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#5612881 - 02/22/15 11:46 AM Thermal optics- what's in the numbers??
krm944 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Coastal Virginia
I may have missed it, but I searched a bit looking for some sort of "how to buy" thermal optics thread with no luck.

What do the numbers mean?

It's an optic, so glass counts right?

I see larger resolution units selling for more, but what about hz, and size of the lens?

School me please!!!
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Kyle
US Navy
Got Hogs? Always up for a road trip!

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#5612906 - 02/22/15 11:58 AM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
ccoker Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 3320
Are you looking for a handheld for spotting or a weapon mounted sight?
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#5612972 - 02/22/15 12:25 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
krm944 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Coastal Virginia
I think a hand held spotting unit will be best.

Scanning with a rifle mounted unit is limiting.
_________________________
Kyle
US Navy
Got Hogs? Always up for a road trip!

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#5615605 - 02/23/15 02:18 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Glass counts, but so do does electronics. The glass (Germanium, usually) is very pricey and so the more glass, the more money, many times more so than with regular scopes. You also want more pixels with less microns between them for better resolution.

However, since you are looking at a spotting scope (for locating game, I assume), then you could probably get away with a 1x 320x240 scope with a typical 19mm lens and 20-25 micron range. It will likely have a 2x digital (NOT optical) zoom that would give you 2x at 160x120 resolution.

Some of the new cores have the micron spacing down in the low teens which is better and they get better resolution with a smaller lens than you would need for a scope of the same resolution and greater spacing.

Scopes with 2x or 3x OPTICAL base power will give you a better picture than zooming digitally. Then when they digital zoom (usually again 2 times and sometimes up to 4 times) you go from 2x to 4x (digital) or 8x (digital), but again, you still lose some resolution, by half with each level. Of course, with the more OPTICAL power or more zoom, the harder it is to use at shorter distances because your FOV narrows so much. Some people like more power, however.

If you have the bucks, the best scopes out there right now (IIRC) are 640x480 resolution. Of course, they are more pricey as well.

So the questions for you then are what are you looking for and at what sorts of distances? Are you hoping for spotting, recognition, or identification? Spotting is seeing an object is there. Recognition is thinking you have it identified but identification is uncertain. Identification is a positive ID on what it is that you are seeing. With each level of specificity, you lose distance.

A lot of hog hunters do pretty well with 320x240 spotters such as the X320 or PS32. Depending on how the hog is standing, we can distinguish it from a deer out to a couple hundred yards (recognition) or more and can spot it from over 400 or 500. Identification may be in as much as 180 with a clean profile view or as little as 100. A lot has to do with environmental variables and user skill, but that gives you some ballpark numbers. A few do okay with 160x120 spotters and a few have some of the higher end 640x480 versions.

So what are you looking for?


Edited by Double Naught Spy (02/24/15 08:26 AM)
_________________________
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My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5615689 - 02/23/15 02:48 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
dfwroadkill Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
Good job DNS. I would add that pocket book usually plays a role in the selection. You can get by with a lower end spotter moreso than a lower end riflescope in my opinion. Thermal spotters are such game changers in finding and knowing the game is there. Using a riflescope for spotting is often consider unsafe for obvious reasons.

The X320 and PS32 can get the job done and on that level the Pulsar HD19 is a nice choice.

Thermal will spoil you.

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#5615802 - 02/23/15 03:39 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
MDMORROW Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 2556
Loc: McKinney & Pottsboro, TX
I've had several of the above mentioned ones. The Pulsar smokes the others. It's actually a 388x284 or something like that. The clarity is way better than the Eotech. I'm using the HD38 and can ID hogs with decent reliability out to 5 or 600 or so. The x320 has a better housing but the screen sucks big time.
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#5615942 - 02/23/15 04:37 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
ccreyeder Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 297
Loc: San Antonio, Tx
It's been summed up pretty well already, so dont have much to add, except to agree.. it WILL spoil you! lol..

I agree, budget (or in my case, what you can justify to yourself and more importantly your significant other lol) is key. I would suggest getting at least 30 Hz refresh rate, and as low a micron core you can. Also, as mentioned, a bigger objective on thermal isnt like going bigger obj on a "day scope" The bigger objectives dont let in more "light" they give you more FOV, (from my understanding) and are more $$

Most important thing, is practicing with them! I thought I would have automatic superman vision with them. Yeah, when the objects are with in the devices "identification" range, the image is amazing. However, at "detection ranges", it takes practice to know what you are looking at. I cant tell you how many times I have walked a LONG way in the dark just knowing I had spotted something to realize it was a boulder, or a rabbit, or worse yet.. this last sat.... creeped through the dark for an embarrassing long way before thinking to myself "hey those images are not moving and not geting any bigger.." Turns out I was stalking some oil field gas flares or something that were miles away lol.. I'm getting better though lol

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#5617227 - 02/24/15 08:46 AM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
The bigger objectives dont let in more "light" they give you more FOV, (from my understanding) and are more $$


This isn't right. The bigger objective does NOT give you a bigger field of view. It does let in more heat energy to be focused on the microbolometer sensor and ideally will give you a better/sharper picture.

For example, the Flir PS32 Scout II (1x) with a 19mm lens has a FOV of 17x13 degrees whereas an Armasight Zeus (3x) with a 75mm lens has a FOV of only 8x7 degrees. Moreover, a FLIR PS24 Scout II (1x) with the same 19mm lens has a FOV of 24x18 degrees. Lens diameter does not determine FOV.
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5617516 - 02/24/15 11:16 AM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
ccoker Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 3320
I tried the PS32 last year and have a Pulsar HD19s out now for review and should be getting a FLIR thermal scope.
Hope to have them both out in the field in a few weeks going after some pigs.

The big field behind my house that used to always have deer in it that was conveniant for testing out to a few hundred yards is being bulldozed.
Hurray for progress.
_________________________
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www.TexasOutDoorsnetwork.com
www.CokerTactical.Com

Disclosure statement
Pro Staff - Silencer Shop
Dealer - Armasight and Steiner Optics
Affiliated with Trijicon, Wilson Combat and Crux Suppressors


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#5617587 - 02/24/15 11:48 AM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: Double Naught Spy]
ccreyeder Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 297
Loc: San Antonio, Tx
Originally Posted By: Double Naught Spy
Quote:
The bigger objectives dont let in more "light" they give you more FOV, (from my understanding) and are more $$


This isn't right. The bigger objective does NOT give you a bigger field of view. It does let in more heat energy to be focused on the microbolometer sensor and ideally will give you a better/sharper picture.

For example, the Flir PS32 Scout II (1x) with a 19mm lens has a FOV of 17x13 degrees whereas an Armasight Zeus (3x) with a 75mm lens has a FOV of only 8x7 degrees. Moreover, a FLIR PS24 Scout II (1x) with the same 19mm lens has a FOV of 24x18 degrees. Lens diameter does not determine FOV.


Ahh good to know, thanks

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#5618105 - 02/24/15 04:12 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
The Pulsar smokes the others. It's actually a 388x284 or something like that.


I played with one of these for a month or so and I own an original PS32. Here is a vid I put together from the Pulsar. It was done from clips over a period of a month with very different sets of conditions. You can tell the higher humidity nights (less clear) from the low humidity nights...



While the HD38s has a better image (it is 2x, optical, which is really nice), it is a bulkier scope. So that is something to consider about your needs. How big is the scope and how big of a scope are you willing to carry and how? Maybe it won't matter or maybe it does. For me, it does.
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5618345 - 02/24/15 05:42 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
krm944 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Coastal Virginia
So Uncle Sam sent me to Germany and I couldn't sleep on the plane. I thought long and hard about Thermal and how I was going to pay for it (budget)!!!

I have about $2400 from my taxes. I noticed the Pulsar XD38 was $2669 and the XD50 was about $200 more.

First I would like to use it as a scanning tool. I've looked at costs, and capabilities and I'd rather attach a handle to a weapon sight for scanning than to NEVER be able to weapon mount the monocular if the need arises.

That said It would sit on top of a suppressed short barrel rifle in 7.62x39. I built an AR with a 10.5 inch barrel and I'm waiting for the stamp.

I would like to be able to scan/detect field at say 300 yards and see critter approx 24 in tall (pig/coyote/fawn) and then stalk or ID with night vision before the shot. Detection as far as possible really. I will be stalking to within a 100 yards for a shot with digital night vision/illuminator. (PhotonXT)

The rifle is not a 1/4 MOA gun that I'm hoping to make mile long shots with. Detection and stalking are more probable.

A 640 unit is just NOT in my budget.

My experience with thermal has me ruined for life. Uncle let me borrow a FLIR RECON 3 for a bit. If you have never looked through an inner cooled unit with a doubler.........WOW. Just wow! We spotted pigs at almost a mile away!
_________________________
Kyle
US Navy
Got Hogs? Always up for a road trip!

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#5618363 - 02/24/15 05:48 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: Double Naught Spy]
krm944 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Coastal Virginia
Originally Posted By: Double Naught Spy
Quote:
The Pulsar smokes the others. It's actually a 388x284 or something like that.


I played with one of these for a month or so and I own an original PS32. Here is a vid I put together from the Pulsar. It was done from clips over a period of a month with very different sets of conditions. You can tell the higher humidity nights (less clear) from the low humidity nights...



While the HD38s has a better image (it is 2x, optical, which is really nice), it is a bulkier scope. So that is something to consider about your needs. How big is the scope and how big of a scope are you willing to carry and how? Maybe it won't matter or maybe it does. For me, it does.


Awesome vid. When the pulsar came on my radar, I searched youtube and watched your video.
_________________________
Kyle
US Navy
Got Hogs? Always up for a road trip!

Top
#5618371 - 02/24/15 05:51 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: Double Naught Spy]
krm944 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Coastal Virginia
Originally Posted By: Double Naught Spy
Glass counts, but so do does electronics. The glass (Germanium, usually) is very pricey and so the more glass, the more money, many times more so than with regular scopes. You also want more pixels with less microns between them for better resolution.

However, since you are looking at a spotting scope (for locating game, I assume), then you could probably get away with a 1x 320x240 scope with a typical 19mm lens and 20-25 micron range. It will likely have a 2x digital (NOT optical) zoom that would give you 2x at 160x120 resolution.

Some of the new cores have the micron spacing down in the low teens which is better and they get better resolution with a smaller lens than you would need for a scope of the same resolution and greater spacing.

Scopes with 2x or 3x OPTICAL base power will give you a better picture than zooming digitally. Then when they digital zoom (usually again 2 times and sometimes up to 4 times) you go from 2x to 4x (digital) or 8x (digital), but again, you still lose some resolution, by half with each level. Of course, with the more OPTICAL power or more zoom, the harder it is to use at shorter distances because your FOV narrows so much. Some people like more power, however.

If you have the bucks, the best scopes out there right now (IIRC) are 640x480 resolution. Of course, they are more pricey as well.

So the questions for you then are what are you looking for and at what sorts of distances? Are you hoping for spotting, recognition, or identification? Spotting is seeing an object is there. Recognition is thinking you have it identified but identification is uncertain. Identification is a positive ID on what it is that you are seeing. With each level of specificity, you lose distance.

A lot of hog hunters do pretty well with 320x240 spotters such as the X320 or PS32. Depending on how the hog is standing, we can distinguish it from a deer out to a couple hundred yards (recognition) or more and can spot it from over 400 or 500. Identification may be in as much as 180 with a clean profile view or as little as 100. A lot has to do with environmental variables and user skill, but that gives you some ballpark numbers. A few do okay with 160x120 spotters and a few have some of the higher end 640x480 versions.

So what are you looking for?


Awesome education!
At Christmas I was treated to a Seek Thermal unit for my iPhone. While it's a far cry away in price, I thought I read it was a 160x??? sensor. Would its shortcomings be glass, and electronics (amongst many other things- but it's $199!)
_________________________
Kyle
US Navy
Got Hogs? Always up for a road trip!

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#5619020 - 02/24/15 10:02 PM Re: Thermal optics- what's in the numbers?? [Re: krm944]
faregame Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 12
Loc: New Zealand
Have a read of this site

http://www.nvoptics.com/news%20and%20newsletters/dare-to-compare.html

They have a nice set of explanations for a range of important features on Thermal Units (and NV)

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