Introduction

In this article, I will compare two entry-level 10×42 binoculars, Steiner Observer 10×42 and Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED, as far as usefulness and quality are concerned. Both are nicely built, well-made, aesthetic and will become indispensable to all novice hunters and bird watchers.
Steiner Observer binoculars are meant for several different situations and all kinds of observations in everyday life. The binoculars are easy and comfortable to carry around, and their ergonomic design and durable, extra-resistant armoring make them appropriate for field trips and other outdoor activities and hobbies.
Delta Optical Chase binoculars were introduced at the IWA 2017 Outdoor fair. Their specialty is a „stylish“ design and compactness. The Chase line took the 2nd place in voting for the Product of the year 2017 on the Polish web portal dedicated to optical devices. In 2018, Chase got the Red Dot Award 2018 for the highest quality of design.

Steiner Observer 10x42 And Delta Chase 10x42 ED

Steiner Observer 10×42 And Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

Size & Weight

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Weight:706 g730 g
Width:128 mm122 mm
Length:148 mm138 mm
Max interpupillary distance:74 mm76 mm

Nevertheless, these two binoculars are both meant for more or less the same activities, they differ in quite some things. Observer by Steiner is bigger and longer than the Chase by Delta Optical. It is more robust and sturdy. The Observer is coated in thick, strong rubber in hunting-green color and has linear bars all over the surface of the armoring. The binoculars look like they were carved out of a chunk of rubber. The coating/ armoring is made of long-lasting Makrolon® (polycarbonate ) and NBR (non-slip, long-life) rubber. Also, the plastic, that the components of the binoculars are made of, is in dark hunting- green color, so it fits the whole appearance. The binoculars are well built and shock resistant.
As for the Chase, they went in a completely different direction when designing; the appearance of the exterior was of paramount importance, trying to be as elegant as possible, among all the binoculars of the same quality and price range. They are coated in silver grey rubber, with cut lines for better grip. Some details of the binoculars are even metal. The barrels are shorter than on the Observer, however, Chase binoculars weight a little more.

Steiner Observer 10x42

Steiner Observer 10×42

 Delta Chase 10x42 ED

Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

Optical Properties

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Prism type:Roof -Schmidt/PechanRoof -Schmidt/Pechan
Lens Diameter:42 mm42 mm
Magnification:10x10x
Variable Magnification:NoNo
Coatings:Fully multi-coatedFully multi-coated
Close focus:2 m 2 m
Field of View:100 m /1000 m112 m / 1000 m

10×42 binoculars are the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys watching the details and is particularly recommended for bird watchers, stalking hunts (for example in mountains) and everyday detailed observations of nature and surroundings. 10x magnification makes the objects appear closer so it is possible to get to know them in greater detail. They are also very suitable for traveling and various expeditions. The 42 mm lenses gather a big amount of light, however, the 8×42 configuration is still more suitable for the use in low light conditions.
The optical properties are fairly comparable between the two models- both have their lenses fully multi-coated and the same close focusing distance, except for the field of view, which is wider on Delta Optical Chase. The Observer has its glass coated with STEINER High-Contrast Optik for the maximal light transmission, edge-to-edge sharpness, and rich, true-to-life colors. Delta Optical Chase has lenses made of low-dispersion ED glass, that prevents chromatic aberration. Binoculars have a large field of view, corrected to a much greater extent than in previously produced models.

Steiner Observer 10x42 And Delta Chase 10x42 ED

Steiner Observer 10×42 And Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

Steiner Observer 10x42 And Delta Chase 10x42 ED Bird View

Steiner Observer 10×42 And Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED Bird View

Focus Properties

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Focusing System:CentralCentral
Central Wheel Grasp:8/107/10
Central Wheel Rotation:7/106/10
Diopter Setting:Left-eyeCentral
Central Wheel Diameter:29 mm30 mm
Central Wheel Length:24 mm22 mm
Total Revolution: 540°770°
Bridge Length (Without the Central Wheel Length)55 mm53 mm

Both binoculars have a central focusing system. Steiner’s Observer has the central wheel that looks the same as the overall image of the binoculars- coated in dark green rubber with little bars on its surface. Delta Optical Chase’s knob is covered in grey serrated rubber with a poorer grip and extremely fast rotation. I have evaluated its grasp with a 7/10 and rotation with a 6/10. For Steiner’s Observer; I rated its wheel with an 8/10 for grasp and a 7/10 for the rotation. Steiner’s central wheel is better since its rotation is slower and sturdier. It is better for a central wheel to be like that, so the focusing settings cannot change that easily.
Steiner Observer has a left-eye diopter setting, which moves really smooth, yet sturdy enough so the settings remain the same during the observation.
Chase has the diopter setting ring right next to the central wheel which in my opinion is a great disadvantage. Due to the same position, when focusing, you quickly make a mistake and start turning diopter setting. It rotates very easily and this only aggravates the whole thing.

Steiner Observer 10x42

Steiner Observer 10×42

 Delta Chase 10x42 ED

Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

Eyepiece Properties

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Eyepiece type:MultipositionedMultipositioned
Number of Click-stops:32
Eye relief:?17 mm
Exit pupil:4.2 mm4.2 mm
Firmness:6/108/10
Quality:7/108/10
Suitable for Eye Glass Wearers:YesYes
External Diameter:43 mm39 mm
Internal Diameter:20 mm20 mm

The eyepieces on both models are multi-positioned. The Observer is offering three click-stops and Chase only two. I have to mention I am not so sure about the reliability of their eyecups; the plastic they are made of seems to be thin and breakable. Also, the thread seems to get worn out quickly if we use the device often. The rotation is not that bad, however, a bit unstable and producing a crumbling sound. I have evaluated its firmness with a 6/10 and the quality with a 7/10. The rubber on the eyecups is soft and nicely shaped.
Chase’s eyecups are harder and less comfortable for observing. However, the rotation is better and not so loose than on the Observer and that is why I have evaluated their firmness and quality with a good 8/10.

Steiner Observer 10x42 And Delta Chase 10x42 ED

Steiner Observer 10×42 And Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

General Properties

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Housing Material:Makrolon/ Plastic/ RubberPlastic/ Rubber
Armoring:RubberRubber
Quality of Armoring:8/109/10
Quality of Covers:7/106/10
Build in Rangefinder:NoNo
Waterproof:YesYes
Submersible:Yes Yes
Filled With:NitrogenNitrogen
Number of Colors:2 (black, green)1 (grey)
Tripod Adaptable:YesYes
Made in:Germany (?)China
Introduced in:20152017
Warranty period: 10 years10 years
MRSP Price:329.00 EUR349.00 EUR

The exterior on Steiner Observer is extremely robust and is especially intended for the field observations. The binoculars are bulky and rugged. The Makrolon armoring is resistant to water, exposure to sun and cold and the binoculars withstand and work perfectly from -15 up to +55 degrees. Nevertheless, their optical performance is satisfactory due to very good optical properties. I gave them a good 8/10 for the armoring; the evaluation, in my opinion, cannot be higher due to the robust appearance, which makes such binoculars more suitable for extreme outdoor observations and is not as versatile as, for example, Delta Optical Chase. The exterior of the latter is more aesthetically complete and suitable for everyday use. Despite the elegant appearance, the armoring is very resilient and well built. Due to its unique looks and quality rubber, I rated the armoring with 9/10.
Covers for the objective lenses are on both models attached to the barrels of the binoculars with a thick rubber band. I prefer the ones on Observer because they fit the barrels better and are easier to close. The ones on Chase are very thin and do not fit so nicely in the openings/ barrels. I have evaluated Observer’s covers with a 7/10 and Chase’s with a 6/10.
These two binoculars are filled with Nitrogen and are water and fog resistant. The Observer is available in two colors- dark green and black and Chase only in grey. Both are tripod adjustable and have a warranty period of 10 years. We also presume they are both assembled in China, even though we could not get the exact information.

Steiner Observer 10x42 And Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED

Steiner Observer 10×42 And Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED

Group Test

How we made a test

We made a test with a group of 6 people with very diverse knowledge about sports optics. Some had previous experiences with binoculars and other almost none. We compared central and edge sharpness, glare, real FOV, eye-box and overall impression. Everyone in the test group tested binoculars individually without being influenced by other people. We also covered down any brand signs on binoculars, so no one was influenced by knowing which company manufactured which.

 Steiner Observer 10x42Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED
Central sharpness:1/65/6
Edge sharpness:1/65/6
Glare:1/65/6
Real FOV:1/65/6
Eye-box:1/65/6
Overall impression:1/65/6

The results of the test were more in favor of Delta Optical Chase in all categories. All those who tested the binoculars have noticed much more vivid and true-to-life colors with it and the image also had a much better sharpness and brightness. 5/6 people would rather decide for the Delta Optical Chase. I must also mention that Steiner did not lag behind so much with its optical performance, so the comparison was not that easy and predictable after all.

Conclusion

These are binoculars with more or less similar functions and the same configuration, but their usability differs a lot from one another. Steiner Observer is more suitable for those who need binoculars in extreme situations and do not find the appearance that important. They are very suitable for hunting and are protected against bumps and falls from a height.
Chase, on the other hand, is more appropriate for “quieter” observations, such as observing birds and details in nature. Its look blends beautifully with the surroundings, however, the whole design is more sophisticated, special and slightly less suitable for severe weather conditions (imo).
Steiner Observer comes packed in a soft black neoprene bag, with neck strap and eyepiece covers included. Delta Optical Chase is stored in a grey hard case, with neck strap, wider carrying strap and cleaning cloth included in the package.

Steiner Observer 10x42 Kit

Steiner Observer 10×42 Kit

Delta Optical Chase 10x42 ED Kit

Delta Optical Chase 10×42 ED Kit

Disclaimer

This test wasn’t financed and is unbiased. As a wildlife enthusiast interested in sports optics I made this tests because I would like to see how binoculars perform and if they meet the advertised expectations. With this test, I also hope that it will help people choose the right binoculars for their personal use. I am not in any way connected with the manufacturers of sports optics and I’m not personally in favor of particular brand.
In the end, I would like to thank Optics-trade.eu to lend me these binoculars for this test. I also thank them for letting me use their videos.

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Hunting Binoculars

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