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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 09:53
JGRaider View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: February/06/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1431
I copied and pasted from another forum, this being from a popular birdwatcher's forum.  I found this interesting if nothing else.  I did not write this.  Time will tell from a durability standpoint, but optically the Chinese are knocking at the door already it appears.  Take it FWIW

From the Forum:
I have no connection with Zen Ray apart from buying binoculars.

The comments and opinions expressed here are mine and relate solely to this pair of binoculars.

Pre ordered April, finally received Friday 3rd August, a day before I went on a one week holiday to the Lake District and in time to take them to the bird fair.

Over the past 2 weeks I have compared the Prime HD to my current binoculars, SV 8.5x42, Zeiss FL 8x32 and Hawke ED 8x42. On my return from holiday I also took delivery of the Nikon EDG2 8x32.

I had to wait until the bird fair before I could directly compare the Prime HD with other 10x42’s.
As a spectacle wearer, I sold my previous Zen Ray 10x42 ED2 about 3 years ago because of insufficient eye relief. I have been looking forward to owning another 10x42 that fits me.

My binocular preferences.
Since buying the SV, edge to edge sharpness and definition, together with an absence of CA is a priority for me together with a wide FOV.

The FL is a superb binocular being small, light, sharp, bright and almost free of CA. But the edge is not sharp and eye placement is a little finicky. Build quality is excellent.

The Nikon EDG is optically equal to the FL, even less CA than the FL, sharp to the edge but a little larger and heavier. No problem with eye placement and the build quality is exemplary.

The SV is optically superb across the entire FOV, very sharp to the edge with a small amount of CA visible towards the very outer edge. The SV is of course larger than the FL and EDG. Build quality is excellent.

The Hawke frontier ED is optically good but suffers some edge distortion. CA is well controlled in the centre and only slightly noticeable around the edge. Its build quality is OK (I returned two previous samples due to QC issues) and its focus mechanism feels vague and imprecise. However, it is excellent value for money given the image it provides.

Prime HD 10x42.
First Impressions.
Fit, feel, build quality is first rate, comparable to my SV, Zeiss, Nikon and superior to the Hawke.
Focus is smooth with no free play, the hinge mechanism is firm but not too tight and the dioptre ring has enough resistance so as not to be inadvertently moved.

Internally, my sample is spotlessly clean, no dust, grease, glue or visible oil. The quality of the internal finishing looks excellent.
How long this binocular holds together is of course unknown.
So far I am very impressed with my purchase.

Accessories.
Binocular strap is pretty decent, the rain guard and objective lens covers adequate but flimsy and the case is much longer than the binoculars.
The accessories do not do justice to the quality of the binoculars.

Optics.
Superb.
Bright, very sharp across the entire FOV, right to the edge.
Image definition and clarity is as good as the SV with just a little more visible CA towards the outer edge compared to the SV.
Eye relief is excellent. I can see the entire FOV with no blackouts. The view is nice, relaxed and for me fatigue free. The image definitely has the WOW factor.

One area where the Prime HD is not as good as the SV, FL or EDG is the control of glare in particularly difficult lighting conditions i.e. Sun just outside the FOV or the Sun behind foliage.
What I am saying is the Prime HD, relative to those three binoculars shows a little more glare and veiling. NOTE: I am not talking about the severe veiling and glare like my previous Zen Ray 7x36 ED exhibited.

Bird Fair. Saturday 18th Aug.
I took my Prime HD 10x42’s along and did very quick comparisons with the following 10x42’s.
Nikon EDG, Zeiss Victory FL/HT, Meopta Meostar/HD, Leica Trinovid/Ultravid, Swaro SV,Opticron Aurora, Pentax ED, Bushnell Elite/Legend, Vortex ? and both Hawke Sapphire ED’s.

Please note I did not spend to much time with each pair but sufficient to gain an impression of the optical characteristics of each binocular compared to my Prime HD.

Nikon EDG.
Excellent control of CA and nice edge definition. PrimeHD shows slightly more CA towards the edge.

Zeiss FL & HT.
Both have a very bright and contrasty image. The HT does appear brighter and to have a slightly larger sweet spot before the edge definition falls away compared to the FL. CA is very well controlled in both binoculars. Prime HD has better edge definition but slightly more CA towards the edge.

Meopta Meostar.
The regular Meostar was not as bright as the Prime and suffers some edge distortion. The Meostar HD had a nice flat field almost to the edge but seemed to lack a little contrast. Control of CA very similar to the Prime HD. Prime HD has better contrast and edge definition.

Leica Trinovid & Ultravid.
The short time I had with these I could not tell them apart. Nice image with a large sweet spot that softens towards the edge. Control of CA was excellent.

Swarovski 10x42 SV.
I am biased towards the SV. Superb optics. Ditto the 8x32SV that I looked through.

To my eyes the Prime HD was optically better than the Opticron Aurora, Pentax ED, Bushnell Elite’s / Legend and both Hawke Sapphire ED’s. I cannot remember the model of Vortex.

My conclusion:
The Nikon EDG and Swarovski SV are superior to the Prime HD in the control of CA at the edge of the FOV.
The Nikon EDG and Swarovski SV are superior at handling glare in particularly difficult lighting conditions.

To my eyes, image definition is about equal among all three binoculars. They are very sharp across the entire FOV.

Overall, I am absolutely delighted with my Prime HD. Its optical performance is comparable with the best available, only losing out in the control of CA at the edge of the FOV. Even here it is by no means objectionable.

I’ve left the value for money aspect till last. VFM = Outstanding.

Cost including promotional discount, shipping and customs duty, under £500.
Nikon EDG and Swarovski SV 10x42 about £1500 a pair.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 10:43
timberbuck View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: August/13/2012
Status: Offline
Points: 84
I have never been able to see any CA in my sample of 10x42 FL.
My 8.5x42 SV does show a little  CA at the edges., does not bother me at all if a bino has a little at the edges.

Both handle glare very well.

Sounds like the Prime is going to be a good fit, I think I am going to order the 8x as a backup to my SV.

Good review-thanks for posting.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2012 at 13:34
JGRaider View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: February/06/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1431
I'm thinking about the 8x as a backup myself for the SLC HD.  I'm a died in the wool 10x guy, but I'm going to give the 8x42 a whirl.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2012 at 22:37
timberbuck View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: August/13/2012
Status: Offline
Points: 84
Well got myself a 10x prime , posted a review on birdforum.net in the zen ray section. Ran it against my 8.5 swarovision and 10x42 Zeiss victory FL.
 
To sum it up-the Prime is not an Alpha killer IMO, but it is optically worth its asking price.
No issues with mine with quality control. Next question for me would be how good it compares to binoculars in the $1000 range like the Meopta meostar HD and Zeiss conquest HD. Would it be worth spending more than the prime costs for those two.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 15:50
JGRaider View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: February/06/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 1431
I'll be interested in your take on the comparisons with the $1000 stuff.  Keep us posted if you don't mind.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2012 at 21:17
timberbuck View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: August/13/2012
Status: Offline
Points: 84
Sorry, I'm done buying optics for a while. The 8.5 SV and 10x Prime are handling my needs.
If I wanted a better 10x than the Prime I would just keep the 10X Zeiss FL. I prefer a 8x glass these days for an all around hunting bino. The Meopta Meostar HD and Zeiss Conquest HD are not as good as the FL I have so there is no point. My use for the Prime is a backup .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 18:54
FOsteology View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: February/21/2007
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 95
No "alpha killers" in my opinion and experience, but for the price they sure do provide some wonderful optics.
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