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Zen-Ray PRIME HD 8x42 vs. Vortex Viper HD 8x42

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2012 at 22:42
hopeisnotastrategy View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I'm needing a set of hunting binoculars and would like to spend less than $800.  

I've looked through several options in the store and the Viper HD's look as good to me as more expensive options.  I thought I had settled on them when I began reading about the Zen-Rays.

According to the few people who have been able to use them, the Zen-Rays are optically coming close to the elite products for a fraction of the price.  

In looking at the Zen-Ray website and the pictures it is hard to tell how rugged the Zen-Rays are.  A few of the reviews I read were by bird watchers.  I will use these for hunting so they need to be able to take some punishment.  

Can anyone comment on that issue who has held the Zen-Rays and examined them?  

In the $600-800 range that these two options put me in, should I be considering something else?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/21/2012 at 01:50
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
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For what this is worth the Primes I have are...or at least seem to be...stouter than the Vortex Viper.  They are better optically too.  The fov is much better and the field is a lot flatter.  The ZR is Chinese mfr and the Viper Japanese.  Both companies are US based and each had significant input into the design.
 
From what I know, the initial run of Primes had some issues with specks of debris.  This was between two of the prisms and the problem has been identified and should no longer be an issue.
 
I had original Vipers in 8x and 10x.  I have looked at the new HD but have no real eye time with them.
 
I have no issue with how the Prime looks to be built as to hold up to hunting.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2012 at 10:33
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Optics Master
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Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

For what this is worth the Primes I have are...or at least seem to be...stouter than the Vortex Viper.

I have no issue with how the Prime looks to be built as to hold up to hunting.  

Steve,

Help me out here.

How many complainsts have you heard of, here on OpticsTalk, over the years, where hunters complain of their binoculars coming apart as a result of being used in a hunting scenario. 

Just curious. Question

Stan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2012 at 20:41
Klamath View Drop Down
Optics Master
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Stan,
 
I have to admit I hear an almost universal desire among hunters for a rugged ,durable binocular.  We hear that they "use their stuff and don't baby it"...etc.    I hunted for many years with a Swift Nighthawk 8x40 porro that was not waterproof.  Never had a single issue with that glass, and to be sure, I was likely guilty of some abuse.
 
Point of fact is that any binocular is a precision optical instrument.  Use them, but use them well and  hunters should be fine with most any modern binocular, particularly roof prism models say $200 and up.   Modern stuff is way above standards of years gone by.
 
I use my stuff too, and have never had a binocular go south on me on a hunt.  Like my rifle, load, and scope, I check out my spotter and binoculars prior to going hunting.  I suppose lots of hunters do the same.  But hearing about stuff falling apart is  less often told about than expression of the desire for one that will "hold up".   Don't know if I can put a number on the issue.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2012 at 21:23
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Perhaps the fact that we have a difficult time remembering serious complaints or failures associated with good binoculars is the answer in itself.  Yep, Thought So

Thanks,

Stan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2012 at 11:50
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Optics Apprentice
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I have my 10x42 PRIME HD for about 2 months already. IMHO, it is a well built binoculars. If someone put a Zeiss or Leica medallion on it, I don't think I will even question its build quality.  With its non-open hinge style, it looks sturdier than those open bridge binoculars.  So far, I am very pleased with it.  It definitely exceeds my expectation despite of all those good reviews out there.  I checked with Zen-Ray before making the purchase. This model has no-fault warranty, which is also one of reasons I decided to upgrade my original ZEN ED binoculars.
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