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$200-$500 bino's recommendation

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 09:51
muleymaddness View Drop Down
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I'm looking to make an upgrade on my binoculars.  The binoculars I have are decent, but big and bulky.  I have the Nikon Action Extreme 12x50.   
 
I'd like to try and keep it under $500 or so - what would you all recommend?  I'm pretty set on the 10x42 range based on where, when, and what I hunt.
 
Here are a few that I'm considering:
Nikon Monarch X 10.5x45
Nikon Monarch 10x42
Leupold Mojave 10x42
 
And I wished I could find me some Meopta 10x42 for $700 or so, but with no luck.  I'd say $700 would be my top end price.  I don't want to have to worry about them constantly and don't want to feel like I need to protect them with my life (which I would if I spent more than my budget).
 
Thanks for your help!
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 11:34
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my recently purchased Zen ED II's have been awesome.  They compare brightness wise to much more expensive binos.  JB has a review on the OT where he had them in Alaska.  I have been pleased with my purchase!--10x42's from SWFA--a major upgrade compared to my nikon ATB's (10x42) that I have had for 10 years!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 11:35
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I think shipped price was 432.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 14:36
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In the "$500 and under" price category, I don't think you can beat the performance of the Zen Ray ED2 and Hawke Frontier ED, which are essentially the same binocular marketed under different brands.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 17:17
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Yup.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 17:49
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ordered mine today from swfa,from the reviews there getting i can 't wait
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2009 at 19:31
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Add the Vortex Vipers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 08:38
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My Zen 10x ED2's are super.  Nothing comes close in the $400 range.  They are optically superior to my trinovids, and the SLC IMO. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 10:00
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My ZEN EDs are super, and I recently had some excellent CS from Charles regarding a hinge tension issue.  The issue was minor, but ZEN RAY was awesome with taking care of it!
 
I think you are on the right track looking for Meoptas, but they are downright impossible to find around $700.
 
Monarchs are pretty good hunting glass, in my opinion, but they just don't approach the ZEN EDs for value.
 
If you have used Monarchs, and are happy with their performance, take a look at Zen Ray's ZRS HD line.  I just added a pair of Zen Ray ZRS HD 8X42s to my collection to try out.  After I give them a good look, I think they are going to my dad as a birthday gift.  So far, they are pretty impressive. At around $185 shipped from SWFA (That's where I got mineThis Much), you get an excellent Monarch competitor for much less.  I might have to start a thread on the ZRS HD.  They are another qualilty price-buster from ZEN RAY.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 11:23
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I posted a brief review and some pics of the ZRS HD in the Members Tests and Reviews section.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 12:34
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Both Zen Ray binoculars are extremely good for value glass.  The ZRS does indeed beat the Monarch quite easily, and actually is far closer optically to something like the Vortex Viper than their price would lead you to believe.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 15:40
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The zen ray ed2 is way way better then the viper. I have had both and the ed2 is alpha-bane ;)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 18:00
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You can now get the Minox HG 10x43 Aspherical for $580.  These are supposed to be very good, and are well recommended, but I haven't personally tried them yet (though very tempted).  But I would like to know how the Minox HG series compares to the ZEN ED2s.  Has anyone tried both models and know?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 18:44
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Originally posted by kristoffer kristoffer wrote:

The zen ray ed2 is way way better then the viper. I have had both and the ed2 is alpha-bane ;)
 
What do you mean by Alpha-bane?.  The ED2 is not at all close to anything alpha in my
experience with them.  Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 20:26
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kristoffer,
 
Klamath was comparing the Zen Ray ZRS HD binoculars to the Vortex Viper.  I would say it was a fair comparison.
 
I agree the "alphas" are probably cursing the ZEN ED.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2009 at 22:54
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Yes, I was comparing thr ZRS HD to the viper.  I have both in 10x42 and any difference in image is really negligible.  The color bias of each is diferent, but image detail is about a wash.

The ZEN ED are in fact alpha image competitors.  In spite of a few posts to the contrary.  Those ZEN ED would never have hit the ground running if they were seriously flawed as the alpha praisers say they are.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 09:53
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Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

Originally posted by kristoffer kristoffer wrote:

The zen ray ed2 is way way better then the viper. I have had both and the ed2 is alpha-bane ;)
 
What do you mean by Alpha-bane?.  The ED2 is not at all close to anything alpha in my
experience with them.  Loco


The optics are alpha class bar none.  The durability remains to be seen.  This being from personal experience (10x only) comparing them to the trinovid, SLC, and EL, Pentax SP, Leupy GR.  What glass have you compared the Zen ED2 to personally?


Edited by JGRaider - October/07/2009 at 09:54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 12:29
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The ZR that I had was the 7x36 ED2,  I experienced the halo, glare, flare, bottom gray
crescent that others have also seen in this model.  Mine were quickly returned, and the contact at Zen-Ray said they also saw the defect in this example.
I have compared these to other fine optics that I own, such as the 8.5x42 EL, Nikon EDG, other Nikon premiere models, etc.
Any binocular that displays large issues such as that with such a large distraction around the edges does not compare favorably, so of course would not be considered Alpha class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 15:17
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You're right ND.  If however, as is the case with mine which there is no glare, halo, etc, they would be considered alpha glass.  What's your impression of the EDG?

Edited by JGRaider - October/07/2009 at 15:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 15:24
Klamath View Drop Down
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Nobody ever called them Alpha, just darned close.  You fastened onto the glare issue like a drowning sailor to a lifeboat.  I would wager that many people with many different binoculars, when looking into the sun, or toward the sun as you have to do with the ZEN ED will see lots of halo.  Alphas are not immune to this in all situations with all people.  The point is that there is no one binocular design that will suit everybody.  You saw the glare, fine.  Apparently far more people don't see it than do.
 
I still maintain that that glass would not have taken off the way it has, and that Chris here at SWFA would not have gone near it as a dealer if the glare issues were as pronounced as you would have everybody believe.   
 
I think the best way to describe the ZEN ED is that it is a solid tier two binocular, which like all second tier binoculars will challenge the alpha in at least some respects.  It happens to have a tier three price tag, where in lies its real appeal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:52
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

You're right ND.  If however, as is the case with mine which there is no glare, halo, etc, they would be considered alpha glass.  What's your impression of the EDG?
 
What is Alpha class in binoculars?  There may be different ideas here but many would say
that Alpha class optics come from the very best in the world.  That would include Zeiss,
Leica, and Swarovski.  The Nikon EDG is new and Nikons best effort to date.  Some compare
it as an equal to the Alphas.  I really like the EDG 10x42's that I have.  I recently pointed out that SWFA has on the sample list a very good value for these, in my opinion.
 
There has been a lot of fanfare for the ZenRay, and I tried some but did not have the
satisfaction that I was looking for.  I am not out to berate them, but only am pointing out
that some people have found deficiencies.  I have experience with some very nice glass
so sometimes I can be a larger critic than someone who has not.
 
The term Alpha glass should be reserved for the very best.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 18:21
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

What is Alpha class in binoculars?  ...The term Alpha glass should be reserved for the very best.
 
That question was asked on another forum recently.  No answer emerged, nor will a clear answer ever emerge.  As for the alpha designation being for the best, I agree, just that "best" will be a pretty elusive thing to put your tag on. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 00:56
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I wouldn't even put the ZR ED2 into the second tier! You are saying that the ZR is as good as Meopta Meostar B1's, Steiner Peregrine XP's, Nikon LX's, Minox APO's, Docter B/CF's..... These are second tier binoculars NOT ZR's! There is SO much more to a bin (and any product) than just one aspect of it. The ZR has proven to be a good view that does a good job at controlling CA but thats it. And to try to elevate them is just sillyRoll on Floor Laughing They are nowhere nere the overall build quality of any of the above let alone a Alpha.... And you don't have to believe me ask the optic experts like Holger or EDZ.... But then they have already answered this and have come out on the side of the above and the Alphas NOT the ZRs!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 08:44
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Originally posted by CLRobles CLRobles wrote:

I wouldn't even put the ZR ED2 into the second tier! You are saying that the ZR is as good as Meopta Meostar B1's, Steiner Peregrine XP's, Nikon LX's, Minox APO's, Docter B/CF's..... These are second tier binoculars NOT ZR's! There is SO much more to a bin (and any product) than just one aspect of it. The ZR has proven to be a good view that does a good job at controlling CA but thats it. And to try to elevate them is just sillyRoll on Floor Laughing They are nowhere nere the overall build quality of any of the above let alone a Alpha.... And you don't have to believe me ask the optic experts like Holger or EDZ.... But then they have already answered this and have come out on the side of the above and the Alphas NOT the ZRs!


Glad to see you've migrated over here to this forum with your smartazz comments.  I don't need to ask anybody, I actually look through them and make up my own mind.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2009 at 10:12
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Robles,
 
Well I wondered where you would pop up again, and here you are.  CLR, the "I don't have to see it to evaluate it" instant bino guy. Like I will believe anything you have to say.  If you haven't looked at the ZR, how much other stuff have you not looked at, but feel free to evaluate? 
 
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