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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 14:37   #1
scott63
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Zen Ray FB

I can't find their FB page anymore, must have deleted it. Not that they monitored it or kept it updated, way to go ZR....smh
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 16:29   #2
Nixterdemus
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Here's the deal.

ZR, we hardly knew thee the wake is over.

RIP

Might one believe in the hereafter I suppose resurrection is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 17:31   #3
David in NC
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When I first found this forum ZR was a hot ticket. I was initially looking for maximum performance compared to price (i.e., VALUE!) and ZR seemed to offer this. I liked the looks of the product (in real images not just the computer drawings ZR used to have on their website), and reviews here were most often extremely favorable. Add in that they had some 7x units and it was seemingly bliss. I NEARLY "pulled the trigger" several times but didn't.

Heck - the forum had given them their own subforum they were so hot and so popular a point of conversation here. FOR A WHILE-they were the epitome of "maximum performance to price" and did represent a GREAT bargain, and this was confirmed by their popularity of some of the more enlightened forum members. At one time-these were probably a pinnacle of "price to performance."

I ultimately bought other brands but have watched as minor complaints about CS began turning into major complaints, with the most common one being no contact from the company or no way to even CONTACT the company. For some, posting here and emailing "Charles" might get some response, and then another short burst of news from him about the company or new products, then he'd be gone again.

However that was then-this is now. I think we all know that the company can't be relied on to even be there for communication, much less for one to risk getting any after sale CS from.

I may make some here upset but I am shocked that some forum members still suggest or mention ZR to those looking for bins or asking about suggestions.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 06:26   #4
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I also think it serves as a warning to folks pondering other new brands and recent darlings. Some newer operations are probably more upstanding but small companies can fail quickly. That doesn't mean the binoculars aren't good and aren't good value, but warranties are worth as much stock as you put in the longevity of the issuer.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 12:57   #5
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Originally Posted by pbjosh View Post
I also think it serves as a warning to folks pondering other new brands and recent darlings. Some newer operations are probably more upstanding but small companies can fail quickly. That doesn't mean the binoculars aren't good and aren't good value, but warranties are worth as much stock as you put in the longevity of the issuer.
Absolutely agree with this.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 15:46   #6
Nixterdemus
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I tried the 7X36 w/mega FOV. Yes, it was a huge, wonderful static image.

In a pan/scan in the woods everything was doin' the Watusi [que: Wilson Pickett, Land of 1000 dances]. In the vertical it performed what I penned as the fountain effect. So much, way too much PC had the peripheral moving as a kaleidoscope on each end. To me. Looking at the sky or an open field was a much different experience.

I gave them away to me brother who wearing glasses I deducted would not see the entire FOV; in effect saving him from the confusion. After that I considered the Prime version though once bitten twice shy the urge slowly dissipated.

I think Charles is a nice well meaning guy that perhaps became overwhelmed w/quality issues that were beyond his control. Plus, it would seem that he didn't have deep pockets. Didn't Theron & Kruger open shop about the same time? I do not hear much about them anymore nor do I see an abundance of new models over the years from them.

I'm not privy to the speedbump/wall Charles hit, but give the devil his due he put out several models in a fairly quick succession that showed promise.
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Old Thursday 8th February 2018, 03:00   #7
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Ah what a shame. I still have one of the first 7x36s. If something goes bad I'll do a Jimi Hendrix on them.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 03:10   #8
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Originally Posted by Nixterdemus View Post
I tried the 7X36 w/mega FOV. Yes, it was a huge, wonderful static image.

In a pan/scan in the woods everything was doin' the Watusi [que: Wilson Pickett, Land of 1000 dances]. In the vertical it performed what I penned as the fountain effect. So much, way too much PC had the peripheral moving as a kaleidoscope on each end. To me. Looking at the sky or an open field was a much different experience.

I gave them away to me brother who wearing glasses I deducted would not see the entire FOV; in effect saving him from the confusion. After that I considered the Prime version though once bitten twice shy the urge slowly dissipated.

I think Charles is a nice well meaning guy that perhaps became overwhelmed w/quality issues that were beyond his control. Plus, it would seem that he didn't have deep pockets. Didn't Theron & Kruger open shop about the same time? I do not hear much about them anymore nor do I see an abundance of new models over the years from them.

I'm not privy to the speedbump/wall Charles hit, but give the devil his due he put out several models in a fairly quick succession that showed promise.
Zen Ray was never more than a 2 or 3 person importer. Likely with backing from some Chinese optics/marketing company. The Prime I won in a contest was an excellent binocular, I really mean excellent, heavy but with a view equal to the Conquest I have.

But as an importer your warranty is pretty much as good as the depth of your pockets or the goodwill of your supplier. In Charles case, both may have gotten shallow.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 14:26   #9
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Exclamation

Well, it does seem like the fb page is AWOL, and the website is still offline ..... I do hope they make a comeback :)

What folks don't realize is that:
"(they) coulda had class. (they) coulda been a contender. (they) coulda been somebody,

As far as the actual products go, the ZRS HD, ED3, and Prime HD, represent very good value for what they* are ....
(* provided you get a suitable quality example).

I myself have the 8x43 ED3 - best ergonomics on the market, bright, neutral view, excellent CA handling in the centre, wide field of view, and wild pincushion to give that quasi-3D effect. I love the oversize knurled metal focusing wheel, and fast ratio focus speed - perfect.

As far as the focus wheel backlash goes, it seems to range on a spectrum ..... no, or negligible backlash = stiffer focus -----> 1, or 2mm backlash = perfect light touch (Zeiss/Nikon Alpha style).

My own unit falls into the latter part of the spectrum. This backlash used to be a non-negotiable fail for me initially ...... now, half a dozen years down the track I really don't consciously notice it.

So much for the oft quoted 'myth' on this forum that you have to be a long term owner to give a considered opinion on a bin - not worth the breath with which it is said IMHO .... give me a technical, or engineering type, optics connoisseur, or propeller head adept at evaluation and 1/2 to a couple of hours of varied conditions and environments. :)

Had the ED4 been as much of an improvement over the ED3 as the ED3 was over the ED2, and delivered on time and on quality target for the same great value for money pricing, then no doubt we would be talking great things about Zen-Ray.

As for any CS issues Zen-Ray has been having lately (and to what extent or % we really don't precisely statistically know - there seems to have been some premature bleating on this particular sub-forum), let me pass on a little analogy .... when the Koreans made inroads into the Japanese stranglehold on the TV market back in the 90's and noughties, they didn't worry about repairs, or matching the Japanese 'Alpha dawgs' 《0.5% field fault rate. They just shipped vast quantities of containers of restyled, value-priced product over here with only ~95-97% of the product fault free, and implemented seamless and prompt new product replacement policies. Customers flocked to them (well relatively anyway).

Perhaps Zen-Ray has been hit with a higher than expected reject rate, and this is affecting the bottom line .....
They either fix the source quality (perhaps not easily influenced since the Bushnell Legend M units I saw had exactly the same issues), and/or secure more financing to support the business and allow a pipeline of new product to be successfully introduced.

I hope they make a go of it.

So what to do? My recommendation is the same as it has always been - if you can try the unit you intend to purchase in person beforehand and can get it at the right price, and if you also get along with it, then by all means get yourself a great bin.

I may be a bit unusual in that CS means pretty much nought to me - I expect my products to be trouble free until they are technically obsolete or catastrophically die. Not for me the constant tinkering. My Zens have been living in my car as 'beater bins' for the last few years - getting knocked around (flying off the passenger seat into the footwell at high speed /G under heavy braking etc, and they have not one single problem.

Buyer beware, but these are still top of the pops at the entry level tier (well unless you are lucky enough to get a ~$150 Bushie M and like the lesser ergos). Maybe you can pick yourself up a better than RRP deal - but do check the individual unit/ return policy first.


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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 01:48   #10
WJC
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undoubtedly, Zen Ray binoculars are still out there. They wear different brands, cosmetics, model numbers, and prices, but they are out there. I saw the signs of a folding company years ago but wish all the best for Charles.

Some people choose to rush to the sound of every new bell ... whether made of brass or tin. Sadly, most of those people will continue to do so.

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 02:12   #11
gunut
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sadly the only page left for Zen Ray is FuBar page....not a FB page...
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 04:12   #12
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I was a winner of one of the first Zen Ray 8x42 VISTA binoculars in the drawings Zen Ray had for some of their binoculars here on Bird Forum. I never used it very much and it remains in the original box.

t looks very much like the first versions of the Vortex Diamondback 8x42 did (I have one) and if my memory is correct it's suggested price was about $50.00 less than the Diamondback.

The diopter on my Vista will not move. It is frozen in the "Zero" position. It has a 7.5 FOV while the Diamondbacks is 8.

Bob

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