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Thread: Themal Imaging Spotting Scope 3K Budget

  1. #1

    Themal Imaging Spotting Scope 3K Budget

    I have decided to take the plunge and buy a thermal imaging scope for spotting deer. I have no experience with these devices so would be grateful for constructive advice on the following questions.

    1. I would like to buy local/UK but if a considerable saving is to be had from overseas then obviously I will make the saving. So what's your experience with buying from abroad and who do you recommend.
    2. I will still be using the binos to confirm that the deer meets the criteria for culling once spotted with the TI. Because of this I'm conscious of carrying too much equipment and them clattering into each other. What's your experience on this and is there a compact pocket sized TI available?
    3. What's the best buy performance wise for 3k and how does warranty/customer care compare between say FLIR and PULSAR.
    4. If I increase to 4K will I see a significant improvement?
    5. Is there anywhere I can try a range of theses devices out and see how they compare with one another and to get a feel of the weight/size & ergonomics.



    Regards

    DS

  2. #2
    Pulsar 38 or 50, either are superb bits of kit, try Malmo guns near Lancaster, my local gun shop and second to none imho, speak to John, he deals with that side of things.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    I'll try to answer each of your questions

    1. With the current strength of the pound against the Euro, buying from a European supplier can work out significantly cheaper.
    For a Pulsar HD50S, this supplier works out about 200 cheaper than the best price I can find in the UK http://www.jvs-outdoor.com/night-vision-equipment.
    You have the same buyers rights in the rest of the EU as in UK so warranty claims should not be an issue.
    I purchased a Guide IR518 from a supplier in Belgium a few years ago and had to return it twice for repair.
    In each case there were no difficulties associated with the return/repair under warranty process

    2. The smallest and easiest to carry imagers are the Guide IR510 and the FLIR Scout series (both use the same case).
    The Guide has a poor spec and I would not consider it.
    Of the FLIR Scout models, only the LS-XR is worthy of consideration and only then because it is the only imager available with a higher resolution (640x480) sensor.
    All of the FLIR models suffer from the fact that they are supplied from the USA and therefore subject to ITAR regulations which limits export models to a refresh rate of 9Hz.
    A 9Hz refresh rate has the effect of producing a jerky video image and smearing on the screen when either the imager or the target moves.
    It's generally agreed that a 25Hz refresh rate is the minimum required for smooth video performance.
    The Pulsar models are slightly larger and heavier than the the FLIR scout, but still small enough to carry in a pocket

    3. The best bang for your buck is the Pulsar HD50S. This is the outgoing model and can be had for 2552 from Grahams of Inverness and maybe less from a few others if you want to haggle.
    The Pulsar XD50s is the current model, and is around 200 more expensive.
    It has no performance advantages over the HD50s - only a few bells and whistles to allow them to charge more for it.
    I can't speak for FLIR customer care, but Thomas Jacks are the importers for Pulsar thermals and most people seem to be happy with the way they deal with warranty claims

    4. 4k will get you the FLIR Scout LS-XR with it's higher resolution sensor - but low refresh rate and 35mm lens
    Detection range is a function of sensor size and resolution and objective lens size
    The 4K FLIR has a human detection range of 1140m
    The 2.5K Pulsar HD50s -high refresh rate, larger lens (50mm), but lower sensor resolution (384x288), has a human detection range of 1250m

    5. Remember that under the distance selling regulations you can get your hands on any (or all) of these and have them for up to 14 days before returning them (in saleable condition) and get a full refund. Other wise, if you're prepared to wait, then I'm sure they will all be on display at the British Shooting Show next February

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

    Bruce
    Last edited by mealiejimmy; 18-11-2015 at 10:07.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I purchased the Pulsar Quantum 50S from JVS Outdoors (Netherlands) - quick delivery, and excellent after-sales service when the battery magazines required replacement. They also gave me some free extra's worth 100+.

    Once you have a thermal you will only use your bino's for tho odd back-up look (i.e is that a Roe buck or a doe??) I now use the Thermal 80% of the time, and bino 20% of the time. It would make sense to downgrade the bino to a smaller compact light model. And yes the bino and thermal will bang against each other, something to be aware of.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Hamburger View Post
    Once you have a thermal you will only use your bino's for tho odd back-up look (i.e is that a Roe buck or a doe??) I now use the Thermal 80% of the time, and bino 20% of the time. It would make sense to downgrade the bino to a smaller compact light model. And yes the bino and thermal will bang against each other, something to be aware of.
    From your field experience with the TI, would you consider that the Pulsar in combination with something like the Swaro CL8x25 bino would be a workable combination for general stalking use?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mealiejimmy View Post
    I'll try to answer each of your questions

    1. With the current strength of the pound against the Euro, buying from a European supplier can work out significantly cheaper.
    For a Pulsar HD50S, this supplier works out about 200 cheaper than the best price I can find in the UK http://www.jvs-outdoor.com/night-vision-equipment.
    You have the same buyers rights in the rest of the EU as in UK so warranty claims should not be an issue.
    I purchased a Guide IR518 from a supplier in Belgium a few years ago and had to return it twice for repair.
    In each case there were no difficulties associated with the return/repair under warranty process

    2. The smallest and easiest to carry imagers are the Guide IR510 and the FLIR Scout series (both use the same case).
    The Guide has a poor spec and I would not consider it.
    Of the FLIR Scout models, only the LS-XR is worthy of consideration and only then because it is the only imager available with a higher resolution (640x480) sensor.
    All of the FLIR models suffer from the fact that they are supplied from the USA and therefore subject to ITAR regulations which limits export models to a refresh rate of 9Hz.
    A 9Hz refresh rate has the effect of producing a jerky video image and smearing on the screen when either the imager or the target moves.
    It's generally agreed that a 25Hz refresh rate is the minimum required for smooth video performance.
    The Pulsar models are slightly larger and heavier than the the FLIR scout, but still small enough to carry in a pocket

    3. The best bang for your buck is the Pulsar HD50S. This is the outgoing model and can be had for 2552 from Grahams of Inverness and maybe less from a few others if you want to haggle.
    The Pulsar XD50s is the current model, and is around 200 more expensive.
    It has no performance advantages over the HD50s - only a few bells and whistles to allow them to charge more for it.
    I can't speak for FLIR customer care, but Thomas Jacks are the importers for Pulsar thermals and most people seem to be happy with the way they deal with warranty claims

    4. 4k will get you the FLIR Scout LS-XR with it's higher resolution sensor - but low refresh rate and 35mm lens
    Detection range is a function of sensor size and resolution and objective lens size
    The 4K FLIR has a human detection range of 1140m
    The 2.5K Pulsar HD50s -high refresh rate, larger lens (50mm), but lower sensor resolution (384x288), has a human detection range of 1250m

    5. Remember that under the distance selling regulations you can get your hands on any (or all) of these and have them for up to 14 days before returning them (in saleable condition) and get a full refund. Other wise, if you're prepared to wait, then I'm sure they will all be on display at the British Shooting Show next February

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

    Bruce


    How's that thermal scope working out Bruce?

    Paul

  9. #9
    Paul,
    Pretty good - 5 or 6 foxes with it so far - had one last night and out again tonight.
    It's big brother with the 100mm lens is ready to go, I just need some time and less windy conditions to get it fitted and zeroed.
    Hope the leg is improving

    Cheers

    Bruce

  10. #10

    Themal Imaging Spotting Scope 3K Budget

    Tendon has re attached , I have been zooming bout last two weeks with a moonboot .... But taken off me today , back on own two feet & feeling vulnerable !
    Feels tight but hopefully ease off as I go.... Calf muscle atrophied & weak so need to build that up too .... Not bad for 8 weeks tho !

    I need to get up to have a play with your toy box again ....


    Folks don't believe me when I tell them what you have !!! & what you've done !

    Paul

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