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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 09:14   #26
Troubador
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Now that they are defunct, this subforum could be dropped.

Jerry
With so many ZR binos out there in the world the Bird Forum team has no plans to close this subforum.

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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 17:03   #27
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We need to step back here and think about Zen Ray for a minute. For the record, I am fully in support of the above comments by Chosun Juan. This is my opinion, and may well be viewed as being worth what I got paid for it. I do not for a minute think that we would see the fantastic improvement in the upper mid tier binoculars without Charles from Zen Ray hitting the Hornet’s Nest with his stick. His vision was that there was a pressing need for good, serious, field worthy binoculars at an affordable price level. As he saw it, there were alphas then there was mostly junk. His vision was to close that gap. I further do not think we would have nearly as many serious sub $1K and $500 binoculars as we have now without the push from Zen Ray and the buzz that was created. Yes there were other companies involved in the push, but ZR seems to be the topic here.

He accomplished the large part of his vision with the second generation ZRS (Summit) and the subsequent ZEN ED and ZEN Prime series binoculars. He took an opportunity that he saw and ran with it. Good for him. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He took the risk. As I have said before, he ran into trouble by biting off more than he could chew too quickly. He did in fact illustrate quite clearly that a good field worthy binocular, one that would show you what was there to be seen, without spending upwards of $2,000 was a realistic target. He introduced binoculars that started the trend of improvement in the upper mid tier. I do not think for a minute we would see things like the Zeiss Terra and Conquest, Nikon Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, the Vortex Razor, or the new Leica Trinovids without the push Zen Ray was involved in starting those few years ago. Maven, GPO, Tract, among other new companies I missed, will continue that push. We will all benefit from that.

I am glad to see Troubador, apparently speaking from his role as Moderator, standing firm on the sub forum.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 18:52   #28
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I am glad to see Troubador, apparently speaking from his role as Moderator, standing firm on the sub forum.
Yes and BTW I double-checked with BF management and the feeling there is as I reported in my last post. And with someone like Charles you can't rule out him starting up another venture.

And a nice summary Steve.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 19:02   #29
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We need to step back here and think about Zen Ray for a minute. For the record, I am fully in support of the above comments by Chosun Juan. This is my opinion, and may well be viewed as being worth what I got paid for it. I do not for a minute think that we would see the fantastic improvement in the upper mid tier binoculars without Charles from Zen Ray hitting the Hornet’s Nest with his stick. His vision was that there was a pressing need for good, serious, field worthy binoculars at an affordable price level. As he saw it, there were alphas then there was mostly junk. His vision was to close that gap. I further do not think we would have nearly as many serious sub $1K and $500 binoculars as we have now without the push from Zen Ray and the buzz that was created. Yes there were other companies involved in the push, but ZR seems to be the topic here.

He accomplished the large part of his vision with the second generation ZRS (Summit) and the subsequent ZEN ED and ZEN Prime series binoculars. He took an opportunity that he saw and ran with it. Good for him. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He took the risk. As I have said before, he ran into trouble by biting off more than he could chew too quickly. He did in fact illustrate quite clearly that a good field worthy binocular, one that would show you what was there to be seen, without spending upwards of $2,000 was a realistic target. He introduced binoculars that started the trend of improvement in the upper mid tier. I do not think for a minute we would see things like the Zeiss Terra and Conquest, Nikon Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, the Vortex Razor, or the new Leica Trinovids without the push Zen Ray was involved in starting those few years ago. Maven, GPO, Tract, among other new companies I missed, will continue that push. We will all benefit from that.

I am glad to see Troubador, apparently speaking from his role as Moderator, standing firm on the sub forum.
Very good post. Agree 100%. The choice in mid-range glass the last couple years has been great.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 21:02   #30
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I agree with SteveC's post for the most part. However, it's one thing to take a chance and have it not work out so well. I don't begrudge Charles for that. What I do find bush league is his total lack of communication, both on this forum and evidently the social media. There's no excuse for leaving his customers hanging, trying to figure out WTH is going on.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 21:12   #31
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I agree with SteveC's post for the most part. However, it's one thing to take a chance and have it not work out so well. I don't begrudge Charles for that. What I do find bush league is his total lack of communication, both on this forum and evidently the social media. There's no excuse for leaving his customers hanging, trying to figure out WTH is going on.
That is the point I was also making. In the past year, 90% of the posts on
the Zenray forum were all about service complaints.

Don't forget about that. For those owners in that position, all is not well, but very bad.

Jerry
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 21:17   #32
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I agree with SteveC's post for the most part. However, it's one thing to take a chance and have it not work out so well. I don't begrudge Charles for that. What I do find bush league is his total lack of communication, both on this forum and evidently the social media. There's no excuse for leaving his customers hanging, trying to figure out WTH is going on.
heartache, depression, insecurity are valid excuses in my book.
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 22:12   #33
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I'm one of those who are stuck with a dead Zen (ED2). I won't go into the details except to say it went back to Zen about 2 years ago and came back a little mangled but not repaired. It's dead, unusable. Since I had luckily won one of the Primes in that contest years back (remember that?), I said skip it, it's not worth the trouble to complain. Nobody's home anyway. The Prime is solid as a rock, mostly flat field (which I like), and frankly better than the ED2. I use it quite often.

But the experience has left me cautious about buying from upstarts. And I passed on that Bushnell Legend M megadeal because it's a variant of the ED2. Bushnell probably can't repair it either, but they have the resources to at least replace it if stuff goes wrong.

So many new companies! I think I'll let them sort themselves out while I walk off into the sunset with my Swaros. The Swaros will probably outlive me at any rate.

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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 23:29   #34
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I'm one of those who are stuck with a dead Zen (ED2). I won't go into the details except to say it went back to Zen about 2 years ago and came back a little mangled but not repaired. It's dead, unusable. Since I had luckily won one of the Primes in that contest years back (remember that?), I said skip it, it's not worth the trouble to complain. Nobody's home anyway. The Prime is solid as a rock, mostly flat field (which I like), and frankly better than the ED2. I use it quite often.

But the experience has left me cautious about buying from upstarts. And I passed on that Bushnell Legend M megadeal because it's a variant of the ED2. Bushnell probably can't repair it either, but they have the resources to at least replace it if stuff goes wrong.

So many new companies! I think I'll let them sort themselves out while I walk off into the sunset with my Swaros. The Swaros will probably outlive me at any rate.
Interesting comment on the comparison to the Bushnell Legend M.

Are you suggesting that they are made by the same manufacturer, and if so do you have any solid data to support that, or are you just assuming since they both share an open hinge design?
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2018, 23:45   #35
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Interesting comment on the comparison to the Bushnell Legend M.

Are you suggesting that they are made by the same manufacturer, and if so do you have any solid data to support that, or are you just assuming since they both share an open hinge design?
I will offer my thoughts. There are many variants of similar binoculars being
made today by many companies and sellers.

With those models, and clones, they could come from many different factories
throughout the world, including China.

The Bushnell Legend M, has good reviews, I have one, and I recommend it.

It is sold by Bushnell, so at this time it has a solid company backing its
warranty.

Jerry
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 00:33   #36
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heartache, depression, insecurity are valid excuses in my book.
Yeah that all went through my mind also. I think he could have been embarrassed/ashamed or something but I think his lack of trust in his customers understanding, were he to have come clean, might also have been because he never really was that decent of a guy in relation to his communicating so well with us, but rather was so nice because we were paying customers. That's the usual drill as far as my experience goes. They are your good friend until there's nothing more in it for them. We will likely never know but my cynical nature believes it's likely the latter. He really didn't want to deal with us anymore because there wasn't a monetary payoff. I think his actions speak for themselves. I never think of a person I do business with as a friend. It's just a little game that gets played.
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 01:14   #37
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Yeah that all went through my mind also. I think he could have been embarrassed/ashamed or something but I think his lack of trust in his customers understanding, were he to have come clean, might also have been because he never really was that decent of a guy in relation to his communicating so well with us, but rather was so nice because we were paying customers. That's the usual drill as far as my experience goes. They are your good friend until there's nothing more in it for them. We will likely never know but my cynical nature believes it's likely the latter. He really didn't want to deal with us anymore because there wasn't a monetary payoff. I think his actions speak for themselves. I never think of a person I do business with as a friend. It's just a little game that gets played.
Pretty hard to judge what happened from a 40,000 foot view. Theres a lot of options besides embarrassed, lack of trust in his customers or just flat out trying to screw people when the money ran out. Was he sole owner or minor partner? Does he have the authority to actually make a promise for the company at this point? Did he leverage the company to get into production? Is the company and inventory in control of a lien holder, or does he still have complete control? Is he in the middle of a medical crisis?

From what I have seen on this forum, he would not be walking in to an understanding clientele who is willing to reason. There are many on here who would take it at face value, that some bad business choices were made and they got screwed, but just as many would accept nothing but a pound of flesh that ol Charles may not have to give. Most people wh run failing businesses think they can turn something around right up till the time they lose their ass, for all I know Charles was fighting to make it work but just hit the wall. I have been screwed over by some pretty good people for that reason. They thought they could turn it right up till it broke over the point of no return. Had he told me they were close to failure 6 months earlier, I would have cut their line of credit right then and demanded full payment of what was due or repossessed our welding equip, and pushed them in to failure. I didnt know and he didnt feel they could tell me, so I (my employer) lost about $50,000 and he lost about $500,000. Every single purchase is a bit of a gamble.

For what it's worth, there is a reason that many of the big boys charge the prices they do, besides just being greedy money grubbers. It's because they cant stay in business if they cant make enough profit to sustain them in times of crisis. You take a bit of a gamble when you buy from small players in anything, with luck the small ones hang in long enough to be big players,

I hope he can make it back, like Kammer I won a Prime and it's a hell of a good glass.
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 01:32   #38
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I will offer my thoughts. There are many variants of similar binoculars being
made today by many companies and sellers.

With those models, and clones, they could come from many different factories
throughout the world, including China.

The Bushnell Legend M, has good reviews, I have one, and I recommend it.

It is sold by Bushnell, so at this time it has a solid company backing its
warranty.

Jerry
I was just asking as I've handled both and they just don't have the same feel, Not in the hinge, focus wheel, or balance. The eyepiece end of the barrels are completely different as are the hinge assemblies.

I've noticed on some forums many folks think all open hinge bino's are rolling off the same assembly line or something.

Legend M's scored a 79.3% on the Allbinos test, ZR ED2 scored a 68.5%. Not even in the same league.

And yeah, the Legend M's are covered by the previous Bushnell "no questions asked" warranty, which simply couldn't be any better. Bushnell is one of the most established optics companies as well, so i too have no concerns.

Not trying to pump up the Legend M's into some kind of Alpha sniffer or anything, but they are a decent bino for sure.

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 02:19   #39
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I have rethunk my position from my post above.

Let the legacy of Zen Ray carry on.

Epitaph, "Just not quite good enough".

Jerry

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 02:31   #40
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Steve,
Surely the second sentence here is an overstatement? "He introduced binoculars that started the trend of improvement in the upper mid tier. I do not think for a minute we would see things like the Zeiss Terra and Conquest, Nikon Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, the Vortex Razor, or the new Leica Trinovids without the push Zen Ray was involved in starting those few years ago." I believe that Nikon, say, would have got there anyway.

Kammerdeiner, Xlr8nx,
The Bushnell Legend-M is "clones with" the ED3, not the ED2.

Jape,
It may be "heartache, depression, insecurity" but possibly also the inability to cope with a deluge of communication. I wonder why Charles, or whoever there who now has/have the final say, has not arranged for a standard email or recorded phone response to all who contact them.

A few years ago I ordered an ED3 7x43, found problems with it, emailed and phoned Charles. He very kindly agreed to replace it with an 8x43. I am now not sure whether my complaints about the 7x43, of which I had really high expectations, were all valid, but he very courteously took it all. The logistics of the exchange between the US and a distant part of the planet are not easy, but he tolerated it all, and Z-R paid for part of the shipping.

I have been hoping that whatever has happened has not affected Charles too badly and he is well.
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 03:08   #41
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From what I have seen on this forum, he would not be walking in to an understanding clientele who is willing to reason.
Perterra.

Really? I've been on this forum off and on for a bit and I haven't seen many if any examples of what you are talking about. Let's remember that this company would not answer the phone to respond to customers that they had made promises to. Are they supposed to be happy with that? In my world actions speak more to the truth than what someone has been saying. I would at least have put up a phone message saying something, anything, rather than just ignore everyone and walk away. I never wanted a pound of flesh even though I lost a promised lifetime warranty. I would like to know what happened however. That seems little to ask.
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 03:21   #42
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We need to step back here and think about Zen Ray for a minute. For the record, I am fully in support of the above comments by Chosun Juan. This is my opinion, and may well be viewed as being worth what I got paid for it. I do not for a minute think that we would see the fantastic improvement in the upper mid tier binoculars without Charles from Zen Ray hitting the Hornet’s Nest with his stick. His vision was that there was a pressing need for good, serious, field worthy binoculars at an affordable price level. As he saw it, there were alphas then there was mostly junk. His vision was to close that gap. I further do not think we would have nearly as many serious sub $1K and $500 binoculars as we have now without the push from Zen Ray and the buzz that was created. Yes there were other companies involved in the push, but ZR seems to be the topic here.

He accomplished the large part of his vision with the second generation ZRS (Summit) and the subsequent ZEN ED and ZEN Prime series binoculars. He took an opportunity that he saw and ran with it. Good for him. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He took the risk. As I have said before, he ran into trouble by biting off more than he could chew too quickly. He did in fact illustrate quite clearly that a good field worthy binocular, one that would show you what was there to be seen, without spending upwards of $2,000 was a realistic target. He introduced binoculars that started the trend of improvement in the upper mid tier. I do not think for a minute we would see things like the Zeiss Terra and Conquest, Nikon Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, the Vortex Razor, or the new Leica Trinovids without the push Zen Ray was involved in starting those few years ago. Maven, GPO, Tract, among other new companies I missed, will continue that push. We will all benefit from that.

I am glad to see Troubador, apparently speaking from his role as Moderator, standing firm on the sub forum.
+1

Very well said Steve

I will never forget the look of utter astonishment on the face of a senior international Swarovski figure upon looking through the Zen 8x43 ED3's for the first time .... you know they are good when they can totally impress people of such calibre, at 1/5th the cost ....

Us, the consumers, have indeed benefitted from their market presence and pressure.

I think speculation by some here over anyone's character is a little inappropriate - we simply don't know the full extent of the real story. No-one is privvy to the pressures when creditors and lawyers come calling, and potentially the only resources available is the reflection in the mirror ....

I hope Charles is doing well on a personal level, and wish him all the best for the future.



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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 03:31   #43
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Steve,
Surely the second sentence here is an overstatement? "He introduced binoculars that started the trend of improvement in the upper mid tier. I do not think for a minute we would see things like the Zeiss Terra and Conquest, Nikon Monarch 7 and Monarch HG, the Vortex Razor, or the new Leica Trinovids without the push Zen Ray was involved in starting those few years ago." I believe that Nikon, say, would have got there anyway.

Kammerdeiner, Xlr8nx,
The Bushnell Legend-M is "clones with" the ED3, not the ED2.

Jape,
It may be "heartache, depression, insecurity" but possibly also the inability to cope with a deluge of communication. I wonder why Charles, or whoever there who now has/have the final say, has not arranged for a standard email or recorded phone response to all who contact them.

A few years ago I ordered an ED3 7x43, found problems with it, emailed and phoned Charles. He very kindly agreed to replace it with an 8x43. I am now not sure whether my complaints about the 7x43, of which I had really high expectations, were all valid, but he very courteously took it all. The logistics of the exchange between the US and a distant part of the planet are not easy, but he tolerated it all, and Z-R paid for part of the shipping.

I have been hoping that whatever has happened has not affected Charles too badly and he is well.
The Legend M does share more physical similarities to the ED3, but undoubtedly the marketing folks at Bushnell didn't introduce it into their lineup trying to mimic a Zen Ray, but likely were looking for something that sparked a similarity to a different open hinge bino a bit higher on the food chain.

Seems that the MIC Legend M may have actually out-performed Bushnell's flagship MIJ Elite bino and thus the prompt removal of it from their lineup at the end of last year.

As a side note, I breezed past the Outdoor Channel and saw Uncle Ted Nugent is sporting a set of Legend M's on this season's Spirit of the Wild. You'd think seeing how the show is co-sponsored by Bushnell that Bushnell would have outfitted him with their Elite bino's for TV.??

Sorry to derail the discussion. Enough of the Bushnell talk in the Zen Ray forum. ;(

.

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 03:34   #44
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Perterra.

Really? I've been on this forum off and on for a bit and I haven't seen many if any examples of what you are talking about. Let's remember that this company would not answer the phone to respond to customers that they had made promises to. Are they supposed to be happy with that? In my world actions speak more to the truth than what someone has been saying. I would at least have put up a phone message saying something, anything, rather than just ignore everyone and walk away. I never wanted a pound of flesh even though I lost a promised lifetime warranty. I would like to know what happened however. That seems little to ask.
BC, you are right - customers could have been treated better, and a little extra effort (information) in this regard could have gone a long way. The road to hell can sometimes be paved with good intentions, and sometimes people just get overwhelmed whilst doing their best ......

Perhaps that's of little comfort to those who have unresolved product issues, or would like the security of a viable company going forward for any warranty issues. Short of the exact story emerging directly from those right in the middle of it all, we may never know - the vast majority of customers though, will just be merrily enjoying using their products without a care for any of this ......

Good enjoyment, and pleasant gentle sunny skies to all.



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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 03:56   #45
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I will offer my thoughts. There are many variants of similar binoculars being
made today by many companies and sellers.

With those models, and clones, they could come from many different factories
throughout the world, including China.

The Bushnell Legend M, has good reviews, I have one, and I recommend it.

It is sold by Bushnell, so at this time it has a solid company backing its
warranty.

Jerry
Jerry, the Bushnell Legend M has identical optics and virtually mechanics too, with the Zen-Ray ED3. They are packaged in an ever so slightly different chassis. I find both models exhibit exactly the same types of issues over the same spectrum of tolerances as each other. For me, I find the Bushnell's ergonomics to be inferior - the Zen-Ray ED3's are/were amongst the best in the market.

I am glad you enjoy and recommend your Bushnell Legend M's - you can be happy that the Zen's live on inside them - I wouldn't be surprised if they are/were made in exactly the same Chinese factory(s) - in whole, or part. I hope Bushnell continues to enjoy good business prospects.

Those that have picked up the Legend M's for ~160 USD have got themselves an absolute bargain.



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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 04:12   #46
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ZR went south when they decided to branch into their own assembly facility in China to do some OEM work. This was the proverbial "biting off more than they could chew". They should have done one or the other, certainly not both. I have no real inside information, but this is the way I see the chain of events.
I agree. When they decided to branch into their own assembly facility in China to do some OEM work, their operation was very bad. I guess the supplier in China, who designed and made ED3, Prime and first generation BX-4, stopped any business with ZR. So, they lost the capability to provide service on these products. They tried to make ED4, 2rd generation BX-4 by themselves, but failed.

They disposed these faulty binoculars online.https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...ne=taobao_shop
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 07:14   #47
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If there were any who doubted whether this sub-forum should continue then the posts from the last couple of days should convince them why it should.

And with regards to Charles, 'show me a man who never made a mistake and I'll show you a man who never made anything'.

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 10:24   #48
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Thanks to those who clarified the ED3/Legend M connection, as opposed to the ED2.

To those in the know: from a strictly optical standpoint (FOV, curvature, pincushion, etc.) what's the difference between the ED2 and the ED3/Legend M?

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11:07   #49
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Thanks to those who clarified the ED3/Legend M connection, as opposed to the ED2.

To those in the know: from a strictly optical standpoint (FOV, curvature, pincushion, etc.) what's the difference between the ED2 and the ED3/Legend M?

Mark
Steve/Frank might be better placed to speak to the ED2 evolution (I know at least the dielectric mirror coatings were improved from 2 -> 3), but as far as the ED3/Legend M optical standpoint goes there is zero difference.

FOV, curvature, pincushion, etc are IDENTICAL in the ED3 and Legend M.

Bruce did mention that at some stage, his ED3 had different coatings (which he thought warmer and not quite as neutral as his Legend M), so obviously they (ED3's) went through a development process.

My ED3's (either later stock or an advanced development) are identical to the latest production M's even colour cast (neutral), and brightness. Last ED3's = current Legend M's.

Further information is probably buried in the respective ED2, and ED3 threads. I wish Allbino's would have tested the ED3 instead.



Chosun
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11:32   #50
Xlr8n
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
Jerry, the Bushnell Legend M has identical optics and virtually mechanics too, with the Zen-Ray ED3. They are packaged in an ever so slightly different chassis. I find both models exhibit exactly the same types of issues over the same spectrum of tolerances as each other. For me, I find the Bushnell's ergonomics to be inferior - the Zen-Ray ED3's are/were amongst the best in the market.

I am glad you enjoy and recommend your Bushnell Legend M's - you can be happy that the Zen's live on inside them - I wouldn't be surprised if they are/were made in exactly the same Chinese factory(s) - in whole, or part. I hope Bushnell continues to enjoy good business prospects.

Those that have picked up the Legend M's for ~160 USD have got themselves an absolute bargain.



Chosun
It got quite a bit better than that. With the current Bushnell 30% rebate and the Ebay 15-20% off deals the past couple weeks, the Legend M's could be had for about 80 USD. Practically giving them away.

Good info on the ED3 comparison. Thanks.
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