip

Last edited by Canip : Saturday 6th October 2018 at 08:14.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 23:08   #3
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Anansi,

I got one of those and like it a lot (I have mixed feelings about Steiner in general, they sure know how to make good binos, and some of them are very good, but some are really not convincing; the new Nighthunter belongs to the first group).

There are some recent threads on CloudyNights about the ShadowQuest / Nighthunter, see e.g.

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...y-impressions/

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...t#entry8829419

Overall, Steiner seems to have done a good job with the Nighthunter.

Canip
Thanks for this information. Albinos also gave them (same binocular, only named Nighthunter instead of Shadow Quest), a very good review also.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 18:37   #4
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From Question section, ShadowQuest 8x56 page, Steiner website (copying):

[Question:] Is the 8x56 shadowquest the same as the 8x56 nighthunter of recent vintage?

["Steiner Rep":] They are similar in design and function. They are both Porro prism binoculars with sport auto focus. The new Shadowquest have completely different glass that allows greater light transmission.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 19:11   #5
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From Question section, ShadowQuest 8x56 page, Steiner website (copying):

[Question:] Is the 8x56 shadowquest the same as the 8x56 nighthunter of recent vintage?

["Steiner Rep":] They are similar in design and function. They are both Porro prism binoculars with sport auto focus. The new Shadowquest have completely different glass that allows greater light transmission.
That is the very concept that pushed me over the edge into writing about optics and kept Steiner out of my shop for 15 years. There is no non-electronic AUTO-FOCUS binocular. AUTO-BOGUS is more to the point.

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 02:55   #6
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From what I wrote on the ShadowQuest 8x56 in another thread:
- - -
Yet reviews somehow back the claim. One in Steiner's (own) website comments: "...with Sports-Auto-Focus make it much easier to use This lets you pick up moving objects faster. Excellent focus free that I have been wanting for years...", and another review in a leading online retailer's site says: "I love the AutoFocus".
- - -

Somewhere I read that this model is sharp from 20 m to infinity when the focus is set (separately for left and right) for the user. Can anyone comment on this lesser distance figure from experience? It seems to me to be on the low side.

Bill, could you please expand a bit on "kept Steiner out of my shop", if you can do so without the stress of going intomode again? Sorry if it has been mentioned and I have forgotten that you were involved with sales as well as repair and restoring of binoculars.

Last edited by adhoc : Sunday 14th October 2018 at 12:25. Reason: Syntax in first sentence.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 05:27   #7
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The way I see it, the Sports-Auto-Focus is just more hype individual eye focus, some baloney sales talk. I disregard most of the Co. sales pitch. Steiner can even make a good binocular.

From Steiner's Shadow Quest page: (Steiner Statement),

The Shadow Quest is not US exclusive per se, just the name. In Europe they are called Nighthunters. Otherwise, they are identical
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 06:15   #8
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That answer is by "Steiner Tech Support" who are presumably more correct on technical matters than "Steiner Rep". It is "2 months ago". The "Steiner Rep" answer is "a year ago". I had saved it some time back, but before copying it above checked and confirmed that it is still there on the website. I missed that particular later posting. Perhaps "recent vintage" was taken to mean an earlier version of NightHunter.

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 16:21   #9
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If one sets left and right sides to different focus distances, one can indeed increase the depth of field.

One also increases the depth of headaches with prolonged viewing.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 19:15   #10
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Fantastic transmission graph

https://www.allbinos.com/320-binocul...56_(2016).html

For a 16 year old with large eye accommodation of many dioptres these would have a large apparent depth of field. This shrinks with age though and individual eye focus turns into a real pain for someone of middle age like me.

The large exit pupil diameter of 7mm is nice to have but on average the maximum pupil diameter of the dark adapted eye dips bellow 7mm from 30 years old, and generally around 5mm at 50

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 23:24   #11
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IMO the claim of "Sports-Auto-Focus" is blatant BS and has probably done Steiner more harm than good.

The depth of field of a binocular is inversely proportional to the square of its magnification. i.e. under the same circumstances and distance of a focussed object, a 7x bin would have double the depth of field as a 10x bin.

This can be vsiualized if one considers point sources in the field in front of and behind the focussed object. These show as circles of confusion in the focused plane of the objective, which are then magnified by the eyepiece. For a given objective the magnification is inversely proportional to the focal length of the eyepiece and so the diameters of the circles of confusion increase linearly with magnification, and their apparent areas with the square of magnification.

Of course, DOF decreases at shorter focussed distances and there are other factors affecting the perceived DOF, such as light levels (eye pupil diameter) and the gearing of the focusser, in which a slow focusser will give the impression of greater DOF.

John
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 01:06   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
From what I wrote on the ShadowQuest 8x56 in another thread:
- - -
Yet reviews somehow back the claim. One in Steiner's (own) website comments: "...with Sports-Auto-Focus make it much easier to use This lets you pick up moving objects faster. Excellent focus free that I have been wanting for years...", and another review in a leading online retailer's site says: "I love the AutoFocus".
- - -

Somewhere I read that this model is sharp from 20 m to infinity when the focus is set (separately for left and right) for the user. Can anyone comment on this lesser distance figure from experience? It seems to me to be on the low side.

Bill, could you please expand a bit on "kept Steiner out of my shop", if you can do so without the stress of going intomode again? Sorry if it has been mentioned and I have forgotten that you were involved with sales as well as repair and restoring of binoculars.
Hey, I don't think I ever used that graphic, before. For today—I'm heading out the door in 5 minutes—but I will send you more, tomorrow. For now, let me quote Tringa45 ... "IMO the claim of 'Sports-Auto-Focus is blatant BS."

Bill
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 03:46   #13
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Thanks John. Yesterday in another thread I commented on this model and a basic fact about depth of field implied above, that it is pretty much the same in all 8xs of very good optical quality. The users' remarks I quote above here surprise me. I would guess that they have had experience with binoculars because if someone spends $900 on an unwieldy model it is not their first. Maybe they used only 10x before. Else it seems they were going by the ad/s!

Last edited by adhoc : Monday 15th October 2018 at 15:08. Reason: Expanded 2nd sentence after Binastro's post below!
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 13:07   #14
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Hi John, post 11.

Could you please explain further, perhaps with a diagram, why the depth of field increases inversely with the square of the magnification.
Also, why is the area of the circles of confusion relevant and not their diameters?

Regards,
B.

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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 17:53   #15
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Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
From what I wrote on the ShadowQuest 8x56 in another thread:
- - -
Yet reviews somehow back the claim. One in Steiner's (own) website comments: "...with Sports-Auto-Focus make it much easier to use This lets you pick up moving objects faster. Excellent focus free that I have been wanting for years...", and another review in a leading online retailer's site says: "I love the AutoFocus".
- - -

Somewhere I read that this model is sharp from 20 m to infinity when the focus is set (separately for left and right) for the user. Can anyone comment on this lesser distance figure from experience? It seems to me to be on the low side.

Bill, could you please expand a bit on "kept Steiner out of my shop", if you can do so without the stress of going intomode again? Sorry if it has been mentioned and I have forgotten that you were involved with sales as well as repair and restoring of binoculars.
Steiner was kept out of the shop because of dubious ad campaigns and the shuck-and-jive way they had of promoting their products. Only when Swen Harms of Pioneer Marketing (then the Steiner importer) promised to let me sell them MY way did I agree to take on the line.

Their primary market is mariners and Captain’s was a goto store for mariners, especially commercial fishermen, in the Northwest. And ANYTHING with a German-sounding name HAD to be the best ... right? But, popular or not, my gig was to TEACH ... not take advantage of all they didn’t know.

But although I contracted with the best optical companies in the world, Captain’s Nautical Supplies sold in 2014, changed its name in 2016 (now just Captain’s Supplies), and is supplanting everything in optics I fought so hard to establish. Thus, the waters have closed over my head and the mariners can now buy plenty of Asian Steiners, there.

Anyway, the attached 3 screenshots will tell the other part of the story you queried about.

Bill

PS Yes, I know some reviews back them. But, I also know 100% of the binocular "collimation tips" I have seen so far—and that's several—ARE WRONG! Some experts ... AREN'T!
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 05:19   #16
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Thank you Bill!

From those pages of (I assume) your book I finally understand why those users I quoted wrote what they did. Also I had forgotten about dioptric accommodation in younger users, and was not aware that it was so much.

From the outset I did know that it is not possible for this model to have a greater distance back from infinity in focus than other 8xs of very good optical quality. But I thought maybe Steiner provided guidance, in the user manual, to more easily find a setting where an impressive range seems to be in focus (as I said, about this model, in a thread on the new Minox 8x56).

The history in your post above is so interesting, and in the book should be even more so of course.

Congratulations on the book. I had put off buying it but will do so soon.

Last edited by adhoc : Tuesday 16th October 2018 at 12:07.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 12:04   #17
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Adhoc, Binastro,

In retrospect I think I approached this from the wrong direction in relating different circles of confusion to a specific distance instead of different distances to specific circles of confusion.
Holger Merlitz offers an explanation for the inverse square law with a diagram and the mathematical calculations on pages 28-30 of his book, "Hand-Ferngläser", but AFAIK it's not available in English. If and when I have inwardly digested this, I think it is beyond my capabilities to condense it into a forum post :(.

John
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 17:57   #18
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Originally Posted by adhoc View Post
Thank you Bill!

From those pages of (I assume) your book I finally understand why those users I quoted wrote what they did. Also I had forgotten about dioptric accommodation in younger users, and was not aware that it was so much.

From the outset I did know that it is not possible for this model to have a greater distance back from infinity in focus than other 8xs of very good optical quality. But I thought maybe Steiner provided guidance, in the user manual, to more easily find a setting where an impressive range seems to be in focus (as I said, about this model, in a thread on the new Minox 8x56).

The history in your post above is so interesting, and in the book should be even more so of course.

Congratulations on the book. I had put off buying it but will do so soon.
Why not buy a case ... they're small?

Bill
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 21:21   #19
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Small? I thought I was getting value for money!
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 21:48   #20
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Small? I thought I was getting value for money!
[i]
It was a joke? It's 196 pages. My latest LARGE book purchase was The Bully Pulpit. It's about TR and Taft. I like small books for the same reason I like quotes; you can get a lot into a small space. I feel I may have The Bully Pulpit read before I die.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 05:11   #21
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Well if your earlier comment was a joke then that was a joke. :-) Also I am having a problem with your question marks. ? And what's with the [i]? Bill, I know a lot more about your book, have read much on it in this and other forums, and one thing remembered was "[about?] 200 pages".

About the large book you bought I looked up info on the internet and one reviewer says it could/should be 2 books (one on TR+Taft, the other on whatever, journalism at that time I think).

A couple/several times before this you have generously posted other pages on here for our benefit. Well if we provoke you as above from time to time on varied topics we can read it all here in installments without buying it! Hope sales are going well--though the subject is not the most popular. Actually I might buy two, one for a friend involved with binoculars.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 08:49   #22
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Well if your earlier comment was a joke then that was a joke. :-) Also I am having a problem with your question marks. ? And what's with the [i]? Bill, I know a lot more about your book, have read much on it in this and other forums, and one thing remembered was "[about?] 200 pages".

About the large book you bought I looked up info on the internet and one reviewer says it could/should be 2 books (one on TR+Taft, the other on whatever, journalism at that time I think).

A couple/several times before this you have generously posted other pages on here for our benefit. Well if we provoke you as above from time to time on varied topics we can read it all here in installments without buying it! Hope sales are going well--though the subject is not the most popular. Actually I might buy two, one for a friend involved with binoculars.
I don’t know what you mean about the question marks. As for the other, it was a typo. Earlier, I said Davis Bushnell when I meant DAVID Bushnell. If you have a stroke, you can do that too ... all too often.

At one time or another, almost everything in my book has been given away—in spades. I started it to help my neighbor. The book just puts it in one place.

In the foreword of the book, I say:

“... Finally, as an old guy with a handicap, knowing I can now cut, paste, and press a button to answer most of the questions coming my way makes me very happy. If necessity is the “mother of invention,” then surely laziness is the father ... ”

But I have to be careful not to offend. If Carl Sagan had promoted Cosmos on this forum, no one would have raised an eyebrow. ‘Same with Dr. Hawking. Had he promoted A Brief History of Time no one would have said a word. But while I have taught folks about binoculars at the UAs Center for Optical Sciences and lectured optical engineers of SPIE, some folks get wrapped around the axle thinking I’m profiteering. Anyone who thinks you’re going to make any real money writing about binoculars shouldn’t be allowed to drive. During the 10 years I published ATM Journal, I lost $22,000 and 2 expensive Rickenbacker guitars. I am a glutton for punishment if it means helping my neighbor. There are those who frequent this forum who can back that up. I realize the forum is about opinions. But from time to time, I don’t think a little meat born out of experience should be a bad thing.

I’m glad that guy in the photo didn’t think so.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 13:48   #23
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Adhoc, what binoculars do you actually own and use on a regular basis? just curious.

Andy W.

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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 17:46   #24
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June 3rd
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Adhoc,

If I may ask, what other binoculars do have and use?

Andy W.
Reply, June 3rd [Current position in red and square brackets]

From a post by me on Feb. 22 this year in a Zeiss thread:
- - - - - - - - - -
The Victory Pocket 8x25 is now the only binocular I use, and will probably remain so except for one more in 15x or 12x for higher x and for dim light. The text below I posted a year back (in another thread) and my needs remain the same.

"I have now had binoculars in 6,7,8,10,12,16x and 24,25,30,32,40,42,43,50,56,70 mm, which I have given away or sold. But for years my only optics for bird watching, conservation and ornithology, day and night, in varied habitats, was a small 8x25 Nikon. It was very rarely felt to be inadequate."

That period ended 7-8 years ago. Then I discovered fine optics! BirdForum was one source. Today that Nikon is not quite good enough for me. But it seems that I have found the replacement.
- - - - - - - - - -

- Alpen Teton 15x50 on the way (I do not like to use a monocular scope)

If the Alpen disappoints then I go for
- Meopta MeoStar-HD 12x50, OR
- Leupold ProGuide-BX4 12x50 [No, instead:
- Bushnell Engage 12x50]


Tempted also by
- Leica Ultravid-Plus 7x42 OR
- Nikon Monarch-HG 8x42
which will make the total 3.
[(Also tempted by)
- An 8x56 of very good optical quality,
which will make it 4.]


- Slik Lighty monopod for the high-x instrument (already arrived)

- Leica Ultravid 10x25 "left over", almost never used, may go
- Hawke Sapphire 8x25, "car bino", but currently misplaced(!)

Last to go, both in Feb. this year, after a few days of use, given away
- Nikon Monarch-5 12x42
- Bushnell Legend-M 8x42.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 22:16   #25
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If the Alpens do not work out, I would opt for the Leopold or Meopta. I procured a 10X50 Engage, while I like the Bushnell Forge models in 8 and 10X42, the Engage 10X50 states that there is 15 mm ER, the eye-cups are too short for the provided ER, so I would assume the 12X50s are about the same. Optically, you would not be impressed.

The Monarch 8X42 is a nice glass, and while the eye-cups fit my facial features well, many have complained of them being a bit large in diameter. Nice wide field of view, but it is no SF.

Andy W.
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