Steiner binoculars, a review.

A Martial Eagle is chased off a tree perch by a Pied Crow


On a recent trip to a camp in Mashatu, Botswana, I took this pair of binoculars with me. It turned out that I was not alone in my choice. One of the guides, as well as a couple of the guests, were using the same brand, but older models. In the box are the binoculars and a robust carry case. The binos have a strap attached, but that can be changed to suit your current carry rig. This pair was tested on birds and wildlife in a variety of terrain conditions. And in all cases, it performed perfectly. The in-built quick focusing system was a bonus as that can often make the difference in being able to identify an object, bird or animal quickly and correctly.

Although it might be all about performance, the look and feel of these binoculars ticked all the comfort and style boxes. Especially the Twist-up eye-cups with eye-shields are just one of the unique features of this product. These multi-position cups were most useful in cutting out glare filtering in from the sides. (I wonder why more manufacturers do not incorporate this feature in their products?) Made of NBR, they are resistant to a variety of oils, fuels and other chemicals that could cause the rubber to soften or perish over time. It is also corrosion-resistant and given the range of both high and low temperatures experienced in South Africa, the manufacturers claim that their product will be able to withstand those.

Fact: Not that I was able to confirm this, but it has been claimed that a pair withstood a force of 11G’s and survived. Not something that a field guide or guest might get to put to the test while in a vehicle or on foot!

To summarize, with the Skyhawk 4.0, you get exactly what you see on the box. A pair of binoculars that can be used on a daily basis and that will sustain use in the dry dusty conditions that can be found in the South African bush during winter (which is when these were reviewed). A question I often ask guides is “A new rifle or a pair of binocs”? “Which would you rather spend money on”? Usually their response is quite emphatic as a rifle might one day save a life, however, when asked about this particular pair, there was hesitation. My recommendation? Try these out. They deliver what the manufacturer says that they will and at a competitive price.

These fine binoculars are available from Livingstones Supply Company. To see what else they have in their range, visit their website: