Written on: 31/10/2011
The name 'Zen Ray' started to intrigue me recently, as I began to notice several well respected binocular & optics experts raving about them.
I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and managed to source a pair (8x43's) of probably what is only a handful of Zen Ray's presently in the UK.
I need to state that I have collected binoculars and optical instruments for more than 40 years and my initial interest was gained through my astronomical hobby. I also built one or two telescopes in my youth so gained a good insight into optical standards and how to test instruments for optical quality.
I have also owned and tested some of the finest European,Japanese and American instruments as well as some WW2 binoculars including the famous '10x80' Flakfernohr and 7x50 German submarine binos.
To cut a long story very short, these Zen Rays are truly amazing for their price. In a direct comparison with my current Zeiss 7x50 and Swarovski 8x42EL there is virtually no observable difference in brightness, clarity and definition with the Zen Rays. Astounding as it seems,these £300 Chinese sourced optics (USA company) are in many areas, on a par with their top end £1500+ European counterparts! In a comparison star test with my reference binoculars they also did very well, images being pin sharp up to about 70% of the field, not quite as good as mine but excellent all the same. They are very comfortable to use, and time will tell if they are as well built as my reference binos-probably not but we will see!
I have nothing to do with Zen Ray(in fact I am retired) so no bias.
Go out and treat yourself to a pair of these outstanding binoculars before they become very expensive- which they surely will once their quality becomes well known and the slightly 'tacky' name is a household one!