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Bushnell Elite or Zen Ray or?? Need Help

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 08:43
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Hello, I recently had a pair of Bushnell Elite 10x43 (not the E2's) stolen and I am needing to replace them.  I really liked those Binos!

I have not decided what to replace them with and would like some help.

I noticed there is a pair on the sample list for sale to replace what I had but wanted to know if the Zen-Ray ED3's would be better and a better price point or if there is something else I should look at?  And also why they are better than the Elite's?

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 09:22
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I had the 10x43 elites also, and I really liked them.  I also had the ZenED 2.  Optically the Zen was a bit sharper, and definitely brighter.  I'd expect the ED3 to be a little better yet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 18:03
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Ok so the Zen E3 should be brighter...is that just in the sweet spot?  How do they compare on the edges?  I know the build quality of the Elite is pretty dang good.  What about the E3 with the twist knobs hanging in front of the focus knob?  Two of my big issues would be visibility dusk/dawn through the entire field of view and overall quality.  Everything I have read about the E3 tells me they have great glass in the sweet spot but overall comparison to the Elites is what I am looking for.  Should I look at anything else like the Vortex line or Kruger etc...   Trying to get the best bang for the buck since I am out from mine being swiped. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 18:25
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I'd like to know what it is about edge performance that so hypes folks up.  It seems the most unnatural, even painful thing you can do in normal binocular use is to purposely fool around looking at the edge of the field.  The edge of the ED 3 is better than the ED 2 and the ED 2 is good enough for most people, and is better than the edgeophobes give it credit for, and as far as I can see about the same edge performance as the Elite as well.  The performance at the edge is certainly good enough for peripheral movement to attract your attention, just as it would do with your normal unaided eye.  On top of this the fov with the ZEN ED series is a lot bigger than the Elite, a noticeable difference too, not just some spec number observation.  I personally think the optics are a wash, but would go with the ZEN because of the larger fov and hence the larger sweet spot.  The Elite is a smaller more compact glass, so I guess it comes down to how you intend to use it.  If you want a smaller more compact glass and can get along with the fov, the the Elite might be for you.  On the other hand the ED 3 has (and this is my opinion) better optics, but is a little bigger physically.  While I always liked the Elite, I could never warm up enough to it to buy one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 18:53
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the info.  Honestly, the only reason I even bring up edge performance is because it seems that is all I read about.  Maybe size is what I need to look at.  The Elites are pretty compact and light for what they are but I guess comparing the two in specs might be a good idea.  The Elites in my biased opinion are fantastic binos but if I can find a way not to eat the extra money then better for me.

Thanks again
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2011 at 18:57
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Let me move this a bit further.  Any other recommendations in the ED3 price range that have the same glass but better case?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2011 at 13:43
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by nortac10 nortac10 wrote:

Let me move this a bit further.  Any other recommendations in the ED3 price range that have the same glass but better case?
You could look at the Theron Wapiti APO-ED or the Kruger Caldera, those and the ZEN ED series are the top performers in the mid range class.
 
When you say case what exactly are you talking about, the case that comes with the binoculars or the physical enclosure the binocular is built into?  The physical enclosure is different on all three, the Kruger being the most compact of the three.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2011 at 09:22
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I do believe he meant the binocular's housing..or the package the optics were housed in to make it a bit clearer.
 
Personally I found nothing wrong with the durability or ergonomics of the Zen ED3's. They are quite pleasurable to hold especially with the new armor and improved focusing mechanism. The only issue that might come up would be the physically length of the binocular. They are not "long" in the big scheme of things but shorter binoculars with similar features are certainly available. The two models that Klamath mentioned above along with the Bushnell Legend Ultra HDs would be the obvious suggestions if a more compact package with similar (but not quite as good as) optics were the desire.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 17:34
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Frank is correct that I was talking about the housing.

I still have not made a decision as of yet.  I have started to look at some Swarovski 10x42 SLC for a good price, although double the Zens.  I really like the Elite 10x43 housing and want something similar with as good or better glass for, ofcourse, the same kinda dollars.  How would the Swaro SLC's compare to the Zen ED3's

Also how do the Krugers compare optically to the ED3's?

I still have my ultimate back up plan and just get the Elite's again from the sample list.

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 20:58
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I own both the SLC and ED2.  The Swaros are slightly better in every way (apparent sharpness, sweet spot, edge performance, etc.) but CA control.  The SLCs have much better depth of field.  The biggest difference is fit and finish.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 21:11
nortac10 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

but CA control.  The biggest difference is fit and finish.

Sorry, what is CA control?   Which would you consider as better in fit and finish?

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 21:41
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CA is Chromatic Aberration or color-fringing.

It is the halo of purple, blue, or yellow that you see where objects in high-contrast meet in the field of view.  The SLCs show it mildly across the FOV.  The Zens control it very, very well.

The SLCs have the look and feel of top-notch engineering.  They also feel like you could use them as an improvised hammer, if needed.

The ED2s are built OK, with a pretty good fit and finish, and right in line with their similarly-priced competition.  It is the ED2's optics that compete with the SLCs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 21:46
nortac10 View Drop Down
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So $1k for Swaro 10x42 slc or $450 for Zen ED3's or $600 for Bushnell Elite 10x43?  GEEESH!  what are your thoughts>?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/22/2011 at 22:16
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My thoughts are any of them are going to show you what the other will.  All are excellent choices.  My guess is you will be mostly satisfied, and have a little bit of the "What if..." no matter which way you go.

I am currently boycotting Bushnell until their customer service improves.


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