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Vortex or Zen Ray

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2015 at 21:01
stilhuntin View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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I am still looking for a decent spotter and decided the Vortex-11-33x50-Razor-HD ( earlier post with some very good feedback) might not have enough magnification so I have been looking hard at the following two:

Vortex-16-48x65-Razor-HD or a ZEN-RAY - ZEN ED2 20-60x82

I know it's not apples to apples, but how do the two compare optically and quality in general. I think either will be enough for my use...range ( 200 - 300 yards) and in a deer hunting blind so low light performance will come into play.

Although I really like the 50mm Razor, I just don't know if I will be second guessing myself for not spending a bit more. I know higher magnification will not trump better glass, but I will not have the chance to look at them before my purchase.

You guys have always pointed me in the right direction and tried to raise my very low optics IQ. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

I have two Vortex products and one Zen Ray, but I do like the Vortex warranty and their great customer service. I have not had to use the Zen Ray cs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2015 at 09:51
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Optics Jedi Master
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One is $1150, the other $1199, I'd call that a wash.  In that respect, having never seen the Zen Ray, my money would go to Vortex, if for reputation alone.
I own a pair each of their binos, Zen Ray and Vortex, and the Zen Ray stuff, though not bad, has never had the same quality feel as has the vortex.
Full disclosure: I run the larger 20-60x85 Vortex HD spotter and like it, I also have a scope or 2 from Vortex.  I have been exceedingly pleased with my Vortex experiences.

And now, with things thoroughly mucked up, I'll make it worse: consider, strongly, the Pentax spotter: (http://swfa.com/Pentax-20-60x80-ED-Spotting-Scope-P4402.aspx

It is slightly less expensive than both($1119.95) and is optically quite good.  The eye piece is among the best I have ever used, and optical quality is comparable to my Vortex (image is a bit softer and color isn't quite as good, but it is 2/3 the price.)  I ran the Pentax hard for several years, no problems, it is bright, it is rugged, and it is a great deal at $1120.

I sold it only because I got a "too good to be true" deal on the Vortex, else I would probably still be running the Pentax.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2015 at 15:36
koshkin View Drop Down
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If low light is a priority, go with the bigger objective lens.

That having been said, the Zen-Ray ED2 is my primary spotter.  I have their 20-60x eyepiece and a 30x eyepiece and I am quite happy with both.  In terms of performance, it is pretty close to the 85mm Razor HD and in low light will outperform the 65mm Razor HD.

The 80mm Pentax is a tempting choice, but it makes the most sense if you plan to have multiple XW eyepieces or generally want to have access to standardized astronomy eyepieces.

If that is not in your plans I would go with the Zen-Ray spotter.  It is a touch better optically with the standard eyepiece, while being notably more compact and a little lighter.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2015 at 15:49
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
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Weigh the advice, mine should way some, Koshkin's should weight much more!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/09/2016 at 21:51
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Optics Apprentice
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I own the Zen Ray ED2 and I LOVE it. Worth every penny. I posted pictures a year or 2 back with a phonescope on this page. The post was me wondering what to buy I think.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2016 at 23:36
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Optics GrassHopper
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*Some Zen-Ray and Vortex products look almost identical apart from colour scheme.

Hey, they're both made in China!

Surely they couldn't have a hiqh quality optics factory making the same products for two different companies with cosmetic differences to distinguish them?

Yes. Absolutely.

This is what happens and it's why they are both selling some stunning products with similar performance, similiar looks, with similar prices in some areas.

Globalisation and the Internet - revealing badge engineering since 1993. :)

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2016 at 07:43
supertool73 View Drop Down
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Just because and optic may be made by the same factory and use the same mold for the body doesn't mean the optic is the same. We have now way of knowing how comparable all the rest of the internals and other parts of the optic will be.

So just because they look the same doesn't mean they are the same optic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2016 at 08:53
JGRaider View Drop Down
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The fact that Vortex moved the Razor spotters manufacture to China is a negative IMHO. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2016 at 16:13
Klamath View Drop Down
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I have had the ZR ED 2 20-60x80 for several years, ever since they came out.  Mostly I am pretty happy with it.  I have recently completed a side by side with the ZR, the new Maven S1 and thanks to JGR, his 20-70x Meopta S2.  I'll get a review in here as soon as things in life calm down a little.  Harvest is in full blast and I need two more of me than I have available right now.

I was an early strong supporter of ZR.  I think they did a lot to kick the quality of midrange, affordable optics off of top dead center. However I have been reading some pretty dreadful stuff about their CS lately.

I might be tempted to go with the Razor.  For one even most of the owners of either of the ED 2 or the Razor probably can't tell them apart.  For another Vortex has top end CS.

I for one think people place ENTIRELY too much value on lots of magnification.  While the Meopta is an exceptional spotter, there is not much value in 70x.  The depth of field is way too shallow as one gets much over 50x, which seems to me to be my upper limit of actual need...as opposed to perceived need.  Not many spotters retain their top level clarity when you crank the magnification level above the point where the exit pupil goes below 2.0 mm.  That is 25 x on the 50 mm and 40x on the 80 mm.  25 x is usually enough, but 40 is sometimes inarguably better

The little Razor has plenty of magnification for most needs.  I'd advise you to make your choice based on how much a real need portability is for your use.  If that is a real need, then do the 50 mm Razor.  If low light is the issue, then do the ZR or the 80 mm Razor..


Edited by Klamath - August/13/2016 at 16:19
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