Introduction

This is the first time we will compare two binoculars that are designed for observation in late hours when the sun is starting to go down. In this article, we will compare two very popular binoculars for low-lightMeopta MeoPro HD 8×56 against the Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56. The price makes these binoculars very attractive, especially because of the great quality of these products. I decided to compare these because of the small difference in price and identical construction.

The 8×56 binoculars are very popular among hunters since they offer a very bright picture in low-light situations. This is very important when hunting, because many animals are getting active especially in the late hours.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Size & Weight

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Weight (g) 1030 1130
Width (mm) 143 142
Length (mm) 178 183
Height (mm) 65 80
interpupillary distance (mm) 58-73 58-73

As you can see in the specifications, these binoculars are very similar in size. When you have both binos on the same table, you can barely see any difference. The difference appears when you hold both in your hands – you notice the 100 grams extra of the Steiner.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

There is also a big difference between these in the design since Meopta offers a slick and modern design and Steiner a more aggressive one. The housing of the Meopta is made of 2 different colors to make the design look even nicer, and all outer parts are rubberized for protection of the inner parts. The rubber is harder than on the Steiner, and the surface is nicely rough so it offers a good grip even if it gets wet, or if you use it with gloves. For the protection of the objective lens 2 rubber covers are installed on both barrels, which are easily removable. I don’t like such objective covers because they are easy to lose and because they are attached with a rubber ring on the barrels, they affect the interpupillary distance.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner, on the other hand, has a real aggressive design with a lot of sharp edges and many other details on the housing. These are designed for more ergonomy when using, and a better grip in all weather conditions. The entire housing is covered with a dark green rubber which protects the inner parts. The rubber is softer than on Meopta, and what I really like are the integrated objective covers. They are attached with Steiner’s ClicLoc system, so you don’t have to worry that you lose them when walking around. I have to say that when the covers are in place, they hold very tight, so that it is already a little difficult to get them down from the objective. And unfortunately, there is no small strap on the outer side to help to remove it, so I always tried to get them open with my fingernails.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Optical Properties

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Prism type

Roof – Schmidt/Pechan

Roof – Schmidt/Pechan

Lens Diameter (mm)

56 56

Magnification

8x 8x

Variable Magnification

No No

Coatings

Fully Multi-coated

Fully Multi-coated

Close Focus

2.2 m / 7.2 ft 2.3 m / 7.5 ft
Field Of View (m/1000m // ft/1000yds) 105 // 314 125 // 410

8×56 configuration is, as mentioned before, the best selection for observation in the late hours or dark areas. Thanks to the big objective lens, they capture a lot of light, so you get a brighter picture than with binoculars with a smaller objective. Whatsoever, older people often don’t see any difference when they compare them against 7×50 or even 8×42 binoculars, because the pupil in the human eye can’t dilate to the same size anymore as it does in younger people’s eyes.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Thanks to the Schmidt/Pechan roof prism that is integrated into both binoculars, the construction is smaller than binoculars with Porro or Abbe-Koenig prisms. 8X magnification is for the most hunting situations more than enough, especially in low light, where the most shots are under 100 meters.

Meopta advertises their special Genuine Fluoride lenses with their ion-assisted multi-coatings for excellent image quality in all light conditions, where the daylight transmission advertised by Meopta is 86%, and the twilight transmission 80%. Steiner, on the other hand, does not give such information, but because they are in the same price range, I think the specifications are quite identical.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Focus Properties

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Focusing system

Central Central

Central Wheel Grasp

9 / 10 6 / 10

Central Wheel Rotation

8 / 10 9 / 10

Diopter Setting

Right-eye Left-eye

Central Wheel Diameter

32 mm 32 mm

Central Wheel Length

30 mm 29 mm

Total Revolution

540° 360°

Bridge Length (Without the CWL)

52 mm 63 mm

The diopter setting on the Meopta is located on the right side, and on Steiner on the left side. Both binoculars have a central focusing system, and Meopta has a really good grasp thanks to the small vertical notches on the focusing wheel. The contact surface on the focusing wheel of the Steiner isn’t well made, it is slippery even in normal use, so in rain or when using gloves the focusing is even harder to adjust. The focusing wheel on the Meopta is made of hard plastic, and on the Steiner it is ruberized.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

The rotation of the focusing wheel on Meopta is in my opinion to lose, you almost need no force to adjust it, so it can easily happen that you turn the wheel by accident. The force needed for the Steiner is much better and it has the right resistance.

The diopter setting is on both binoculars similar in design, and both have a good feel. In the Steiner, the diopter setting ˝clicks˝, but very quietly, so no animal could hear.

Both binoculars have a single bridge design, but the one on the Meopta isn’t so bulky designed, is shorter and because of that more comfortable to hold.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Eyepiece Properties

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Eyepiece Type

Multi positioned Two positioned

Number of Click-stops

2 1

Eye Relief

18.5 mm /

Exit Pupil

7 7

Firmness

8 / 10 7 / 10

Quality

8 / 10 8 / 10

Suitable for Eyeglass Wearers

Yes Yes

External Diameter

42 45 mm

Internal Diameter

31 32 mm

The eyepiece on both, Meopta MeoPro HD and Steiner Ranger Xtreme is multi-positioned with a turn and slide mechanism. MeoPro HD has two click-stops and Ranger Xtreme only one.

The eye-piece on the Steiner is completely rubberized with soft rubber, so it is really comfortable to look through. These eyecups are winged, so they block out glare, ambient light, wind, and other distractions.

The eye-piece adjustment is on both binoculars completely silent with no click sound whatsoever. They both have a positive feel and both rest securely in the position they are adjusted.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

General Properties

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Housing Material

Aluminium Macrolon

Armoring

Rubber NBR Rubber

Quality of Armoring

8 / 10 7 / 10

Quality of Covers

6 / 10 10 / 10

Build in Rangefinder

No No

Waterproof

Yes Yes

Submersible

Yes Yes

Filled With

Nitrogen Nitrogen

Number of Colors

1 1

Tripod Adaptable

Yes Yes

Made in

Czech Republic Germany

Introduced in

2015 2013

Warranty Period

10 Years 10 Years

MRSP Price

579 € 719 €

Because the entire housing of Meopta is made of Aluminium, the weight is quite small despite the big lenses. Steiner is made from a special polycarbonate named Makrolon, which is extremely resistant to temperature changes, pressure, and other influences.

Both binoculars have a ruber armoring on the housing. The one on Steiner is much softer, which is great for absorbing shocks, but it makes the binoculars less attractive from the design. They are both waterproof and submersible up to 3 meters, and thanks to the nitrogen filling, they are also fog proof in cold weather environments.

From where the lenses for the Meopta come I couldn’t find any information, but the chassis is assembled in the Meopta factory in the Czech Republic. Both are on the market already for a few years, Steiner since 2013 and Meopta since 2015. They have the same warranty period of 10 years.

The MSRP of the Meopta MeoPro HD is 579€, and for the Steiner Ranger Xtreme 719€.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Group Test

How we made the test

We made the test with a group of 7 people with very diverse knowledge of sports optics. Some had previous experience with binoculars and others 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.

Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56

Central Sharpness

2 5

Edge Sharpness

7 0

Glare

2 5

Real FOV

2 5

Eye-box

3 4

Overall impression

4 3

All in all (total of 42 points)

20 22

It was a really interesting test, and I think we have a clear winner, even if the summed up points doesn’t show that.

As we can see, Steiner Ranger Xtreme got more important points like the central sharpness, glare, and real field of view. Where MeoPro HD scored was in the edge sharpness, but I think only because it has a smaller field of view, which affects the sharpness on the edge. Even that Steiner received more points, in the end, 4 people would rather buy the Meopta. All 4 of them said that the bad sharpness on the edge of the Steiner was disturbing to watch, and because of that they decided to go the other way.

We tested the binoculars also when the sun was starting to go down. For such binoculars, I think this is the most important test. In the twilight, we tested only the central and edge sharpness, because this is the most important, and we didn’t had much time.

The results were exactly the same than during our day-time test, but we could see how they perform in low light. We were observing some trees and a traffic sign to see the difference. When it got really dark, we could see than Steiner Ranger Xtreme won the test. We couldn’t see our objects anymore with the Meopta, but we did it with the Steiner. Whatsoever, the time difference was very small, only 7 minutes to say it precisely. We were very impressed with the performance of both, because we still had a visible picture when it was already very dark, and we couldn’t see our objects anymore with our naked eyes.

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8x56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8x56

Steiner Ranger Xtreme 8×56 vs Meopta Meopro HD 8×56

Conclusion

For the low price these binoculars are available, we have to say that they offer a lot, especially that they perform pretty well even in low-light situations. I think that Steiner Ranger is the better binoculars in this comparison, but if you consider the higher price of almost 150€, you really have to think about if it’s worth or not. You do get a better glass with more field of view, more features on the housing, but all that for an extra price. Whatsoever, I think that Meopta MeoPro HD are great binos for that price.

Both binoculars come with rubber eye-piece covers that attach on the neck strap which is also included, a nice nylon bag, instruction manual, and a cleaning cloth.

Disclaimer

This test wasn’t financed and is unbiased. As a wildlife enthusiast interested in sports optics I made these 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 a particular brand.

In the end, I would like to thank Optics-trade.eu for lending me these binoculars for the test. I also thank them for letting me use their videos.

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Hunting Binoculars

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