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Swaro EL v Xen Ray ED2

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/04/2010 at 22:40
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Optics Apprentice
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With all of the rave reviews for Xen Ray on here lately, what are advantages one might expect from a Swaro EL at four times the price of the Xen Ray ED2?
 
Also, I have seen some criticism of Xen Rays from last summer regarding eliptical issues....but haven't seen anything about such criticism on here.  Were these issue resolved?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 06:46
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Pass-Thru, a couple of years back I was looking to upgrade from my Kahles 8x42 and looked at the Zeiss, Leica, Leupold gold rings, Nikon upper end binoculars and the Swarovski SLC and EL's.  In the end I went with the Swarovski SLCs in 7x42.  Now the new SLCs have the same glass as the ELs for a lot less $$.  I really liked the Zeiss and the Nikon upper end binoculars and in the end I went with the Swarovski by a suggestion from a friend that owns a gun shop and can use any brand he wants and prefers the Swarovski brank optics.  I don't know much about the Zen Ray's but I hear they are good optics for the money.  Good luck in your search. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 08:44
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I've posted before that I did a side by side with my Zen Ray 10x ED2 and my neighbor's 10x EL and there's not a nickle's worth of difference between the two IMO.  The issues you describe were with a select few people and the 7x36 ED2, not the 8x or 10x for some reason.  The 10x is superb. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 13:31
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There really is not much difference.  The most significant thing is that the Swarovski has a better depth of focus, but it is in the near edge of the view, and as such most people won't see it.  I would say that the Swaro probably has a wider sweet spot, but the fov is wider on the ZEN, so actual sweet spot comes out pretty much a wash.  The ZEN has a little more pincushion distortion at the edge and as such the edge will not appear quite as sharp on the ZEN.  
 
I have spent a bit of time behind both and I will echo what JGR said above, there is not a nickel's worth of difference from a practical standpoint.  I would suspect that if a test could be administered in some way keeping the binocular ID unknown to the viewer that the split would be pretty close to 50-50 ZEN to Swaro, with maybe a slight edge to the Swaro.
 
So in what you see looking through the lens, I don't think the difference amounts to much more than 1%.  The design and build quality are a different matter.  Time has yet to tell us the tale of the ZEN binocular.  But for now it gets my nod as the best value you can get for the $$ today.
 
I have not a clue what you mean by "elliptical issues".  There was some veiling glare when looking in bright light that showed up with the new 7x36.  It was a deal breaker for some people, but most seemed unaffected by it.  To their credit, Zen Ray jumped on the issue and instituted a fix.  That issue never showed up to anything like it did in the x36 on the x43 binoculars.  So now any 7x36 you buy will be the fixed issue.  The x43 will likely incorporate some of the fix as new x43 binoculars are ordered.


Edited by Klamath - January/05/2010 at 13:38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/05/2010 at 15:14
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I'm not an optically expert, so please forgive the poor choice of words.  One thing I've noticed with the ED2 is the depth of focus, and how it seems to "vary".  At closer distances the depth of focus is rather shallow.  When you are looking off further in the distance, say, 500+yards it seems to be less of an issue because I find I do not have to focus nearly as often when glassing a far distances. The depth of focus is much greater.  Maybe all binos work this way, not sure. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 12:18
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well, you will always pay the premium for the brand itself. I have used hard on my ED for the last 6 months and it stood on its own. Optically, it is better than some binoculars that are couple of times of more expensive. For the money, it is the probably the best deal out there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2010 at 19:30
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Hey, can someone lend some insite as to "Eye Relief"  on the  ED2's at 15.2mm?  The Swaro's are at a whopping 20mm!  What does this mean in practical terms?  Is there a noticable difference? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2010 at 18:35
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Personally I might add that when purchasing binos like Swarovski EL, Zeiss Victory etc, it is unfair to compare them with such binos as Zen-Ray and ask the question: #are they really 4 times better?"
You normally are not supposed to think like that or else you will never purchase these binos.
The way I thought, when purchasing my optics was: "Do I want the best, will I be content with second best or third best or will I be content with trash?" After many years of using optics, the answer is: "I WANT THE BEST!".
If you are one of these people you will appreciate deeply a binocular like the EL. If you are interested in purchasing the cheapest best binoculars, well then, such binos as Zen-Ray, Hawke Frontier, Vortex Razor will be a very good choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2010 at 19:39
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Originally posted by scrooks scrooks wrote:

Hey, can someone lend some insite as to "Eye Relief"  on the  ED2's at 15.2mm?  The Swaro's are at a whopping 20mm!  What does this mean in practical terms?  Is there a noticable difference? 
 
The way eye relief can relate to your binocular use, is mostly if you view through eyeglasses.  If you do you may require more eye relief than those that don't.
 
The numbers you show here are quite a difference.  Normally if you do not wear glasses
you will extend the eyecups out.  With glasses you use them in, as the space between the eyeglass lens and your eye takes up the slack.
 
The thing here you will not often read about, is that some eyeglasses are more tight fitting than others, and some people have deeper eye sockets than others.
 
Many things going on here, and there is no better way to find out what you like by
trying some different bins at your local sporting goods store.  And then when you have
found something you like, give a call back here to SWFA the sponsor of this forum, talk to
one of the knowledgable sales people and see what works for you.
 
 
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