Thursday, January 15, 2009

SHOT Show Day One

The Shooting and Hunting Outdoor Trade Show is a huge event in the hunting and gun industry. The scale cannot be adequately described in words. You have to be here to get a sense of the grand scale of this event. Every major company and many lesser-known companies are represented. I had a chance to talk with many representatives today, and each one has been very accommodating. I have a renewed appreciation for the people and products that are being offered to the predator hunting market. We are a niche market, but we are growing at such a rapid pace that manufacturers are paying attention. Our voice is being heard loud and clear, and the future is exciting for the predator hunter. I wanted to give a sneak peak of a product each day. I have no "dogs in the hunt" so I get to speak freely.

Steiner, a manufacturer of high-end binoculars, has a few new models that are being specifically marketed toward hunters. I got the chance to discuss specs on the models, and I was very impressed with the company. Without getting into the specifics of the various models, let me explain the technology being used. Ask yourself one question: What colors are most game animals? Well, tans, browns, reds, and yellows come to mind immediately. Keep this in the back of your mind as I turn to technical stuff. Hang in there with me on this; it will be short. Optics are coated with thin films that help transmit light into the glass. These films are known as anti-reflective coatings. Each coating covers a specific range of wavelengths. To get all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum, several different coatings must be applied to the lenses. a good true-color binocular will have all these coatings applied several times a piece. This can lead to 20-25 total film coatings and can up the price point considerably. Coming back to our color question, if the game that we look for is within a particular range of colors that are all in the same color spectrum range, we can focus on the coatings that work best on that color window. In other words, if you want to focus on transmitting as much red and brown light as possible, you have to apply as many red and brown anti-reflective coatings as possible. On the other hand, the anti-reflective coating that covers the green wavelength region is not as vital. Therefore, fewer total coatings need to be applied for that particular range. This brings down cost and helps your eyes focus on those vital wavelength regions. Imagine using binoculars where the coyotes pop out from the background better. Well, it is time to have your cake and eat it too. Steiner has several models tailored to the requirements of the predator hunter using this technology for much less than you might imagine for Steiner quality. For less than $200 MSRP, you can pick up the last pair of binoculars you will ever need for those long call stands in the open country. The aptly named Predator Pro comes in two flavors for the predator hunter: the 8x22 and the 10x26 running $180 and $200, respectively. For good glass and a company that stands behind its products like Steiner, this is an incredible deal. These models are lightweight, compact, but are designed for the hand (and the gloved hand for the cold-weather callers), and are extremely rugged. If you are in the market for some new glass, give Steiner a long look. They aren't just for those big-city hunters anymore.


Blogger Coyote Terminator said...

I just got back from looking at Steiner Predator Pro at Cabela's , WOW!! I was really impress with this binoculars. Thank you for this information Charles.
I will have to get one soon.
Lyle Filkins

4:54 PM  

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