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Zen Ray FB (1 Viewer)

black crow

Well-known member
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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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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 :t:

Very well said Steve :t:

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.



Chosun :gh:
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
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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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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. :cat:



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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. :t:



Chosun :gh:
 
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=a1z10.1-c.w5003-15621555923.1.O3XyT2&id=542644916214&scene=taobao_shop
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
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'.

Lee
 

Kammerdiner

Well-known member
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
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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 :gh:
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
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. :t:



Chosun :gh:

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.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
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......

HOLY SMOKES !!! :eek!::eek!: :smoke:

That is amazing. That has got to be below total business cost (including such things as ongoing funding ROI etc) , perhaps clearing out a large superceded production batch or something? I hope plenty of folk got onto that - would be great for gifting to beginners, family members, conservancy/educational facilities, outreach programs etc ..... :cat:



Chosun :gh:
 

jgraider

Well-known member
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.


Well, all of this is just supposition, as none of us know how Charles feels. Like I said, I have sympathy for him, but there is zero excuse for leaving all of these customers hanging, with no communication. I hate excuses.
 

black crow

Well-known member
So do I, I usually hate apologies that are not tied to action also. I'm not in my most forgiving mood at the moment because I've just been through another seller situation where I got neglect and broken promises from a binocular seller and then got the same thing in regards to a promised delivery from the Binocular makers warehouse. When I complained about some of the worse service I've ever gotten buying a binocular they tried to make it about me being unreasonable and an angry person. In the end I'm sending the binoculars back (arriving ten days later than a person to person phone promise of delivery) unopened and I bought from from one of my usual sources and a product from a different manufacturer. I couldn't believe how many mistakes and broken promises I got from what should have been a very simple straightforward transaction where great care was taken on my part to insure things would go well. I plan to never own that brand of binocular or buy from that seller because I believe that behavior should never be rewarded even if I have to pay more elsewhere or go without. Fortunately I ended up buying something I think I'll like better at a lower cost. Good for me I say.

To be fair this is not such an unusual situation and goes back to my belief that in business, friendliness is usually feigned to make the sale. This includes promises made to the buyer. When things go south they just want you gone because you never really were important to them outside the sale. I was in sales, I was often friendly to people I didn't care for at all. However I didn't lie and I kept my promises and if I failed due to error I made it right with the customer to the best of my ability. And I never just hung a customer out there without an explanation for what happened. Sometimes I had to suck it up and humble myself for blowing it and admitting that to the customer knowing I'd likely be the target of some anger. Goes with the territory.

I'm not saying that I know this was the situation in this case and yet I cannot but suspect it due to the actions of the person involved. Actions speak loud in my world.
 
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jape

Well-known member
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.

on eBay UK 3 to 400 £ or more for these various seems to be the go! im not in the market yet but for $80 i had to look.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
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.

Adhoc,

You surely must have not read all of my post, or decided to take that "overstatement" somewhat out of context. I thought I had made it plain there were other companies. Now, to put a point on this I did initially have ZR as the sole focus. I soon realized that was not correct and went back and thought I edited in other companies comments. I missed that one you quoted. I missed that. In point of fact Vortex was probably the original push starter, but like ZR they were not alone.

Now before I get taken out of context again, My post was about Zen Ray's BEGINNINGS. I am as disgusted as anyone else about the way it apparently ended. Please note my support stopped rather abruptly. This was when it became apparent to me they were in for a rough ride. I figured I had done the reviews as I saw them and they had started on a successful note. At that point it was in their responsibility to keep it going. I likely would have reviewed the ZEN ED 4, if it had ever been properly introduced.

Some here have had a giant chip on their shoulder about Zen Ray from the very start and are not reticent about kicking somebody while they are down. Point of fact is we have a bunch of ideas, some are closer to correct than others, some perhaps fantasy.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
HOLY SMOKES !!! :eek!::eek!: :smoke:

That is amazing. That has got to be below total business cost (including such things as ongoing funding ROI etc) , perhaps clearing out a large superceded production batch or something? I hope plenty of folk got onto that - would be great for gifting to beginners, family members, conservancy/educational facilities, outreach programs etc ..... :cat:



Chosun :gh:

I'd guess that when Bushnell discontinued them after only two years, they may have sold out the remaining inventory at wholesale or less. It seems Roger's Sporting Goods got decent sized lot and tossed them up on ebay. I think they've sold over 350 units on Ebay thus far although the sales slowed up when they raised them from $159 to $176 a couple weeks ago. They could have easily sold that many more via their own webstore.

Just yesterday if you paid the $176 on Ebay you'd still get a $53 rebate from Bushnell and then you would have got 15% off the Spring sale price from Ebay. So you'd pay $150 to ebay minus the $53 rebate= $97.

Best $100 bino's on the market bar none. lol.

I'm still amazed at how good the glass is. They can easily compete with Vortex Vipers, Monarch 7's, etc. The only thing I don't care for is the stiff focus wheel. Not so much the mechanism, but feels like the manufacturer used a pretty thick grease.
 

Xlr8n

Well-known member
Adhoc,

You surely must have not read all of my post, or decided to take that "overstatement" somewhat out of context. I thought I had made it plain there were other companies. Now, to put a point on this I did initially have ZR as the sole focus. I soon realized that was not correct and went back and thought I edited in other companies comments. I missed that one you quoted. I missed that. In point of fact Vortex was probably the original push starter, but like ZR they were not alone.

Now before I get taken out of context again, My post was about Zen Ray's BEGINNINGS. I am as disgusted as anyone else about the way it apparently ended. Please note my support stopped rather abruptly. This was when it became apparent to me they were in for a rough ride. I figured I had done the reviews as I saw them and they had started on a successful note. At that point it was in their responsibility to keep it going. I likely would have reviewed the ZEN ED 4, if it had ever been properly introduced.

Some here have had a giant chip on their shoulder about Zen Ray from the very start and are not reticent about kicking somebody while they are down. Point of fact is we have a bunch of ideas, some are closer to correct than others, some perhaps fantasy.


I guess I missed the downfall of Zen Ray threads. I used to lurk here when Zen Ray was the best thing since sliced bread, then I got away from my interest in optics for a bit. I got back into it a year or so ago and couldn't understand how Zen Ray went off the rails so far. Can anyone summarize it in a nutshell for me or link a thread? Cliff's Note's version is fine.

Thanks, Scott.
 

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