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Another thread about horrible customer service (1 Viewer)

coopershawk

Well-known member
I recently tried out and returned a 7x36 ED2 binocular. I was warned against them and had read various stories of bad customer service, but since reasonably priced 7x binoculars are so rare, I figured I'd risk it. They were sent fairly quickly and I tried them, but did not like them.

Before sending them back, I emailed ZR telling them I'd like to return them, and they said to ship them back. A few days later, the tracking number said they'd been delivered, but I heard no word from ZR. A week passed, so I emailed them, asking when my return would be issued. They said it'd be done in no more than 2 days. That was the last I heard from them. I emailed them a couple times after, and even told them that they were giving the impression that they had scammed me, but still no response.

A couple weeks later I opened a dispute with paypal, and ZR still didn't respond. After a week, I "escalated" the dispute, and only then did ZR refund my payment. This is a full month after the tracking information says ZR received the return.

I would highly highly suggest not purchasing from this company. Even if you do end up liking their optics, I would not expect them to honor the warranty just based on how poor their communication is. And at the rate of how many complaints have been made against them, there is a good possibility that they won't be around much longer anyway.

If you're like me and ignore everyone's warnings, at the very least pay through paypal, and only communicate with them through paypal (so paypal has a legitimate record). If I hadn't used paypal, I sincerely believe that Zen-Ray would never have refunded me.
 

coopershawk

Well-known member
Coopershawk,

May I ask, what did you not like about the 7x36?

Sure! Optically I actually really liked them. Very bright, wide field and sharp centerfield image. The edges have a fair bit of distortion, straight lines become noticeably curved, but I didn't actually find that distracting. I'm a birder that almost always just looks at the center of the image, and I thought the center of the ED2 was pleasing.

However, I did not get along with the ergonomics and handling at all. The binocular felt cheap to me. The armor doesn't feel like rubber, more like a hard plastic found in cheap car interiors. The barrels and overall binocular are too big for a 7x36—at my IPD, I couldn't wrap my fingers comfortable around the barrels.

My biggest issue was the focus wheel. To give you an idea of my preferences in terms of focusers, I find the speed and tension on the sightron blue sky and the tract toric to be just about perfect. On the other hand, the zeiss terra is too fast for me.
To me, the ED2's focus feels downright sluggish. On top of that, the focus wheel has nearly no grip. It's covered in these thin, slick rubber strips that are almost flush with focus wheel. This made it very difficult for me to focus with one finger. With other bins, I usually have both index fingers on the wheel and I pull with one finger or the other depending on where I want to focus. With the ED2, I had to both pull with one finger, and push with the other from the opposite side; otherwise my finger would keep slipping. This really slowed things down and I couldn't stand it.

Hope that helps.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
..... With the ED2, I had to both pull with one finger, and push with the other from the opposite side; otherwise my finger would keep slipping. This really slowed things down and I couldn't stand it....
As long as it is clockwise to infinity, this push-pull arrangement using the pointer fingers on each hand, is hands down my favourite way of focusing. The fast, large diameter focus wheel of my ED3 is thankfully long enough to accommodate 2 fingers in this fashion on its nicely cross knurled metal focusing wheel. I wish all bins would allow this. I really like this - it's one of the bin's best features (though the unwelcome backlash and hysteresis knock it down below an otherwise perfect).


Chosun :gh:
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Any backlash is too much for me. I cannot tolerate it, most all makes have mastered
this simple task.

So much for Zen Ray. Seems like all bad news lately.

Jerry
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Any backlash is too much for me. I cannot tolerate it, most all makes have mastered
this simple task.

So much for Zen Ray. Seems like all bad news lately.

Jerry

Me too Gerry, it drives me nuts and is something I just can't tolerate, although I am not sure it is as simple to avoid as it might appear.

Lee
 

Coin Hound

Well-known member
Great customer service with Zen Ray.

I too bought the 7x36s. The focus was way stiff--optically they were super, so I contacted Zen. I was told they would hand select a 7x36 that focused smoothly. I could compare the original and the replacement. Send back the pair I did not want OR send both back--no hassle.

I spoke to Zen on Friday--a new pair was at my door Monday and it is a keeper.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
Sure! Optically I actually really liked them. Very bright, wide field and sharp centerfield image. The edges have a fair bit of distortion, straight lines become noticeably curved, but I didn't actually find that distracting. I'm a birder that almost always just looks at the center of the image, and I thought the center of the ED2 was pleasing.

However, I did not get along with the ergonomics and handling at all. The binocular felt cheap to me. The armor doesn't feel like rubber, more like a hard plastic found in cheap car interiors. The barrels and overall binocular are too big for a 7x36—at my IPD, I couldn't wrap my fingers comfortable around the barrels.

My biggest issue was the focus wheel. To give you an idea of my preferences in terms of focusers, I find the speed and tension on the sightron blue sky and the tract toric to be just about perfect. On the other hand, the zeiss terra is too fast for me.
To me, the ED2's focus feels downright sluggish. On top of that, the focus wheel has nearly no grip. It's covered in these thin, slick rubber strips that are almost flush with focus wheel. This made it very difficult for me to focus with one finger. With other bins, I usually have both index fingers on the wheel and I pull with one finger or the other depending on where I want to focus. With the ED2, I had to both pull with one finger, and push with the other from the opposite side; otherwise my finger would keep slipping. This really slowed things down and I couldn't stand it.

Hope that helps.


Sorry to read that. I think you would like Vortex Viper HD 6x32. Perfekt rubberized body. Perfect grippy focusing wheel with no play. Sharp and brilliant optics.
A bit smaller magnification and the apparant field of view may be perceived as a bit narrow but I think that's all. Pretty much the opposite to your experience with Zen 7x36.
 
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coopershawk

Well-known member
Great customer service with Zen Ray.

I too bought the 7x36s. The focus was way stiff--optically they were super, so I contacted Zen. I was told they would hand select a 7x36 that focused smoothly. I could compare the original and the replacement. Send back the pair I did not want OR send both back--no hassle.

I spoke to Zen on Friday--a new pair was at my door Monday and it is a keeper.

For some reason they just hated me then. Didn't even receive an apology
 

coopershawk

Well-known member
Sorry to read that. I think you would like Vortex Viper HD 6x32. Perfekt rubberized body. Perfect grippy focusing wheel with no play. Sharp and brilliant optics.
A bit smaller magnification and the apparant field of view may be perceived as a bit narrow but I think that's all. Pretty much the opposite to your experience with Zen 7x36.

Thanks for the recommendation! I actually ended up with an opticron bga classic 7x36. I did think about the viper 6x, but I came up against the psychological barrier that 6x would be too low of a magnification. What do you think? Do you ever find 6x lacking?
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
Thanks for the recommendation! I actually ended up with an opticron bga classic 7x36. I did think about the viper 6x, but I came up against the psychological barrier that 6x would be too low of a magnification. What do you think? Do you ever find 6x lacking?

There are a few occasions when higher magnification would be desirable. But generally the very relaxed and stable view with 6x makes it very comfortable and is adequate.
I recently compared the 6x32 to the 10x50 in the same series and WOW what a difference. 10x outperforms 6x when it comes to reveal details as long as I can hold the binocular enough stable. In the long run I can not without support while 6x works very good. If I had to choose only one, between 6x and 10x, I choose 6x no doubt. So much more stable image and wider FOV.
With 6x you also get the same brightness with smaller aperture and size than with higher magnification. Actually 6x32 provides almost 14% brighter image in low light than 10x50 providing light transmission is equal.

Yes; I understand you didn't want to compare between 6 and 10x, and between 6x and 7x the difference is pretty subtle I think. If the Viper HD 6x32 had been 7x32 instead and if eye relief had still been adequate I had got it no question about that.
I don't consider the difference between 6x and 7x to be crucial.
Worth to mention in this case is that Viper HD 6x32 is the favorite binocular in my collection. If I could keep only one model Viper HD 6x32 is my indisputable choice. If I replace the other models I will still keep Viper HD 6x32.

So I think it could be worth to try it. If you are used to 60+ deg AFOV you may consider 48deg to be narrow. But I never perceive it as tunnel vision because with the moderate magnification the TFOV is still a pretty wide 8deg.
 
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coopershawk

Well-known member
There are a few occasions when higher magnification would be desirable. But generally the very relaxed and stable view with 6x makes it very comfortable and is adequate.
I recently compared the 6x32 to the 10x50 in the same series and WOW what a difference. 10x outperforms 6x when it comes to reveal details as long as I can hold the binocular enough stable. In the long run I can not without support while 6x works very good. If I had to choose only one, between 6x and 10x, I choose 6x no doubt. So much more stable image and wider FOV.
With 6x you also get the same brightness with smaller aperture and size than with higher magnification. Actually 6x32 provides almost 14% brighter image in low light than 10x50 providing light transmission is equal.

Yes; I understand you didn't want to compare between 6 and 10x, and between 6x and 7x the difference is pretty subtle I think. If the Viper HD 6x32 had been 7x32 instead and if eye relief had still been adequate I had got it no question about that.
I don't consider the difference between 6x and 7x to be crucial.
Worth to mention in this case is that Viper HD 6x32 is the favorite binocular in my collection. If I could keep only one model Viper HD 6x32 is my indisputable choice. If I replace the other models I will still keep Viper HD 6x32.

So I think it could be worth to try it. If you are used to 60+ deg AFOV you may consider 48deg to be narrow. But I never perceive it as tunnel vision because with the moderate magnification the TFOV is still a pretty wide 8deg.

Wow that's a pretty strong endorsement, especially given your impressive collection. I am a fan of the more relaxed views my 7x gives. Even 8x bins feel surprisingly shaky after having used my 7x exclusively for so long. I'll have to give the viper 6x a shot sometime
 

Gilmore Girl

Beth
Supporter
United States
I use 7x42 Uvid+ and 6x32 Viper HD. I have come to prefer lower power bins. I prefer 7x over 6x, but I enjoy them both very much. Sometimes I feel, for general birding, 6x is a little weak and 7x just right. I use the 7x42 as my primary and the 6x32 as my 'portable' bino which I use before work and sometimes on lunch breaks. It's easier to bring with me to work.

I no longer have a need for 8x after using lower power bins for some time now. I enjoy the deep DOF , wider FOV and nice big exit pupil (esp 6mm on the 7x42) and calmer image. Both of my bins work great with my eyeglasses.

I think about buying the new 8x32 Trinovid HD (out of pure desire) only because I always wanted a 32mm from Leica (ultravid 8x32 has too short ER for me). But, I certainly have no need for this binocular and may not buy it especially since FOV may be rather narrow.

I go back and forth with the idea of adding a 10x42, but I know I won't like the shake and may not like the shallower DOF. So far my low power binos get the job done and are very enjoyable to use, so I ultimately resist the temptation of 10x.

I would love to see a very good quality 7x32 roof offered by a good brand name. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
 
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