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Comparison of Bushnell Legend and Zen Ray

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 10:03
jw1044 View Drop Down
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Want to buy a pair of 8x42 binoculars to be used primarily for hunting.  I have kinda narrowed it down to the Bushnell Legend Ultra($180) and the Zen Ray ZRS Summit($205).  Early and late light is a major consideration.

I would like to get the opinions of the experts and those who have tried both, as well as any additional recommendations.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 11:55
tucson47 View Drop Down
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After years of hunting with BL I finally tried the ZR.
I'm glad I changed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 12:38
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Optically I think you will find some notable differences. The ZR is slightly warm in color representation and it has a wide apparent sweet spot and pleasing edge performance. The Bushnell has a razor sharp center field with more of a blue-green (cool) color bias. The edge performance I found a bit distracting though.
 
Ergonomically the ZR is one of the shortest 42 mm binoculars on the market. The Bushnell is average in this area and I could never warm up to the ridges on the body. They just didn't give me a comfortable tactile sensation.
 
Others to consider at and around the price points you mentioned that are in the same optical class as these two would be the Bresser Everest ED, the Zhumell Nova ED and the Sightron S II Blue Sky. I have owned them all at one point or another and wouldn't think twice about using any of these five as a regular glass.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 14:35
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I would have a hard time picking either of the two you mention. I had a Bushnell Ultra HD, but sent it back as it had something rattling around in it. I seem to recall reading somewhere that there is a part in the focus knob that will rattle, but does not affect performance. Since a rattle will sooner or later drive me crazy, it went back.

I have also had two Z-R's, but don't own either one now. The ED2 worked reasonably well, but it's focus knob was mediocre at best, and I found I did not care for the weight. The 32mm ZRS's focus knob disassembled itself within the first few minutes of use, so it went back to the retailer. But if I had to pick one of those two, I would go with the Z-R, mostly because their customer service is reputed to be very good.

OTOH, the 8x32mm Sightron Blue Sky has proven to be a very nice bino, with absolutely no glaring faults. I would therefore echo FrankD's suggestion, and recommend that you research the 42mm B.S., and perhaps the 32mm's as well. You might also look at the Leupold Hawthorne 7x42, which can be found in your price range if you shop around. These are quite sharp in view, and have a feeling of exceptional build quality. Leupy's C.S. is second to none as well......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 16:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 16:15
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The Zhumell Nova ED's can be bought for $100.  How do they compare to the Zen Rays for light transmission? and overall?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 17:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2013 at 18:26
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Originally posted by jw1044 jw1044 wrote:

The Zhumell Nova ED's can be bought for $100.  How do they compare to the Zen Rays for light transmission? and overall?


Can't say which of the two has better light transmission, but given my experience with several other Z-R's and the Nova, I seriously doubt that the Nova will better the ZRS.

Overall though, the Nova is a very good buy at the $100 price point. It handles well, and has a solid feel. I only used one for a short period of time and without the presence of other binos to compare to, but IIRC the Nova does very well. In fact, I've not ever seen any other 42mm bino in this price range that can stand up to the Nova.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2013 at 22:38
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I finally decided to get the open box Zen Ray ED3 s.  I look forward to using them this fall.

Thanks for all the info and advice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2013 at 09:14
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You won't be disappointed. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2013 at 16:03
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I have a Bushnell Legend 12x50.  The glass is surprisingly good for a mid-level Bushnell (made in Japan).
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