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ED2 7 x 36 Repair

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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 21:33   #1
LPT
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ED2 7 x 36 Repair

About eight years ago we purchased a Zen Ray ZEN ED2 7 x 36 which quickly became my wife's favorite binocular for use at the lake. Over the years it has been exposed to quite a bit of rainfall and been knocked about too without any problems until several weeks ago when a guest dropped it from quite a height onto a hard surface dislodging the right side prism assembly.

I've been servicing the binoculars in my collection (over 300) for many years, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy the Zen Ray was to repair. Generally I found the binocular to be reasonably well made and sealed against moisture. There was some minor haze on some internal optical surfaces but really I don't think enough to noticeably affect optical performance. The prism unit which had become dislodged is secured at the ocular end by four screws which are also used for collimation and at the objective end by a clip-on (not screwed on) plastic sort of frame which also serves as a baffle. When the binocular fell, it appears the clip-on frame came loose and then the prism assembly slipped out of the ocular end securing/collimation screws. Fortunately there was no chipping or other damage to the prisms, and the binocular reassembled and collimated easily by using the screws (the left barrel was already aligned which facilitated this) and performance now is as good as ever. Initially I was critical of that plastic clip at the front of the prism which had dislodged, but perhaps it acted as a sort of shock absorber and the dislodging was a good thing preventing any shock damage to the prisms.
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Old Friday 7th September 2018, 22:12   #2
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That sounds very reassuring. I've never tried to take a roof apart, let alone attempted a repair. I'm rather fond of my ZR Prime, and it's nice to hear that there might be some hope of a rescue should they take a tumble.

Did you keep a photographic record of the process? I'd love to have a better understanding of the steps involved.

David
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Old Saturday 8th September 2018, 04:19   #3
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Originally Posted by typo View Post
That sounds very reassuring. I've never tried to take a roof apart, let alone attempted a repair. I'm rather fond of my ZR Prime, and it's nice to hear that there might be some hope of a rescue should they take a tumble.

Did you keep a photographic record of the process? I'd love to have a better understanding of the steps involved.

David
Well, they are definitely repairable as long as no replacement parts are needed particularly optical components.

Sorry I didn't take any pictures, but disassembly is pretty straightforward if you've have some experience working on binoculars and have some specialized tools such as a strap wrench and spanner wrenches. Some of the main procedures for disassembly are:
Ocular Assembly - The retractable eyecups are removed by first peeling back their rubber covering in order to access and then loosen the screws securing the eyecups. After that the steps for removing the ocular assembly are fairly obvious.
Prism Assembly - Once the ocular assembly including the ocular tube is removed, the prism assembly can be pulled out by first loosening the four screws in the body of the binocular situated along the edge of the ocular tube opening. But to access these screws the rubber armour covering which is lightly glued in place has to be peeled off. This covering is durable and can be peeled off without damage. Note that these four screws also collimate the binocular by prism cage adjustment so do not loosen them and attempt to remove the prism cage unless you are able to re-collimate the binocular after re-assembly.
Objective Lens - The O ring sealed objective lens can be removed by using a bladed spanner wrench.
Focus Assembly - The focus assembly is very nicely and strongly made, somewhat complicated and interesting. Covering the end of the ED2's focusing wheel there is a silver colored decorative plate with the brand name Zen Ray etc. marked on it. This plate unscrews counter-clockwise (there is no slot for a screwdriver or any other way to grip it for unscrewing but mine came off by pressing down on it hard with my thumb and turning), and once this plate is off accessing the rest of focus parts is obvious. However, if you proceed to disassemble this assembly, keep a record of how all the the parts reassemble particularly the placement of washers.
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Old Saturday 8th September 2018, 04:37   #4
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Thanks for posting - seems like info like this (among others) is a good reason for keeping the Zen sub-forum going as a separate entity




Chosun
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Old Saturday 8th September 2018, 07:50   #5
typo
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Many thanks for the detailed explaination. Disassembly sounds reasonably straight forward, but I've no immediate plans to give it a go. No doubt the skill is in reversing the process.

We have a TV show called The Repair Shop where experts restore treasured items brought in by the public. It's great to get an understanding how really skilled craftsmen and women go about their trades. The clock maker is a particular star. No binoculars yet.

We have had one or two members post photo accounts of their work on various porros, which have encouraged me to at least give my old REL a bit of a clean. Up 'till now I wouldn't have known where to start on a roof. Much appreciated.

David
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 02:31   #6
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Originally Posted by typo View Post
Many thanks for the detailed explaination. Disassembly sounds reasonably straight forward, but I've no immediate plans to give it a go. No doubt the skill is in reversing the process.

We have a TV show called The Repair Shop where experts restore treasured items brought in by the public. It's great to get an understanding how really skilled craftsmen and women go about their trades. The clock maker is a particular star. No binoculars yet.

We have had one or two members post photo accounts of their work on various porros, which have encouraged me to at least give my old REL a bit of a clean. Up 'till now I wouldn't have known where to start on a roof. Much appreciated.

David
For a person with reasonably good mechanical aptitude, disassembly and reassembly should be a piece of cake. Collimation Vs. Conditional Alignment is another matter. If the error is small or the spatial accommodation is great, Conditional Alignment may be all that is needed if the bino is only going to have one user or others with nearly the same IPD. Just note that clinical “collimation” ... it ain’t. Three-axis collimation requires the proper setup and at least a rudimentary understanding of the procedure.

I have never been inside a Zen Ray. But through dealing with so many others, I would say those FOUR SCREWS are for orienting the prism by movement of the x/y coordinates and are not for tilting the prism. Collimation screws on a Porro prism instrument usually come in pairs (per side) and roof prism instruments that don’t collimate via eccentrics often collimate via three screws at the EP assembly.

Just a thought.

Bill
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Last edited by WJC : Tuesday 11th September 2018 at 02:35.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 15:01   #7
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Well, I collimate using the sun images method (see: https://sites.google.com/site/rchamo...-of-binoculars ) using a collimation board very much like the one shown in Section 1.1 figures 1 and 2. After reinstalling the Zen Ray prism unit and reassembling the rest of the binocular and testing it on the board there was a great deal of both vertical and horizontal deviation. By adjusting the four screws (i.e. methodically loosening one screw and tightening the opposite screw etc.) I was able to reduce these deviations to practically none (well below the deviation standards given in Section 3.4) at IPD's 60 mm, 65 mm, 70 mm and 75 mm.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 16:01   #8
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LTP,

Thanks to reposting that link. I've used that method a couple of times to check if a binocular was collimated or merely conditionally aligned. It's rather similar to how I recall my father showed me how to check these things when I was something like 11 or 12 years old. He was a WWII pilot/navigator in a remote reconnaissance outpost and I suppose must have been taught how to maintain stuff, including binoculars, themselves. Unfortunately the lesson went no further.

David

Last edited by typo : Tuesday 11th September 2018 at 16:10.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 16:31   #9
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I should clarify that when I removed the prism cage from the binocular there were four visible marks along the edge of the metal prism housing where the four screws had pressed against it securing it and that when I reinstalled the housing I aligned these marks with their respective screw holes so that tilt-wise the prism unit would be in the same orientation as it was before disassembly (or more accurately, before the binocular was dropped and the prism unit became dislocated).
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2018, 18:45   #10
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Originally Posted by LPT View Post
Well, I collimate using the sun images method (see: https://sites.google.com/site/rchamo...-of-binoculars ) using a collimation board very much like the one shown in Section 1.1 figures 1 and 2. After reinstalling the Zen Ray prism unit and reassembling the rest of the binocular and testing it on the board there was a great deal of both vertical and horizontal deviation. By adjusting the four screws (i.e. methodically loosening one screw and tightening the opposite screw etc.) I was able to reduce these deviations to practically none (well below the deviation standards given in Section 3.4) at IPD's 60 mm, 65 mm, 70 mm and 75 mm.
Hi, LPT:

By speaking in straight terms and not beating sheepishly around the bush, I am often taking as being harsh when that is, in fact, the farthest thing from my mind. You will note that Rafael references me and “Conditional Alignment” in his article. I have the deepest respect for him and he is the only practitioner of binocular alignment (except Cory) mentioned in my book. In addition, I think his groundbreaking work should be studied and practiced by each person who wants to learn about binocular collimation. Even so, Rafael freely admits his alignment method does not result in clinical collimation but “Conditional Alignment,” only. And by using his method, that is what you have performed, not 3-axis binocular collimation. There are important differences.

One of the attached images was captured on Google last night. Beyond that page, I looked at the next 31 entries on binocular “collimation.” 100% of the entries I have seen so far just deal with conditional alignment—NOT clinical binocular collimation. Sadly, some people offer this misleading advice as if they have just invented a ten-minute brain surgery technique. And it is VALUABLE, based on the bovine excrement that has been printed and embellished over the last few years.

* If I seem edgy it’s because I have been fighting—and losing—this battle for 42 years to support technical accuracy and save some folks from themselves.

I RUSH ON TO SAY that in many cases Conditional Alignment is more than adequate to make a binocular serviceable for ONE user or others with a similar IPD. But, many times those who don’t know the difference will further damage the overall alignment, if the instrument is to be used by others, by the willy-nilly tweaking of screws. The second image is the collimation convention found on many roof prism binoculars. I recall a 4-screw method for positioning prisms but not collimation adjustment.

This matter keeps rearing its ugly head so often, I thought a couple of examples would be good.

“... Fellow Opticalman shipmate, Cory Suddarth, was with me the day I took a call from a fellow who had been a repair manager at his company for many years. The essence of his call went like this:

“I just don’t understand it; I’ll get the binocular collimated, but when I move one of the barrels, it’s off again.”

“He was right; he didn’t understand it. This fellow was a conscientious technician and merchant. But being unfamiliar with the basics of 3-axis collimation, and following today’s popular but flawed alignment techniques, he and his staff had been selling conditional alignment as collimation to his repair customers all those years, forcing them—and possibly causing eyestrain—to complete the job. It was this experience that caused me to first suggest there’s a big difference between 20 years of experience and one year of experience 20 times.”

A Master Binocular Retailer

In the early 1990s, when Cory Suddarth and I worked together in the Precision Instruments and Optics Department at Captain’s Nautical Supplies in Seattle, one of today’s MAJOR binocular retailers was just beginning to spread his wings. In conversations with him, he told us he “didn’t NEED a collimator because [he] could ‘eyeball’ collimation to 100 power.”

Did he know about 3-axis collimation? No.
Did he know about spatial accommodation? No.
Had he ever heard of “Conditional Alignment”? Not until those conversations. Then he, for his company, produced 2 video tapes for sale to say, “Conditional Alignment” was a “myth.”

Finally, after I was out of the business and Cory had started S.O.R. (Suddarth Optical Repair), this fellow went to one of Cory’s binocular collimation clinics.

Immediately thereafter, this retailer put together his own collimator and bought an auxiliary scope from Cory and was in the business of knowing what he was doing. In addition, he has recently purchased one of the Mk5 collimators I sold to companies in Southern California.

Now, he has his collimator in his promo photos, professes all binoculars leaving his store are “perfectly collimated” and that he is the only retailer in the United States that has a collimator. It seems he has done a 180 on collimators and “Conditional Alignment.” Maybe someday he will remember that I left 3 collimators in working order (including a Fujinon U.B.M.M.) at Captain’s and sold 2 others to businesses in California.

And with regard to “perfectly collimated”:

Considering how so many folks on binocular forums like to split hairs and talk of things that are miles from mattering, I think the following is something to, at least, think about:

1. NO binocular is “perfectly” collimated.
2. NO binocular CAN BE “perfectly” collimated, certain comments relating to salesmanship notwithstanding. I’ve never collimated a binocular to “perfection”; Cory has never collimated to “perfection.”
3. That condition exists only by happenstance and, with changes in temperature and humidity, will only remain so for a matter of a few minutes—if that long.

— A binocular can VERY EASILY BE “perfect” FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES even through judicial conditional alignment.
— A binocular CAN BE—by someone trained in something more than haphazard screw tweaking—brought to a full collimation FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES.
— A binocular can VERY EASILY BE brought to within Panum’s Fusional Area or range of accommodation for image separation and cause ZERO eyestrain.

But “perfect” collimation?

“To dream the impossible dream ...” — Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, 1965

Cheers,

Bill
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Last edited by WJC : Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 01:11.
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Old Saturday 24th November 2018, 12:38   #11
St. Elmo
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Bill... remember when I asked...

Is it possible, if improbable, that there can be zero error by chance? Not that such a possibility would support a claim of zero error, but I'm just curious

Your response said it all.

Mike
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