Zen ed3?

Quikstryke

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Mar 26, 2013
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So Im looking for my first ever binos. I came across this company zen ray but couldnt find much on them in the forums. Im wondering if anyone has any thoughts on these as my budget is about 450 for optics..
 

Matt Cashell

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Optically they are very good, and well above their price point. Build quality is in line with the price point.

I used to recommend them a lot, but lately have heard a number of quality control problems as well as customer service delays, unfortunately.

Vortex markets a similar version of the design, and they have an outstanding warranty and customer service reputation. This binocular is called the Talon HD and is available in your price range.
 

armyjoe

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I own the Zen Rays and I think for the money, they are one of the best budget friendly binos on the market. The rubber coating on the binos is really top notch and they have dual tripod adapter mounts which is a plus. The eye cups are reinforced and I've never had an issue with them either. Optically, I think the are on par or better then any bino in their price range. The edge to edge clarity is nice but definitely not a "Big 3" clarity. The Clearview coating on the glass has worked great for me and I haven't seen any spots on the glass where that may be wearing off.

The one thing I'm not a fan of though is the focus wheel. I think it has to much play in it and that plays into effect when your quickly trying to get an animal in focus. I think that is my one and only true issue with this bino.

For the price I would highly recommend these. Oh, and Charles from Zen Ray will definitely honor the lifetime warranty. That helped me in my decision to buy from Zen Ray
 

Travis Bertrand

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Between them and vortex I would definitely go through vortex. If you have an issue with zen rays, expect to wait months for a resolution.
 
Joined
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Central Cal
I have another brand bino that is basically a first gen Zen, they are excellent and I have no doubt the ED3's are better. I also have a Zen spotter and had to use the warranty due to being clumsy and dropping it. They fixed it for me and I have not complaints, but Dr is right, you will wait a few months to get it back.
 

2ski

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Jul 17, 2012
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Over here BB is the man with the knowlege of optics. You can't go wrong with his advise. If you go to birdforum they have a board just for zen ray with a ton of info from guys that will nitpick a set of optics to death. Lots of good stuff there. I spent a lot of time on that site before I decided to go with the Primes. I've had superb luck with them, but have heard some have had issues with QC as BB mentioned. Everyone I show them too has that "wow moment" but we're talking people used to looking thru Bushnells. I don't know my optics well enough to need one of the big 3, plus I can't afford them either. What I would suggest is what I did with the Primes, if you are really interested in the ED3. ZR has a 30 return on their products so you could order the ED3's and take them down to the sporting good store and compare to the Vortex. I am one that prefered the Primes to the Vipers when I did this, focus wheel included as my focus wheel has no play in it.
A warning, I noticed salesmen tend to push Vortex even if you ask about other brands. I'm not sure if they still do this, but Vortex used to offer an incentive to people for selling so many pairs of Vortex, so the salesman may push you to go with the Vortex. Not an uncommon thing as Native sunglasses does the same thing. Just something to be aware of if the salesman offers his "imput". In no way trying to talk smack about Vortex, I just have had some pretty pushy salesman at SW and Scheels especially.
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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SE Wisconsin
i have the zen ed3's and am very happy with them for a budget bino, however, while i do like them slightly more than the vortex talon....if i had to do it over again i would go with vortex just due to the warranty. zen-ray has the same no fault warranty on their ED3's, but you really have no idea how fast they will honor the warranty where as vortex is always on their game.
 

drthornton

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Feb 29, 2012
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Prosper, TX
I stumbled across this site looking for Binos for my father in-law. I got a pair of ED3s for under $300. They were on sale and another 15% off from Zen. Anyway they carry both Zen Ray and Vortex including the Talons BB was talking about. They are always sending me 15 or 20% off coupons. So if I were you I would sign up with them and wait for a coupon. I think they will be the cheapest you'll find.

No review on the ED3s...my father in-law broke his hip and has not used them yet.

http://www.wayfair.com/Binoculars-C216008.html
 

Jon Boy

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I have the ed3s and think they are a great bino for the money. I havent had to use the warranty so I couldnt tell you how that is.
 

Racethesunset

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Jan 8, 2013
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Arizona
You can also pick up a pair of used Viper HD's for that price or less... or an older model Swarovski SLC if you're patient...the older model SLC's are well regarded.
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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Alaska
We had a problem with the pair I bought for my girlfriend a few weeks ago. We sent them back in and they replaced them free of charge! For that reason alone, I will give them my business. I have bought a few pairs for friends as gifts as well. They are rough on gear, so not if, but When something happens to them I know they will be taken care of with either repair or a new pair.

For me, I will stick with my swaros :)
 

ElkNut1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Idaho
I agree with Matt, the Talon HD is in your price range & a very good optic to boot, it's one to seriously consider. PM me if you'd like & I'll help you out with a respectable price.

ElkNut1
 

JNDEER

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
1,147
As BB has said lately the C/S has been bad. When I first purchased the new Primes inside the glass there were three dust specks. I emailed them, they got right back to me and told me to send them back. I did and received a new pair in about a week! I was highly impressed.

I have also had warranty work done on a pair of Razor's. Again, about a week with no problems. I have however called and emailed Vortex many times and have ALWAYS gotten ahold of someone or they were there to help me with anything ASAP!

With the new pair of Primes I thought I was having a diopter issue. I discussed it with BB and he recommend getting ahold of Zen again to see if they could test it. I emailed them and 7 days later I had heard nothing. I responded again and withing 48 hours I had an email back apologizing for delay and said that within the next 24 hours a tech would call to discuss the issue. This was 2 months ago and I to this day have not heard back from them.

Just my experience with the two companies.
 

bobhunts

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Jun 16, 2012
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Colorado Springs,Co.
I bought a pair of the ED3 binos and no problems for me. Therefore no need to warranty them! I am pretty happy with them so far. Only one season behind me and hoping I will have no reason to use the lifetime warranty.Bob.
 
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