It seems to be an unsaid fact that some of the most renown optics manufacturers come from a single country - Germany. Some brands like Leica, Zeiss and Steiner remain favourite photographic and telescopic gear around the world, and rightly so, having handled products from these brands and compared it with others - they are quite a class above.
I tried asking Google(search) the reason for Leica, Zeiss and Steiner’s superiority in the optics industry. Nothing directly linked me to the reason of such excellent glass make, however from what I could deduce, Germany jumped on the glassmaking bandwagon in 1400s and it stayed a critical industry for the country. The Germans started way earlier than the Americans, English and Japanese. Their experience and technique is unrivalled.
Today, some of the best binoculars are produced by Zeiss and Steiner. I’ve waxed lyrical enough about Carl Zeiss Binoculars, and it is well deserving. However a younger brother to the Zeiss is Steiner, a specialist in Binocular technology that started in 1947 and deserves equal praise. Making an excellent product range from hunting to marine binoculars, Steiner may cost just a bit more than your Nikons or Burris but they are well worth it. Below I give a short review of two beautiful Steiner Binoculars.
Steiner SkyHawk Pro - For Birders (pictured above)
The Steiner SkyHawk Pro series is specially designed for birdwatchers. This particular set comes in the 8x or 10x (birdwatching standards) magnification and proportionately balanced with a 26-42mm aperture. The best pair in the lot is the Steiner SkyHawk Pro, 8x42. This pair is perfectly weighted, developed with a new series of optimised optical system and exceptionally durable with its new fiber-reinforced composite material.
Steiner Commander XP - For Boaters (pictured above)
This series is designed for the rough seas. Brilliantly armoured, no oils, acid or salt-water will deter if from some of the sharpest views in the world. Steiner themselves invented the compass binocular together with world class sailor, John Kostecki. The compass is HD-stabilized, fitted on the binocular. A reticle accompanying makes it possible to calculate size or distance precisely. A world class pair that is beloved by marines, is the Steiner Commander XP 7x50 Marine Binoculars. Of course, it comes with a compass.
I’ve handled these myself so I know they are top-class optics. Give them a go at your nearest binocular store, or some camera shops might also have them. I think you might be as suprised and awed as I was the first time I handled these babies. :)