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Zen Rays in Alaska

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 11:17
John Barsness View Drop Down
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I just got back from a long bear hunt in Alaska, using Zen Ray 8x43 ED's as my primary binocular. They wroked very well, despite not being babied at all and encountering the standard Alaskan stuff like small planes, rough handling and lots of rain.
 
They also impressed my guide. He had a 10x42 Euro-binocular of very well-known make,that he'd just spent $1100 on. But we could both see more detail through the 8x43 ZR, so he kept borrowing it for some glassing!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 15:41
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I didnt get my 8x43 Zen-Ray ED2 yet, but I have already bought it and every time I read something like that I feel like I did the right choice!

PS: I will use them for birding.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 17:50
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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I dont currently own any binoculars and am rather rough on them it seems so I tend to shy away from the high end ones and defer to using a rifle scope for glassing however when I am bow hunting I could see a use for some glass but since I'm not talking about that much distance I have been wondering about this model and was wondering if anyone else has tried this model.

Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular
Stock # - ZENV8X42
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
$119.95 
Add Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular to Cart 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 23:45
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Get Your Popcorn Ready
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 00:28
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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These are Chinese arent they?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 09:59
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LEt's hearr some more about these. . .and again, are they Chinese?Get Your Popcorn Ready
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 10:20
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John, welcome back.  Congratulations on the bears. It is great to know that ZEN ED survived the wild wet Alaska. Thank you for the update.
 
urimaginaryfrnd and nksmfmjp, yes, they are assembled in China per our strict quality spec. Every single pair of ZEN ED binoculars will have to go through rigorous quality inspection procedure. In addition,  we hand inspect them again before we ship the products to our dealers or to our customers from our facility.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 10:42
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i prefer to buy all of my optics from the north koreans
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 12:46
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Thanks Zen.  I'm anxious to heaar from more users.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 17:09
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nk,
 
I have had the opportunity to try the Zen Ray Vistas on several occasions. For the price they are selling for they are very good optically. The image is bright, reasonably sharp and flat with a good field of view (better than most $300 and under roofs). Handling is very good as they are compact for a full-sized 42 mm model and fit and finish is better than I expected. Probably their only drawback is that they lack phase-coating on the roof prisms so they are not quite as sharp as regular phase-coated roofs. Consider the price range though as I am only aware of one roof that is phasecoated at this price point.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 20:43
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Originally posted by FrankD FrankD wrote:

nk,
 
 Probably their only drawback is that they lack phase-coating on the roof prisms so they are not quite as sharp as regular phase-coated roofs.

But, take a look at this link
http://www.zen-ray.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_66&products_id=248

Arent they phase coated?

"Phase-correction with BAK-4 roof prisms"

Sorry if I said any bullsh*t...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/06/2009 at 21:14
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brunoleke,
 
The link you provided was to the Zen EDs which are phase coated. My comments were in reference to the Zen Ray Vistas which are not.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 09:48
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I've had a pair of the Zen ED2's in 10x43 for a few weeks now and have used them extensively over the past couple of weeks scouting for mulies in the sandhills.  I have also had the opportunity to view  them side by side with my Leica trinovid 10 x 42 ( Zen being brighter, sharper, higher resolution and contrast), the Swaro SLC 10x42 (same as the Leica comparo), and a Swaro EL 10x43 (Zen just as bright, maybe a very very slight edge to EL in ease of view).  I have not had any of the flaring issues some of the birders have seen in their 7x's.  They do appear to be well made and solid.  I've had no issues at all, but I'd like to see the objective covers fit a little tighter (nitpicking).   My buddies just this past weekend showed up at whitetail camp with a Monarch, Bushnell Elite (which I love), and a Carson of some sort.  Needless to say these couldn't begin to compare with my Zen, not even close except for the Elite but even that was a very visible advantage to the Zen.  In summary I'm just simply amazed at the view at any price, and especially for the price.  I can buy 5 pair of the 10x's for the price of that EL and really gain nothing except proven spectacular customer support and product durability.  I'm sure dragging them around in the sandhills looking for mule deer isn't quite as harsh of a test as JB's Alaska hunt, but so far so good.  
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 10:15
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I would agree JG--my two weeks of deer season in SC have shown the Zens to be a great bargain and the only problem that I have is the lens caps are loose (nitpicking as well).  Great buy for the money. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 10:32
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This is very good news. I have a question regarding the 7x36 version I'll post on another thread.
 
Thanks for the good feed back guys,
Doug
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2009 at 00:00
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Thanks for the feedback .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2009 at 18:56
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Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular
Stock # - ZENV8X42
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
$119.95 
Add Zen-Ray 8x42 Vista Binocular to Cart
Zen-Ray 8x42 ZRS HD Binocular Zen-Ray 8x42 ZRS HD Binocular
Stock # - ZENS8X42
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
$169.95 
Add Zen-Ray 8x42 ZRS HD Binocular to Cart 
Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen Binocular Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen Binocular
Stock # - ZEN8X43
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
  • ED Glass
  • Ultra High Reflectivity Silver Prism Coating
$359.95 
Add Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen Binocular to Cart 
Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen ED2 Binocular Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen ED2 Binocular
Stock # - ZENED8X43
  • Rubber Armor
  • Roof Prism
  • ED Glass
  • VividBrite Ultra High Reflectivity Dielectric Prism Coating
$399.95 
Add Zen-Ray 8x43 Zen ED2 Binocular to Cart 
How much difference is there between these and what do you guys recommend?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2009 at 08:38
FrankD View Drop Down
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Out of the four of them the ZRs probably provides the best price vs. performance in a sense. There is no question in my mind that both of the ED models are better optically in several areas but it is going to boil down to how much optical performance you "need" vs. how much you want.
 
If money isn't an issue (and in this overall price range it isn't for most folks) then I would opt for the ED2. It has the latest optical coatings on the prisms and lenses (for light transmission and dirt/oil repelling).  The regular ED model is also easy to recommend because I would be splitting hairs to describe the differences between the two. Both of these two utilize ED glass in the objectives so the overall optical quality is better than conventional glass. The images are sharper, brighter and more contrast-filled.
 
The Vistas are a nice little piece of glass considering their price. If you only have a $100 or so to spend then I would certainly recommend them. They don't have phase-coating on the roof prisms so that tends to separate them from the other three on your list.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 10:41
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OK, another update (hope I'm not boring people to death here).  I've been guiding antelope hunters this past weekend over in New Mexico.  I had my 10x42 trinovids and my Zen ED2 10x43's.  It rained off and on all weekend.  My two hunters had a Swaro SLC 10x42 and a Geovid 15x56, and the other guide/outfitter had his 10x42 SLC's as well.  After a short while the guy with the Leica's asked me why I wasn't using my Trinovids and I gave him a quick answer about the Zen's and handed them to him.  He made the proper adjustments and then said, "oh, I understand why now".  To make a long story short, both he and the other hunter found them to have a superior view to that particular geovid and the SLC, as did the outfitter.  I sure hope these Zen's last a while, as I continue to be impressed with the view, and they help up in the rain with no hitches.  Just FYI.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 10:49
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JGRaider,

the more you say good things about Zen-Ray, the more anxious I become! :D

I bought a pair, but didnt receive them yet... :(

Cant wait to have them!

If you are surprised comparing them with a Swaro and Geovid, imagine me, who have a pair of Chinese.

By the way, here is the review of my Chinese hahaha:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=151595

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 11:21
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 The one thing I was confused on was when compared to the SLC if I understand correctly the ZR was better but when compared to the Swarovski EL the slight edge was given to the EL.  How can that be since the SLC and the EL are basically the same glass the only thing your getting with the EL is better one hand handling and weight reduction.
 
 For myself I wouldn't buy a pair of binoculars built in China regardless of "strict quality control" measures. Plus I have an issue with companies going over seas for cheap labor then turing around and selling it back to people who just could have made it here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 11:23
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Well, for the ones who have problems with Chinese products, I would say that I hate Windows computers and I have a Macbook Pro 2009 version. Guess where it is built?
Tips: Yakisoba, raw fish, chinese language...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 11:24
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Acenturian.   I don't know if those SLC's (old version) are the same glass as the new EL's or not.  What I do know, after looking through 3 different pairs of the SLC's is that the view through the Zen ED2 is superior.  Feel free to buy what you want, I could give a ratsazz.  Do you own any electronics?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 11:39
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JG: As far as the EL vs SLC it depends on how old the binoculars were.  As of a couple years ago they both are the same glass.
 
While I appreciate your wise insight and kind words on my purchases.  Yes, I own electronics and have coffee cups, tooth brushes, and far too many things made in China.  As I have stated before "if" it can be avoided I try to due so.  Just because somethings can't still does not make it right.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 14:21
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Acenturion, I believe I said SLC, not New SLC.  The way I understand it the "new SLC" uses the same glass as the EL, not the older ones I've been referring to.  Hopefully you're not confused anymore.  Keep in mind the view through the Zen's is why people started comparing them to the Euro stuff.  I'm not sure Zen Ray intended for people to schitt all over themselves when Zen Ray owners started singing the praises of the magnificent views at bargain prices.  In other words I don't know if Zen Ray meant for the ED or ED 2 to be an alpha fighter.  I can guarantee, as I've mentioned before, if there was a way to cover up the brands, numbers, etc on every bino, conduct a test, few people would rave about the same binocular they claim is the best.  However,  at their price point, in my case $400, nothing else comes close, period. 
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