Scott Country

Well-Known Member
Some people are advocates of thermals for stalking...some less so...but we have been out using the new Guide IR517V Pro thermal spotter which has a 640x480 sensor, and 1280x920 display, providing twice the resolution of my previous device the Quantum XD50S and considerably better identification.

With a 640x480 sensor, wifi, video recording, GPS and interchangeable lenses 35mm, 65mm, 80mm, you have a 2200m max detection range, with a stunning resolution.

Its not cheap, but at £5300 its considerably cheaper than anything else on the market that comes close to the performance and features, take a Thermoteknix TiCam 600 at £15k which side by side to this wasn't mind blowingly better, (although mil spec build) and in fact was comparable at best in terms of image quality.

Blown away with the performance of this unit and I've used a lot of thermal kit.

Heres a little video of it in action on a lovely wee buck using the smaller 35mm lens.

More details here on the unit


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Problem being the supplied 35mm lens only offers 1.5x magnification, brilliant for closer range quality but doesn't help longer detection range, to get the most out of the unit you need to be going for the 80mm lens which offers 3.4x magnification but has to be bought separately at an additional £2900 to the main unit cost and adds a lot of weight to the front of the unit. Then the battery is built in and not interchangeable.
If the unit could be bought with the 80mm lens as standard fair enough, but as a total package your looking at £8300 with the lens. Not worth it for a spotter imo. The XQ is a better buy for the money, albeit lower resolution, spotting distance is more or less equivalent take a couple of hundred yards on the 50 model.
I have one the first IR517 to be delivered in the UK, it has the standard 35mm lens, I think that SC's post above is a little bit ambiguous, the bigger lenses are about 2.5k more each.

No doubt at short range this unit offers a stunning image and a very wide field of view but and it is a very big BUT with the standard lens the image at distance is worse than than my original Guide 518EC, yes the unit has up to x4 digital zoom but this greatly decreases the quality of the image. I could ID hares further away with my 518 than with the 517, I found this very disappointing for such an expensive bit of kit, as my main use is for foxing and we have lots of hares here and I know from experience that telling the difference between the two at range with thermal can be very tricky.

No doubt that the 35mm lens would work well in a lot of UK stalking situations when the increased field of view will be of more importance than ultimate range abilities.

I have several other issues with the unit as well, most of which will hopefully be resolved with firmware updates but the battery life is one that I am afraid will not go away, the unit has a built li-ion battery that is claimed to last a minimum of 5 hours, I haven't had mine long but at the moment I can't see it getting anywhere near the quoted figure which is a major PITA and the charge time is proving very long as well.

On a more positive note the case of the unit is a major upgrade over the previous model and it is much easier to hold in the hand for extended periods, the internal screen is lovely and the video/picture function works very well.

The importers TJ's have agreed to let me borrow both the 65mm and the 80mm lens to try and I am hoping they will greatly improve the units resolution at longer ranges but I am not sure I can stomach the increased cost.
Bet the picture still not as good as mealiejimmys homemade 100mm one

I haven't had the chance to look through the new Guide, but I definitely trust Anthony's judgement.
Over £8K for a unit with an 80mm lens is a lot of money.
My homemade 100mm lens thermal spotter with 640x480 17 micron core cost me around £5K, and I have detected roe deer with it at 3000 yards.


[FONT=&amp]I think this video shows exactly what I am talking about:[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]Both foxes (although I think they are actually the same one) are about 150 yards, the hares vary from 50-170ish. I think it is also worth mentioning that during the second part of the video the ambient temperature was 21C with very high humidity, not the best of nights for thermal gear.

[FONT=&quot]Good detail and field of view but too small at distance to be really useful, there is some other footage of my Guide 518 on my channel if you root around to compare it to[/FONT]