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Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 Preview

There's a new Ranger in town. Steiner Optik just released Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42, their first rangefinding binoculars in a sleek Roof-prism build. With a competitive price and improved ergonomics, the Ranger LRF series is primed to be a great success. The 10x42 LRF model caters to deer hunters who shoot from longer distances but can also be a handy tool for an avid birder.

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LRF Binoculars

  • 2-in-1 device
  • don't compromise the image for the range
  • affordable options

The idea of LRF binoculars for hunting is fantastic  - one device that performs the job of two. A perfect way to save money and give your muscles a much-needed break from carrying redundant gear.

But beware: Finding a durable, yet compact LRF binocular for under 1500 euros is no easy feat.  For a while, this niche was monopolized by creme de la creme brands like Leica and Zeiss that sold LRF binos at the €3,000 mark and beyond. Nowadays, more affordable options can be found but need to be looked at with a critical eye.

Don't just focus on the LRF part of the deal. Accurate distance reading is worthless if the game assessment is made difficult or worse; you can't even tell if the animal you're looking at is red deer or chamois. Alternatively, pick a top-notch optic with a shoddy LRF function, and next time you'll have to pack a stand-alone rangefinder as well.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 is a great example of a capable rangefinding bino that won't break the bank. This device will compete with Vortex Fury and Sig Sauer Kilo3000BDX.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)

Steiner Ranger LRF Series

  • new series 2022
  • improved ergonomics
  • Roof prism design
  • rubberized & rugged

Most hunters and outdoorsmen are well-familiar with Steiner Ranger optics; be it the Ranger riflescopes or Ranger Xtreme binoculars. Now it's the Steiner Ranger LRFs' time to add another success story to this German manufacturer's rich 70-year history. Like all Steiner products bearing the Ranger name, Steiner Ranger LRF binoculars offer solid optics and first-rate endurance.

Steiner used aircraft-grade aluminum for the lightweight chassis of Ranger LRF binos. These binoculars can take up to 11G of impact, so accidental drops on the forest floor are no biggie. The robust and reliable construction is coated in thick rubber. The non-slip rubber armor guarantees a safe grip in humid environments and with gloved hands. What's more, the NBR-Longlife armor gives added protection against heat, oil, and acid that could damage mechanical parts.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Front View (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Front View (image source: Steiner Optik)

Hunters and birders' enthusiasm for quality optics is often dampened by the bothersome bulk of 10x42 binos. The biggest asset of the Ranger LRF series is its economical design. The 10x42 LRF binoculars are known to be heavy, usually made with Porro prisms.

In an effort to compress the size, many LRF binos under €1,500.00 hide unsightly bulbs or protrusions on the back side of the unit. Just take a look at mid-range hunting binos like Kahles Helia RF 10x42 or Sig Sauer Kilo3000 BDX 10x42, for example. This is definitely not the case with Ranger LRFs.

Beyond technological innovation, Steiner Ranger LRF binos impress with a slim and sleek build. Most of the credit goes to the great utilization of the Roof prism system, of course. In any case, the compressed design is a vast improvement from the 1700 LRF series. The first Ranger LRF on the market, the versatile 10x42, is 210mm long and 140mm wide. This makes it slimmer than the more expensive Vortex Fury HD 5000 10x42.

Steiner Ranger LRF binoculars are nitrogen-charged and safe to use in wet conditions. The minor inconvenience for optical clarity are Ergoflex eyecups. They're made to eliminate distracting ambient light and lens glare. Unless you fold these winged eyecups down, dirt particles or moisture can gather in the folds and mess up the ocular lens. 

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)

How to use Ranger LRF 10x42 binoculars?

First, let's take a look at the movable parts and controls on the 10x42 model.

The selling point of Steiner Ranger LRF models is unmatched ergonomics. These binos fit nicely into your hand and are effortless to operate. All essential functions are placed right at your fingertips.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Device Parts & Controls (image source: Steiner Optik)
  • A - Winged eyecup
  • B - Power/Measure button
  • C - Select button
  • D - Battery compartment
  • E - Focus wheel
  • F - Diopter adjustment

 

There are only two control buttons, one on each barrel. Beyond the placement, the two soft-touch buttons are easy to distinguish by the arrow (Power) and gear (Select) symbols. A short press on the Power button activates the electronics. The laser used in Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42  binoculars is eye-safe and invisible to humans. 

For measuring and scanning, you only need the power button. To measure the distance to the target correctly, here's what to do: Long-press on the Power ON/Measure button, which will activate the target mark. Keep your object of interest in the center and release the Power ON/Measure button. It takes less than a second to get the reading.

Ranger LRF 10x42 can give distance in meters or yards. To change the unit of measurement, press and hold the Select button for 3 seconds

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Laser Rangefinding (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Laser Rangefinding (image source: Steiner Optik)

Winged eyecups are made from soft silicone. They're especially useful for shielding your eyes from bright light and in adverse weather (wind and snow). Users with eyeglasses can fold them down

Diopter adjustment is separated for each eye. The grooved surface makes for an easier grip. 

The focus wheel, too, is textured and moves smoothly.  The central focusing mechanism is the preference among both birders and hunters. When murmuration of starlings takes flight, there's no time for finesse or you'll miss the moment. A central focus is easy and fast

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 is powered by a single CR2 battery. The plastic battery cap has a coin slot for easier opening with gloves in wintertime. Steiner claims that one battery lasts about 2,500 measurement cycles at optimal temperature and level 3 display brightness. 

Need a spare CR2 battery?

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When power drops, the battery icon is displayed mid-measurements as well.  Extreme cold reduces battery life, so always keep your LRF binos close to the body. For comfortable carry when moving on foot, Steiner included a carrying strap in the box with the product. You also get a soft case for safe transport. 

Magnification

  • 10x magnification

The 10x magnification lets users feel close to the action, without compromising the field of view. This is particularly crucial for medium and long-range hunters. Scanning large swaths of land and tracking moving game is much easier with wider FOVs. This 10x42 binocular shows 108 meters at a distance of 1000 meters.

Considering the fairly powerful magnification and 42mm lens, the Ranger 10x42 LRF is not intended for hunting in twilight or dusk. Nevertheless, the dimmable display of Ranger LRFs keeps the view-through comfortable even through dying light. For exceptional low-light performance, check out Steiner Nighthunter 8x56 binos or keep your sight set on the future Ranger LRFs. Steiner will undoubtedly expand the series to include a nighttime specialist.

Display

  • selectable brightness
  • uncomplicated display
  • symbols & numbers > illuminated in red

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 has a straightforward display that is both effective and easy to get a handle on. Every bit of info you need is arranged in a minimalistic, user-focused fashion.

The display brightness is adjustable to the environmental situation. There are 6 levels of intensity, keeping the look-through comfortable through long outings in changing ambient light. 

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Display in Detail (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Display in Detail (image source: Steiner Optik)

Integrated inclinometer

Calculating precise bullet trajectory is no easy job at known distances on flatland but exceedingly difficult on sloped terrains of mountain hunt.

Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF has a built-in feature that shows horizontal distance (HD) and the respective angle individually. The inclinometer is a must feature for bowhunters but gives great returns on many other types of hunt as well. With shooting uphill or downhill being a challenge enough as it is, at least there's an angle-compensation technology in your pocket that you can trust. 

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Feature Modes (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Feature Modes (image source: Steiner Optik)

Feature Modes

  • first target priority
  • last target priority
  • extreme weather 

Depending on the hunting situation, Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF has 3 simple modes of operation.

Priority of a closer object is a useful feature when you're aiming at more than just one target, like a band of mountain goats or tree line. First Target Priority measures the distance to the object in the foreground. It's primarily used in golf, where the distance to the first flag is the only information that matters. The mode icon too, is a small flag.

The near opposite mode is the priority of another object or the Last Target Priority. This measuring mode comes in handy when hunting in densely planted and rocky areas. In nature, game is usually partially covered with other, less important surrounding objects like rocks and bushes. When this mode is enabled, Steiner Ranger will give a distance reading of the object that is further away, e.g. a deer standing behind a bush.

The third mode enables optimized rangefinding results in extreme weather conditions (rain, thick fog, and snow). The display shows a cloud icon when activating this mode.

Scan Mode

  • continuous measurement
  • fast-moving game
  • wide field of view

In dynamic hunting situations and when monitoring animal movement, singular distance readings do not suffice. This is why manufacturers of modern rangefinders and LRF binos also implement scan mode.

Scan Mode displays changing distances in a continuous manner, as fast and accurately as possible. On Ranger 10x42 LRF, you can activate it by holding down the Measure button. The combination of scan mode and wide field of view (105m/1000m) makes scanning with Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF a breeze.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Feature Modes (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Feature Modes (image source: Steiner Optik)

Ranger 10x42 LRF binoculars have a simple workflow

What is the Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 measurement range?

All rangefinding optics perform best in the sunshine. Environmental factors like lingering fog and thickly wooded areas can obstruct target visibility. This negatively affects the measuring capabilities of your LRF.

In optimal conditions, Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF can range from 25  to 1800 meters (from 27.3 yds to 1968.5 yds). 

Accuracy of measurement:

  • ±1.0m/yds up to 300m/328yds
  • ±2.0m/yds up to 600m/656yds
  • ±0.5% above 600m/656yds
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)

Steiner Ranger LRF vs LRF 1700

This isn't Steiner's first venture into the world of rangefinding binoculars. The company has long made LRF binos for military and marine use. Nevertheless, the biggest audience reach was achieved with the LRF 1700 bino series.  

Let's see how Steiner Ranger LRF compares to Steiner LRF 1700.

Steiner 1700 LRF 10x30 Binoculars (image source: Steiner Optik)Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 - Front View (image source: Steiner Optik)

Steiner 1700 LRF 10x30 Binoculars (image source: Steiner Optik)

ModelsSteiner 1700 LRF 10x30 Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 LRF 
Price€ 1.999€ 1.499
PrismPorroRoof - Schmidt/Pechan
Designbulky, datedsleek, modern
Field of View108 m105 m
Focusauto focuscentral focus
WxH size 165 mm x 140 mm140 mm x 210 mm
Weight785 g1100 g
Usebirding, mountain huntversatile, birding, deer hunt
Steiner 1700 LRF and Ranger LRF Comparison

The Steiner 1700 LRF series was introduced in 2020. Because of the Porro prism system, the binos are wide and bulky. Compare that to the thin barrels on the Ranger LRF series and overall trimmed-down look.

Both binos are reinforced with army green rubber coats. The Steiner 1700 10x30 LRF also sports raised surface lines for easier grip in wet weather. Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 LRF is heavier than Steiner 1700 LRF 10x30. But thanks to the Roof build, holding Ranger LRFs in a single hand is no trouble.

The 1700 LRF series' working temperature range is from - 40° to + 80°C (40°F to 176°F). The 2022 models are slightly less impervious to extreme weather, though this makes little difference to the majority of users. Unless you're planning a trip to the Vostok Station in Antarctica, you can rest easy knowing that Ranger LRF binoculars operate smoothly from -20 to +50°C (-4°F to 122°F).

The Steiner LRF 1700 models come in only 2 configurations: 8x30 and 10x30. They're geared towards mountain hunters whose preferred game is European mouflon and chamois. The Ranger LRF series promises to deliver more widely used magnification and lens size combos. 10x42 is a great start because it's suitable for bigger audiences: hunters, birders, and general outdoor enthusiasts.

The image quality of Steiner Ranger LRF and Steiner 1700 LRF binos is comparable. Good color fidelity and sharp outlines. When testing the latest LRF bino from Steiner under the blazing sun, we also noticed image blurring at the edges and moderate chromatic aberration. So there haven't been that many changes made from 1700 LRF to Ranger LRF in terms of optical performance.

Lastly, we come to the price factor. Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 LRF is 500 euros cheaper than the 10x30 LRF model. If Steiner adds a 10x30 configuration to the Ranger LRF series, you can expect an even bigger bargain.

Scope of Delivery

Let's take a look at which accessories you'll receive with the product in the box:

  1. Steiner LRF 10x42
  2. Steiner soft carry bag
  3. rain guard protection caps
  4. carrying strap
  5. strap attachment
  6. warranty card
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)
Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 (image source: Steiner Optik)

Ranger LRF Price and Warranty

  • less than 1500 euros
  • 10- year warranty

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 comes with a 10-year guarantee. As per industry standard, the warranty on electronic components is limited to 2 years.

The repair center in Bayreuth, Germany takes care of European customers. But if you're from USA or Australia, the company also has local branches overseas.

The company's customer care is second to none. In the unlikely event that anything should happen to your binos, even after the warranty has run out, Steiner has you covered.

Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 can be purchased for €1,499 (VAT incl.) from your local dealer.

Steiner

Steiner Optik is a German  manufacturer of sports optics. The company was founded over 70 years ago and is well-established among hunters, nature observers and birders. Steiner devices are known for rugged mechanisms and clear glass.

In addition to hobby products, Steiner also makes specialized optics for nautical use, military and law enforcement. It's no surprise then that even for civilian use, Steiner makes incredibly durable optics. Many classic binos, for example, come with 10 or 30 years of guarantee

Thanks to high standards of production and market-adjusted pricing, Steiner Optik is the go-to brand for nature enthusiasts worldwide

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Conclusion

Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF is a dependable and useful addition to your hunting kit. A single device that combines solid optics with an accurate range. All the electronics and glass parts are encased in polished design. Beyond the mode-rich ranging properties, it's Ranger LRF's superior ergonomics that leave a lasting impression.

Steiner Ranger binos are tough and will serve you well in any circumstance. If you don't mind a little extra weight, Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF is well worth the spend.

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Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 Preview
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Steiner Ranger LRF 10x42 Preview
Description
Steiner Ranger 10x42 LRF is a dependable and useful addition to your hunting kit. A single device that combines solid optics with an accurate range. All the electronics and glass parts are encased in polished design. Beyond the mode-rich ranging properties, it's Ranger LRF's superior ergonomics that leave a lasting impression.
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Optics Info
Optics Info
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