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Steiner 7x50 Commander XP C Binocular
Color: w/Compass BinocularChange
Price:$1,249.99+Free shipping
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2012
The Steiner Commander XP-C binoculars.
Whatever you think you'll be getting, these binoculars will surpass your expectations.

I played with mine most of yesterday, learning how to set up the optics and getting the correct interpupilary distance. This is important to be able to see the compass without effort. The tube hinge is stiff enough that once you have this set, it will stay in place unless you purposely re-adjust.

Regarding eyecups -- I was expecting to have a set mounted and then two different sets included in the package. This is not the way it is done. There is one, very flexible, comfortable eyecup set that can be folded down to create 3 different individual preferences depending on whether you will be wearing glasses or not.

The image sharpness is simply stunning, especially when you consider there is no center vernier adjustment to make. You simply set up the Sports Auto-Focus with the left and right ocular diopters, and then forget about it.

Most impressive though is the low-light image brightness. I experimented at different times from dusk to almost total darkness. At each time, the binocular image was noticeably brighter.

Construction seems to be of top quality. I cannot ever imagine wearing out the rubber armoring. The whole package seems to come with every accessory you'll ever need, including two straps (one of which is a floating strap), lens caps, and a carrying strap for the protective case.

I have no experience with other models of Steiner binoculars, but I suspect that the improvements in the XP over earlier models such as the Commander V have to do with things that are not readily apparent, such as the nano coatings on the lenses, and the superior XP lenses themselves. Also -- as already mentioned -- the new improved rubber armoring (up to 3X longer lasting). Therefore, I cannot truly reconcile the added expense. However, I am not going to ruminate over this as I set out to obtain the best possible binocs for marine use and I believe I now own them, and with a 30 year warranty, I am sure they will outlast me and just be another thing that I can hand down to my son. I spend most of my summers on the water sailing, racing and being PRO (Principle Race Officer) for the various race committees that I run.
But these binocs will also be with me for whatever sight-seeing adventures I set off on.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2010
These Steiner Commanders are the brightest and clearest binoculars I have ever used..minimal peripheral chromatic aberation and a full frame clarity that is almost disconcerting.
Used for marine and birdwatching on Boston's North Shore I now can't live without them
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
During the past year I have used night vision monoculars as well as a night vision Gen. 3 rifle scope while trying to control wild hog damage on our ranch in North Texas. There have been times that I just needed a good pair of binoculars that worked well in low light conditions. I found them.
The Steiner 7x50 Commander XP is the easiest to use and transmits more low light viewing than any binoculars I have ever seen.

I bought these for my wife for her birthday. HA!. She was having trouble focusing another pair, and when she got these, all she said was "Oh My".
She loves them and watches deer in front of our house every morning.

I also suffer from essential tremor and stronger binoculars are difficult to hold steady. With the 7X50, the shake is less of an issue. I like them so
well I am going to buy another pair for me.

Ron Sewell
Odessa, Tx.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
I bought these at the same time as a Steiner 7x50 Marine model. The Commander XP's use the same case but for triple the price have better eyepieces, coatings and optical specifications and a few additional or better accessories than the Marine model.

I compared them in terrestrial and celestial viewing but the easiest comparison is done with astronomical subjects since they really define performance clearly. The images in the Marine model merged effortless. In the Commander XP, I have difficulty merging the images. They're obviously badly out of collimation. I don't care to fix this myself on binos in this price range.

I evaluated the real and apparent fields of view as well as the sharpness near the edge of the field.

In the Marine model, the real field of view is reasonably wide but apparent field is quite narrow. It's not bad but it's not a spectacular vista either. In the Commander XP, the real FOV is only barely perceptibly wider. Steiner's website lists the specifications. The apparent field is about the same. The almost indiscernable extra width of real FOV does not contribute much to the value for triple the price.

On the Marine model, I put Sirius and Jupiter in the center of the field. They look nice. Moving the binoculars so that the objects were farther from the center of the field I could see the image degraded about half-way to the edge of the field of view. Near the very edge, the image was appalling. Much more than half-way out of the center of the field of view, the star or planet turns from a bright point to just a smear. Near the very edge it's a dim smudge. I tried the same with the Commander XP. It was every bit as bad.

Are the XP's better on dim objects? The optics are supposed to transmit 96% light compared to the Commander V's 95% and the Marine's 90%. I saw very little difference on dim objects like the Orion nebula or the background of the Pleides or Jupiter's moons. Again, I can't see the justification for triple the price.

Both have generious eye-relief, 20mm for the Marine and 22mm for these XP's. They also have the same weight and dimensions. They're heavy but still reasonable if you're wearing a thick coat to pad your chest and a harness to keep them from swinging all over if you're moving. Also, at 7x they're reasonable for handholding. For me, 7x50 is about the limit for handholding. Heavier or higher power would be too shakey. 6x56 might be nicer if they were more common.

Where the XP is clearly better is with small details like the click-loc strap attachments (for use with Steiner straps and harnesses only), the better eyepiece covers, lens covers, focuser grips, shading eye-cups, and various doo-dads that come in the case. It comes with a flotation strap which the Marine doesn't, but I would still rather prefer a harness which neither comes with.

I bought these Porro prism binos because I thought for the high price they should be outstanding. While roof prism binos might require fifteen hundred dollars or more to achieve optical exellence (or so I've heard), it should be easier with porros. With these, it's possible they lost collimation after leaving the factory but the optical quality is lacking nontheless. To be honest, I have nothing to compare them to. I've never seen better, but I was still totally underwhelmed by the performance which was only slightly better than I would expect from binoculars in the hundred dollar range.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Bought this for my first serious bird watching. I know, these are marine binoculars but they are so rugged, tough and water proof. Beautiful navy blue. The compass is a major plus no matter where you are. Can't rave about these enough!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2012
This is a quality pair of binoculars. A bit on the expensive side, but real quality. Not sure what I can compare them to, they are in a class by themselves.
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on October 25, 2014
Pricey but the quality is well worth it.
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