• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Zen-Ray 7X36 ED2 Returns! (1 Viewer)

BruceH

Avatar: Harris Hawk
Every so often I will browse the Zen-Ray Facebook page and I found the following note from Charles posted 9/11/2013:

"We got so many inquiries over the last 6 months about the fate of 7x36 ZEN ED2. Well, it is official. We will have more 7x36 ED2 coming soon. Stay tuned for more update. I am excited, also relieved. (too much guilt to bear if we don't make this wonderful 7x format available to our loyal customers) -Charles"

There is a second post from 9/12/2013:

"7x36 ZEN ED2 is available for pre-order with expected delivery date of 10/10/2013. Quantity is very limited."

The Zen-Ray web site for the 7X36 ED2 has the following:

"We are bringing back the legendary 7x36 ZEN ED2 due to popular demand. It is pre-order sales only as quantity is limited. We expect to start shipping them by October 10th."

Price is listed as $375. I did not see any coupon codes.

http://www.zen-ray.com/shop/binoculars/zened2/zened2-7x36.html


The Zen-Ray 7X43 ED3 is also still listed for $409.

http://www.zen-ray.com/shop/binoculars/zened3/zened3-8x43-37.html

The majority of the reviews that I have read for the 7X36 ED2 have been favorable. There were some that felt it had to much pin cushion and drop off of sharpness toward the edges. It has a large stated FOV of 477 ft so those two characteristics are not unexpected. I have one and like it. The center image is sharp and in absolute terms, the center view is large considering the large FOV. I have never seen the 7X ED3 but I do have an 8X ED3. The color bias of the 7X ED2 is slightly warmer, but I do not know if that will be true for the re-introduction. The ED2 has a smoother and less stiff focus mechanism but they both have some free play when changing rotation direction. The ED2 is somewhat smaller.
 
Last edited:
My main concern is which facility will manufacture the 7x36 ED2 since ZR have no more contract with that China factory. The reason was QC problem (what I learned was change of QC management team there). The 9x36 was the last order with them, which have very high rejection rate.

Personally I'll go for 7x43 ED3 which are only marginally dearer. Of course I wish Charles could provide a discount coupon for 7x36.
 
These mid-sized wide-field 7x roofs have caught my interest. But at almost $90 more than a 7x33 Celestron Granite, I wonder if these are worth the extra cost. Anyone care to comment on the comparison between these and the Granite?
 
They do look similar, and have the same FOV. I wonder if the 33MM and 36MM specs are accurate or adjusted for marketing purposes.

Here are a couple of threads on the Granite, with some mention of the Zen-Ray.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=249779&

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=265992&


I was also under the impression that Zen-Ray and the plant manufacturering the ED2 line went their separate ways and I figured the ED2 was long gone for Zen-Ray. I was surprised to see them back.
 
. There were some that felt it had to much pin cushion and drop off of sharpness toward the edges. DEFINITELY
I have one and like it. Mine sits on the shelf.
The ED2 has a smoother and less stiff focus mechanism but they both have some free play when changing rotation direction. I found my ED2 to have sitff focussing

As I wrote years, ago, it was good at the price point and colour quality was good, but I never really enjoyed using it. I was impressed that Zen-Ray updated the original objective covers and reduced the internal reflections in my binocular but fixing faults, still means they were released with those faults.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :scribe:
 
May be Charles is busy but really wish he could give some words for this re-introduce ED2 7X36.

Yes, the 7x36 ED2 has been one of my favorite. We decided to re-introduce them and manufacture the product in our own facility so we can have complete quality control. One slight change is to eliminate the locking mechanism of the diopter. It was a nice feature. But occasionally we got a service request because customer accidentally damaged the binoculars when they tried to force the diopter to turn while in locking position.

-Charles
 
Charles - are you incorporating any other of the improvements made on the ED3? I'm talking about the more comfortable eyecups, superior focus knob with faster gearing, better control of internal reflections, etc?
 
Charles - are you incorporating any other of the improvements made on the ED3? I'm talking about the more comfortable eyecups, superior focus knob with faster gearing, better control of internal reflections, etc?

Excellent question! We have incorporate some of the learnings on the ZEN ED3 back to the new 7x36 ED2. The new ED2 uses the same AR coating and 2nd generation dielectric prism coating as ED3. By removing locking diopter, we also free up more useable eye relief space. No change was made on the gear ratio. the original gear ratio for 7x36 is perfect for its optical system.

Charles
 
Excellent question! We have incorporate some of the learnings on the ZEN ED3 back to the new 7x36 ED2. The new ED2 uses the same AR coating and 2nd generation dielectric prism coating as ED3. By removing locking diopter, we also free up more useable eye relief space. No change was made on the gear ratio. the original gear ratio for 7x36 is perfect for its optical system.

Charles

Good decision, Charles, the 7x36 was already excellent in its class, with its generous field of view, and it will now be even better. 7x36 is a very versatile format, particularly easy and comfortable to use, long term observations at 7x are absolutely relaxing ...

Cheers,
Holger
 
More usable eye relief and the improved ED3 coatings? Now you have my attention!

Is the current shipment a trial run to determine interest? If so then is there a possibility that more may be produced?
 
Good news that ED2 7x36 incorporate some features from ED3, which surely justify a close price gap but I prefer a locking diopter though.

Could ED3 7x36 be a better name or new serial numbers to distinguish from the previous ED2 7x36 ? Especially for the used binoculars trading.
 
Excellent question! We have incorporate some of the learnings on the ZEN ED3 back to the new 7x36 ED2. The new ED2 uses the same AR coating and 2nd generation dielectric prism coating as ED3. By removing locking diopter, we also free up more useable eye relief space. No change was made on the gear ratio. the original gear ratio for 7x36 is perfect for its optical system.

Charles

Thanks Charles. I did prefer the faster focus and nice knob on the ED3. Hopefully having tighter reigns on production will ensure that at least the focus is consistently smooth on the "new" 7x36 ED2 which will probably mitigate some past complaints of stiff focus (exacerbating the slower ratio).

I also hope with the new coatings that the "new" 7x36's will have the excellent glare control and improved brightness and neutrality of the ED3.

I would also like to see the newer eyecups and less "slick" rubber armor of the ED3, but I guess at that point you'd just have to call it a 7x36 ED3!

As noted above it would be nice to have some definitive way to distinguish the models, for example when buying on the used market it will be important to know which version the seller is offering. Will there be any obvious external differences besides the diopter knob?
 
Excellent question! We have incorporate some of the learnings on the ZEN ED3 back to the new 7x36 ED2. The new ED2 uses the same AR coating and 2nd generation dielectric prism coating as ED3. By removing locking diopter, we also free up more useable eye relief space. No change was made on the gear ratio. the original gear ratio for 7x36 is perfect for its optical system.

Charles

I could not resist, I pulled the trigger again. A better & improved 7x36 ED ..? .... gwen
 
I could not resist, I pulled the trigger again. A better & improved 7x36 ED ..? .... gwen

I await your review with bated breath (or in the morning, with breath that smells like bait). Hopefully, these will have better QC than the first gen and second gen. The pincushion is overpowering, but if I could get a sample where both EPs had a 70% sweet spot, and gradual fall off at the edges, the third time might be the charm.

The first sample had a Swaro like stiff focuser that was harder to turn in one direction, it also had some slop in it. The right EP had a 70% sweet spot and gradual fall off, which I liked, but the left EP had only about a 55% sweet spot and steeper fall off, which could be refocused, but that's a lot to refocus, either you had the center in focus or the edges, but not both. It also had the "veiling glare" problem and one of the eyecups was loose and would flop down if I pressed against it too hard.

The second sample had a smooth focuser, and the veiling glare, while still present, was reduced, but the optics had the same lopsided sweet spots, with the right side being significantly better than the left side (I tried both eyes on the left EP and even turned the bin upside down and the results were the same, it wasn't due to my eyes).

Unlike the first sample, there was very little travel focus past infinity. This got worse over time until finally I could not focus the right EP, because there was no diopter travel left.

The pincushion was quite strong on both samples and noticeable as "rolling bowl" while panning and more so when tilting, with "Cupid's Bow" present at the edges.

The flat eyecups were not comfortable for my face, and I had to press into them to see the entire FOV (not that I needed to see the entire 9*, particularly the edges). The new version seems to have tapered eyecups, which might be more comfortable.

On the plus side, the ergonomics were very pleasing, I never had to think about how I was going to hold the bin like I do most closed bridge roofs, and unlike the full sized Promaster 8x42 ED and Hawke 8x42 ED I tried, the smaller frame didn't make it feel long and unwieldy.

The centerfield view was very sharp and without CA, and the 3-D effect was the best I've seen in a roof. The bin focused down to about 4 ft. w/out the field collapsing, which was very useful for watching butterflies. I've never been that into butterflies, but when I had these, I started getting interested in watching them because it was so easy to do.

So the ZR 7x36 ED2. has some really good qualities, if both sides had the same 70% sweet spot, and everything else worked the way it was supposed to, I might be able to live with the pincushion. However, after my experience with the two samples, my concern with a limited run is if something went wrong down the line, could the bin be replaced or would ZR send me a 7x43 ED3? Not the worse thing to happen, but from my experience with the full sized Promaster and Hawke, they would not be as handy as the 7x36 version.

<B>
 
I await your review with bated breath (or in the morning, with breath that smells like bait). Hopefully, these will have better QC than the first gen and second gen. The pincushion is overpowering, but if I could get a sample where both EPs had a 70% sweet spot, and gradual fall off at the edges, the third time might be the charm.

The first sample had a Swaro like stiff focuser that was harder to turn in one direction, it also had some slop in it. The right EP had a 70% sweet spot and gradual fall off, which I liked, but the left EP had only about a 55% sweet spot and steeper fall off, which could be refocused, but that's a lot to refocus, either you had the center in focus or the edges, but not both. It also had the "veiling glare" problem and one of the eyecups was loose and would flop down if I pressed against it too hard.

The second sample had a smooth focuser, and the veiling glare, while still present, was reduced, but the optics had the same lopsided sweet spots, with the right side being significantly better than the left side (I tried both eyes on the left EP and even turned the bin upside down and the results were the same, it wasn't due to my eyes).

Unlike the first sample, there was very little travel focus past infinity. This got worse over time until finally I could not focus the right EP, because there was no diopter travel left.

The pincushion was quite strong on both samples and noticeable as "rolling bowl" while panning and more so when tilting, with "Cupid's Bow" present at the edges.

The flat eyecups were not comfortable for my face, and I had to press into them to see the entire FOV (not that I needed to see the entire 9*, particularly the edges). The new version seems to have tapered eyecups, which might be more comfortable.

On the plus side, the ergonomics were very pleasing, I never had to think about how I was going to hold the bin like I do most closed bridge roofs, and unlike the full sized Promaster 8x42 ED and Hawke 8x42 ED I tried, the smaller frame didn't make it feel long and unwieldy.

The centerfield view was very sharp and without CA, and the 3-D effect was the best I've seen in a roof. The bin focused down to about 4 ft. w/out the field collapsing, which was very useful for watching butterflies. I've never been that into butterflies, but when I had these, I started getting interested in watching them because it was so easy to do.

So the ZR 7x36 ED2. has some really good qualities, if both sides had the same 70% sweet spot, and everything else worked the way it was supposed to, I might be able to live with the pincushion. However, after my experience with the two samples, my concern with a limited run is if something went wrong down the line, could the bin be replaced or would ZR send me a 7x43 ED3? Not the worse thing to happen, but from my experience with the full sized Promaster and Hawke, they would not be as handy as the 7x36 version.

<B>

WOW !! ......... What are the odds of that happening again ? This time order 2, send to a friend & loose the bad luck, least then you will have a 50 percent chance of receiving a good sample :-O Just kidding, third time has to be a winner .. gwen
 
Very exciting. If it's going to be made in a different facility, can we expect it to be as good as the original, or even better?
I do hope so, I've got a pre-order in.

Dave
 
Any reports on the Mk II models? Looks like they've started shipping based on their website.


I put a pre-order in on Oct 7th and haven't received word yet. The website says they're in stock but I'm not sure that means anything.

Hopefully soon ;)

Clinton
 
Warning! This thread is more than 11 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top