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Zen-Ray ED3 on the way

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2011 at 12:38
kyblev View Drop Down
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Well after much research and forum reviews, I have decided to order the Zen-Ray ED3 8x43 binos.  I have read a lot of reviews here and a Zen rep even called me back about questions and concerns that I might have.  A lot of the other companies wouldn't either respond to me or take several days to email me back.  I already feel comfortable with my decision, because the rep told me to try them for 30 days, and if I didn't like them send them back for a full refund, no question asked.  After I get the binos and try them out, I will post my reviews here.  No I am not an optics expert, but I will try to give a biased opinon about the Zens.  The rep also told me that they would not compete against the newer Swarvos.  I really liked that he was honest about that.  The final sale price was $416 which was a big decision maker also.  Look forward to getting my hands on them and will post my reviews later.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2011 at 14:11
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Originally posted by kyblev kyblev wrote:

but I will try to give a biased opinon about the Zens.  .
 
Did you mean " unbiased"????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2011 at 14:26
Stud Duck View Drop Down
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I ordered a set of 10x43mm ED3's from SWFA yesterday; We'll see how they compare against the older Swaros, I have a pair that's approximately 11 years old. Anyone care to put up an opinion how the ED 3's will compare against the SLC's?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2011 at 14:52
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Stud Duck Stud Duck wrote:

I ordered a set of 10x43mm ED3's from SWFA yesterday; We'll see how they compare against the older Swaros, I have a pair that's approximately 11 years old. Anyone care to put up an opinion how the ED 3's will compare against the SLC's?
Yeah, since I've had the two side by side, I can give you an opinion.  The ZEN ED 3 is a hell of a lot closer to the Swaro than many may think.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/30/2011 at 22:33
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Originally posted by kyblev kyblev wrote:

Well after much research and forum reviews, I have decided to order the Zen-Ray ED3 8x43 binos.  I have read a lot of reviews here and a Zen rep even called me back about questions and concerns that I might have.  A lot of the other companies wouldn't either respond to me or take several days to email me back.  I already feel comfortable with my decision, because the rep told me to try them for 30 days, and if I didn't like them send them back for a full refund, no question asked.  After I get the binos and try them out, I will post my reviews here.  No I am not an optics expert, but I will try to give a biased opinon about the Zens.  The rep also told me that they would not compete against the newer Swarvos.  I really liked that he was honest about that.  The final sale price was $416 which was a big decision maker also.  Look forward to getting my hands on them and will post my reviews later.
you won't be dissapointed in them i have a pair of 8x43ED3 they are really good glass
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 06:27
Stud Duck View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

The ZEN ED 3 is a hell of a lot closer to the Swaro than many may think.
 
That's what I'm hoping, my only reservation would be with the build-quality of the Zen's v. the Swaros; the old SLC's are built like a tank. However, I'm not know to be hard on my gear, even when conditions are tough.


Edited by Stud Duck - December/01/2011 at 06:28
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 08:50
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by Stud Duck Stud Duck wrote:

I ordered a set of 10x43mm ED3's from SWFA yesterday; We'll see how they compare against the older Swaros, I have a pair that's approximately 11 years old. Anyone care to put up an opinion how the ED 3's will compare against the SLC's?
Yeah, since I've had the two side by side, I can give you an opinion.  The ZEN ED 3 is a hell of a lot closer to the Swaro than many may think.


I had my ED2's side by side with my SLCneu and neighbor's EL, all in 10x42.  Klamath is right on the money.......there's not a nickle's worth of difference between them optically.  My ED2 was very tough. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 10:17
Klamath View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Stud Duck Stud Duck wrote:

I ordered a set of 10x43mm ED3's from SWFA yesterday; We'll see how they compare against the older Swaros, I have a pair that's approximately 11 years old. Anyone care to put up an opinion how the ED 3's will compare against the SLC's?
Well, I maybe should have kept quiet Smile.  Since I piped up anyway, the thing to remember about comparing optics is to not have any pre formed bias on what you are going to see or which one or the other you think will be better going into whatever comparison you make.  Believe me, that is a hard facet of human nature to try to put aside.
 
The ED 2, as pointed out by JGR above is good, the ED 3 is better.  Not so much in centerfield sharpness, but edge to edge across the whole of the image.  Also keep in mind that the comparison is between binoculars that cost new something like $1,500 vs $450.  There has to be something you get for that.  It is probably brand name "pizzaz", a technically superior design, a superior warranty and service, superior construction, and superior workmanship.  Having said that, the ZEN ED 3 leaves nothing to really be desired, considering what it costs. I have purposely dunked my ED 2 in the water trough and hung them by the strap on the corral fence and left them outside that way overnight in mid winter nights, they have ridden over many rough miles in my pickup and I have used the devil out of them for over two years.  They are still as bright and tight as the day I took them out of the box.  Any optical inmstrument is a precision scientific instrument and should be treated as such.  Some are better built than others, but any can suffer a catastrophic owie.  I once saw the objective lens fall out of an SLC from a simple drop to the ground that should not have harmed a cheapie, so you never know.  So when you see a refenence to a binocular being built like a tank, it means they are built pretty solidly for a binocular.  You can't get one as tough as a tank.
 
My own multiple comparisons of the ZEN series of binoculars is related to the optical comparisons and what the image is saying.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 10:50
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I bought a pair of ed3 10x43 this year just before hunting season.  they stayed in my truck all through 2 deer and 2 elk season (early and late, east and western washington)... surviving temps from 70+ (heated on the dash with defroster) to probably about 20.  they also rode on the dash or the center console through some very rough country, the rocky plateaus of eastern washington and around my neck walking over that terrain as well as soggy ravines in between the ridges.

the only complaint i have about them so far is the objective lens caps tend to pop off with a lot of movement, but it hasn't been a problem so far.  i did look through some vortex viper hd's and some (new) swaro slc's at cabelas before i bought the ZR's and (granted i didn't look side by side) i really didn't see enough difference in either to warrant the extra money.

these are the first bino's i've ever bought and they surely set the bar high for any follow on purchases down the road.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 11:40
kyblev View Drop Down
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Klamath,
I have seen your post on this site several times and believe you know your stuff.  Can't wait until I get them in hand.  The rep talked me out of the 10x43's and suggested I go with the 8x43's.  He asked what I was going to use them for (Elk hunt, NW Montana) and assured me that power would work fine. I wear glasses and I also liked the +reviews for those of us who wear glasses.  Yes I did mean unbiased.  Thanks for noting that.
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