ShadowQuest 8x56

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The new Shadowquest 8x56 delivers the industry’s highest light gathering optics to find and identify game in low light. Steiner’s Diamond Night lens coatings increase your odds for success.

Experience the next evolutionary step in low- light binoculars. This technology, combined with Steiner’s hunting heritage, produces the ultimate optic for low-light hunting. The new Steiner ShadowQuest — it’s almost like having an unfair advantage. awarded the Steiner ShadowQuest binoculars as the

"2020 Best Low Light Hunting Binocular"

"Low light performance is off the charts...I would also add that the general image quality is excellent and about as good as you could ever hope for."  Read the full review here

Available from Steiner for: 

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Product Comparisons

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Product Features: 

Best in the industry light transmission (96%+)

With the industry’s highest light transmission, they add critical minutes to your hunt.

Clarity in low light

with Steiner’s proprietary Diamond NightTM lens coating formula uses rare-earth materials to deliver virtually all available light to your eye.


lets you focus each eyepiece to your vision once, then keeps images razor sharp from 20 yards to infinity. No more chasing focus on moving objects.

Steiner Lumiclip

is simple and innovative. The luminescent clip glows with just enough light to easily locate your binoculars in the darkest hours.

Military ruggedness, precision and performance

provide more than half a century of battle-proven reliability and built to perform in the toughest conditions.


Item No.MagnificationObjective LensField of ViewSpecial FeatureRanging Distance
20398x56 mm135 m at 1000 m96% + light transmissionN/A
Field of View135 m at 1000 m
Objective Lens56 mm
Focus SystemSports-Auto-Focus
Optics Systems96% +/-
Close Focus66 ft
Exit Pupil7.0 mm
Twilight Factor21.2
Rubber ArmoringNBR Long Life
WaterproofSubmersion to 16ft
Weight38.45 oz
Dimension (HxWxL)7.8x8.3 in
Neck Strapneoprene
Neck Strap AttachmentClicLoc
Special Features96% + light transmission
WarrantyHeritage Warranty
Nitrogen Filled14-psi pressurized nitrogen-filled
Objective CoverIncluded
Rain Protection CapIncluded
Carry CaseIncluded

ShadowQuest 8x56 is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 9.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best optic for low-light and night time My observations in low light and night time usage were excellent with this ShadowQuest 8x56 I am very impressed. it very bright and crystal clear in low- light peering into dark areas where I could see nothing by naked eye every detail was visible with the binocular.with Sports-Auto-Focus make it much easier to use This lets you pick up moving objects faster. Excellent focus free that I have been wanting for years.and it weight only 38.45 oz Good buy!
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My go-to binocs are Steiner Ranger Pro 10x56mm but the 8x56mm Shadowqst are brighter and lighter weight. A bit bulkier. I don't mind since the poro-prism is pretty efficient and the strap is comfortable. I hunt wildboar late into the p.m. and these Shadowquests are effective.
Date published: 2019-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent excellent excellent I've had a few different brands of binoculars. The ShadowQuest 8x56 are amazing. Very clear glass. Easy to focus. Best at lower light viewing too. They are BIG in your hands. High quality construction. Glad I purchased them. Would recommend!!
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best product I ever owned I have owned a pair of these for several years and love them.
Date published: 2017-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Replacement for 30 YO Steiner 8x56 I purchased these to replace a 30 year old pair of 8x56 Steiner porro prism binoculars that were deemed unrepairable by the US service department. They are very clear under low light conditions. Hopefully they will last longer than the last pair.
Date published: 2020-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good for Eyeglass Wearers This is one of only three binoculars that allow people wearing glasses to see the full view due to their long eye relief. We need a minimum of 20mm and this one has 24.4mm. Most other binoculars average 17mm.
Date published: 2020-08-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fantastic optics but a couple fatal flaws First off let me preface by saying that if this were a review of just the optics it would be hands down five stars. These binos perform beyond my expectations but there are countless reviews already saying this so I'll end it there as I echo each and every one of those opinions on the glass. So why three stars. Well first and foremost the clicloc design, this single point of failure and yes it could be argued is on any strap design but you can see wear on traditional mountings. As a mechanical engineer by trait I'm concerned how the plastic clip will hold up bouncing around in the field. Get a harness you say, sure I plan to do that, but looking at what Steiner offers their harness is a traditional clip, forgoing the clicloc system so that just makes my fear of these coming unhinged at exactly the wrong moment even greater. Ideally I'd love to use them with something like a KUIU harness but given their size that isn't possible so any folks out there that have a decent solution for a harness please reply in comments. The other down tick is the glow lights. There is no obvious way to attach these without tearing off the lense covers which I'm then not sure I'd be able to reattach. Frankly, this is a moot point as the binos will either be around my neck or in a harness so fumbling for them in low light or the dark isn't a huge feature but more of a marketing gimmick in my opinion. In full transparency I've not owned these for a long period of time so these are just my initial impressions. If over time the system clicloc system holds up I'll certainly revisit this review and give it the 5 stars for optics that it does deserve. I just need to find a suitable carrying solution first. Would I recommend to a friend yes, but with caveats on the clicloc system.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpectedly versatile binoculars I acquired these binoculars primarily for the following niche purposes: 1. Low light/nighttime wildlife observation (I study nocturnal animals professionally) 2. Astronomy (a budding hobby) In these capacities, the Steiner ShadowQuests excel. When set to my eyes' variant of the default "Sport Focus" setting (more on that later), these binoculars are great for crepuscular and nocturnal wildlife viewing. On a few treks from dusk to nighttime under ~1/3 crescent moon (and fairly light polluted skies), I was, at relatively close (~30m/yards) distances, able to distinguish bucks from does, and owls from squirrel nests, so the glasses get a solid 5 stars there. Likewise, after tweaking the focus to my "astronomy" setting, the stars and moon are stunning in their brightness and sharpness, and the moderate 8x magnification makes exploring the (again, light polluted) skies a pleasure. They easily fit my universal strap type tripod adapter. I was surprised to find that the ShadowQuests are decent general use binoculars as well. I've taken them birding during the day (my primary binoculars are off for service right now), and the Steiners (on the default setting) are great at spotting and identifying anything farther away than about 25 yards. I did have to deploy my pocket 8x25 binoculars to help with close sparrows and such, so I wouldn't recommend these Steiners as primary birding glasses, but they'll do in a pinch or medium+ distances (and the sharpness, colors, etc. within their range limitations are excellent). I wasn't expecting them to be so good in this realm. Given their size, they are also comfortable (I like the winged eyeshields, but see below) waterproof, fog proof, comfortable to hold, not too heavy, and well made. Furthermore, you can read in countless other reviews how great the optics are, and I concur. So why 4/5 stars? Well, there are a few drawbacks. First up, the marketing gimmicks. 1. Sports Auto Focus. This is jargon for individual focus. The default focus setting works well for medium to long distance birding, wildlife observation, and quick glances at anything else, but will probably not be comfortable for long observations at a given distance, and will be mediocre for astronomy. 2. Lumiclips. These are just glow-in-the-dark bits of plastic that take the place of your objective covers. I wanted to retain the objective covers, so I just attached the glowing doo-dads to the strap ends (pic attached: I use these binoculars on a harness too) in case I need them (though I haven't yet). Anyway, these are an oversold "feature". 3. They are big. They are dorky. Their shiny logos and marketing festoons (e.g., "Steiner Nanoprotection") make me feel like they're compensating for something. They are not. They're great binoculars, and would be even better without the visual shouting. Next, the ergonomic niggles. Now that we can admit these are individual focus binoculars, we should acknowledge that that focus mechanism is pretty stiff. It's difficult to adjust focus on a target "on the fly", so be warned. This is exacerbated by the winged eyecups, which turn with the focus rings, so what was a comfortable, "zen" experience at one focus setting is now an awkward exercise of rotating or folding the eye shields at another (or you can leave them folded all the time, and miss out on their benefits). Note too that the best focus setting for astronomy and truly distant viewing is quite different than the default setting. Sine I use these binoculars in two distinct capacities (wildlife viewing and astronomy), I've memorized the first use's focus settings, and marked the second's on the focus rings in pencil. Switching between uses is easier now, though I still need to fiddle with the winged eye shields each time. So these binoculars are best when you can "set and forget" the focus for your intended use, and cumbersome if you can't. Anyway, these Steiners are great for their specific purposes, and I generally love using them!
Date published: 2020-03-15
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What is the warranty on Steiner Hunting Series binoculars?

Asked by: TomC
The Shadow Quest will have our Heritage Warranty.
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2018-01-17

Do the eyecups of the ShadowQuest fold down for eyeglass wearers?

Asked by: Why do I need a nickname
Yes they will fold down.
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2019-11-24

Are these the same as the Nighthunter 8x56mm series?

Asked by: MFTJaeger
While not the same, they would definitely be considered the "closest" relative to the Nighthunter.
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2019-11-24

I have the 9x40 bighorn model but the rubber coating is getting sticky and soft like its breaking down. I think soon it will start peeling away. What are my options to fixing this issue? Thanks Leroy Bauer

Asked by: Bauer
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2018-08-10

What is the Eye Relief of the ShadowQuest 8x56?

Asked by: SMark
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2020-04-19

I Don’t have a lot of experience in searching for the right binoculars and I was hoping you will be able to tell me which one is best for long range shooting up to 600 yards as well as for hunting. 

Asked by: Milan
Hello, It would all depend on the type of shooting you are doing. You will not likely be able to see holes in paper at those distances. However if you are shooting steel you should be able to call hits and misses. The Shadow Quests are a fantastic pair for hunting. They let in a huge amount of light compared to other binoculars so your image clarity at extended distances will be very good.
Answered by: Steiner Tech Support
Date published: 2019-11-24

Hi Does the ShadowQuest binocular have the reticules for estimating the range of the target?

Asked by: Mahi93
There is no reticle in the ShadowQuest. Reticles are mostly used in our military and marine lines.
Answered by: TeamSteiner
Date published: 2019-11-24

Will the ShadowQuest show animals in the darkness of night?

Asked by: Sandhorse
The ShadowQuest may be the best binoculars ever made for showing animals in low light conditions. It works amazingly well at dusk, when it's getting hard to see. They are, however, not night vision gear. They don't use infrared or anything like that.
Answered by: TeamSteiner
Date published: 2019-11-24
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