Binoculars review

Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42

Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42
7 November 2011
Even several years ago the Ranger series, produced by the German Steiner company, consisted of five porro prism binoculars which were a cheaper alternative to the top-of-the-range Night Hunter instruments. Rangers’ quality was uneven. For example the 8x56 model we praised a lot by us but the 10x50 lost for a change in the big 10x50 binoculars test, conducted by our editorial office staff.

At the beginning of 2009 Steiner decided to substitute the Ranger series by new Ranger Pro binoculars. Not only the number of models was changed but also some of their basic parameters and the prism system as well. Currently the Ranger Pro series includes four devices with the following parameters: 8x32, 8x42, 10x42 and 8x56. All of these are roof prism Schmidt-Pechan instruments. They also feature very solid and original casings which are waterproof up to a depth of 3 meters, nitrogen-filled (with the possibility of refilling) and they can work in the temperature range from –20 to +80 degrees C.

All air-to-glass surfaces are multicoated and prisms – additionally phase corrected. The producer doesn’t specify what reflection coatings are covering the Schmidt-Pechan prisms, though. The buyer gets front caps, attached to the casing on special straps, a cloth hood for eyepieces, straps and a hard case. The binoculars comes with a 10-year guarantee period.

  • Lornetka Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42
  • Lornetka Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42
  • Lornetka Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42
  • Lornetka Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42
Manufacturer data


web site

Distribution / Sales:

Kaliber sp. z .o.o.
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 105/1000(6o) BaK-4/roof ? mm 800 g 1699 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.07+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.07+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10.13+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 81.8+/- 1.5% 10/25.0
Chromatic aberration Distinct in the centre, also significant on the edge. 2.7/10.0
Astigmatism Very low. 8.9/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 38% ± 5% 4/10.0
Coma Occurs in the distance of 3/4 f of the field of vision radius and is medium on the very edge. 7.8/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 77% ± 4% from the field of vision centre. 5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4/5.0
Whiteness of the image Noticeable slant of the transmission curve. Over 10% of difference between the red and yellow colour and blue colour transmission makes the colour rendering false. 3.1/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Housing Very original and distinctive but also solid and handy at the same time. Comfortable to handle and to look through. Rubberized eyecups with 4-level twist-up regulation. Additionally they feature folded shields, protecting against sidelight. The rubber next to objectives sticks out quite significantly. 7.3/8.0
Focusing Medium sized central wheel, comfortable and ribbed with the full turn of 560 degrees. Individual focusing on the left eyepiece in a form of a handy ring which moves the outer lens. 4.5/5.0
Tripod Moderately difficult to reach. 2.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 55.8 to 74.4mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.6 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 59.8 deg (according to simple formula) and 55.1 deg (according to tangent formula). 11/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.90 ± 0.04 degrees and it was a bit narrower than stated in the specifications. Typical field of view for this type of equipment. 5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black and matt. Individual specks of dust. 4.5/5.0
Left: Right:
Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Steiner Ranger Pro 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 2.97%, OR: 3.19%
Noticeably egg-shaped exit pupils.
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Green-purple on objectives, greenish on eyepieces and green-yellow on prisms. Medium intensity. 4.5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 4.5/6.0
Final result
128 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • xxcellent astigmatism correction,
  • low coma,
  • not high brightness loss on the edge of the field of view,
  • very solid and stylistically interesting casing,
  • splendid darkening inside inner tubes. high quality prisms and coatings.

  • significant chromatic aberration,
  • truncated exit pupils.

I admit I have some difficulties in understanding the current Steiner policy. The offer of that producer used to be very consistent and well-organized. If you had a lot of money to spend you could get interested in the Night Hunter XP series. If you couldn’t afford it there were cheaper equivalents of those, in the Ranger series. If a Ranger was still too expensive there was always the Safari series left.

I could understand the launch of the Sky Hawk Pro series without any problem – it was a line of roof prism instruments aimed mainly at nature watchers. There is a huge market for such devices, small wonder Steiner wanted to get a piece of it.

I can’t grasp at all why the porro prism Rangers were substituted by roof prism Ranger Pro binoculars, which remain on the same optical level as the Sky Hawks and cost almost the same too. As a result one producer offers two lines of very similar products. Their only difference is the fact that one line is aimed at hunters and the second – at bird watchers. Such a division is completely spurious, though. A 10x42 class pair of binoculars, which is optically and mechanically good and costs not more than 500 Euro, can be bought by an ornithologist, a daylight hunter and a tourist/hiker who is not afraid of taking something bigger than 32 mm instrument with him/herself.

To sum up the result of the tested Ranger Pro 10x42 model doesn’t bowl us over. Secondly it is very similar to the performance of the Steiner Sky Hawk 10x42, tested by us several years ago. The fact that for the same price you can buy many pairs of binoculars which fared in our tests better is another piece of bad news for the Ranger. Could this test be finished positively? Let’s try.

I’ve handled a lot of Steiner binoculars. I admit they were not always the best when it came to optics - often cheaper devices fared as good as them or even better - but their excellent build quality has always set them apart. These binoculars boast really armoured casings, guaranteeing long years of problem-free usage. If some small problems do occur you have excellent and reliable guarantee service protection at your disposal. If you use a pair of binoculars in difficult conditions and you do not intend to make too much fuss over it I am not surprised you might prefer to buy a more expensive Steiner instead of a cheaper instrument made in China, even if equally good when it comes to optics.