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Zen-Ray 2015 ZRS HD (Summit) 8x42 Waterproof Binoculars

4.7 (10 Reviews) Read Reviews Write Review
Brand Zen-Ray
Part Number B-ZR-SM842
Availability available

Product Info

Manufacturer Description

The newest ZRS HD features feather-light weight Mg alloy body design and HD resolution with enhanced brightness using state of the art dielectric prism coating. It's fully immersible waterproof and fogproof. It's an ideal binocular for birding and any outdoor activities.

Standard Features

  • New Mg-Alloy chassis with light weight design
  • VividBrite Dielectric Prism Coating for maximal brightness and neutral color
  • High Defintion (HD) image resolution
  • Phase-correction with BAK-4 roof prisms
  • Heavy-duty, 100% waterproof/fog proof construction: Argon charged
  • Metal alloy enforced multi-positioned twist-up eyecups
  • Diopter adjustment to fine tuning focus
  • Large smooth center focus knob
  • Rubber armor absorbs shock
  • Fully multi-coated optics allows 99.97% light transmission at each glass/air interface

DO YOU KNOW? Every ZRS (ZEN-RAY SUMMIT) binocular goes through rigorous waterproof testing before leaving their factory floor by following the most demanding JIS 7 (Japanese Industrial Standard Level 7). What does that mean? They immerse every binocular into a 5 feet deep water tank for 3min. Only the one passes the test can be released. So, let it rain!

Now, each ZRS binocular will ship with FREE Zen-Ray Deluxe Comfort Neckstrap and Carrying case!

Reviews

4.7 (Based on 10 Reviews) 100% of reviewers recommended this product.
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    1. Guest

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      User Notes:
      Review by David M.
      1501683843
      Aug 2, 2017

      5.0 Alaska trip

      Pros:

      Cons:

      Comments:

      I don't have any other binoculars to compare this to, but they seemed to be a good fit for our trip to Alaska.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    2. Guest

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      Review by James O.
      1490011401
      Mar 20, 2017

      5.0 Whats not to love ?

      Pros:

      Cons:

      Comments:

      Prompt, efficient, good price. Already knew the product and was very happy with it.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    3. BillP

      BillP Well-Known Member

      Skill Level
      Intermediate
      Time with Product
      A Week or Less
      User Notes:
      1446422400
      Nov 1, 2015

      4.0 Binoculars for assisting finding targets with telescope

      Pros:

      Optical clarity (contrast, brightness, sharpness)
      Well corrected FOV
      Function of mechanicals
      Size and form factor
      Soft case and straps

      Cons:

      Weight
      Some off-axis field curvature

      Comments:

      Well I got the binos a few days ago from Agena, the Zen-Ray ZRS. Very impressed with the accessories. The case is quite attractive and very nicely made, with interior pouch with included lens cloth. Straps for case and for binos, both very nice. The lens caps for the objective seemed a little light and not so robust, and was a little strange for me being attached...but they worked. In the end liked it better that removable ones I think. Overall impressive looking and well appointed.

      Although this is a Christmas present for me...I had to try them out tonight to make sure all in order. The AFOV on the eyepiece on these is exactly the same as the AFOV on the eyepieces on the Nikon 12x50 AEs. Now my main reason for these was for more casual wider TFOV viewing of star fields. The binos I use for searching for targets are my 12x50x. After some time tonight with both, the 8x42s are far superior for finding targets than the 12x50s! So I think the 12x50s will not be coming out so much. The extra magnification was sure better for closer views than the 8x42s showed, but not sure of so much advantage.

      I was able to see Albiero as an orange and blue double very easily in the 12x50s, but was still able to see the split and colors with the 8x24s as well.

      M35 was better defined in the 12x50s, but was still nicely shaped in the 8x42s, plus finding it was so very much easier in the 8x42s.

      The Double Cluster was I felt just as nice in both. I preferred the extra TFOV context of the 8x42s. Stock 2 was also visible in both, although more ethereal in the 8x42s.

      Turning to Lyra the Double Double was just as obvious in both, although of course not apparent as doubles stars. However I did again like the view of them and Vega in the 8x42s due to the extra TFOV. Oddly, I was able to locate the Ring Nebula better in the 8x42s than the 12x50s. I didn't expect this but was more obvious for some reason. Maybe due to less clutter of fainter stars that the 12x50s were picking up.

      Moving to M31 it was nice and obvious in both, and a littler better defined in the 12x50s, but again I was preferring the view in the 8x42s even though the galaxy was less bright. Probably the extra TFOV context.

      Finally I saw some faint stars near the horizon in the light pollution glow so turned to that and was surprised as it was M45! Looked so beautiful in the 8x42s with lots of room around it. Again, the 12x50s showed it closer with more stars, but in the end I liked it in the 8x42s better overall.

      Btw, not super dark here tonight so maybe Mag 4 skies at best...but still the 8x42s performed just superbly for hunting down targets. Can only imagine how nice it will be at a dark site.

      Keeping a steady hold and view with the 8x42s was way easier than with the 12x50s...it was actually no contest. Although much smaller, the 8x42s were still fairly heavy and the 12x50s did not really feel much heavier. But holding a steady view was simply so much easier which made the observations all the nicer.

      As far as the off-axis, the 12x50s showed aberrated stars in the outer 25% of the FOV that could not be cleaned up...astigmatism. The 8x42s showed imperfect star points as well on the outer 25% but the predominant reason was field curvature, so I could focus it sharp over most of the off-axis quite nicely. While I could not totally accommodate the FC, when I set focus in the middle I could get most of is so that was nice. Using street lamps and such right at the field stop there was some CA, but very very minimal...and I did not notice it at all with Vega, so very controlled.

      Mechanics I felt were quite nice...all parts were not too tight and not too loose, with the exception of the objective caps and the seemed a little loose although they never came off on their own accord.

      So overall...impressive binoculars IMO and a very nice overall package. Would be nice if a little lighter, but having a strong build is always a good thing. Did only night time observing so no idea on daytime performance, but I didn't get them for that so won't care too much however they perform there. Happy with them and think they fit the purpose quite nicely -- plus having a 7.5 degree TFOV is so much more effective for hunting targets than the 5 degree field of the Nikon's. Would have been wonderful if they were under $200...but wouldn't everything... Back in the box now until Christmas.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No
    4. Guest

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      User Notes:
      Review by Aussie Battler of Australia.
      1413590400
      Oct 17, 2014

      5.0 Awesome value

      Pros:

      Quality Lenses,Awesome Value,Waterproof

      Cons:

      Comments:

      I had a set budget, these binos are three times better quality than anything else in a similar price range, crystal clear, and very simple to use.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    5. David Arbon

      David Arbon New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      Review by Bino Junky of Innisfil, Ontario, Canada.
      1368230400
      May 10, 2013

      5.0 Outstanding Value

      Pros:

      Compact,Lightweight,A Best Buy Imho,Waterproof,Works Well With Glasses,Strong Construction,Close Focus,Quality Lenses

      Cons:

      Comments:

      Compares well or exceeds far more expensive binos that I own or I have looked at. Very hard to find any fault with these. All adjustments were smooth, finish and fit was outstanding. Very minor points are the locking diopter still mentioned in the manual is now discontinued, however its fairly stiff in its own right so that feature is redundant anyway. The excess strap ends were fiddly to get through the plastic holders on the strap, a gentle push with a small screwdriver was needed. All in all, an outstanding glass for the money and super service as well.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    6. Guest

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      Review by Fred the fisherman of Piney Flats, TN.
      1294185600
      Jan 4, 2011

      4.0 The Zen-Ray ZRS is a great binocular

      Pros:

      Close Focus,Lightweight,Colors are vivid,Great birding binocular,Wide field of view,Quality Lenses,Strong Construction,Compact,Works Well With Glasses

      Cons:

      I have no cons

      Comments:

      I have used the binoculars to view fall foilage, bird watching, star gazing and wildlife. The clarity and true colors are excellent. The close focus and the depth of field are great.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    7. gbrummett

      gbrummett New Member

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      Time with Product
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      User Notes:
      Review by Grant of Mesa, AZ.
      1245196800
      Jun 16, 2009

      5.0 Better optically then my Nikon Monarchs

      Pros:

      Easy on the eyes,Good Hinge Feel,Accurate,Strong Construction,Quality Lenses,Build Quality,Fantastic Optical Quality,Fantastic Depth of Field,Great colors and contrast,Bang for the buck

      Cons:

      Plastic smell at first,Heavy,Focus stiff at first,Cheap Objective covers,Cheap feeling neck strap

      Comments:

      Unpacking and first impressions:

      I excitedly unpacked my new Zen-Ray ZRS HD Summit binoculars today. Feels heavier than my Nikon
      Nikon 7524 8x42 Monarch ATB Binoculars. Strong plastic type smell when first opening box fairly quickly dissipates but is still there after several hours. I'm going to leave them out of the case to air out for several days. Well packed and thought out carrying case much nicer and actually usable over my Nikon Monarchs. It even has a cool little place for the owner's manual and warranty card inside.

      Inspecting the build closely the Zen-Ray appears to be flawless. The focus action is a little stiff, stiffer then either of my Nikons but has good feel (after a few hours of use it seemed to break-in to the point where it approached the Nikon feel. The hinge action however is better then the Nikon's right off the bat, perfectly weighted easy to adjust and stays where you need it. The Tethered flip-down objective lens protection covers are awful on the Zen-Rays, hard to put on and get in your way when looking downward at steep angles from say a balcony or tree stand (these I will want to replace). The diopter adjustment with SureLock works just fine. Metal alloy 4-Stage Twist-up eyecups seem to work well but feel more like 2-Stage which is just fine with me.

      The feel in the hand is pretty good with the exception that they feel heavier then my Nikon Monarchs and even heavier then my cheap Nikon 7216 Action 8 X 40mm binoculars.

      The Zen-Ray neck strap though just plain feels cheap compared to even my cheaper Nikon Action binoculars. The little plastic buckles feel cheap and small and the neck part of the strap does not feel as good in the hand as the Nikons. Once around the neck though they both feel about the same.

      Optics:

      This is where the Zen-Ray ZRS HD binoculars put a world of hurt on the Nikon Monarchs even though the Monarchs cost over a $100 more! The view is fantastic through the Zen-Rays appearing much sharper near the edges then the Monarchs with clarity near the edges where the Monarchs appear to have a slight film to them. It's something I never noticed before with the Monarchs and you might not notice unless you do a back-to-back look through both. In fact now every time I look through the Monarchs I see that film now. Also the depth of field appears to be deeper. Did I mention that the Zen-Ray's appear to be free of any chromatic distortion? Around bright sun illuminated high contrast areas the Nikon Monarchs had some distortion around the edges especially around my bird feeders black cage which is directly in front of my neighbors white storage shed. I don't see any of this distortion on the Zen-Ray's.

      Another test I put a dollar bill up on a wall and tried looking through them all. The Zen-Ray's seemed to have the most accurate color with good contrast.

      In use:

      I quickly filled up the back yard bird feeder and took all my Binoculars out on the back porch for a bird watching feast!

      The extra weight of the Zen-Rays was quickly forgotten when I got totally absorbed at just how much better the view is then any of my Nikons. Just a very clear near edge-to-edge fantastic viewing experience enjoying small color details of the birds I didn't notice before. Plus as the afternoon wore on the Zen-Ray ZRS HD Summit focus wheel became smoother just about to the point where it matches the Nikon Monarchs. It seems like the Zen-Rays are as clear and sharp from the center all the way out to around 95% of the total view. The Nikon Monarchs only seemed to be clear out to about 60 to 70% of the view and are not as clear anywhere in the view as the Zen-Rays.

      Verdict:

      I'm taking my Nikon Monarchs back for a refund. Although the Monarchs feel a little bit better in the hand (a little less weight) and have a better neck strap and better objective covers the Zen-Ray's optics are far superior and this is what a value the most. As a plus I save over a $100. I'm keeping the Zen-Rays!

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    8. Guest

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      Review by 270wsmnutt of Rogersville,MO.
      1243468800
      May 27, 2009

      4.0 Zen-Ray ZRS HD Binoculars

      Pros:

      Strong Construction,Quality Lenses,Accurate,Compact

      Cons:

      Comments:

      Overall very good guality binocular for the money. I thought the lens had a slight tint to them and they we not quite as bright as I would like in low light. But, for the money, don't think that you can beat them.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    9. AstroGuy1

      AstroGuy1 New Member

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
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      User Notes:
      Review by NBK01 of California.
      1237852800
      Mar 23, 2009

      5.0 Perfect mid-range binoculars for birding

      Pros:

      Solid construction,Very bright,Inexpensive,Edge to edge sharpness

      Cons:

      none so far

      Comments:

      I got this pair of binoculars after a recommendation from a long time birding friend. I have been using my 20 year old Zeiss 7x50. It was my first time to step out of traditional European brand binoculars and touch something new. It took only two days from ordering to receiving the item. The first thing I checked was the edge-to-edge sharpness. I would say it is excellent - about 95% FOV is perfectly sharp. It is really incredible considering it is a [$] phase coated roof prism binocular. I have seen similar ones in my local Audubon society [$] and cannot perform equally well. It is very bright, even under low light conditions. Construction is solid with a lot of attention to minute details. There is slight (barely noticeable) edge pin cushion distortion but it is better than the Nikon Monarch 8x42 I have compared it side-by-side with. For [$], it is an absolute bargain for such high quality binoculars.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    10. NBK01

      NBK01 New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      1195937940
      Nov 24, 2007

      5.0 A perfect mid-range binoculars for birding

      Pros:

      Very bright, edge to edge sharpness, inexpensive, solid construction

      Cons:

      None so far

      Comments:

      I got this pair of binoculars after a recommendation from a long time birding friend. I have been using my 20 year old Zeiss 7x50. It was my first time to step out of traditional European brand binoculars and touch something new. It took only two days from ordering to receiving the item. The first thing I checked was the edge-to-edge sharpness. I would say it is excellent - about 95% FOV is perfectly sharp. It is really incredible considering it is a $160 phase coated roof prism binocular. I have seen similar ones in my local Audubon society that retail for $400 and cannot perform equally well. It is very bright, even under low light conditions. Construction is solid with a lot of attention to minute details. There is slight (barely noticeable) edge pin cushion distortion but it is better than the Nikon Monarch 8x42 I have compared it side-by-side with. For $160, it is an absolute bargain for such high quality binoculars.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No
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      Specifications

      Binocular Aperture 42mm
      Binocular Exit Pupil 5.3mm
      Field of View Angular 7.5°
      Binocular Magnification 8x
      Binocular Weight 22.7 oz
      Manufacturer Zen-Ray
      Prism Type Roof Prism