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Steiner Wildlife XP 8X44.... (1 Viewer)

chill6x6

Well-known member
I have been curious about this Wildlife XP 8X44 for quite a while. It's always "seemed" like it competes with some of alpha-class binoculars. Retail price certainly does as Steiner list the MSRP as $2299.99. I believe around the first of the year I saw it on "sale" for around $899.00 and here lately even less. Amazon currently has it for $859.99, Europtic $1199.00, and B&H has a used one for $1099.00. I actually purchased this binocular new for $550.00. I've always assumed this was the same binocular as the Peregrine XP 8X44 and was renamed the Wildlife XP but I'm uncertain. The Peregrine seemed to have had some good things to say about it here and there.

STATS
Weight(actual)- 29.7 ounces
Listed FOV- [email protected]
Close focus- 6(feet I assume)

Binocular is packaged really nicely. Actually has a seal on the so the purchaser knows if it is REALLY brand new or not. Case is excellent as well. Straight out of the box the Wildlife XP comes across as a VERY well made binocular. I've used it only for about three months and I can't find fault with it's construction. The armoring, hinge tension, eyecup adjustment, etc seems to be in good order. Eyecups can be a little wobbly but this didn't really bother me. You ever have high hopes for a binocular? I did this one!

Let's start with the focus adjustment. It started out firm but has lightened up some and is smooth and slack free. One thing is for sure...it is the FASTEST focus adjustment I've ever had in my hand. Literally just short of 360 degrees lock to lock. Most will probably think this is too fast and it probably is. There seems to not be a lot let over after focusing at infinity but since the focus is so fast there may be more left than I think. So let's talk about diopter adjustment. On this model BOTH eyepieces have a diopter adjustment similar to an IF binocular. So this confuses me. How can I adjustment the diopter for EACH eye individually on a binocular with a focus adjustment? I'm sure there is a WAY but I don't know how to do it. This may be beneficial to those what require a lot of adjustment but it isn't for me. I kept the left eyepiece on "0" and adjusted the right as normal.

This binocular includes built-in eye cup "wings" I suppose to reduce glare. This is the first binocular I've ever owned that had such. They fold nicely down, out of the way which I did. I hardly notice they are any different from binoculars without these "wings."
(con't)
 

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chill6x6

Well-known member
In the field....

The first time I used this binocular it was an overcast day. I thought the image quality was good. Good color and very bright. Focusing is so fast it's hard to explain. I can make it work but it really it is a little too fast especially with the medium effort required to focus. The Wildlife XP is very comfortable to hold and use. It's a larger binocular but handles very nicely. One thing I wanted to verify was the very large listed FOV of 436ft. I grabbed my Swarovski SLC 8X42 which is listed as having a FOV of 408ft and compared. Well...for certain the FOV of the Wildlife XP is less than the SLC. So next I grabbed up my Vanguard ED II 8X42 which list FOV as 377ft. That pretty much a dead ringer FOV for the Steiner. Perhaps it is SLIGHTLY more but certainly not the 408ft of the SLC and ESPECIALLY not the Steiner listed FOV of 436ft. Hmmmm...

I took the Steiner along as my primary binocular for several trips. As the sun came out the Achilles heel of the Wildlife XP started to show its face. Gare. I've owned a lot of binoculars but nothing quite like this. In fact on a bright, sunny day the glare is so much of an issue that overall color presentation is off. In fact if viewing a bird in the lower third of the FOV at times the bird can almost be unidentifiable. I'm NOT kidding. I could make it work but it wasn't pretty. As long as overcast or in heavy foliage there wasn't so much of an issue. But in the sun, look out. The last day I used these binoculars I had used the SLCs in the morning and picked up the Steiners later that day. I'm talking a NIGHT and DAY difference in glare and color. After about 10 minutes of usage I went back to the Jeep, swapped back to the SLCs and that was that. To sum up...the Wildlife XP has the worst glare of ANY binocular I've ever owned. So THAT'S why the eyecup wings are there! So basically I quit testing or using the Wildlife XP at that point. I was curious about the glare though so...

I took a few rough pictures of the exit pupil of the Wildlife XP. Both exit pupils do appear to be truncated with the right one more so. As you can see the exit pupil are very bright and just SLIGHTLY off axis a spike of shows up at the bottom of the FOV. Is this a $2000 binocular? While the exterior seems well made and LOOKS to feature excellent glass and AR coatings the internals come across as sub-par.

I expected a lot from this binocular. I expected a lot considering the MSRP of this binocular and some of the current retail prices of this binocular. It seems like a quality instrument in the hand. I guess I can be tricked. Considering the amount of glare it demonstrates I certainly can't recommend it even for the $550.00 price I paid. I don't say this very often and only one other binocular has ranked this low for me. As it is I rank this binocular as....

FAIL...not recommended.
 

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WJC

Well-known member
In the field....

The first time I used this binocular it was an overcast day. I thought the image quality was good. Good color and very bright. Focusing is so fast it's hard to explain. I can make it work but it really it is a little too fast especially with the medium effort required to focus. The Wildlife XP is very comfortable to hold and use. It's a larger binocular but handles very nicely. One thing I wanted to verify was the very large listed FOV of 436ft. I grabbed my Swarovski SLC 8X42 which is listed as having a FOV of 408ft and compared. Well...for certain the FOV of the Wildlife XP is less than the SLC. So next I grabbed up my Vanguard ED II 8X42 which list FOV as 377ft. That pretty much a dead ringer FOV for the Steiner. Perhaps it is SLIGHTLY more but certainly not the 408ft of the SLC and ESPECIALLY not the Steiner listed FOV of 436ft. Hmmmm.

I took the Steiner along as my primary binocular for several trips. As the sun came out the Achilles heel of the Wildlife XP started to show its face. Gare. I've owned a lot of binoculars but nothing quite like this. In fact on a bright, sunny day the glare is so much of an issue that overall color presentation is off. In fact if viewing a bird in the lower third of the FOV at times the bird can almost be unidentifiable. I'm NOT kidding. I could make it work but it wasn't pretty. As long as overcast or in heavy foliage there wasn't so much of an issue. But in the sun, look out. The last day I used these binoculars I had used the SLCs in the morning and picked up the Steiners later that day. I'm talking a NIGHT and DAY difference in glare and color. After about 10 minutes of usage I went back to the Jeep, swapped back to the SLCs and that was that. To sum up...the Wildlife XP has the worst glare of ANY binocular I've ever owned. So THAT'S why the eyecup wings are there! So basically I quit testing or using the Wildlife XP at that point. I was curious about the glare though so...

I took a few rough pictures of the exit pupil of the Wildlife XP. Both exit pupils do appear to be truncated with the right one more so. As you can see the exit pupil are very bright and just SLIGHTLY off axis a spike of shows up at the bottom of the FOV. Is this a $2000 binocular? While the exterior seems well made and LOOKS to feature excellent glass and AR coatings the internals come across as sub-par.

I expected a lot from this binocular. I expected a lot considering the MSRP of this binocular and some of the current retail prices of this binocular. It seems like a quality instrument in the hand. I guess I can be tricked. Considering the amount of glare it demonstrates I certainly can't recommend it even for the $550.00 price I paid. I don't say this very often and only one other binocular has ranked this low for me. As it is I rank this binocular as....

FAIL...not recommended.

Hi Chuck,

Judging from the two photos, you seem to have an error in alignment that's greater than most spatial accommodations could easily handle—at least if you were holding the camera at the same angle. :cat:

Bill
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
Hi Chuck,

Judging from the two photos, you seem to have an error in alignment that's greater than most spatial accommodations could easily handle—at least if you were holding the camera at the same angle. :cat:

Bill

Hey Bill,

Exit pupil picture one is on axis. Picture #2 IS slightly off axis to show one of the sources of glare.
Does that help?

I have the same bino--and also paid much less than the 2K MSRP.

I have not had any issues as you describe--and find them very pleasant to use.

Heavy though--the focus does not seem to be as fast as you describe--perhaps opinions vary.

Any chance your's is defective?

Sure there's a chance it could be defective. When you turn your focus how many degrees/turns does it actually turn? Mine is almost exactly 360 degrees.

I am happy you got a good unit. Perhaps mine is defective...
 

Steve C

Well-known member
About 10 years ago, I did a review on the near identical Steiner Peregrine XP, but the one I had was typical right eye only diopter. I remember the fov being as described ,but the then advertised fov was 390'. Yes the focus was pretty fast too. I got the review unit through CameralandNY just after Doug became a Steiner dealer.

I liked it quite a bit and nearly bought it. It did not show the glare and the exit pupils were uniformly round.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
About 10 years ago, I did a review on the near identical Steiner Peregrine XP, but the one I had was typical right eye only diopter. I remember the fov being as described ,but the then advertised fov was 390'. Yes the focus was pretty fast too. I got the review unit through CameralandNY just after Doug became a Steiner dealer.

I liked it quite a bit and nearly bought it. It did not show the glare and the exit pupils were uniformly round.

Hmmmm. Maybe I need to return mine. Most of the good reviews I have read here and there ARE actually for the Peregrine XP. THAT'S what had me thinking maybe the internals were different with the Wildlife XP after using this one.
 

CharleyBird

Well-known member
England
If I recall correctly, the Wildlife XP is a Chinese made binocular, the older Discovery/Peregrine XP model was proudly labelled Made in Germany. Reviews that I recall reading reckoned the newer Wildlife is not as good despite looking so very similar except for white logo instead of the Discovery gold. I've never tried them.

The three pair of Discovery I've bought I think are very good, with double dioptre, but all display flare especially near to low sun.
In spite of the robust casing, after ten years I've had problems in recent months with two pairs...a pretty catastrophic full length crack in the left plastic ocular casing, so that when you twist the eyepiece out into position the crack would open and the eyepiece could be twisted off.
Steiner service response was immediate and very good, 5 week turnaround during lockdown; and they have a lifetime warranty.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Chuck,

I thought I'd chime in with what meager little I know of these type of Steiners.
1. They seem to have labeled the same basic 44mm binocular different things in different markets over time - Peregrine XP, Discovery XP, Wildlife XP. I wonder if they are all made in the same place - I seem to recall there was a MIC model introduced though I think that was 42mm. Have you actually measured the objective diameter ? and shone a torch down the objectives ? There may be minor tweakages here and there - you'd have to ask an insider to find out what when where and why.
2. Fov. I believe this is a simple case of the infamous Imperial/SI units conversion snafu.
Basically I have seen Fov figures of 130-133m @1km, which seems about right. If quoted properly this becomes 390-399ft @1kyd in those markets that still operate in cubits and furlongs ! ;)
If done incorrectly, some wet behind the ears whippersnapper (or possibly a HunTer ;) - lol :) will figure that 1m = 3.28ft roughly and straight out multiply it to arrive at an Fov of 426-436ft which is then quoted at the Imperial industry standard @ 1kyd. This will then get plastered all over the interwebs to confuse the issue.

This is the story with your unit.
So while it might be accurate to say Fov is ~436ft (133m) at 1000m (1094yds or 3282ft) ......it is most definitely not accurate to say that the same Fov is ~436ft at 914m (1000yds or 3000ft).

The industry convention on Fov is:
m @ 1000m or
ft @ 1000yds.

To get the ft @ 1000yds then by similar triangles just simply multiply the m @ 1000m by 3.

8x44 Impressions (tested over a day ~4 years ago)
Conditions:- overcast - sorry, but I'm probably not going to be able to comment on the thing you want to know the most - glare. I didn't really observe any in normal viewing (I didn't specifically go looking for it either). I didn't specifically check for truncated pupils or vignetting, but I noticed nothing untoward offhand - and my visual system with glasses is reasonably finicky.
Mechanical:
CCW to infinity focuser. This for me is a massive turn-off and a deal breaker. I knew then I'd never buy one.
I actually like a 1 turn fast focuser, so that part of the equation wasn't an issue.
Weight - felt heavy. It felt like holding two steel tubes.
The incarnation I tested seemed to have minimal armouring (none of the later Darth Vader type looks !). As such, the tubes actually felt quite skinny in my hands. It gave a solid impression.
Ergonomics:
A reasonable amount of real estate between the tubes, though I don't really like those little plastic/rubber focus wheels. I've felt worse handling bins. To be honest nothing feels as good as the Zen ED3.
Optics:
Surprisingly large sweet spot and field flatness compared to say a Zeiss Conquest HD. In fact it reminded me a little of the Nikon MHG that would follow years later.
CA control: quite good in the sweet spot.
Colour cast: definite cream colour cast noted. More than an 8.5x44 Swift Audubon ED for instance, but not as offensive as the dirty dishwater of the Zeiss Conquest HD.
Resolution: quite good, sharper than many entry level offerings - not quite at the standards of a Zeiss SF say.
Contrast: in the conditions tried I thought it was pretty good. Not up to top alpha glass like a Zeiss HT or Swarovski SV, but ahead of many entry and mid range offerings. I certainly never experienced the colour washouts you mentioned, in fact I thought colour saturation was better than a lot of other mid level bins.
Subjective market assessment: I don't think this competes with the alpha offerings of today, but as a sub $1000 bin it certainly has some plusses.

$550 seems like a good price for this bin - but I wonder if there is something wrong with your unit ?







Chosun :gh:
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Hmmmm. Maybe I need to return mine. Most of the good reviews I have read here and there ARE actually for the Peregrine XP. THAT'S what had me thinking maybe the internals were different with the Wildlife XP after using this one.

When you are dealing with what I assume to be discounted purchases of discontinued items, if you return it you may well get another one. Send it back to dealer and somebody else is likely to get it. Most dealers are not prepared to deal with service unless they send it back to the factory. If you send it back, you know what happened. Send it to Steiner and check out factory service. Bill is right. it sounds like you have something out of whack, either the collimation of one barrel is off, magnification of one barrel is out of spec...something is not right it sounds to me like.

I will say that in my personal experience glare is mainly a function of ergonomic fit between user and binocular. Yes, there can be poor design attributes that will contribute. I would expect design and construction at the level that binocular was sold at to be least likely. So my thinking says poor user/binocular fit or out of whack instrument. You likely have a good enough feel for binoculars that you know far better than I if fit is the issue.

This was before the SV EL, but as far as I could tell the Peregrine I had was the full equal of the EL.
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
When you are dealing with what I assume to be discounted purchases of discontinued items,.....

Interesting that these are listed on the Steiner website for $2299.99 ! - though you have to go through the main binocular selector. It seems they have every category of usage except birding !
*EDIT: in their spring clearance sale they are listing the 10x44 as discontinued, with some 'open box' units going for less than half price.
https://store.steiner-optics.com/co...ucts/wildlife-xp-10x44?variant=32384115081309

For both the 8x and 10x ,
If you look at the specs, then they claim 'fluoride' lenses - saying "Ultra-high-definition optics ground from fluoride glass".

Some of the questions being asked may be answered in the comments and questions section below (though how accurate those answers are I don't know - some are from the tech support, some older ones from customer service).

1. They specify all Steiner bins are "Made in Germany" ...... though as we have discovered and discussed many times before that may legally entail getting a Made in China bin - giving it the once over and putting the final sticker on only, in Germany. I don't know where the truth lies with these .......

2. They say that "the Wildlife XP is the updated replacement for the Peregrine XP".
In the 10x44 Q&A section they say:
"SteinerOptics3 · 4 years ago

The Wildlife XP is a much newer model, and built with a few minor improvements to the older Peregrine XP"

Interesting to note that there is more than one complaint about repeated failures of eye cups ......

3. In the 10x44 question section they state that the body is constructed of "Makrolon"

4. They are adamant the Fov is 436ft @ 1000yds. I am adamant it is not !
It seems confusion is rampant at Steiner - in the 10x44 Q&A they state:
"SteinerCustomerService · 5 years ago

367 feet is equal to 112 meters."

And while 367ft is indeed 112m, when it comes to Fov it most certainly is not ! (336ft ~ 112m, just as with the 8x44 - 399ft ~ 133m)


https://www.steiner-optics.com/binoculars/wildlife-xp-8x44








Chosun :gh:
 
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chill6x6

Well-known member
Too bad a side by side comparision cannot be made.

I just went outside and could not find any glare issues--I literally tried in bright sunshine, shade into sunshine, sunshine looking into shade, etc.

My focus is about 360--you were correct--I never noticed this until you made mention--

I get a nice warm image with very little distortion or CA

Thanks for the info....yours sound fine!

If I recall correctly, the Wildlife XP is a Chinese made binocular, the older Discovery/Peregrine XP model was proudly labelled Made in Germany. Reviews that I recall reading reckoned the newer Wildlife is not as good despite looking so very similar except for white logo instead of the Discovery gold. I've never tried them.

The three pair of Discovery I've bought I think are very good, with double dioptre, but all display flare especially near to low sun.
In spite of the robust casing, after ten years I've had problems in recent months with two pairs...a pretty catastrophic full length crack in the left plastic ocular casing, so that when you twist the eyepiece out into position the crack would open and the eyepiece could be twisted off.
Steiner service response was immediate and very good, 5 week turnaround during lockdown; and they have a lifetime warranty.

Thanks for the info. I can't see where the Wildlife XP is made anywhere. Steiner "claims" made in Germany. Who know theses days! Sounds like good service.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
When you are dealing with what I assume to be discounted purchases of discontinued items, if you return it you may well get another one. Send it back to dealer and somebody else is likely to get it. Most dealers are not prepared to deal with service unless they send it back to the factory. If you send it back, you know what happened. Send it to Steiner and check out factory service. Bill is right. it sounds like you have something out of whack, either the collimation of one barrel is off, magnification of one barrel is out of spec...something is not right it sounds to me like.

I will say that in my personal experience glare is mainly a function of ergonomic fit between user and binocular. Yes, there can be poor design attributes that will contribute. I would expect design and construction at the level that binocular was sold at to be least likely. So my thinking says poor user/binocular fit or out of whack instrument. You likely have a good enough feel for binoculars that you know far better than I if fit is the issue.

This was before the SV EL, but as far as I could tell the Peregrine I had was the full equal of the EL.

I don't think you'd be thinking this one was EL good LOL! That little reflection right at the exit pupil probably ruins what would be a very good binocular. I'm not really one to notice glare that much. It's really quite a contrast how good this binocular seems in overcast conditions vs. a sunny day.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Chuck,

I thought I'd chime in with what meager little I know of these type of Steiners.
1. They seem to have labeled the same basic 44mm binocular different things in different markets over time - Peregrine XP, Discovery XP, Wildlife XP. I wonder if they are all made in the same place - I seem to recall there was a MIC model introduced though I think that was 42mm. Have you actually measured the objective diameter ? and shone a torch down the objectives ? There may be minor tweakages here and there - you'd have to ask an insider to find out what when where and why.
2. Fov. I believe this is a simple case of the infamous Imperial/SI units conversion snafu.
Basically I have seen Fov figures of 130-133m @1km, which seems about right. If quoted properly this becomes 390-399ft @1kyd in those markets that still operate in cubits and furlongs ! ;)
If done incorrectly, some wet behind the ears whippersnapper (or possibly a HunTer ;) - lol :) will figure that 1m = 3.28ft roughly and straight out multiply it to arrive at an Fov of 426-436ft which is then quoted at the Imperial industry standard @ 1kyd. This will then get plastered all over the interwebs to confuse the issue.

This is the story with your unit.
So while it might be accurate to say Fov is ~436ft (133m) at 1000m (1094yds or 3282ft) ......it is most definitely not accurate to say that the same Fov is ~436ft at 914m (1000yds or 3000ft).

The industry convention on Fov is:
m @ 1000m or
ft @ 1000yds.

To get the ft @ 1000yds then by similar triangles just simply multiply the m @ 1000m by 3.

8x44 Impressions (tested over a day ~4 years ago)
Conditions:- overcast - sorry, but I'm probably not going to be able to comment on the thing you want to know the most - glare. I didn't really observe any in normal viewing (I didn't specifically go looking for it either). I didn't specifically check for truncated pupils or vignetting, but I noticed nothing untoward offhand - and my visual system with glasses is reasonably finicky.
Mechanical:
CCW to infinity focuser. This for me is a massive turn-off and a deal breaker. I knew then I'd never buy one.
I actually like a 1 turn fast focuser, so that part of the equation wasn't an issue.
Weight - felt heavy. It felt like holding two steel tubes.
The incarnation I tested seemed to have minimal armouring (none of the later Darth Vader type looks !). As such, the tubes actually felt quite skinny in my hands. It gave a solid impression.
Ergonomics:
A reasonable amount of real estate between the tubes, though I don't really like those little plastic/rubber focus wheels. I've felt worse handling bins. To be honest nothing feels as good as the Zen ED3.
Optics:
Surprisingly large sweet spot and field flatness compared to say a Zeiss Conquest HD. In fact it reminded me a little of the Nikon MHG that would follow years later.
CA control: quite good in the sweet spot.
Colour cast: definite cream colour cast noted. More than an 8.5x44 Swift Audubon ED for instance, but not as offensive as the dirty dishwater of the Zeiss Conquest HD.
Resolution: quite good, sharper than many entry level offerings - not quite at the standards of a Zeiss SF say.
Contrast: in the conditions tried I thought it was pretty good. Not up to top alpha glass like a Zeiss HT or Swarovski SV, but ahead of many entry and mid range offerings. I certainly never experienced the colour washouts you mentioned, in fact I thought colour saturation was better than a lot of other mid level bins.
Subjective market assessment: I don't think this competes with the alpha offerings of today, but as a sub $1000 bin it certainly has some plusses.

$550 seems like a good price for this bin - but I wonder if there is something wrong with your unit ?







Chosun :gh:

Chosen,

Thanks for the info. I'm certainly not one to go looking for glare. Quite frankly, I really don't "look" for issues with binoculars. But if they present themself... I never notice glare with the SV 8X32 although I did see it some with the SV 10X32.

They may make several different price points in the same frame. I have not measured the objective BUT it does seem larger than the SV 42mm.

I knew what had happened with the FOV....Leica does it and so does Zeiss. It looks like they want accurate specs! I guess when the error is to their favor it isn't such a big deal!!! That would have been a huge FOV for a 8X44!
 

dries1

Member
Chuck,

If I were you, I would get your money back, period. I am sure there are other things more worthwhile to spend that amount of cash on.

Andy W.
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
Chuck,

If I were you, I would get your money back, period. I am sure there are other things more worthwhile to spend that amount of cash on.

Andy W.

THAT'S probably good advice!

I'm going give Steiner the benefit of a doubt and return to them and see what they can do. Folks, there's no way you would get out of your car for a day of birding with these binoculars as is. You can trust me on that.

I MAY need to do the "mountain goat" test to make sure before sending back tho!!!
 

chill6x6

Well-known member
For what it's worth:

I have been told by a very reputable source that the binocular issues I have with my Wildlife XP is pretty much the status quo for this binocular. ALSO...that current Steiner roof prism binoculars are....made in China.

So it sounds like returning it to Steiner may be a futile effort although I think I'm going try anyway.
 
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