Steiner Champ 10X26 Compact Binoculars (Model 2112)

champ-10x26Magnification: 10X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 25 mm
Close Focus Distance: 10 feet
Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Field of View: 302 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 9.5 mm/2.5 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BAK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Fast-Close Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/No
Eye cups: Wrap around
Tripod adaptable: No
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Event Observation

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars

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Steiner Champ Binoculars Review

This Steiner Champ 10X26 binocular has Fast Close Focus technology with High Contrast Lenses and full body rubber armoring for ultimate protection. It’s compact and lightweight to conveniently fit anywhere to be taken everywhere.

Online, the low budget binocular has a great rating.

While this little champ isn’t in Steiner’s hunting binoculars category, it will cater to a hunter. But, I will admit that I chose it only because of it’s cool name – the Champ.

There was no way I was going to pass up the chance to review this compact bino.

To figure out what a little binocular is doing with big boy technology and how it can help out on the hunt, here’s the Q&A.

 

PROs:
  • Price
  • Fast Focus technology
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Foldable
  • Rubber armor
CONs:
  • Short eye relief
  • Poor light gathering

 

Champ 10X26 Binocular Q&A:

What is Fast Focus Technology?

This means that you’re going to be able to get from close focus to infinity with less turns of the center focus wheel than you would with non-fast focus wheels.

This helps you get intricate detail in a matter of seconds for whatever distance your target is at.

For this Champ, it means you’ll be able to get sharp and clear focus as close as 10 feet and then use the center focus wheel minimally to get an almost instant focus for targets further and beyond.

The only thing to be aware of when it comes to fast focus systems is how “fast” they can be. There still needs to be a good balance, otherwise it’s going to be very easy to overshoot making finding the right focus a tricky process.

 

What are High Contrast Lenses?

In 1988, Steiner introduced High Contrast Lenses to their binocular production. This is their lens coating technology that enables you to have the brightest and clearest picture quality possible.

Lenses with the High Contrast coatings allow more light to be filtered through the lenses which obviously helps to increase brightness, but the coatings also do something special.

In order to provide high contrast images, elements in the coating treatment help light rays to stay in phase with each other. This prevents light scattering and out-of-phase light-waves that causes chromatic aberrations.

Instead, you have sharp quality with the brightest and clearest images you can get.

 

Is this a compact binocular?

Yes! The objective lenses are only 25 mm in diameter which is a huge factor that allows for such a small and light weight binocular. The Champ only weighs 10.5 ounces, and its physical dimensions are 4.9 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches.

The other factor that also makes it a compact bino is its folding design. Simply turn the barrels inward for a fold-like effect to make them even slimmer.

If you’re a hunter who wants a light weight and small device to keep on your person every second of the hunt, this Champ will live up to its name sake.

 

Is the champ waterproof?

The Champ binocular is waterproof – according to Steiner’s website. I wouldn’t dare try testing in a pond or while out on a boat though. According to my definition of waterproof and water-resistance, the champ clearly falls into one category.

It’s only water-resistant, not waterproof, and there’s a difference. Waterproof means that your bino will be able to withstand and survive submersion. Water-resistant means it’s only going to handle rain, to a certain degree, and water spray, say while you’re out at sea.

But, you’d be out of luck if it went overboard.

If waterproofing is a feature of importance to you, you might like to check out some other options to find a more waterproof binocular.

 

Can I wear glasses with the Champ?

Unfortunately, no. Steiner doesn’t list the eye relief for the Champ, so I had to do a little more digging.

And, it turns out I suspect a little bit of strategic marketing tactics as to why they don’t – it’s a very short 9.5 mm. I should’ve said tiny instead of short.

If you wear specs, this is no way enough of an eye relief to be able to see the entire 302 feet field of view.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • Fast-Close-Focus Technology for acquiring speedier image focus than convention center focus systems
  • High contrast, fully multi-coated lenses provide maximum light transmission for bright, clear images
  • Convenient binocular in a compact and lightweight in design
  • Fully waterproof and fog-proof for enduring rain and ocean spray
  • Rubber armoring for protection and textiled ridges provides an ergonomic, secure grip
  • Backed by Steiner’s Heritage Warranty

 

Our Verdict on the Champ

To glass it up, the Steiner Champ 10X26 binoculars are awesome for the price. It looks like a little tactical expert that’s ready to gear up anytime you get the itch. However, the eye relief stinks – bad. Some buyers chalk up the bad image quality to the glass, however, it has more to do with the optical specs versus the glass. On a bright day, you’ll have no issues. Other days, it might be a different story. That’s the compromise with small objective lens binos – know what you’re buying.

Compare the Champ to the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10X25 for example. The Legend has better eye relief, and it sports some premium glass components. It’s a pretty solid unit for the price too, check it out for yourself.

But, if you wanted to stay within the Steiner clan, the Predator 10X42 (which we reviewed here) would be the nearest jump up in price. It sports the ever-popular 10X42 platform that many hunters love, and it’s versatile enough to tote around for any occasion.

While the Champ is a small, itsy thing, it’s going to stand the test of time. How do we know? It’s a Steiner. You’re going to get closer to your target faster than ever before!

 

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