Steiner Optik was founded in 1947 in Bayreuth, Germany, by Karl Steiner, one of Zeiss's most brilliant engineers who after the Second World War decided to pursue an entrepreneurial career. The dramatic experience of the Second World War had made Karl realize that quality optics were just as important as weapons, and he decided to put in use the experiences gained while working for Zeiss. For the first few years Karl's efforts focused on producing the "Steinette" a compact camera, but soon he began to produce binoculars designed and manufactured with an innovative vision and without compromise. The first major breakthrough came in 1965 when Steiner Optik was chosen by the German Army as the official supplier of binoculars with its 8×30 FERO-D12 Bundeswehr Fernglas (Army binoculars) model which will be produced from 1966 to 1972. For the first time, Makrolon (a type of polycarbonate) was used for the construction of the binocular hull.
Innovations introduced by Steiner Optik
At the beginning of the 1970s, Steiner Optik was an expanding company that experimented with new technical solutions and in 1973 the first binoculars with nitrogen filling to prevent internal fogging were produced. In 1979 Steiner Optik launched the Commander 7x50, the first binocular with an integrated compass that is still today the most successful marine optics. The definitive consecration of Steiner Optik brand as one of the sector leaders came in 1988 when the US Army sent the German company what was then the largest order for optical products, ordering 72,000 7x50 binoculars that would be officially adopted under the name M22. That same year Steiner Optik produced the first binocular for military use featuring a laser protection filter. In the following years Steiner Optik concentrated its technology on observation optics, introducing other important innovations such as in 1992 when Steiner Optik's Firebird model was the first with high contrast lenses on the market . In 2000, the Nighthunter model was launched, the first with a light transmission of more than 90% - in the currently produced 8x56 model it reaches 96%. In 2006 Steiner Optik presents the water-repellent Nano-Protection surface treatment that removes from water, dirt, dust, snow and facilitates cleaning. In 2008 a new turning point: Steiner Optik is acquired by Beretta Holding, a transfer of ownership that strongly revolutionizes the identity of the Bayreuth-based company, so far strongly focused on binoculars production. In 2011 Steiner Optik began manufacturing riflescopes and the following year in the US it acquired Laser Devices Inc. and in 2014 launched the Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) 6x40, the first Steiner optic to integrate a laser rangefinder. The products diversification continued at a rapid pace and in 2016 Steiner Optik achieved another success in the military, when the German special forces choose the M5Xi 5-25x56 scope for their sharpshooters.
The Steiner Optik catalog today
Today, the Steiner Optik catalog is divided into four main areas: hunting, shooting, adventure and marine . The first two categories are the ones that interest our readers the most, so we'll look at them in more detail. In the hunting area Steiner Optik offers various binoculars and riflescopes. The Steiner Ranger Extreme binoculars are specifically designed for hunters and are available in the 8x32, 8x42, 8x56 and 10x42 versions. The Ranger Extreme series binoculars are distinguished by high-contrast lenses, a wide field of view, the Fast close focus focusing system, ClicLoc fast strap attachment and great sturdiness thanks to the Makrolon hull with Longlife NBR rubber cover and the nitrogen pressure filling that ensures an operating temperature of between -40 °C and 80 °C. The Steiner Observer line is significantly cheaper and is aimed at those who want a versatile hunting binocular without giving up quality. The Steiner Observer is available in 8x42, 8x56 and 10x42 variants. For those who want the maximum in terms of light transmission, the Steiner Nighthunter 8x56 is the best, with an incredible 96% that, combined with the excellent 135-m field of view makes it an excellent tool for hunters who expect the most from their equipment when hunting in twilight. The Sports Auto Focus system allows perfectly sharp images from 20 meters to infinity without the need for further adjustments, and finally the small Lumiclips under the front lenses glow with just enough light to easily locate the binoculars even in total darkness. Finally, the Steiner LRF 1700 rangefinder binoculars are available in two versions, namely 8x30 and 10x30. In both versions it is a binocular combined with a laser rangefinder that can measure exactly the distance of objects up to 1700 meters away with scanning mode for continuous measurement of moving targets.
Steiner hunting riflescopes
Steiner Optik has two lines of hunting riflescopes, Ranger and Ranger BC (Ballistic Control), the latter with quick reticle adjustment. The Steiner Ranger line includes the models 3-12x56, 2.5-10x50, 4-16x56, 1-4x24 and 2-8x42, all with 90% light transmission and 4A/I Illuminated reticle. In the Steiner Ranger BC line we find the models 4-16x56 and 3-12x56, also with 4A/I Illuminated reticle. The Ranger BC series scopes are supplied with five different sets of turret caps, covering all the most common hunting calibers. By mounting the specific cap for the preferred caliber it will allow a precise elevation setting for a perfect shot. The range of hunting optics is completed by the Steiner MRS (Micro Reflex Sight), particularly suited for semi-automatic rifles. Compact and rugged, the Steiner MRS features automatic red dot brightness control and is available in two versions: MRS Universal, with universal mount, and for Picatinny slides.
Steiner optics for sports and tactical shooting
Steiner Optik includes in its catalog three main lines of scopes with variable magnification for sports and tactical shooting. The M5Xi models have a magnification factor of 5X, those of the M7Xi series have a factor of 7X, the M8Xi model has a zoom of 8x. The Steiner M5Xi line includes the models M5XI 5-25x56/G2B with Mil-dot reticle and black body, M5Xi 5-25x56 with MSR-2 reticle specific for long-range shooting and black or Coyote brown finish, M5Xi 5-25x56 with Tremor 3 reticle and Coyote brown finish and finally M5XI 5-25x56 with B41-BE2 reticle and black finish. All these models have an illumination intuitive reticle that can be adjusted on 5 daytime and 6 nighttime settings, as well as an OFF position between each step. The Steiner M7Xi riflescope line consists of the models M7Xi IFS 4-28x56 with G2B Mil-dot reticle, M7Xi IFS 4-28x56 with MSR-2 reticle, M7Xi 4-28x56 with G2B Mil-dot reticle and finally M7Xi 4-28x56 with MSR-2 reticle . The models with the “IFS” acronym integrate the IFS (Intelligent Firing Solution) system featuring a customizable display in the field of view that provides important real-time information to the operator. The Steiner M8Xi 1-8x24 with DMR8i reticle, the only one in the range with an 8X zoom factor, concludes the line of M series variable optics. It is a very versatile and bright optic, with a light transmission of up to 94%. Steiner Optik is also a leading manufacturer of so-called "Battle Sights", i.e. extremely rugged fixed magnification optics designed for mounting on assault rifles (for military use) and "Black Rifles" for sports and recreational use. There are basically two models, the 4x magnification Steiner S432 and the 3x magnification Steiner S332 , each of which is in turn available with a graduated reticle designed for the ballistics of the 7.62x51 or 5.56x45 NATO cartridges that allows to engage targets up to 800 meters away. Designed for professional use, the S432/332 series sights are waterproof up to a depth of 10 meters.
For further information about Steiner products, please visit Steiner Optik website .