First, I want to apologize for taking so long to write this review. Life has a way of getting in the way of pleasure. I
have had to much life getting in my way lately and have not had the free time in need to spend the time I needed to
give these binos a good field test. I finally had the chance to take out several binos to really do some comparisons
And speaking of pleasure the Zen Ray ZEN ED binos are a real pleasure to use and look through. I want to address a
few of the non optical issues first.
To start with I've had several people ask about where the Zen Ray binos are made. They are made in China. I personally
have no problem with that but I'll leave that up to the individual.
The hard case is excellent. The strap is way too long but I don't care because I never planned on using it. Most of you wont care either.
You will need to cut it (unless you are 7'5") if you plan on using it and not a harness. I does have a very good, wide, padded area
for the neck. My advice for ANY bino....get a harness. The eyepiece covers and objective covers are good. I've seen better and worse.
And now................. for the good stuff.
These are a very attractive and ergonomically well designed. The fit and feel of the ZEN ED really stands out. The overall length
of the ZEN ED is 7' with eyecups extended. Some will find that a bit on the bulky side but over all it took very little to get
used to the slightly longer barrel size. The rubber armor is as good as I've seen. The hinge is just stiff enough so that I don't constantly
have to readjust for my interpupillary distance like so many of the competition. The same goes with the eyepiece. Zen Rays specs
list the close focus distance at 6 ft. Maybe its just my eyes but I was able to focus as close as 4'8". The coatings appear to be flawless.
The exit pupils at arms length are perfectly round with no flat edges or shadowy light or dark areas in the 5.4 mm dot of light. This is an
excellent indication of well matched optics.The one thing I found disappointing was the diopter indicator mark on the right eyepiece.
It is so small its really difficult to see.
There are several features that really stand out with the ZEN ED's. The wide and almost absolutely flat field of view (FOV) are outstanding.
Zen Rays specs list the FOV at an amazing 426 ft /1000yds. The image is bright, very sharp, and I saw no indication of chromatic aberration.
I did a comparison of the edge to edge sharpness with two of the "big three". The ZEN ED compared very well to both. They definitely outperform
everything I looked at in the $300- $800 range. The optical clarity gives you that feeling that you are where the subject is. That no doubt, is
due to the flatness of the field. The color rendition, depth of field, and resolution are excellent. Optically the ZEN ED is second to none.
I also want to speak to the VALUE of these optics. I have no hesitation in saying that the Zen Ray ZEN ED are the best value in
binoculars on the market today. I did do quite a bit of price comparisons and have evaluated lots of binos that are similar in quality.
Quality wise the ZEN ED's stand out from the competition and come very close to the quality you will find from the "big three".
That's where the value comes in. For $359 these are tough to beat and they out perform many that are hundreds of $$$ more.
You will notice that I refuse to mention the competing optics that I did price, quality, and performance comparisons with.
I prefer not to beat up the other Mfgs but would like to speak to the quality of the ZEN RAY brand.
The optical quality that most of the major optic companies deliver these day is astonishing.
That the ZEN ED stands out from many of these speaks to the manufacturing and optical quality that these possess. I have
already seen that a couple of the competing brands have lowered their price and trumpeted their warranty in responds to
the ZEN RAY brand. This is a good thing, but personally I will choose the better optical quality over warranty every time. Can you buy
a bino that performs optically better? Yes,............. but you WILL pay at least a $1000 more and the difference is so minimal
I doubt most will be able to detect it. If you are planning on purchasing a pair of binos in the near future and don't plan on spending
$1200 + ....................get the Zen Rays. I highly recommend them. They are....... "that" good.
Welcome to the binocular wars……………………………..