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ZEN RAY ED 2, MEOPTA ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/24/2009 at 07:29
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I have read many great reviews about the Zen Ray binos and Meoptas. I currently have a pair of Vortex Vipers in 8x42 and they are nice and pretty bright in low light. They do however have a very shallow depth of focus meaning that have to move the focus wheel to view things clearly just a few feet before or after the object you have it focused for. Also, they still have a little tunnel vision to them. Ive read that the Zen Rays optics are better in every way with durability being the only real question with them. The Meoptas are said to be heavy but rock solid and great optically.

Are the Zen Ray ED 2 binos optically equal to the Meoptas or are they better? Do the Zen Rays have a tunnel view or is it a large image as Ive read the Meoptas have? Ive passed on some Meoptas and Zen Rays but would like to buy the better of the two to compare to my Vipers and keep the best. These are going to be for hunting but Im not rough on equipment so Im interested in which has the bigger better view . Which do you all think is better?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/24/2009 at 08:35
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The field of view is much wider as is the depth of focus in the ZEN ED IIs compared to my previous set of Nikon Monarch ATB's--both are 10x40's (ED is 43). 
I have hunted 50+ times this year already for whitetail in SC--they travel on the back seat, I am not overly protective, and I am pleased with their durability so far.
For the price point, I don't think you can go wrong with the Zen's; Charles is the owner and posts things here, and he stands by his product!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/24/2009 at 21:35
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Take my opinion for what it's worth as I am no optics expert, but here was my observation.  I purchased some ED2's in 10x43.  I compared these to my Nikon binoculars and the ED2's excelled of course.  The Zen's are comfortable to hold, nice looking, clear, bright, and crisp.  One thing I did notice was a haze around the outer edges in the field of view.  I adjusted them, but couldn't get them right.  They have a big field of view, but some of it isn't clear in my opinion.  With this being my first nice pair of binoculars, I didn't know if that's how all binoculars were.  I took the Zen's to my local dealer and compared them side by side to the Meopta 10x42.  I discovered, that in my opinion, the Meopta's field of view appeared larger and was clear and crips clear to the edges; a noticable difference to me.  As I sat comparing them, my general consensus was that the Meopta binos were just more pleasing to sit and look through.  I didn't do any of the fancy tests, nor do I know how, but comparing the 2 side by side, the Meopta won.  They have a more solid feel to them by far, are clearer around the edges, and seem like they have a wider field of view as well as being more comfortable to sit and look through.
 
All that to say, I returned the Zen's.  I found some Meopta's from an out of state dealer that sold me his demo pair for $200 off msrp.  I just got back from a Colorado mule deer hunt and love these Meopta even more.  I was glassing a hillside that had snow, rock, and cedar picking out deer and I remember thinking to myself, "damn I like these binoculars!"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2009 at 12:49
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Originally posted by muleymaddness muleymaddness wrote:

 
  One thing I did notice was a haze around the outer edges in the field of view.  I adjusted them, but couldn't get them right.  They have a big field of view, but some of it isn't clear in my opinion. 
 
I'm guessing that the 'edges' of the lenses are not blackened Cool at the factory.
 
If this is the case, perhaps they will take notice, and correct this in the near future. 
 


Edited by Bird Watcher - November/25/2009 at 13:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2009 at 19:35
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Hmm. My experience is that ZR (and similar Chinese bins such as the Hawkes) are slightly sharper than the Meoptas. This is only based on two of each (Chinese vs. Czech) but it is there, both for me and my wife, who has also looked through a lot of binoculars.

The Meoptas are super-tough, in our experience, which includes lots of use in various climates from dry and dusty to wet and cold. All we have is one hunting season with the Chinese stuff, but that started in mid-August and kept going through various hunts over 3+ months. Nothing has broken so far.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2009 at 19:51
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I am really tempted to try the Zen Ray ED II. Does the 8x43 image appear larger or more comfortable than the 7x36 model? I dont think Ill need 10x for my hunting if the optics are that good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/25/2009 at 23:05
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My ZEN ED 2 7x36 would be the last binocular I have I would let go.  I would keep it over the 8x43.  The 8x is theoretically going to be brighter and resolve better due to having more glass, but your eyes will never tell you the difference.  What your eyes (well mine anyway) tell you is that the depth of field with the 7x magnification coupled with the outstanding width of the field are something you need to see for yourself.  That is what attracts me to them.  The 8x will show me nothing in addition to the 7x.  So my 7x is my most used binocular. 
 
There was some glare issues in the first run of the 7x36, but ZR has addressed those and the fix will be in place on any 7x36 that you order today.  There is also a 9x36 in the works.
 
I also tend to find myself in agreement with John Barsness in that in my experience, the ZEN image seems a bit brighter and sharper than the Meopta.  However my experience with the Meopta is not extensive.  It just goes to show that different eyes are different and will sometimes like different binoculars.
 
I think what muleymadness saw around the edge is the rather typical edge distortion which is commonly caused by a combination of pincushion distortion, used purposely to eliminate or control what is known as rolling globe effect (the edge of the field to some people appears to roll while panning over a surface, such as trying to follow a running game animal or flying bird).  The other factor is likely some field curvature, which increases with wider fields of view
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/26/2009 at 01:51
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I have a fair amount of experience with Hawke Frontier ED binos, but I have not seen the Zen ED2 yet.

Between the Hawke and the Meopta, ultimately Meopta is a better binocular (to me), but a much more expensive one as well.

My experience is primarily with 8x models.  In the center of the field of view, Hawke may be slightly sharper (similar to John's observations), but Meopta has larger sweetspot and better depth of field.  Meopta also has a better focusing knob.

For lengthy glassing, I also found Meopta to induce a little less eye fatigue, but Hawke is not slouch n that regard either.

In the end, like everything else I suppose, it comes down to how much you want to spend. 

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/26/2009 at 19:21
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Well, Ive decided to order a Pair of Zen ED 2 to check out. I now need to decide between 8x or 7x. I like a large view with little tunnel vision but wide field of view is nice also. I think the 8x would be more useful all around but if I like the 7x I would probably get a 10x later for more open areas. 8x or 7x hmmmmm....not much FOV difference either and with a harness the weight difference probably wouldnt matter much either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 14:43
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I have spent the last several weeks using Razors, Zen ED's along with the usual Zeiss and Swarovski glasses. The Zen's are definitely a winner.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 19:42
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Tahqua, which model of Zen were you using ED 1 or ED2 and what power were they?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 19:46
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I was using the 10x43 ED's. I was really impressed with the ability to close focus with this particular model. They were a bit better at close range than the 8x42 Razors.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 20:09
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I'll answer that question for my bro.  ED2's in a 10x43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 20:13
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BTW I've had mine for over a month now and are enjoying them very much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2009 at 20:38
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I am going to order these and try them out. I will be using these for Whitetail hunting so 7x or 8x are probably my best bet. I think 8x is the better choice but the 7x has more FOV by a little and should be just as bright. When I decide and order I will let you all know what I think of them. Maybe Ill order both and send one back that I dont want or least prefer and get the 10x for long range viewing. The 7x may have more FOV but may have a smaller image and I like a larger image which is why I was considering the 8x Zen or Meopta as Ive read they have a large image when viewing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2009 at 12:08
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I switched from Nikon 8x40s to Zen ED2 7x36.  The Zens are noticeably crisper and brighter.  Everyone who looks through them is amazed.  I'm kinda thinking I should have gone with the 8x instead but I'm not completely sure.  It may just be my overactive brain thinking "8 is better than 7".  Since I sold the Nikon I can't try them side by side in the field anymore.  

I would give an edge to the 7x for ease of stability.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2009 at 21:20
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Anyone thinking of the ZEN's should go ahead and try a pair...they are nice and you will be pleased....!!  As far as customer service,  2nd to none best I've seen in along time.....

here's an example,

I pm Charles told him of a little problem i had with my 8x43's.  I also told him i only have these one pair of Bino's,  and I'm not sure what to do opening day is following Monday.
It's Thursday right, so he said tell you what I'll do....I'll send you a new pair so you'll be set
opeing day so you won't miss any hunting,  and just send back the other pair when you get a chance....!!!

WOW...!!!!  I'm at a loss for word's,  this man doesn't know me from Adam.....
and he's taking care of me on my word,  and standing behind his product 100%........
no questions asked....!!!!!!!!!!

Guess what it only gets better,  I asked well if we are going to do this can I upgrade to the 10x43's and I'll pay the difference.....

here is his response......

well they are on back order till next month tell you what, once they come in, 
and we get our back orders filled I'll just swap you for a pair NO CHARGE....how's that......as long as you keep the others in sellable condition witch I have......

I'm blown away.....this is buy far the best customer service I have ever got in my 36 years of being on this earth.....bottom line alot of company's could take lessons from him and his ways of doing business ......Excellent

thanks a million CHARLES......you have a customer for life....Big Grin

sincerely your Sherman Underwood
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2010 at 15:08
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Door bell: the ZR EDII 7X36 just came a day early; they are much lighter than the 8X43s; just took them out of the box and the foam pellets are over the place, darn.  These are very light (weight); I have a balance; this exceeds the capacity I'm sure or I'd give the difference.  (reads in grams) so I'll trust the published specs; the view is great and flat, too.  It's almost as light feeling as this Nikon Monarch 8X42. 

What is the difference between the ED and the ED2? on a same power model?  Is the reason I got a good price on the ED models because they are not ED2s?  Time to do some reading I guess.  Notwithstanding they beat the heck out of the Nikon monarchs.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2010 at 16:13
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Originally posted by whitneymuse whitneymuse wrote:

 
What is the difference between the ED and the ED2? on a same power model?  Is the reason I got a good price on the ED models because they are not ED2s?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2010 at 18:40
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Dave44,
7X are very flat and clear and perceptively lighter than the 8X although it may prove only my imagination if it goes on a balance; similar in hand to Nikon Monarchs by perception.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2010 at 22:48
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Well this thread answered allot of my questions, thanks guys...now it's just the money part holding me up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2010 at 10:55
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I think the Meoptas are a little better all around.  The Zens have bettter center-field sharpness (but not by much), and better Chromatic Aberration control (They are very good!).  The advantages of the Zens are probably made up for by the Meopta's robust design, fit-and-finish, and increased depth of field.

Of course, you can just about get two pairs of Zen EDs for the price of one pair of Meoptas.
 
I still have both, and will likely keep both. 
 
Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2010 at 21:30
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My recommendation is Meopta, American owned company, made in Europe, solid reputation, sold here by SWFA.  There are plenty of the Chinese clones now being made
but what about warranty going forward.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2010 at 10:48
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Zen Ray....American owned company, made in China, solid reputation (so far), sold here at SWFA.  Just sayin'.....it boils down to personal preference as these both have great glass.  The thin eyecups of the Meopta are very uncomfortable for me, which is why I'd choose ZR.  There's no guarantees about anybody being around forever.  Leica's been bankrupt once and may be headed there again.  The new Swaro's have a 10 yr warranty.  That pretty much sucks.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 21:50
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My wife picked out a pair of ZR 10x43 ED to bird watch with and I too have really been impressed with them......
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