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What are your thoughts on the Zen Ray HD?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 08:51
bluesky1 View Drop Down
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I'm new to the binocular scene and was thinking about taking a chance on the zen ray's being that they're in my price range.  What do you guys think about them?  I was also thinking about the Pentax as someone else had mentioned but these zen rays look like they got great reviews.
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Edited by Kickboxer - November/03/2011 at 09:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 09:28
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If you've searched around much at all on the web, you'll see that you are correct in your assumptions that the Zen Ray ED (1,2,3) are about the best buy for the money for a great image. I actually have not yet looked through their ED line of binos, but I have a pair of their 2010 ZRS HD which I love and think it's the best bino I've seen for under $500. I would definitely recommend either, based on your needs.

Pentax does have some nice models as well, but it will be hard for you to get the same performance for the money at the Zen Ray Price.

I also really like Vortex. They offer a number of options at various price points, and usually offer a good value for the money as well.

If you're thinking about the Zen Ray, I'd say, go ahead and try it and I'll be you'll be happy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 09:48
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i bought a pair of ED3's not too long ago, and everyone i've let look through them, from folks using zeiss, steiner, bouch and lomb and others all say the image is clearer and brighter than what they're using... or at least as good.

i've been very pleased with their performance thus far.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 18:24
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when would i need an 8 X 32 over a 8 X 42? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 18:49
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Originally posted by bluesky1 bluesky1 wrote:

when would i need an 8 X 32 over a 8 X 42? 
When smaller size and weight are paramount considerations.  You seem to have it right with wanting an 8x32.  In most cases, IMO, a 3.0 mm exit pupil becomes too small, and is not nearly as nice to use.  However, 42mm binoculars may well offer enough extra brightness to use better in low light conditions, and may show detail better at distance.  I'm looking for a good 32mm and what I find is that I like the smaller footprint against the chest when also packing a rifle, not so much the weight.
 
To your OP, the ZEN ED series binoculars are pretty nice stuff.  But you say HD, which designation only applies to the upcoming Prime HD, which nobody has seen yet.  I'm thinking I won't see one until about Thanksgiving (and that may be wishful thinking Smile), and that's probably a preproduction/final check unit.
 
In the same class as the ZEN are the Kruger Caldera and Theron Wapiti APO-ED.  Some like the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD as well.  The Vortex Talon HD are pretty much the same deal as the ZEN ED 2.
 
I also agree with Motts about the ZRS HD.  Lots of binocular for the price.


Edited by Klamath - November/03/2011 at 18:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 18:54
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by bluesky1 bluesky1 wrote:

when would i need an 8 X 32 over a 8 X 42? 
When smaller size and weight are paramount considerations.  You seem to have it right with wanting an 8x32.  In most cases, IMO, a 3.0 mm exit pupil becomes too small, and is not nearly as nice to use.  However, 42mm binoculars may well offer enough extra brightness to use better in low light conditions, and may show detail better at distance.  I'm looking for a good 32mm and what I find is that I like the smaller footprint against the chest when also packing a rifle, not so much the weight.
 
To your OP, the ZEN ED series binoculars are pretty nice stuff.  But you say HD, which designation only applies to the upcoming Prime HD, which nobody has seen yet.  I'm thinking I won't see one until about Thanksgiving (and that may be wishful thinking Smile), and that's probably a preproduction/final check unit.
 
In the same class as the ZEN are the Kruger Caldera and Theron Wapiti APO-ED.  Some like the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD as well.  The Vortex Talon HD are pretty much the same deal as the ZEN ED 2.

Actually I was thinking I would need the 8 X 42 but was curious about the 8 X 32.  My interests would be like many, nature, birds, stars, etc..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 19:02
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Originally posted by bluesky1 bluesky1 wrote:

...
Actually I was thinking I would need the 8 X 42 but was curious about the 8 X 32.  My interests would be like many, nature, birds, stars, etc..
[/QUOTE]
One thing about birdwatching binoculars is the focus wheel rate.  Following a bunch of birds around through trees and brush makes a quick focus nice to have.  Some hunters prefer the slower focus rates feeling that gives them better control over the fine focus.  Personally I don't buy into that as fine tuning focus is more of a reflection on having to use the technique with poor glass.  I like a medium fast focus and truth be told, the ED 3 focus rate is a good compromise between thw two worlds.
 
If this will be primarily a single binocular for multiple uses, I would go the 42mm route.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 20:04
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How does the 8 X 42 Pentax compare to the Zen Ray 8 X 42?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 20:16
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Which Pentax?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 20:19
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Which Pentax?

These.

Bluesky, do you have a problem with understanding?  Last warning to not post competitor site information. 


Edited by Kickboxer - November/04/2011 at 08:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2011 at 20:26
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Originally posted by bluesky1 bluesky1 wrote:

[QUOTE=Bitterroot Bulls] Which Pentax?

These.
competitor removed

The pentax dcf cs 8 X 42


Edited by Kickboxer - November/04/2011 at 08:19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2011 at 03:48
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Buy a Pentax 10 X 42 DCF CS.
Clear, sharp images and vivid colors.
There is chromatic aberration, which is not too annoying.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2011 at 07:48
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Originally posted by alexbino alexbino wrote:

Buy a Pentax 10 X 42 DCF CS.
Clear, sharp images and vivid colors.
There is chromatic aberration, which is not too annoying.

From what I gathered from other bino users and suggestions, I thought the 8 X 42 would be the better bet but I'm not 100% sure. Whacko
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2011 at 07:57
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The CA in the Pentax would bother me, it is noticeable.
 
I would stick with the ZRS, if it is me.  It also has CA, but not a lot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2011 at 08:06
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

The CA in the Pentax would bother me, it is noticeable.
 
I would stick with the ZRS, if it is me.  It also has CA, but not a lot.

what is ca?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2011 at 08:16
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Chromatic Aberration (CA) is the color-fringing in high-contrast areas of the image.  It is often amber or purple.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2011 at 14:09
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That Pentax DCF CS looks neat looking at the specs.  I might have to make some effort to get my hands on one.  However, Pentax does not typically get much interest from me.  I suppose the reason is that they stuff I have looked at seems to offer nothing above what I already have.  One thing is that the Pentax DCF SP is the only glass I have ever seen CA in without having to go looking for it.  Keep in mind I am NOT normally sensitive to CA.  Another thing is that  Pentax has designed a classic mid price glass in the DCF WP, followed it quickly with the DCF SP, and then vanished.  Nothing has been done to improve them for years.  Maybe the DCF CS does that, anyway, it is one of the few times a Pentax anything has really interested me.
 
Since I have a perfectly satisfactory, even outstanding glass, in that price class in the ZRS HD I have tended to stick with what I know works for me.


Edited by Klamath - November/06/2011 at 14:11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2011 at 16:00
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

That Pentax DCF CS looks neat looking at the specs.  I might have to make some effort to get my hands on one.  However, Pentax does not typically get much interest from me.  I suppose the reason is that they stuff I have looked at seems to offer nothing above what I already have.  One thing is that the Pentax DCF SP is the only glass I have ever seen CA in without having to go looking for it.  Keep in mind I am NOT normally sensitive to CA.  Another thing is that  Pentax has designed a classic mid price glass in the DCF WP, followed it quickly with the DCF SP, and then vanished.  Nothing has been done to improve them for years.  Maybe the DCF CS does that, anyway, it is one of the few times a Pentax anything has really interested me.
 
Since I have a perfectly satisfactory, even outstanding glass, in that price class in the ZRS HD I have tended to stick with what I know works for me.

I think they have the Zen Ray''s at Sears so I'm going to head over there and take a look.  If they don't have them I'm going to take a shot anyway with the Zen Ray HD 8 X 42.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2011 at 10:28
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Originally posted by bluesky1 bluesky1 wrote:

Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

That Pentax DCF CS looks neat looking at the specs.  I might have to make some effort to get my hands on one.  However, Pentax does not typically get much interest from me.  I suppose the reason is that they stuff I have looked at seems to offer nothing above what I already have.  One thing is that the Pentax DCF SP is the only glass I have ever seen CA in without having to go looking for it.  Keep in mind I am NOT normally sensitive to CA.  Another thing is that  Pentax has designed a classic mid price glass in the DCF WP, followed it quickly with the DCF SP, and then vanished.  Nothing has been done to improve them for years.  Maybe the DCF CS does that, anyway, it is one of the few times a Pentax anything has really interested me.
 
Since I have a perfectly satisfactory, even outstanding glass, in that price class in the ZRS HD I have tended to stick with what I know works for me.

I think they have the Zen Ray''s at Sears so I'm going to head over there and take a look.  If they don't have them I'm going to take a shot anyway with the Zen Ray HD 8 X 42.
I do not believe that you will be disappointed. The optical performance of the ZRS HD is very similar to the ED series. Edge performance (size of the sweet spot) might actually be better in the ZRS and apparent sharpness is almost equal. Probably the only area where the ZRS HD falls a bit behind is in the previously mentioned CA control but then only in the outer, unfocused, section of the image. Centerfield CA is pretty much undetectable.
 
The ZRS HD is notably smaller and more compact than any of the ED series but it does have a bit of a warm (reddish) color bias. For hunting activities I have found this to be actually quite beneficial. In recent weeks I watched both whitetails and a red fox through these bins and the animals really seemed to "pop out" from their surroundings. It was quite surprisingly really.
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