I guess that if the Zen-Ray had been designed with a longer eye relief and, then if needed, slightly narrower FOV, it would have been my choice. As my story told, my eyes fell on the Fury by chance, and it was definitely the best buy I ever did.
Like I stated, it's all about eyeglass-friendliness, speed and ergonomics. Aside from the eyeglass-friendliness the ZR would be equal or possibly better due to its even larger FOV.
A binocular with 4 mm exit pupil like my Minox HG 8x33 does not really allow the shadowy parts of the shrubberies to be enough illuminated, IMO.
The overall brightness is similar over uniformly illuminated areas, but the larger exit pupil of the Fury seems to "turn the light on" among the leaves.
In certain lighting conditions, the Minox shows somewhat more crisp color and definition.
But the more I try them against each other, it becomes clear that the Minox has a straylight problem with sometimes 40-50% of the field unusable due to bad reflections. Sometimes this problem is even more apparent in overcast weather.
My Zeiss is similar (though less crisp not being phase-coated), but the Fury really excels here with near-perfect back-lighting performance.
The ZR 7x36 was infamous for the gray crescent it produced in back-lighting, I guess it is largely fixed but is it really all gone?
So, when it all comes down to real birding, what are the crispest colors and best resolution worth if the straylight handling is the Achilles heel of an otherwise nice bin?
Or the ability to light up shadowed parts of the scene?
The ease of handling, (as a joint entirety put together by individual properties) simply increases the number of seconds that the bird is clearly visible within the FOV.
I am not saying the Zen-Ray or Swift don't make it, just that the ideal short-range binocular for warblers and sparrows not necessarily should be judged by its resolution and state-of-the-art crispness under ideal conditions.
Last edited by looksharp65 : Monday 11th October 2010 at 18:38.