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Xen Ray vs. Zeiss/Nikon MonarchX/Steiner Predator

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 08:26
tacstar796 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: January/06/2010
Location: Texas
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Points: 2
Until I got on this forum I have NEVER even heard of Zen Ray?  I am looking for the best pair of binoculars for all around hunting but especially in those dusk/dawn conditions.  Are Zen Ray's that good?  Where are they made? Quality? 

My budget is $600 and I am trying to decide between:

1.  Nikon Monarch X 10.5x45
2.  Steiner Predator Pro C5 10x42
3.  Zeiss (model within budget)
4.  Leupold (model within budget)
5.  ZEN RAY??

Only serious user experience suggestions please.  My budget is only $600!

Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 09:21
biggreen747 View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Joined: October/16/2009
Location: Colorado
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Points: 470
Zen's are made in China and marketed by Zen Ray out of Portland, OR. Excellent glass for the money. I just finished my last hunt of the year with my new 10x43 Zen ED2. My only complaint is the obj lens covers. Mine are in a field somewhere and I now have a small scratch on the right obj lens from not having covers on. Charles from ZEN is on these boards and from what I understand CS has been outstanding. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 09:55
SVT_Tactical View Drop Down
Optics Retard
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Chief Sackscratch

Joined: December/17/2009
Location: NorthCackalacky
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Quality for the cost its Zen Ray.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2010 at 10:50
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
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Joined: May/20/2007
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Ditto ZEN ED 2.  Get one and be done with it and have some money left in the budget.  The Nikon Monarch is not even close.  The over your budget Leupold Gold ring is close as is the new Leupold Northfork, but you won't improve the image of the ZEN ED much even at $1,500.
 
I've had the ZEN ED 1 8x and 10x43, and the ED 2 in 7x36, 8x and 10x43.  I kept the 7x36 and the 10x43. ED 2's  I have decided if it can't be done with one of those, you need something besides a binocular.
 
Yes, they are new and Chinese, but 75% of the stuff in your budget is too.  It is a new design, and time has yet to tell the tale, but ZEN RAY gets an A for effort.
 
The objective tube in front of the hinge is short.  I use a Quake Bushwhacker flip up on one and a Butler Creek flip ups on the other.  You will need to trim the cover to allow the cover to slip around the hinge all the way,  but they work and they stay on.


Edited by Klamath - January/06/2010 at 10:59
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2010 at 15:30
Heavishot View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: December/31/2008
Location: Dallas, TX
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Points: 117
My Zen ED2 7x36 are significantly brighter and clearer than my nikon monarch 8x40.   They really are excellent. I experienced the same objective lens cover problem that others mentioned so I used Cabelas binocular covers this hunting season. They worked nicely in the field and I didn't feel like I had to put my binocs back in the case after each use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2010 at 19:33
rouseyfire View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: December/21/2009
Location: colorado
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For $600.00 you can buy a new Nikon 8x32 SE.  Only problem is that it's only water resistive and not water proof.  But if you ever decide to get into birding, you would have one of the best ever made.  You'll lose 2x magnification but the resolution will make up for the difference.
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