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Zeiss Terra or ZRED3

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2013 at 21:03
mightymike View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: January/06/2011
Status: Offline
Points: 36
Need some help guys: Budget is 500$ max, Been looking at the Zeiss Terra or the Zen Ray ED3 which do you recommend? Used for hunting whitetail mostly on the east coast low light performance is key. I've always owned 10X but reading here may have me leaning toward 8X?? FOV, low light performance. Thanks. Obviously I am open to other suggestions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/14/2013 at 21:36
PhilR. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: August/02/2008
Status: Offline
Points: 162
Between those two, I would pick the ED3.  I just wasn't impressed with the Terra, and since I have a sensitive nose honed by many years in the medical field, could not abide it's great odor.  Truly - I have never smelled anything so loud and obnoxious in an optical device in my life.  I have read that the odor eventually goes away, but even then I would still not buy a Terra.
On the other hand, I did have an ED2 for a while.  I found it's view to be extremely good.  Sharper in the middle than even a Peregrine XP that costs three times as much.   But you notice that I said "had".  I eventually came to realize that I just don't care for binos that weigh close to 30 ounces, and sold it. 
Besides those two, you might also consider the 8x Nikon Monarch 7 for around $380, and the Krueger Caldera for around $306.  Both weigh less than the ED3, and have better focus wheels.   IMO these two have excellent handling due to their shorter height and decreased weight.  Also in the same weight ballpark is the 7x42 Leupold Hawthorne that can be had for under $250.  Very sharp in view, and excellent build quality.  Lastly, the Meopta 8x42 Meopro can be had for $399.  We have the 6.5x version, and I think it is a great little bino.  It has the best focus knob of any roof-prism model in it's price class, so I would think that the 8x version would be very good as well.  Excellent build quality, as one could reasonably expect.
As for 8x vs. 10x -- I think that for your situation, and to meet your stated desire for low light performance, that 8x is IMNSHO the way to go.  Even 7x would do fine as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2013 at 12:36
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: May/20/2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1297
I would also pick the ED 3.  However, the Terra seems to have left me with a much better impression than it gave Phil.  My experience with the ED 3 is far more extensive than with the Terra ED.  I was pretty impressed with the Terra, which I can buy locally for $319.  No smelly rubber that I could detect, but that has shown up on other threads in other who knows?

The Terra is a more compact binocular than the ED 3.  That is a consideration depending on how much you value a compact glass.

Which leads me to another recommendation for the Kruger Caldera.  I have one of these in 8x42.  It has technical resolution specs that are alpha level.  It has an industry leading field of view.  It is advertised as 438' at 1,000 yards, but mine checks in a 452'.  It is pretty compact for a 42 mm glass as well, it is short, but it does have 42 mm size objective barrels.

The ED 3 excels at control of color fringing.  The Caldera is excellent as well.  The Caldera uses Fluorite elements in the objective assembly and does very well at CA control.  I would NOT...under any circumstance trade my Caldera straight across for a Monarch 7, but having said that, the Monarch 7 is a good binocular, and I'd likely choose it over the Terra ED.  However I'd need a good test opportunity to solidify that opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2013 at 15:30
CSG View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: September/05/2013
Status: Offline
Points: 3
I picked the Terra but I was able to find a pair used.
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