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Thread: Zen-Ray Binoculars

  1. #1
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Zen-Ray Binoculars

    Wife was interested in a quality pair of binoculars for wildlife viewing. We just returned from Stateside trip and were able to purchase Zen-Ray's top-of-the-line 10 x 43 Zen Ed2 ($424) binoculars from their Beaverton (OR) office. We had read lots of good things about these binos on Monstermuleys forum and a variety of bird-watching sites, but were not willing to purchase on-line without viewing "in-hand" first. Zen-Ray is a Chinese based company that sells direct to public--no middle men involved. (Website: http://www.zen-ray.com/ )

    All the internet information sounded really interesting, but....

    Long story short, Charles, company manager, was kind enough to show us his inventory and we were impressed enough to purchase a pair at their Oregon office. I am not a binocular expert, but do spend many days afield glassing many hours each day. (I learned many years ago, after purchasing lots of cheaper to mid-range priced binoculars, that acceptable optics for my hunting purposes needed to be the higher end models.) Optically, these Zen-Rays appear to be in the same class as my Swarovski EL 10 x 42 and older Zeiss Classic 10 x 40. Zen-Ray's overall clarity, sharpness, color, and light gathering are dead-on! I am not going to be leaving my Swarovski's at home, but these Zen-Rays look really good!

    If anyone wanted to see these in-person, I'm in Wasilla and would be willing to let you take a look at them. PM me and we'll make arrangements.... This is getting to be the "busy" time of the year for me (I'll be gone within next couple days for a week or so b-bear hunting...), but I'll be do my best to check in.

    Just so no one questions my motives in posting this, wife and I are not affiliated with Zen-Ray in any manner, nor will we be profiting in any way from any Zen-Ray sales. Wife got intrigued by what she had read about these binos, but we were both skeptical enough that we weren't going to purchase without seeing them first-hand. The current Zen-Ray business model will not lend itself ever to any retail store sales. So, if anyone else out there is interested....

    Pics are of Zen-Ray and ZR's beside my Swarovski (note similarities?)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Finally someone in Alaska realizing how great these optics are. Down here on Monster Mulies and Ridgeline Outdoors they are gaining a huge following. We did test with Swaro EL Vortex Leica and ZR and the ZR was at the top with the swaro.
    375 Ruger Hawkeye...Mice to Moose, Impala to Buffalo....1 GUN.....WORLDS PURSUIT

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahotrophyhunter View Post
    Finally someone in Alaska realizing how great these optics are. Down here on Monster Mulies and Ridgeline Outdoors they are gaining a huge following. We did test with Swaro EL Vortex Leica and ZR and the ZR was at the top with the swaro.
    Whats the warranty like on the ZRs??

  4. #4
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Also have you weighed them? How is the balance? At that price I would expect them to be pretty heavy especially compared to my Minox HG's or your swaro EL's

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Also have you weighed them? How is the balance? At that price I would expect them to be pretty heavy especially compared to my Minox HG's or your swaro EL's

    When looking through 10X binos lightweight isn't always a good thing.

  6. #6
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default warranty info/opinion

    Stated warranty is for life--guaranteed waterproof, fogproof, etc.--check out their website... http://www.zen-ray.com/

    My "OPINIONS" on their stated warranty:

    Downside...products are manufactured in China and there is only one small office in USA (Beaverton, OR--and very hard to find, to boot)--they are NOT carried by any major store (only an archery, astronomy, and Audubon store in OR, and none had any Zen-Ray binos in-stock). (Some models are also available on E-bay, but they are more expensive then purchasing through Zen-Ray website direct.)

    Upside: Charles (manager) told us that he had replaced a pair of binos that someone from Monstermulies had purchased--complaint was focus was too hard to adjust (ours are as smooth as my Swarovski and Zeiss), but the point is that Charles did replace them free of charge.

    So, how good is the warranty? For what it's worth, I think that Charles will absolutely stand behind stated warranty. Will Zen-Ray still be in business ten years from now? Will Zen-Ray be bought out by a major optic manufacturer? Will Zen-Ray change their business strategy (and probably quadruple, or more, their retail price)? You decide! "Bang for the buck", these binos are hard to beat--my opinion, again, but, for $400, I strongly stand behind this comment!

    I love Alaska Outdoor Forums website--I am pretty much a voyeur on this site most of the time. But, since no one in Alaska has any "hands-on" information about this product when we researched Zen-Ray, thought we would offer a "hands-on" of the product to anyone in Alaska that is interested.

    To be completely honest, when my wife put me on the limited information on Zen-Ray's available on-line, I was very skeptical--in fact, I was pretty sure that Zen-Ray was a big con...however, after viewing their products, I swallowed my pride and admitted to my wife that she "might" have found something special.

    So, for what it's worth...do some research (monstermulies has an in-depth discussion on pros/cons of Zen-Rays), check out Zen-Ray's limited website, and, finally, if you want to look "first-hand" at my wife's 10 x 43 Zen ED2, PM me.

    Happy trails....

  7. #7
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default weight

    My wife actually weighed Zen-Rays and Swarovski when we returned to Alaska. What can I say! She is an obsessive compulsive retired math teacher--I would expect nothing less!

    Weight of Zen-Ray 10 x 43 ED2 is 2 oz LESS than my Swarovski 10 x 42 EL! And, they have a nice "swarovski" feel to them. I will still be using my SW for spring bear hunting in a couple days, but will, with wife's permission, take ZR's along for in-field test.

    My favorite hunting partner (he's a cheapskate, by the way!) is going to order a pair of Zen-Rays to replace his well worn Zeiss Classics.

  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    FYI, Our forum sponsor Camera Land NY carries Zen-Ray products.

    http://www.cameralandny.com/optics2/...ray-zened21043

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