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hawke ed or zen ray ed or promaster ed

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Poll Question: which pair is the all around best especially optically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 01:23
skilly1979 View Drop Down
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tell me why you picked a certain bino and tell a little about them. im going to by a pair as the hawke were number 1 then zen ray's number 2 and finally 3 are the promaster, im just making sure i dont get the wrong pair.

Edited by skilly1979 - April/05/2009 at 01:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 01:28
skilly1979 View Drop Down
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the reason why im asking is because i was going to fork the money out for a high end bino like swaro's, leicas etc!. but i been reading those up top are just as optically good and at 1/4 the price.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/05/2009 at 09:53
Klamath View Drop Down
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I would place the order of those as ZEN ED first, Promaster second and Hawke third.  The Hawke is last because it seems to have a common complaint of softness at the edge of the field.  I have the ZEN ED and Promaster.  Optically they are too close to call. The chief difference is the ZEN ED is a little slimmer because it has a littler thinner armor on the barrels and it has nicer eye cups.  The ZEN also has a listed higher fov.  The Promaster has both water an oil repellent coatings, while the ZEN does not.  Both ZEN and Promaster have quite flat fields and little edge distortion.  ZEN has the best price.
 
They really do seem to be 99% of the optical view for 25% or so of the price when compared to the alpha glass.  But they are a new binocular and the companies marketing them are new, so the warranty, service, and repair issues are open questions.
 
There has to be something that comes from the extra money of the high end stuff.  But the ZEN class looks and feels pretty solid and I for one don't have pause over what seems like a weak build or non serviceable design.  They seem at least as well built and solid as the Vortex, Leupold, Nikon and other binoculars in that price class.
 
Alpha class glass makes more sense if you use your binocular a lot, need it to make your living, use it in extreme conditions, or if you have the tendency to always want the best "stuff".  That last is not uncommon and probably sells a lot of "stuff".
 
 


Edited by Klamath - April/05/2009 at 09:57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2009 at 14:04
spf2 View Drop Down
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don't have hands-on experience with Hawke or Promaster. I received the ZEN ED.  After a brief use, its optical quality is actually better than I have anticipated. After reading many positive reviews on them, I was like, come on, it must be decent, but not stellar for $360. Well, it is very good indeed. Thanks a lot for the recommendation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 09:54
GreenWolf70 View Drop Down
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New price drop on the ProMaster's ($350 shipped), just look around.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 16:00
kicker View Drop Down
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With the price of the zen's and the promasters equal which one would you choose? Now it comes down to optics, low light performance, warranty, fov.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 17:23
Klamath View Drop Down
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There is zero difference optically.  You will blow your eyeballs out through your ears trying that one.  The image is a little more color neutral in the ZEN and maybe a bit on the yellowish side of warm on the Promaster.  But what you can see with one, you can see with the other.  The  differences will be that the Promaster has rain and oil repellent coatings (which is likely the reason for the slight image difference) and the ZEN does not.  The ZEN has a wider fov than the Promaster, but it is close enough that the difference does not jump out at you.  The barrels on the ZEN are set a bit further apart, but that is because they have thinner armor than the Promaster.  If you have small or deep set eyes the ZEN has more accommodating eye cups.  Zen Ray does however, optically inspect all binoculars before shipping them.  Not many places do that.
 
I keep the Promaster in my truck, because I sometimes have hands that are not too clean when I need to grab the binocular.  The Promaster has sort of a retro WW-II looking case that does not give much indication that it contains a really decent binocular.  Also the case is big enough that you can get the binocular in and out in a hurry.
 
I did put the ZEN on top in the above post, mostly because it has a tad brighter image and the wider fov.  That is not a real solid reason as they are pretty well in a dead heat.  I use them both about equally.
 
 


Edited by Klamath - April/08/2009 at 17:32
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2009 at 20:09
kicker View Drop Down
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Just received my promasters. They are unbelivable crisp and bright. I am very much a novice but I did not notice unfavorable edge distortion. There is a little bit there (very little) but I tend to focus my eyes at the center. The build and quality appear solid. The hinges are heavy duty and the focus wheel is pretty smooth. Compared to my 15yr old bushnell powerview 10x50 porros this is a tremendous step up. I went with promaster because of there no fault warrant. Seems similar to Vortex's warranty but with a $25 fee. Also because my major use is hunting I preferred the repellamax coatings. As klamath indicates the promaster and the zen are very close optically. With all the favorable reviews here and on the sites mostly about the zens I figured I cant go wrong. Can't wait to go to the hunting camp and compare them to some Nikon, Kahles and Steiners.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2009 at 19:01
FrankD View Drop Down
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Glad to hear you are happy with them. All three pairs are significantly more alike than not but there are subtle differences with each that will influence any individual buyers decision.
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