View Full Version : Vortex Razor HD and ZEN ED2 spotters

Muleys 24/7
02-28-2012, 12:47 PM
I'm really close to buying a new spotting scope, it's between the "vortex razor hd" and the "zen ed2". There is a big difference in price between the two, the razor $1600 and zen $999. With that big of price difference, is there a big difference in quality?

I was going to get the razor but then someone told me about the zen.Just looking to get some input before I make the jump, thanks

Bitterroot Bulls
02-28-2012, 02:35 PM
Somebody I trust says they are optical equals. Just by checking reviews, it seems that the Vortex may have less unit variation. I know they have the same specs, focal lengths, and the eyepieces interchange. Also, both will accept Swarovski eyepieces. In fact, the 20-60 eyepieces from Zen, Vortex, and Swarovski are duplicates in form and function. The Zen 25-50 wide eyepiece does apparently differ in design from Swarovski's, however.

One thing to consider. Eagle Optics has some like-new demos of the Zeiss Diascope 85tFL with the new 20-75 eyepiece available for $1999.00. That deal is so good it nearly had me considering selling my Razor.

Muleys 24/7
02-28-2012, 03:43 PM
What is unit variation in lame mans terms? How much are the Zeiss Diascope 85tFL with the new 20-75 regularly?

Bitterroot Bulls
02-28-2012, 04:15 PM
What is unit variation in lame mans terms? How much are the Zeiss Diascope 85tFL with the new 20-75 regularly?

Unit variation refers to the gap in performance between a lemon and cherry unit. You might get a spotter that performs OK, or you might get one that super-performs. Variation occurs in every optic model, but some companies have better quality control than others.

This the best deal I have found on a new Zeiss:


Those demos are at a huge discount.

Big Sky
02-28-2012, 06:11 PM
Your killing me BB my ed50 is showing up tomorrow and you already have me wanting something else.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-28-2012, 06:55 PM
Your killing me BB my ed50 is showing up tomorrow and you already have me wanting something else.

Yeah, I couldn't believe that deal. I don't think they will last long. The Zeiss dual-ratio focus takes some getting used to, but it works pretty good. That eyepiece is very impressive. I actually think the Razor's optical system could support a similar super-zoom eyepiece. We will see if Vortex comes out with one.

I guess Meopta is releasing a similar 25-75 eyepiece with their new top of the line spotter, along with a really slik iPhone digiscoping adapter. Some folks I know that went to the SHOT show in Vegas said that the new Meopta is impressive indeed.

Good time for great optics.

03-03-2012, 06:54 PM
explain to me bitterroot how the dual ratio focus works, I have played with the Zeiss before but didn't really understand it?

Bitterroot Bulls
03-03-2012, 07:03 PM
It works like voodo, you start rotating the focus and it works in slow (fine focus) manner, then you go past a certain number of degrees and it automatically switches to a fast (coarse focus). When you stop moving the focus, it automatically goes back to the slow mode. Sounds complicated, but I found it pretty easy to get used to. The optics are outstanding on that scope.

Interestingly, I had been told that eyepieces between the Zen, Razor, and Swaros interchange, but it turns out that, although the Vortex zoom is an exact copy of the Swarovski, the bayonets are just enough different not to fully seat in each other. I also learned that internal differences confirm that, unlike the rumors, the Zen and Razor are not the same exact scope, although the Zen closely models the Razor.

03-12-2012, 07:25 PM
nice, ya i ran into that on a few other products where they seem exactly the same but when you try to put them together they are just enough off to not fit, seems the companys do that so you can't interchange them

03-12-2012, 07:49 PM
I bought the Zeiss Diascope 65tFL last year and the Vortex Razor HD. Tested both of them on a South Dakota deer hunt. Without a
doubt the Razor was a much better scope at a significantly cheaper price. I sold the Zeiss after the season was over. The picture was
better in the early morning prior to sun up. The Razor could easily distinguish bucks and does with enough clarity to determine size at least 45-60 minutes before the sun was up. You won't be dissatisfied with either, but for my and my friends eyes the Razor HD was the ticket.