Steiner Binoculars for Safaris

Kariba Elephants

Today’s question comes from someone looking to choose between two different models of Steiner binoculars, to take on safari.


I can afford a Leica Ultravid compact but am also impressed (looks and review) with the Steiner 12x30 Wildlife Pro’s & the Steiner Merlin 8x42 binoculars. I am not a birder but am interested in getting hold of a good Safari binocular. Can you tell me which one I should get if this is the case. Anything higher than a Leica Ultravid compact means taking out a mortgage for me!


Personally I would opt for the Steiner 12x30’s – Not because of the increased magnification, but more because they are more compact. This means that they will not only be easier to carry in your luggage, but more importantly easier to carry with you when on safari. This is even more important if you plan on any walking safaris. If you also carry a camera, I would even consider an even more compact pair something like the Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro’s that you can fold and carry in a jacket pocket.

If size is not a problem, the larger Merlin 8x42’s will have a larger field of view and produce a brighter image because of the larger objective lens diameter.

Whichever pair of optics you choose, it is always important to go with the best you can easily afford, for more information take a look at my article on the Best Binoculars for Safari Holidays.

Photo: The photo of the elephants in Zimbabwe on Lake Kariba, was taken by may-self whilst on safari

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