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Have you heard of the Steiner Peregrine XP binoculars? There were pretty good. The Steiner Wildlife XP binoculars are the new and improved version of the Peregrines.
If you are familiar with the Peregrine binoculars and know that an improved set of those are what you’re looking for, check the Wildlife XP binoculars out now at Amazon.
Those who aren’t aware of how good the Peregrines were may want to keep reading this review of the Wildlife XP series from Steiner. Soon you may also be wanting a pair of your own.
You can click a link in the box below to skip directly to that section. Otherwise, you can scroll and read as usual.
Which Binoculars Are in the Steiner Wildlife XP Line?
Originally there were just 2 versions of binoculars in the XP series – the 8×44 and the 10×44. In 2016, Steiner added 3 compact versions. These are the 8×24, the 10×26, and the 10.5×28 models.
Note that the 2 original models have a slightly larger objective lens – 44 millimeters in diameter instead of the more common 42 millimeters. The bigger lens allows more light to enter and pass through the binocular tubes for a brighter, clearer, more accurate picture of your target. Add to that the “premium” coatings and you get clear and bright images, even in poor light.
Compare that size with the 3 newer models, which have objective lenses measuring 24, 26, and 28 millimeters, and you can see why these are considered compact binoculars.
It seems that, even though you can get the largest compact model at Amazon, the 10.5x28s are normally only available in Europe. Steiner does not show them at Steiner-Optics.com, but you can find them at Steiner.de (their site based in Germany where the company has its headquarters).
Also note that the Wildlife XP are intended to replace the European version of the Peregrine line which was known as the Discovery models.
Commenting on their American site, a Steiner representative says this.
“The overall construction and lens/coating quality is *much* higher in the Wildlife XP – compared to the Champs.”
You can find out more about the Champ line of Steiner binoculars in this review.
What Do Owners Think of Their Wildlife XP Binoculars?
The vast majority of owners of Steiner Wildlife XP binoculars (any model) are very pleased with their purchase. So I will just give you one such example here.
One of those happy owners says this. (I corrected several misspellings of the brand names.)
“I looked through Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss, Meopta, Minox, and Kahles… all quality, near high end glass, but none felt as comfortable or had the edge to edge clarity as these Steiners.”
Another is pleased with the consideration Steiner gives his thumbs.
“I like the gel pads on the thumb pads and light weight.”
He’s referring to the ergonomic ComfortGrip thumb rests that Steiner gives you for secure handling under any weather conditions.
While discontented users are few and far between, there are a few small points some of them make that you should be aware of. These negative comments may not make a difference to you. On the other hand, one point might just be the item that turns you away from getting a pair of your own Steiner Wildlife XPs. It’s better to know about this now than after you have spent your money.
First is this comment on the zoom feature.
“On the zoom wheel, I would have thought the stop would have been the setting for infinite focus, but not the case… I had to max the individual diopters to get infinite zoom close to the stop for quick long distance focus.”
Speaking about the compact 8×24 model, one owner has this complaint.
“The case is way too big, flimsy, and not impressive.”
Perhaps the case is designed to fit more than one model. Since the 8×42 set is the smallest in the line, this would account for the additional space.
Then again, you could just use the extra capacity for storing related items like a cleaning cloth.
What Are the Differences Among the Wildlife XP Models?
As mentioned above, there are really two groups of binoculars in this line – the regular originals and the newer compacts. (I’ll only discuss the American compacts here.)
That said, there are really only a few ways to distinguish all (four) of these models from each other, so I’ll treat them as one group here.
Probably the most obvious difference is in their relative size. Here is the length (sometimes denoted as the height) and width in inches of each pair.
- 8×24 – 4.8 x 4
- 10×26 – 5.5 x 4.1
- 8×44 – 7.4 x 5
- 10×44 – 7.4 x 5
The first two, which are the compact models, should easily fit into your jacket pocket.
Notice that the larger pairs have the same measurements. Even though the one is more powerful than the other, they take up virtually the same amount of space.
Here is the weight in ounces of each model.
- 8×24 – 12.1
- 10×26 – 12.2
- 8×44 – 29.3
- 10×44 – 30
The most important point to remember here is that the larger sets weigh over twice as much as the compact binoculars. If you really want a lightweight set, go with one of the compact versions.
In addition to the lightweight design, there is a folding mechanism built into the larger sets that’s tough and compact.
All four models are waterproof, since they are nitrogen-filled, but the larger ones are rated to withstand harsher treatment. In feet, this is how deep you can safely submerge each of the Wildlife XPs.
- 8×24 – 6
- 10×26 – 6
- 8×44 – 16
- 10×44 – 16
Of course, you wouldn’t purposely dip your binoculars into water. It’s just nice to know that, should you accidentally drop them into a river, lake, or pond, your purchase will be safe as long as you can retrieve them fairly quickly.
Field of View
The field of view (FOV) is probably the most significant difference among these binoculars. First, here is the measurement in feet at the standard 1000 yards.
- 8×24 – 374
- 10×26 – 308
- 8×44 – 436
- 10×44 – 367
You can see that, as the magnification power increases (from 8x to 10x), the field of view decreases. This is natural and happens with all binoculars as you compare them to one another.
The wider the field of view, the easier you will find it to locate and track your target such as a bird or other animal.
The Steiner ClicLoc® system keeps your binoculars hanging straight and ready. You can releas them with push-button ease.
However, the harness is not included with your binoculars and is not compatible with the compact sets.
What Do All the Wildlife XP Models Have in Common?
There are several features that are common across the entire range of Wildlife XP binoculars. Some of them are true about all Steiner binoculars in general.
All of the XPs have a close focus of 6 feet. You wouldn’t want to use them to get really close to insects, but as the name suggests for most other wildlife they should work just fine.
Steiner designed what they call a Fast-Close-Focus wheel that has a quick, stepless rotation that gives you great sharpness with fewer turns.
You get eyepiece caps (sometimes known as rainguards), a neck strap, and a carrying case with each set of binoculars. Note that you do not get covers for the larger objective lenses.
The caps appear to be connected to each other but not tethered to the glasses.
Each pair is made of a durable polycarbonate Makrolon housing. All models are fogproof from -4° F. to +158° F. They are armored with non-slip NBR (Nitrile butadiene rubber) coating that’s impervious to oils, acids, and harsh conditions. They can take just about everything you might throw at them. But be nice to them anyway.
What’s the Verdict on the Steiner Wildlife XP Binoculars?
German quality and engineering really makes all the difference with any of Steiner’s binoculars. There is just something in the way they manufacture their binoculars that sets them at the top of their class, no matter which line, series, or model you care to name. So this is no different with the Steiner Wildlife XP binoculars.
You can safely choose any of these 4 models of binoculars and be satisfied with your purchase. So the only decision left, if you like the Wildlife XP line, is which one to pick.
If you want a compact pair, that cuts your choices in half. From there, it’s mostly a matter of how wide you want your FOV to be.
If, however, you have come to the conclusion that the Wildlife XP line is not for you, check out this comprehensive overview of the Steiner series. There’s bound to be another line that will tickle your fancy.