The thermal imaging market is on the rise; new players are joining the competition every year. Steiner, a company with a rich tradition in sports optics, has introduced its first thermal scope under the slogan ‘be fast, see the difference, succeed’. The series carries a famous name: Nighthunter. Over the previous years, Steiner has released many quality products named the same, focused on providing the user with excellent low-light performance. With their new thermal monocular, they carry on the tradition.
Nighthunter H35 is of a standard shape which has been tested many times and is proved to be ergonomic for both right- and left-handers. It is built like a tank, with quality rubber covering the surface. It comes in black color, with certain details, such as the company name, device name, and logo, in silver. There are five buttons on the housing which can be easily accessed with the fingers during use. The dioptre is next to the eyepiece, on the left of the device, while the focusing ring is on the objective. A rubber flip-up cover protects the objective lens and is connected to the device to prevent loss. The eyepiece is made of rubber and can be set so that a potential source of light (a street light, for example), does not disturb the observer.
The battery is integrated; the device is charged with a Type C USB-cable connected to a power adapter (both included in the package). What we noticed is that the device is quite heavy at 700 grams, weighing around 200 grams more than most of its competition. The weight might be an issue for longer observations, but it does add to the sense of firmness and durability. On top of that, ruggedness is what one expects from Steiner.
H35 is waterproof and can withstand temperatures as low as –10 °C while used. It can be stored in temperatures much lower than that (–30 °C).
Nighthunter H35 is equipped with a quality sensor with a resolution of 640 x 512 and a 12μm pixel pitch. Plenty of pixels on the screen close to each other contribute to a clear image full of details. The information acquired by the sensor is shown on a LCOS display with a resolution of 1280 x 960. The NETD (Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference) is < 50 mK. The image can be set to five colour modes: white hot, black hot, adjustable red hot, iron, and blue hot. We find it great that the user can adjust the brightness and contrast finely – there are 10 levels at disposal. The image is fluent thanks to the 50Hz refresh rate.
The name of the device, H35, suggests that the monocular features an objective lens that measures 35mm in diameter. For now, this is the only model that is available, but we might see models with a different lens diameter, such as 25 or 50mm, in the future. The base magnification is 2.04x, providing both a wide field of view and a decent detection range. A red deer, for example, can be detected at 3.2km, recognized at 825m and identified at 400m according to the user manual. You can zoom in the image with a digital zoom all the way up to 16x.
With H35, you can capture images and record videos. The files are saved on the device’s 16 GB of internal memory. You can connect the device via Wi-Fi to a mobile phone with the ‘Steiner Connect’ app installed. The app allows you to stream the image seen through the monocular to your phone, browse through images and videos, change settings, and much more.
There are some other useful functions at the user’s disposal, such as Picture in Picture mode, Stadiametric Rangefinder, Hot Track, etc.
Steiner provides 2 years of warranty on their new thermal imager. Steiner offers one of the best service departments in this industry, so you can count on them if something goes wrong.
Along with the monocular, you receive a quality storing bag with a Steiner logo, different types of electrical power connectors, a power adapter, a USB cable, an instruction manual, a lens cloth, and a carrying strap for both the bag and the device.
With Nighthunter H35, Steiner is surely to cause a stir in the thermal imaging market. Priced at 3299 €, it competes against Pulsar Helion 2 XP50, Guide Track IR Pro 35, Night Pearl Scops 35 Max II, Liemke Keiler 36 Pro, and some others. Its strong points are ruggedness, optical quality, and plenty of advanced functions. Steiner could have gone for a removable battery and a lighter chassis.