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What to buy when you're done with ZenRay?

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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 05:01   #1
scott63
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What to buy when you're done with ZenRay?

So what brands of bins would you buy again over ZenRay? I've read/heard good things about some of the Cabelas branded optics, Zeiss Terra, and Vortex. Vortex seems to have the customer service model other companies should be striving for. Wasn't super excited about the Vortex lower end bins, the one pair of lower end ZR I have blow them away at the same price, and of course I wouldn't compare them to my Upper end ZR, that would be apples/oranges.

I know some people are upset about Vortex going all China, but that doesn't bother me as long as they hold the makers accountable to contract specs.

Are there any other "new" companies that are in the same price point/quality niche as ZenRay?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 22:25   #2
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Nikon is one to look at, the Monarch 5 and Monarch 7 are in the under $500. range
and very popular. I've owned both, nice quality, and I recommend.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 00:18   #3
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Thanks, I'll give those a look
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 02:47   #4
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There has to be more than just the Nikons?
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 03:45   #5
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Agree that for stellar warranty, Vortex has a good reputation. Zeiss has very good support in my experience. I can't speak to Nikon's US customer support. Optically Nikon do not match ZR dollar for dollar but they are good bins and have a good reputation for quality control and my experience bears this out. The Terras don't quite match ZR either dollar for dollar but are also good and service is there for you.

For other brands that are making a name for high performance at a modest price, two that seem to stand out the most to me recently are Vanguard and Tract. I've looked through the Vanguard EDII, they are excellent value, but I can't speak to customer service. Tract seems to be making a lot of fans lately and seems to be a very responsive company, but they are young.
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Old Friday 8th September 2017, 07:31   #6
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Originally Posted by scott63 View Post
There has to be more than just the Nikons?
Pick a price point and a quality level. Therein you will find dozens of binoculars with performance criteria matching so closely only those prone to exaggeration would profess a noticeable difference.
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Old Friday 8th September 2017, 09:02   #7
Chosun Juan
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Lightbulb

What to buy when you're done with ZenRay?

Simple - buy a Zen-Ray! ..... but ..... make sure you have checked it out and tried it out in person, and preferably from a large well respected retailer that will stand behind their product sales.

When I had troubles with my Swift Audubon 8.5x44 ED and Swift themselves went absolutely AWOL and were running on dead silent! It was Adorama who thankfully (and on their postage coin) immediately came to my rescue - very much appreciated They have a friend for life

I thought that if Zen-Ray would have been able to make similar strides with the ED4 as they did going from ED -> ED2 -> ED3, then they would have been on to a real good thing. I still don't think there are others offering the dielectric/brightness/CA control/Fov/ergonomics/price , package that Zen does .....

Unless Zen-Ray get their act together Zen-Ray will lose sales from remote overseas buyers with little option but to buy sight unseen. It doesn't take much in postage costs back and forth before any value for money just becomes wishful thinking.




Chosun

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Friday 8th September 2017 at 09:47. Reason: spellun n gramma n dat ;)
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Old Saturday 9th September 2017, 04:40   #8
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Chosun, maybe read my and the other posts on CS, because I doubt a retailer is going to be real excited about doing an exchange or "repair" if you have a problem on a lifetime guaranteed product a year, two or three after purchase. These people(ZR Staff/Management) can't even be bothered to post on their FB page more than a couple times a year, or respond/take responsibility for the serious complaints posted to that page.

Then when you factor in that they won't take the time to respond to polite, concise written correspondence from repeat customers directed to specific CS employees, why would I bother with them? Do I love the products I have purchased from them? Absolutely, I have spent hundreds of hours in the field with them and recommended their products to numerous people. But after the COMPLETE unwillingness to improve atrocious customer service issues over a span of several years, I ask again: Why would I give them my money when other companies take their customer service so seriously?

No, I won't be purchasing their products in the future. I can only pray I don't have to make use of their "customer service".
Scott
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 17:14   #9
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Bushnell Legend M 8X42, 10X42

Try the Bushnell Legend M. It looks to be built on the same frame as the Zen-Ray ED3. Shining a light inside the objectives show the same construction. The focus mechanism seems to be improved in the Bushnell as the sample I have has no play. There a little free play in the ZR. This is one area where there is a lot of sample variation in China products. Both are made in China. The eye cups on the ZR are on the short side for me when fully extended and viewing without glasses. It is a little less so with the Bushnell. I do not know if this is due to a difference in eye cups or the eye piece. Viewing with glasses seems about the same but I am not a good judge of that since I am not used to viewing that way.

Both appear to be optically equivalent. Both have ED glass and di-electric prism coatings. The Zen-Ray color balance looks to be slightly warmer and the Bushnell close to neutral maybe similar to Zeiss products. The color of the lens coatings are different with the Bushnell being a rust red similar to Zeiss and the ZR being a blue green. Both show about the same amount of pin cushioning which is a little above average and both have an acceptable size center view but it is not stellar like in a Swaro SLC WB HD.

The ZR ED3 was considered a very good binocular when it came out and an excellent value. The same is true for the Bushnell Legend M and it would be an excellent alternative.

http://bushnell.com/spectator/binocu...eries-10x-42mm

EDIT: Additional comment - Focus knob travel from close focus to infinity on the ZR is just over three quarters of a turn. The Legend is slower at 1 3/8 of a turn from close to infinity. Focus knob direction from close to infinity is clockwise on both. The close focus distance on both is the same.
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Last edited by BruceH : Sunday 10th September 2017 at 22:01. Reason: Added additional information
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 03:55   #10
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Thanks for the info Bruce, I will check the Bushnell out,
Scott
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 18:37   #11
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Scott ..... Here is some more info that may be helpful.

Bushnell YouTube video of the Legend M .......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzufPuG2rWY

The video has a good view of the objective coating color.


Review by Lee of the Legend M 8X42 ..........

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=342002

The focus of my 10X42 leans toward the stiff side but I can easily move it with the tip of one finger.


Review by Allbinos .........

https://www.allbinos.com/index.html?...tki&test_l=315
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 14:13   #12
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It was Adorama who thankfully (and on their postage coin) immediately came to my rescue - very much appreciated They have a friend for life

Chosun
Good to hear... I've sent $3K their way this year and probably another $1K before the year is over. They have been decent to me as well!

CG
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 14:26   #13
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I know some people are upset about Vortex going all China, but that doesn't bother me as long as they hold the makers accountable to contract specs.


Scott
I'm one of those that is struggling with this. So much talk about how great this company and their product is (but I wasn't one of those). To re-position to a low cost provider of optics makes me think something is seriously wrong with this company. (I keep thinking the lifetime no fault warranty for a product of this nature is not sustainable... otherwise all the companies would be doing it). I guess I don't have the confidence in Vortex like others do. I'm starting to see them as a Bushnell II, and another Bushnell does very little for me.

CG
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Old Friday 15th September 2017, 05:16   #14
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CG, I get where you're coming from, but the fact is that the Chinese are perfectly capable of manufacturing optics to whatever standard the contract specifies, and I'm sure they charge accordingly. The problem is when the contracting company doesn't closely monitor the product being produced to make sure it is meeting the specifications required by the contract. If the Chinese are held to the contract they will produce to contract specs, but if Vortex, Zen-Ray etc get lazy, I have no doubt the Chinese will cut corners.

Some of the Vortex products are really very good, while others not as much. I can say the ZR products were worth every penny and then some in my opinion. But compare the ZR/Vortex customer service models.....well actually there is no comparison because ZR has virtually no CS at all at this point. I literally steered someone to Vortex and Nikon yesterday because of this.
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