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    Zen-ray ED3 vs. Zen-ray prime HD

    Hey everyone, first post here! I'm in the market for a new 10x binocular that will be used almost extensively for muledeer hunting the badlands of North Dakota. I have spent an adequate amount of time researching several binoculars from many companies in the 400$-700$ range (as this is all I am able to afford) and have decided to go with Zen-ray. The problem I am now faced with is deciding on the ED3's or the Prime's. I want to know if its worth paying the extra 200$ for the primes. I have read reviews where people have loved their pair of ED1's/ED2's and weren't thrilled about the primes. Thanks in advance!

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    Save a few bucks and look into Vortex.... just my opinion. No experience with the Zen-ray but the Vortex ones I have looked through were comparable to the very top end binos I have looked through.

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  4. #3
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    Last spring I bought a pair of vortex viper HD 10x42 and they are awesome. Vortex's warranty is very good as well. If you decide to buy Vortex talk to Hardstalk.

    Jason Moeller

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  6. #4
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    I was originally going to go with vortex but several reviews found the zen-rays out performing both the vipers and in some cases the razors. Zen-ray also has the same warranty as vortex on these particular binoculars. I guess i'm going with zen-ray because in multiple tests its out performed vortex, has the same warranty, and is cheaper. that being said i've looked through both the viper and razor line of binoculars and they are fine optics indeed.

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    I've had Zen Ray ED2, ED3 and Primes. The Primes are exceptional. I gave a friend my ED2s and have the ED3s as a backup pair.

    A friend has a pair of Vortexs and they aren't in the same ballpark as the Primes. His aren't the top end Vortexs though, I think his cost around $300 new. Maybe the Talons?

    The only thing with the Primes that take some getting used to is the eyepiece is a bit larger than any other binoculars I've had. The clarity from edge to edge is amazing though.

    One place that I go to check out optics is the Bird Forums, you never hear about Vortex there, but lots of the bird watchers (guys who are willing to spend $$$ on optics) rave about the bang for the buck you get with Zen Ray. I think Vortex is so big in the hunting community mainly because of all the guys on hunting shows that endorse them. They are decent glass I'm sure, but I really like my Zen Rays even if there isn't anyone on a hunting show on TV telling me how awesome they are.

    My 2 cents. Nathan

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    thanks Nathan. I believe your friend had the lower end diamond backs which are nice for their price point but aren't comparable to the HD glass in the vortex line. I couldn't agree more about using bird forums for reviews, those guys know their glass and post very detailed reviews. I have a few questions for you. How does the eyepiece of the prime compare with that of the zen ED3? Is it worth spending the extra 200$ for the prime over the ED3 (are you noticing better edge to edge clarity, less CA, larger sweet spot, or better light transmission)?
    I would also like to note that I have nothing against vortex and agree that they make great glass with and exceptional warranty.

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    Welcome kupper! Tell us about you. I have owned the zen ray ed3s. I thought they were awesome for the money. I did have to send them back once and had a little problem with customer service but in the end I got a new pair to my door. Optically they are great, quality.. Meh. They will do if you are on a budget. Check out the comparable model in vortex line, I guarantee you the customer service is worth the price difference if there is any

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    Quote Originally Posted by kupper View Post
    I have a few questions for you. How does the eyepiece of the prime compare with that of the zen ED3? Is it worth spending the extra 200$ for the prime over the ED3 (are you noticing better edge to edge clarity, less CA, larger sweet spot, or better light transmission)?
    I think the Primes are worth the extra $. They are just overall a higher quality overall and the glass is awesome. There really isn't a sweet spot, they are crystal clear edge to edge. About the only thing they aren't really any better on is light transmission. The ED3 was already pretty good. I actually thought the ED2 was a better quality build than the ED3, but the ED3 had better glass. The Primes are better in every way.

    The eyepieces are just big. For me it was never an issue, but some people complained that it was hard to get used to the eye relief on them because not only does your eye need to be the right distance from the lens, but it needs to be centered as well.

    My personal binoculars have gone from Nikon Monarchs to Zen-Ray ED2 then ED3, now Prime. The biggest step up from one to the next was going to the Primes.

    My 2 cents, hope that helps some.

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  14. #9
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    Not the best picture, this was taken with my iPhone freehand through the Primes of some elk about 1/2 mile away but you can kind of get a feel for how sharp they are edge to edge.

    Last edited by npaden; 08-20-2014 at 06:28 PM.

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    I don't have any experience the the Primes but I do have the Vortex Viper HD in 10x50 and I love them. I've had Nikon and Leupold for years and they don't compare to the Vortex.

    Do you have a sporting goods store you can go to and do a side by side comparison to?
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

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