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Best hunting binos @ 500$

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Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Binoculars
Forum Description: Anything that requires two eyes to look through it
URL: http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=39705
Printed Date: October/20/2018 at 19:39
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Topic: Best hunting binos @ 500$
Posted By: mightymike
Subject: Best hunting binos @ 500$
Date Posted: March/31/2014 at 21:01
Hello all I know you hear this all the time but I have to ask. I'm looking for the best pair of 10X binos for hunting situations.The most important qualities I'm looking for are clarity w/ good FOV, and a close 2nd is low light performance. I'm trying to stay in the 400-500$ range. Thanks in advance I've read tons of posts and just can't make a decision.



Replies:
Posted By: 3_tens
Date Posted: March/31/2014 at 22:25
Is there a good specific reason for 10X. Less field of view, More weight, harder to hold steady, less light and cost more for the same quality glass.
 Try these ZenRay
http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x43-Zen-ED3-Binocular-P50812.aspx">Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen ED3 Binocular
http://swfa.com/Zen-Ray-8x43-Zen-ED3-Binocular-P50812.aspx - Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen ED3 Binocular
Stock # - ZENED38X43
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
  • ED Glass
  • Second Generation VividBrite Ultra High Reflectivity Dielectric Prism Coating
$414.95
Very good for the price and will be better suited for hunting than the 10X. The slight drop in mag will provide better performance, and less eye strain when glassing for long periods.


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Folks ain't got a sense of humor no more. They don't laugh they just get sore.

Need to follow the rules. Just hard to determine which set of rules to follow
Now the rules have changed again.


Posted By: mightymike
Date Posted: April/01/2014 at 04:30
No definitive reason for 10X except that's all I've ever had and it's also what everyone I hunt with carries. That being said I've never owned a good quality pair of optics either.


Posted By: PhilR.
Date Posted: April/01/2014 at 06:39
Besides the Z-R already mentioned, take a look at (or through) the Nikon Monarch 7, Leupold Hawthorne and Mojave, Hawke Sapphire, and Krueger Caldera.  Any of these will do just fine.  Also consider the 1st generation Leupold McKinley, which can sometimes be found in your price range.  They are heavy, but they would make a very good hunting bino.


Posted By: stickbow46
Date Posted: April/01/2014 at 06:47
+1 Zen- Rays

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Pearls of Wisdom are Heard not Spoken


Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/01/2014 at 13:09
I would take the Vortex Talons over the ZR for the superior warranty and customer service.

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-Matt


Posted By: anweis
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 14:04
and the Vortex Razor HD 8x42. A bit over $500. Worth the price, i believe. 


Posted By: Theo
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 17:29
Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

and the Vortex Razor HD 8x42. A bit over $500. Worth the price, i believe. 


Razors are going for almost $1200. However, the Vipers are as you said, about $600 and very nice binos that receive high ratings.

I've owned the Vipers and for My eyes, prefer the flatter FOV and greater 3-D DOF that my Leupold BX-3 Mohave 10x42's offer. I recently spent over 3 hours glassing at Cabelas, looking at details through 10 different 10X42's (about $9K of glass), from the BX-3's all the way up to the Swaro El's. I'd pick the Swaro SLC's in a heart beat (Best Glass...Period), but not for 5X the price of the BX-3's that were 95% optical equivalent of the SLC's!

In the end, I was well pleased at how the BX-3's stood up to the overall much more expensive competition and will be using those for my upcoming hunts! Very Sharp, excellent resolution, superb ergonomics, natural color, lightweight, well balanced and great warranty. All for well under the OP's $500...my 2 cents!

Ted




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Jack of Many Trades-Master of Few!


Posted By: mightymike
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 20:49
Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will be between the Zen Ray ED3, Vortex Talon HD, and the BX-3. Any specific differences anyone has noticed between these 3? Any of the 3 will be a significant upgrade for me.


Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 20:57
Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will be between the Zen Ray ED3, Vortex Talon HD, and the BX-3. Any specific differences anyone has noticed between these 3? Any of the 3 will be a significant upgrade for me.

Again, the Vortex warranty and CS separate it from the pack, IMO.


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-Matt


Posted By: PhilR.
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 21:27

Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

I think I will be between the Zen Ray ED3, Vortex Talon HD, and the BX-3. Any specific differences anyone has noticed between these 3?


All are very good, but my preference is the BX-3.  They are the lightest in weight, shortest in length, and despite having excellent optics, are significantly lower in price.  The color balance is more neutral than the Talon, and it's focus wheel is smoother in operation than the Talon's (in my example, at least).  For me, the BX-3 is much more pleasurable to use than the other two, especially the overly-large ED3.

One other thing to consider is the fact that all three are known for excellent customer service.  Although one can say that there is none better than Vortex, you can also say that there are some that are just as good.  Certainly Leupold is one of them. 



Posted By: Theo
Date Posted: April/02/2014 at 21:34
Originally posted by PhilR. PhilR. wrote:

Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

I think I will be between the Zen Ray ED3, Vortex Talon HD, and the BX-3. Any specific differences anyone has noticed between these 3?


All are very good, but my preference is the BX-3.  They are the lightest in weight, shortest in length, and despite having excellent optics, are significantly lower in price.  The color balance is more neutral than the Talon, and it's focus wheel is smoother in operation than the Talon's (in my example, at least).  For me, the BX-3 is much more pleasurable to use than the other two, especially the overly-large ED3.

One other thing to consider is the fact that all three are known for excellent customer service.  Although one can say that there is none better than Vortex, you can also say that there are some that are just as good.  Certainly Leupold is one of them. 



+1


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Jack of Many Trades-Master of Few!


Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 10:20
Originally posted by PhilR. PhilR. wrote:

  Although one can say that there is none better than Vortex, you can also say that there are some that are just as good.  Certainly Leupold is one of them. 


This is not exactly true.

With a Vortex optic, if you accidently damage it in some way, Vortex would simply repair or replace it.

If you did this with a Leupold, you would receive a charge for the repair.

I can be kind of clumsy.

A few years ago, I scratched the lenses of my Leupold GR 8X32s when the covers slipped off while belly-crawling for antelope. I sent them in to Leupold for repair and paid a bill (around $120 if I remember correctly) for the fix. I found this reasonable.

I haven't damaged any of my Vortex products, but have a friend that did, and they simply replaced his binoculars, for free, in less than a week.

While Leupold has good CS, my experience is that it is not up to the level of Vortex. Of the three listed binoculars, they perform similarly enough that the Vortex CS/warranty would make the difference, for me.


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-Matt


Posted By: Klamath
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 10:27
I have never been charged a single dime by Leopold even when sending a scope I bought used, damaged all by myself, explained to Leupold that I fully expected to pay for. Their response was to send a new scope complete with a zero balance owed invoice.

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Steve
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted". William Bruce Cameron



Posted By: supertool73
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 11:40
That tells me that Leupold is not consistent in how they deal with customers.  Vortex seems to be pretty consistent in that regard. 


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Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."


Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 14:22
Leupold set the standard for CS, warranty work, treating the customer more than fair, etc.  Where do you think Swarovski learned it......?   Vortex learned it too obviously, but Leupold wrote the book, and still treats its customers better than they deserve 99% of the time.    


Posted By: PhilR.
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 19:43

Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Originally posted by PhilR. PhilR. wrote:

  Although one can say that there is none better than Vortex, you can also say that there are some that are just as good.  Certainly Leupold is one of them. 


This is not exactly true.

With a Vortex optic, if you accidently damage it in some way, Vortex would simply repair or replace it.

If you did this with a Leupold, you would receive a charge for the repair.

I can be kind of clumsy.

A few years ago, I scratched the lenses of my Leupold GR 8X32s when the covers slipped off while belly-crawling for antelope. I sent them in to Leupold for repair and paid a bill (around $120 if I remember correctly) for the fix. I found this reasonable.

I haven't damaged any of my Vortex products, but have a friend that did, and they simply replaced his binoculars, for free, in less than a week.

While Leupold has good CS, my experience is that it is not up to the level of Vortex. Of the three listed binoculars, they perform similarly enough that the Vortex CS/warranty would make the difference, for me.


Yup -- just like on so many other internet forums -- people who just can't wait to tell others they are wrong, instead of just posting their own opinions.

The problem with Vortex, and why I won't buy a new Vortex of any type, is that they are overpriced 25-33%.   This is why they have no problems with giving people a  new one -- they earn 1/3rd the price of a new item every time they sell an item.  So yeah, if you want to pay ahead of time for a good bit of a replacement that you might not ever need, then go ahead and buy a new Vortex.  You sure won't catch me doing that.......



Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 21:05
Originally posted by PhilR. PhilR. wrote:

Yup -- just like on so many other internet forums -- people who just can't wait to tell others they are wrong, instead of just posting their own opinions.


Yeah Phil, I have been waiting for ages...

Roll Eyes

Of course, I should have posted this:

"That is not exactly true for me."

I meant no offense to you personally.

Perhaps you can help us understand why you think Leupold's Warrany/Customer Service is as good as Vortex'.


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-Matt


Posted By: Klamath
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 23:06
Actually I bet all manufacturers factor in warranty and service costs in their pricing structure.  Vortex certainly is not alone.  I'm sure Leupold and Swarovski do it as well.  It think one of the big things wrong with Leica service we hear so much about is the Leica bean counters insistence their service and repair operations operate at least cost neutral.

A couple of posts got me to thinking.  Somewhere in the memory bank I remember Leupold's bean counters decreeing that warranty and service were to run at break even levels, minimum, just like Leica.  If I'm remembering this correctly Smile.  This did not sit too well in consumer land and the bean counters were over ruled.  So it is entirely likely people who got caught up in this scheme and received charges remember the negative aspects of the experience.  Leupold's current policy is the old standard" we make it we fix it" lifetime warranty.  When doing recent reviews on Leupold's Green ring series binoculars I asked about the more limited warranty printed on the product pages and packaging.  I was told that was more or less a formality, but they intended to warranty those as if they were the Gold Ring Lifetime warranty.  I remembered one other Leupold experience.  I managed to break a strap lug on a Yosemite binocular.  I called them and they said send it in, I got a new one back, no charge.

I've also used the Vortex policy at times and found it to be just as advertised.  I find it hard to quibble with either company.


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Steve
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted". William Bruce Cameron



Posted By: PhilR.
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 23:20
Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:


Perhaps you can help us understand why you think Leupold's Warrany/Customer Service is as good as Vortex'.


Personal experience.  Which is what I base everything I put up here on.  Also personal experience of close friends.  And from the writings on the various forums I read, and that are from persons for whom I do not have any reason to doubt.



Posted By: PhilR.
Date Posted: April/03/2014 at 23:31

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Actually I bet all manufacturers factor in warranty and service costs in their pricing structure.  Vortex certainly is not alone.


Well yes, I would certainly agree.  But Vortex is perhaps one of the more "blatant" (for immediate lack of a better term) at it.  The Razor is an excellent example.  Shouldn't cost more than a 10x Meopta HD or a Conquest HD, but it runs about 20% more.  The Raptor runs about 20-25% more than a comparable Yosemite.  The Talon shouldn't cost more than about $400 (personally I don't think they should cost more than a $350 Caldera), but they run closer to $500.  I could go on and on.

As long as Vortex doesn't get more than one in four items returned, they can easily cover the cost of replacing broken items.  Pretty good business model, actually......



Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 08:57
Phil R, I couldn't agree more with your analogy of Vortex. Another example is the Mojave 8x32 runs $300, the Viper HD $500, and the Mojave is just as good (better IMO).  

As far as warranty goes, one could make the case that with specific regard to the Bushnell elite series, that Bushnell has a better warranty than anyone else on the planet....use it for a year, if you don't like it we send you your money back.  Does anyone else do that?  Negative.  


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 09:45
How are you boys privy to all this insider product cost and net profit data?

I wasn't aware that Vortex products are "25 - 33%" overpriced, but thanks for the heads-up; that's good to know! Armed with that very precise metric, I'll now confidently attempt to negotiate a 29.7% discount on my next Vortex purchase!

Thanks!


-------------
Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.


Posted By: JGRaider
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 09:49
Good luck with your purchases.  I can really help you out here if you're really shopping for some good stuff.  My local guy has Meopta 10x42 HD's for $840.  Slammin' deal. 

Moral to PhilR's story.....there's always something just as good as Vortex for less money IMO.  It is true with the few Vortex models that I've personally tried. I know you've read Formidilosis posts on the other forum with regards to the high failure rates of vortex scopes, including high $$$ razor scopes, that he sees in his shooting schools haven't you? 


Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 11:19
No, I haven't read the posts you're referring to. I've read reports of "high failure rates at shooting schools" on the internet for lots of brands, JG. Not doubting the findings of Mr. Formidilosis that you cite, just that if I base my buying decisions on what folks on the internet say, I wouldn't buy a whole lot, because I can dig up internet posts of reported "failures" on most brands in most categories of outdoor gear, except for maybe Nightforce scopes. I did, however read a very favorable, very thorough review on SH praising the Razor scope, which included some very extreme punishment tests, and it included a video of those tests. The reviewer had nothing but praise for it. So, as with anything else... your mileage may vary. I take internet reports with a grain of salt unless I know the individuals making the reports, simply because it's the internet, where anyone can say anything.

FWIW, I don't own any Vortex rifle scopes. They don't offer many scopes that fit my personal preferences. I currently only own one Vortex product -- a first-gen Razor bino that if memory serves, I paid around $600 for. I've compared it directly with a large number of binos in multiple price brackets from $400 - $1800, including resolution testing with USAF charts. In spite of variations in different people's eyesight, and discounting ergonomic considerations that are so personal, I'd have a hard time believing anyone could do the amount and extent of lengthy side by side comparisons I've done with these binos and not conclude that they were:
1. Very, very good optically,
2. Priced appropriate with their performance, and
3. Hold their own compared to everything of similar price and other binos of considerably higher MSRP.

Despite the fact I only own the one Razor bino, I've thoroughly tested two different Viper binos, and the Razor spotter that a fellow OT member loaned me for testing. A buddy on my deer lease has an AR topped with a 1-4X24 Viper PST that I shoot quite often, and another buddy has a 1-6X24 Razor that I also have a fair amount of trigger time behind.

I won't go into all my findings with their products, as that would involve a lengthy discussion, but trust me when I say I have a LOT of T&E time with Vortex optics. I've met the Hamiltons (owners) personally, and I've talked to their designers at the SHOT show. I found them to be extremely nice, personable people, and my friends at SWFA have told me the same. They have an exemplary warranty and attitude towards CS that is confidence-inspiring, and their company story is one that any American who appreciates hard work and entrepreneurship can root for... almost to a Norman Rockwellian degree. They've done business the right way, and I can assure you that fleecing the consumer isn't anywhere on their radar screen. Not implying that's what you or anyone else thinks, but I assure you that their pricing is based on a fair return on their costs necessary to stay in business.

Vortex is one of the brands that offers everything from low end stuff to very high end. One could debate all day whether or not that's a good business strategy and whether the low end, Chinese-made stuff dilutes the value and consumer perception of their high end optics. What I can tell you without reservation and with a straight face is that everything I've personally used that was dubbed with the "Razor" moniker was comparable in every way with any other similarly configured optic available except the uber-expensive "alpha" optics. I have no brand loyalties, and I have no immediate plans to buy anything Vortex in the foreseeable future, only because everything they offer that I really like, I already have covered with optics from other brands. I'm not in the market for any new binos of any kind. I have everything I want and need in binos for a long time to come.

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions, and individual opinions are neither right nor wrong for everyone. My previous post was a facetious response to PhilR's very precise "25-33%" (not 30, not 35... 33%!!!) overpricing claim. How does one come to that conclusion? Even if you believe their stuff is overpriced...and folks are certainly entitled to that conclusion...to cite such a precise number like 33% implies you have some kind of insider info. I mean... how in the world can one so confidently cite such a precise figure without knowing their actual cost to produce it, combined with either personally owning or spending a LOT of time using the product?

Honestly not trying to pick on PhilR, but... C'mon, man!!!



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Ted


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.


Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 13:38
I have had great luck with my personal Vortex purchases, except for a Crossfire Rimfire riflescope, which underperformed optically. I currently have two Vortex riflescopes (a Viper and Viper PST) which have been used hard in the field, and held up great! I also owned a Razor (1st gen 8X42), which I liked a lot optically, but didn't care for the diopter adjustment popping up accidentally. I owned a Razor 85mm spotter, which I liked in every way, and is still in full use by my hunting partner. I currently also have a 50mm Razor Spotter, which goes with me everywhere, and is a handy little spotter that I have grown to like better than the ED50.

I stand by my original assertion that the Vortex Talon is the one of the three I would choose. Although I don't own one, I was able to use one for a while, and It's performance is very good, even for it's "approaching $500" price tag. The warranty IS worth something to me, even if it costs extra over some of the competition. The warranty also makes it easy to buy used Vortex products.

I did have a dealing with Vortex Customer Service, although it was not a warranty issue. I may have posted this on the OT before also. I lost my Razor binocular rainguard on a deer hunt and had another hunt coming in a couple days. I called to see if I could order a replacement. They express shipped me one, for free, so I could have it for my hunt.

These are my personal experiences, on which I based my opinions, along with the experiences of friends.

I own optics from many manufacturers, including Leupold (6X30 Yosemites) that I am quite happy with. If i was in the OP's position though, I would go for the Vortex.

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-Matt


Posted By: Klamath
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 13:59
Trying to come up with a bad $500 binocular in today's flock of binoculars at that price point.  If I come up with one, I'll post Smile.  Not too many shabby performers at even $200 on up either for that matter.

I too had a bad Crossfire rimfire scope.  It had zero internal blackening, zero...zip...nada.  Talk about your proverbial glare and reflection issues.  Vortex did their deal and sent me a new one.

One thing that sometimes is an issue with $500 and below optics is they can let some clunkers through the cracks once in awhile, so it is my experience if you need warranty or service, you will know pretty quick.  So in that regard a good company policy is a nice option, even a deal breaker or deal maker.


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Steve
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted". William Bruce Cameron



Posted By: supertool73
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 14:27
Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

One thing that sometimes is an issue with $500 and below optics is they can let some clunkers through the cracks once in awhile, so it is my experience if you need warranty or service, you will know pretty quick.  So in that regard a good company policy is a nice option, even a deal breaker or deal maker.


Even the high end stuff has those issues.  I had a Leica RF Bino that had an internal lens that was chipped on the edge.  It was very noticeable to me, and how that passed final inspection I am not sure, but it did.  But they fixed it no questions asked.  


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Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."


Posted By: NDhunter
Date Posted: April/04/2014 at 17:54

Here is another one to consider in this price range. 

The Zeiss Terra binoculars, they are available in both 8 and 10x42.

Zeiss has been busy with many new models lately, and the Terra is their

first lower priced model.  I have the 8x42, and it offers a very bright view, with

a wide FOV and great fit and finish, I recommend it in this price range. 

It is China built as the others mentioned above, but it is built by Zeiss, and I feel

that offers a confidence of design, QC and warranty support, that is very important.

I have found the Zeiss Terra and the new Conquest HD to be 2 great choices in the lower

and midranges.

At SWFA, $399.95 for the 10x42, $349.95 for the 8x42.  Less a $50. mail in rebate

through 5-4-2014.  That makes this one to check out.

 



Posted By: mightymike
Date Posted: April/15/2014 at 20:00
After going to a few stores local to try and get a look through what I have narrowed down as my two choices Talon HD and the BX-3. I can't find a BX-3 locally really sucks not being able to look through a pair but I can say the Talon HD is very impressive. I compared it to several other available there including the Zeiss Terra and the BX-2 which I know is not a fair comparison. Leaning toward the Talon HD just because i've looked through them and know I won't be disappointed. Any last thoughts?


Posted By: DCAMM94
Date Posted: April/15/2014 at 20:24
For what it's worth, and for bow hunting especially, I really like my Zen Ray ED2s. 


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Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement. -Winston Churchill


Posted By: mightymike
Date Posted: April/17/2014 at 19:51
So the more I read everywhere many say the Zen Ray ED3 is optically superior but Vortex has the better warranty? Optically are the Talon HD and the ED3 close? Apple for apple? Just trying to cover all of my bases before I spend my money. Thanks


Posted By: DCAMM94
Date Posted: April/17/2014 at 22:06
I can't answer that question, but the 7x36 ED2 is a bow hunting companion for sure. I really like them.

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Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement. -Winston Churchill


Posted By: Bitterroot Bulls
Date Posted: April/17/2014 at 23:12
Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

So the more I read everywhere many say the Zen Ray ED3 is optically superior but Vortex has the better warranty? Optically are the Talon HD and the ED3 close? Apple for apple? Just trying to cover all of my bases before I spend my money. Thanks

They are VERY similar, optically.  IMO, sample variation will play a bigger role.


-------------
-Matt


Posted By: Theo
Date Posted: April/19/2014 at 11:38
Originally posted by mightymike mightymike wrote:

I have narrowed down as my two choices Talon HD and the BX-3. Any last thoughts?


Mike,

Although the Talon 10x42's have a wider rated FOV, the flat-field view (edge to edge sharpness) of my BX-3's seemed to be every bit as wide as the talons, creating a deeper 3-D DOF, at least to my eyes. I also found the shorter 1.1" length and 2.4oz lighter ergonomics easier to comfortably hold for longer periods of glassing. Either bino, you should be very happy with!

Ted 


-------------
Jack of Many Trades-Master of Few!


Posted By: ronwvan
Date Posted: June/23/2014 at 11:19
I recently purchased a pair of demo Zen-Ray ED3 10x43 binocs and I'm happy to report that they are an excellent value and the company is very good about taking care of any issues that might come up. I had a focusing problem on the first pair and they exchanged them for another in short order. I would not hesitate to buy any optics product that Zen-Ray offers. These are one of the best binocs I've looked through....including the big name brands that cost upwards of 2 to 3 time as much.
 
RW VandenBrink


Posted By: jonoMT
Date Posted: June/23/2014 at 17:31
Read enough to realize I don't have time or patience to wade through it all. Will just say I recently got a pair of the Vortex Talon 8x42s and am quite impressed with them.

-------------
Reaction time is a factor...


Posted By: Thefieldster1
Date Posted: June/23/2014 at 22:31
Here is my 2 cents. 

I own the Vortex Viper HD 10x42, and the Razor HD 10x50's, the Viper PST, and my spotting scope is a Zen Ray ED2 20-60. 

So this is what I think... Zen ray is amazing. My ZR scope is brighter than both my binos, its not as bright as the vortex's big razor spotting scope. So all my knowledge of Zen is just.. outstanding. If i had to do it all over i think I would buy the Zen Ray primes or the ED's I wouldnt hesitate using their 30 day money back guarantee. 

I've sat out a few nights with my razors and vipers both in tripods next to each other... let me say I personally would never buy the razors again for that price. The only difference is slight CA in the vipers.. but not noticeable. The razors are slightly brighter.... slightly.. not 600 brighter. Clarity is stupendous on both. I cant tell the difference. 

I was seriously thinking about the Vortex Talon HD before i bought the Vipers then I looked through them... They sucked IMO and my friend and brothers eyes too. It was really disappointing, Bushnell legends are better IMO.

To sum it up. I wouldn't hesitate to grab the Zen's I think they are the best quality/value company out there. They claim to stand behind their stuff as much as vortex does at least thats whay i was told. Vortex is slightly overpriced but I would pay it for the peace of mind guarantee and great optics. Im scared of Nikon's crap warranty.. would never buy them IMO. the Monarch 7's are awesome glass I was tempted but no thanks. leupy's are awesome the mckinleys are awesome glass, I would buy the NEW (small eyecups) ones. 

HAPPY HUNTING (the search is almost as fun as owning IMO)



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