Binoculars review

Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF

Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF
3 January 2012
The Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 pair of binoculars was for many years the close equivalent of the Steiner Night Hunter XP 8x30. The only difference was the fact that it was aimed at nature observation enthusiasts and the Night Hunter – at hunters. As a matter of fact both devices were like twins – very solidly made, with the individual focusing and a 30 year guarantee period; both shared the same field of vision, similar dimensions, weight and the price. The following comparison shows it well.

The Steiner company reached a conclusion, quite correct I suppose, that offering two almost identical binoculars doesn’t make sense. Especially that the Wildlife Pro model, with the individual focusing, was hardly perfect for nature observers who prefer central focusing regulation. Not so long ago a new Wildlife Pro 8x30 model was launched on the market, almost two times cheaper than the Night Hunter (but still solidly made and with a 30 year long guarantee), featuring a narrower field of view but with the central focusing instead. In order to make these two pairs of binoculars distinguishable from each other in our database we added the CF symbol (for central focusing).

The whole Wildlife Pro series is hardly homogeneous because the 8x30 model happens to be the only Porro construction here. The rest of the models, the 8.5x26 and the 10.5x28, are roof prism binoculars.

A buyer gets objective caps, fixed to the body on good quality straps, joined eyepiece caps, a neck strap and a hard case in the box. As we’ve already mentioned above, the binoculars come with 30 year long guarantee.

  • Lornetka Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF
  • Lornetka Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF
  • Lornetka Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF
  • Lornetka Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF
Manufacturer data


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Distribution / Sales:

Kaliber sp. z .o.o.
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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
8 30 120/1000(6.85o) BaK-4/Porro ? mm 596 g 1080 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   30+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  30+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 8.31+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 90.8+/- 1.5% 18/25.0
Chromatic aberration Medium in the centre and on the edge. 5.3/10.0
Astigmatism Low. 7.9/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of vision radius: 48% +/- 3% 5/10.0
Coma Appears quite early because in the distance of around 55% of the radius but on the edge is average. 5.5/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 75% +/- 3% from the field of vision centre. 4/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Not very high but noticeable. 4/5.0
Whiteness of the image Very good. 4.6/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF - Internal reflections - Left Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF - Internal reflections - Right
Some flares near the prisms. They are not as intensive as in the case of the more expensive Night Hunter.
Housing Classic, small Porro construction. Very comfortable to handle and to look through. Soft and angled eyecups made of rubber which can be folded. Rubber with good texture, perhaps a bit too slippery and of a bit inferior quality than that of the Night Hunter series. Objective caps well fixed. The rubber doesn’t stick out anywhere. 7.7/8.0
Focusing A central wheel which is comfortable, ribbed and very well incorporated into the casing of the binoculars. It moves smoothly and is well-damped. The whole range needs a turn through 300 degrees only. What’s more we get the individual focusing on both eyepieces which is performed through turning two comfortable rings. When you set the focus centrally nothing moves outside and with the individual focusing the elements of eyepieces extend a bit and turn slightly. 4.5/5.0
Tripod No. In the 8x32 test all binoculars got an average value of 1.5 points in this category as a tripod exit is rarely used in this class of equipment. 1.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 55.7 to 73.5mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.35 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 56.7 deg (according to simple formula) and 52.7 deg (according to tangent formula). 8/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.82 +/- 0.03 degress and it was in accordance with the field stated in specifications. The field could have been a bit wider. The value of 7 degrees would have looked much nicer both in the test results and in specifications. 5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black but shiny in places. In the left inner tube some specks of dust, the right tube is clean. 4/5.0
Left: Right:
Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF - Vignetting - Left Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30 CF - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.00%, OR: 0.33%
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Greenish on objectives, pink-red on prisms, greenish on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] 30 5/6.0
Final result
135.4 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • solid and compact casing at the same time,
  • lack of a classic ocular bridge and presence of a central focusing wheel,
  • high transmission,
  • low astigmatism,
  • slight brightness loss on the edge of the field,
  • high quality prisms and coatings,
  • very good whiteness rendering,
  • sharp image already from 1.35 metres,
  • circular exit pupils,
  • long guarantee period given by a very renowned manufacturer.

  • with such a fileld of view the image on the edge should have been sharper.

A mere comparison of pros and cons and also taking into account the price and the fact that we deal here with a product of a renowned German manufacturer means the summary of this test will not sound negative for sure.

Let’s start with the flaws, though. The field of view and the performance on its edge left a slight bad aftertaste. The real field of the tested binoculars amounts to 6.82 degrees which is a bit pale compared to the rivals. Most of good 8x32 class instruments feature a field wider than 7 degrees. Fortunately the magnification ratio is here a bit bigger than stated in its specifications so the apparent field of eyepieces reaches the level of almost 57 degrees. With such a value we don’t get an impression of looking through a tunnel or a keyhole and the observation is comfortable. It doesn’t change the fact that, with such a limited field of view, you would wish for a better resolution on the edge and lower coma and distortion.

Here, in fact, our carping ends. The praising of the tested binoculars can be started from the transmission. Its graph and the comparison to the top-of-the–range Night Hunter Xtreme model is shown below.

The Night Hunter XP models, which have been substituted lately by the Xtreme series, it’s a class of its own. The cheaper Wildlife Pro has got worse coatings but it doesn’t mean they are bad. The graph, presented here, shows clearly that we deal with a level unattainable by most of roof prism devices, even those expensive ones. In the middle of the visible spectrum the Wildlife Pro’s transmission reaches 90% and in the red part - even 92%. The graph is quite flat, the loss of light in the blue and violet part remains moderate and overall it gives a very good colour rendition.

The binoculars are well-made and they come with a long guarantee period from a renowned and reliable producer. The focusing system is interesting. In fact it is the first Porro pair of binoculars from Steiner with the central focusing. The producer gave up the classic and often unstable ocular bridge so the focusing wheel neatly fits the casing and the device remains tightly sealed. The individual focusing for each eyepiece is still there. It makes possible to reach a very short minimal focus distance – the result is quite sensational for a Porro device. Paradoxically, it is so good that it becomes…useless. Observing an object situated in a distance of just a bit over one meter the parallel inner tubes of a wide pair of binoculars are not able to set that object in the same place of the field of view for every optical path. We have to squint. It is not nice.

The Steiner Wildlife Pro 8x30, apart from the average sharpness on the edge of the field, doesn’t have any other serious optical slip-ups. It has many average and good results for a change. When you add to that a very good, German quality of workmanship, a long guarantee period and a sensible price we get a product undoubtedly worth our attention. If you don’t want to pay additionally for a Night Hunter and you need a good, handy 8x30 class device, you should take the purchase of the Wildlife Pro into serious consideration.