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Thermal resolution vs micron? #7418081 01/29/19 05:47 PM
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I'm in the market for thermal (finally). Been doing a ton of research. Lots of reading/youtube videos. I think I've read several posts on here about thermals at least 5 times.

I know the holy grail for what is available on the market now is 620 resolution with 12 micron. Unfortunately, this is out of my budget.

I see some videos with 320 resolution and 12 micron that appear to be quite clear. More so than some videos with 640 resolution and 17 micron. I assume part of this is related to the video format and compression when viewing on the web (probably much clearer looking through the scope). I also think another part is related to what the native magnification is.

My plan would be to use the thermal for taking shots at around 200 yards under hog feeders. Maybe some shots less than 200 yards when coyote hunting, but most shots will be between 150 and 225 yards. I'd also use it to scan several fields I can see from a hill with ranges out to 700 yards.

I was focusing in on the Pulsar XP50 and then got interested in the FLIR PTS736. Even though the PTS736 has a lower resolution, it seemed (based on what I read and saw online) that it is quite capable at longer distances. I assumed the 12 micron spec helps. I also seem to recall the using the zoom feature quickly degrades the image on thermals with a lower native zoom.

Based on my situation - what would yall think would be my best option?

Trying to stay between the $4k and $5k range. No problem buying used. I admit that I've been tempted several times to look into ATN... but read so many negative comments that it'd make me nervous getting on. The specs for the price look pretty awesome though and my ATN X-Sight HD has worked nicely.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418335 01/29/19 09:39 PM
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You’ve got analysis paralysis

I suggest you contact a dealer and ask them if one of their ProStaff members will meet with you (you may have to drive a ways) to demo the scopes you’re interested in.

Your eyes will tell you what is best for your money.

Also you can rent the scopes from some companies and hunt with them to get a feel.

In my opinion a 384 res 17 micron scope will save you 2k and you’ll be effective for your stated purpose...


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418388 01/29/19 10:19 PM
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You’ve got analysis paralysis


Hah! Laughed out loud at that. I certainly do.

To be honest, I'd love to purchase from a local dealer. I'll probably end up buying used so I can get the best bang for my buck. Wouldn't want to waste a dealer's time.

I looked into renting, but to test two scopes... I'd be looking at nearly $500. Oof.

I agree that a 320/384 res thermal would do the trick. Really wanting to get the best clarity for my intended distances. Willing to spend a bit more to if it means I can better identify varmints past 200 yards.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418415 01/29/19 10:51 PM
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You missed a couple of the 17 micron Apex scopes on the classifieds here for a nice price.

I’d suspect you’ll be able to buy 1 of those for right at 2k when the dealer stock of Pulsars new Thermion arrives (July ish).

People will be wanting to upgrade and the APeX is being discontinued so dealers will want to liquidate


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418580 01/30/19 01:36 AM
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I'd recommend you really consider those shot distances and wanting a 736. There's one for sale on the classifieds right now, if that's what you really want. I've got a 70 monocular and it's use is limited for what I do.

Spending $500 on renting to be sure is better than $4k and being unhappy.


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418720 01/30/19 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by JonPace
My plan would be to use the thermal for taking shots at around 200 yards under hog feeders. Maybe some shots less than 200 yards when coyote hunting, but most shots will be between 150 and 225 yards. I'd also use it to scan several fields I can see from a hill with ranges out to 700 yards.


I'm going to assume from your comments you're not hunting on a place right now? 200 yards for a hog feeder is a LONG ways away. Also a bit unusual to be expecting to shoot your hogs further away than your coyotes, hogs are twitchy, 'yotes are worse.

My hog feeder is 60 yards from my stand and if you consider it's usually dark when you're hog hunting, (and being downwind) I've walked up within 20 yards to shoot.

My farthest shot ever was one on the run @ 175 yards, most are less than 100. At 700 yards you're not looking to ID something, all you really want to know is that either there is something there to go look at or it's headed your way.


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418757 01/30/19 04:45 AM
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You're definitely thinking this out well and I think that's wise. Admittedly I'm a dealer but I have no problem with people buying used because I have customers all the time selling their scopes to buy new ones for me. It's a required cycle and I don't resent it. One of the biggest things you miss out on by buying used, is getting a good honest opinion and personalized suggestions from a (good) dealer who has used every one of these scopes in the field and can tell you what each one can and can't do. There are a lot of knowledgeable thermal hunters out there, especially on this forum, but what many people are lacking is the experience of hunting with every one of these scopes. And until you've test driven one in the field at night, it's really hard to know what it will do for sure. Everyone has an opinion and some of those opinions are very informed and very accurate. Sadly many are lacking in the informed and accuracy categories and usually those are the guys that talk the loudest.lol I don't spend much time on FB but I'll randomly read a few of these types of questions and answers on some of the thermal groups and I'm here to tell you, there is no more misinformation, ignorance and downright lies at a Hillary campaign stop than there is on some of those groups. laugh Pig_popper and Charlie are two of the guys that I put into the very informed and very accurate category and I mean that.

Again, nothing wrong with buying used and I want to say thank you on behalf of all the self-employed dealers like myself for not calling us, lying about your intentions, getting 1+ hour of free info and then buying it used like you intended to do the whole time. I'm serious about that, I appreciate it. And for that, I'm going to give you my recommendations and advice knowing full well you're going to buy used. So I've got no dog in this hunt with my advice!

Besides your budget, the next most important decision is deciding what base magnification you need. That's crucial. For 150-225 yards I would highly suggest a scope in the 2x to 3x magnification range. The XP50 is my choice for my main thermal rifle scope and I love it. I think it's a much better all around package than my Trijicion REAP-IR. But at the same time, most of my shots are 30-75 yards and a 100-125 yard shot for me is reaching out there. I can take a 200 yard shot if I need to but if I was going to be shooting 150+ regularly, I'd definitely want more than 1.6x base magnification. If you use the digital zoom and bump it up to 3.2x your effective resolution is now 320x240 and if you're shooting on that resolution all the time you might as well have saved your money and bought a lower resolution, higher magnification scope and saved a lot of money.

Changing gears, you mentioned the PTS736. I'm going to go on the record and say that under no circumstances should you (for your hunting conditions) buy a 736. Seriously, that could possibly be the worst scope on the market for your conditions. The FOV at 100 yards is 16ft. Yes, 16ft!!! That's insanely narrow. That's just fine if you're shooting 300-400 yards but not if you're shooting 100-200. I wouldn't even buy the PTS536 for 100-200 yard shots. It has a 24ft FOV at 100 yards and that's not a ton better.

So I've told you what I wouldn't choose, so what would I suggest? I think the Pulsar Apex or Trail XQ50 is right in your wheelhouse. It's 2.8x and has a 42ft FOV at 110 yards. That's a great happy medium. If a hog runs out at 40 yards, you can nail him. If a coyote hangs up at 200, you can shoot him. You're also getting the Pulsar picture in picture function, which is really nice for taking those shots where you wish you had more magnification but you don't really want to zoom up your whole screen. I think the XQ38 would also work for you as a secondary option but the XQ50 is the #1 logical choice. It is a great happy medium.

The last warning I'd give about buying used is this....get a really good deal. No different than if you buy a used cell phone or flat screen TV. You get no manufacturer's warranty so get a good enough deal that if dies on your next week you can say "I hate it but it was a good enough deal, it was worth it." Unlike buying a used computer or a used truck where you can always find someone to work on it for a price; you might not be able to pay to get the scope repaired, even if you wanted to. And that's fine....just get a good deal on it and you're covered!

I hope this info helps and best of luck!

- Jason


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418779 01/30/19 06:22 AM
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I'm going to assume from your comments you're not hunting on a place right now?


I bought a piece of property last year - 170 acres over in Coleman County. Real interesting terrain with a hill in the central west area that overlooks the property. I recently plopped a 5x8 blind on it. I can see 1000 yards to the northeast over trees and into a field. Would be nice to see what's going on in that field, but not entirely necessary.

The field I'll be focusing on has a max range of 600 yards until the the food plot hits the trees. I will mainly be hunting over a feeder that I didn't put hog wire around. It's a bit far but is positioned along a tree line central to the food plot. Closest I could get it was 200 yards to be in the optimal position for deer as well. I have another feeder that is 200 yards from my travel trailer. My plan for that one is to pop the door open and take a shot when the hogs show up (always dreamed of doing that).

I have a habit of putting feeders near the tree lines on fields and 200 yards was the closest I could get it it to the travel trailer. You do bring up a good point though. I could easily walk/stalk closer. I don't have any plans currently to move the feeders, but I do like to try different strategies and could see myself regretting getting a thermal that doesn't do well with closer range. I've watched quite a few more videos about the PTS736. Based on what you and Jason said - it looks like I'd be SOL for any closer range activity.

Quote
I want to say thank you on behalf of all the self-employed dealers like myself for not calling us, lying about your intentions, getting 1+ hour of free info and then buying it used like you intended to do the whole time


Of course. I have been in sales for many years and I know how frustrating that can be wink

I appreciate the info Jason. You and Charlie have changed my mind. Looks like the optimal base magnification for me would be between 2x and 3x. Anyone know of a thermals in the 2x - 3x base magnification range with 640 rez? Under 5k? Looks like Pulsars XP50/38 are below 2x.

Quote
The last warning I'd give about buying used is this.


The issue with warranty has been in the back of my mind. I am certainly taking a chance with buying used. The thought has crossed my mind of waiting a few months to build some more cash and buy new.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418786 01/30/19 07:06 AM
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Of course. I have been in sales for many years and I know how frustrating that can be wink

I appreciate the info Jason. You and Charlie have changed my mind. Looks like the optimal base magnification for me would be between 2x and 3x. Anyone know of a thermals in the 2x - 3x base magnification range with 640 rez? Under 5k? Looks like Pulsars XP50/38 are below 2x.


Ha! Then you get it! I don't mind helping people, I just like to know the truth up front, then I can decide how much free help I'm willing to offer.lol

Let's go down the list of who might have a 640 in that price range and magnification range......

ATN - Who cares, don't do it.
Trijicion - no
N-Vision - no
FLIR - no
Armasight (now FLIR) - yes, the Zeus 640 2x-16x 30hz is $4,400. But I would not recommend this scope for several reasons. It's a lot to get into but.....if you are buying it used and can get a real deal on it, then it's worth considering.
Pulsar - no but the Thermion XP50 will be a 2x for $5,000 but that's obviously at the very top of what you'd want to spend.

I think for this project, I'd stick with a Pulsar unit in the XQ line and you could take the extra funds you save and put them towards a thermal monocular because that will be next on your list after getting the scope. cool

I'll let the other guys chime in now, just throwing my 2 cents in before bed!

- Jason


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7418966 01/30/19 02:51 PM
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Congrats on buying your property, smart man!

I'd definitely recommend putting a pen around your Deer Feeder to maximize your deer hunting if that's important to you and put your hog feeder 50-75 yards the opposite direction. Your stand is big enough to sleep in (mine is 8x6 with a bed), so do that and put a driveway alarm on it and your in business to be a 24hr hog slayer. Good move dropping the 736 idea. I'll also say this... within 2-3 hunts of getting your Thermal scope and scanning with your rifle, you'll be trying to figure out how to buy a Thermal monocular.

I too am in Sales and worked with a Technical Sales guy with your name. If you're the same guy, I just sent you a LinkedIn thingy...


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7419023 01/30/19 03:35 PM
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Thanks Charlie!

I have considered putting a pen around it. The original intent was for it to be the "hog feeder" - but deer seem to love the location and hogs rarely show up until the middle of the night. I do have two feeders with hog panels that are dedicated to deer. This hog feeder is more centrally located which I think is why deer seem to love it.

I am seeing lots of hogs on game cams, but they are more nocturnal than I've experienced with hogs on past hunting leases. Out of the 30 or so times in the blind during deer season - I only saw hogs 3 times during daylight hours. The hogs pretty consistently show up between 10pm and 2am.

There are two groups of hogs that I've seen on game cams that have had babies that are starting to get pretty big... needing to thin those groups before they get out of control. Only 4 hogs have been taken since last June - not quite enough to keep up with their reproductive habits. Plus, just got approved for wildlife exemption and part of the plan is to reduce the hog/coyote numbers. That's helping me justify the thermal purchase with my wife, heh.

I didn't see the LinkedIn invite Charlie. I'll send you a PM with my LinkedIn profile.

Jason/Charlie/Pig_Popper - you guys are right. It looks like the 384 rez 17 micron would be the best fit. It'd give me some flexibility to purchase a monocular too. Hopefully I won't get "analysis paralysis" when looking for that smile

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7419163 01/30/19 05:12 PM
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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7420847 01/31/19 11:00 PM
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You are definitely analyzing everything with this purchase!

From a working man's point of view, I set aside 5k to buy what I thought was what I needed (I was heading after a trail XP38), but my wedding budget was so upside down, that I thought I should cut my thermal budget in half to make her happy....

Anyhow, I got online and found a XD50 with a external DVR for 2500. Bought it, installed it. and have shot the hell out of pigs with it. Got a QD mount, use it as a monocular 80% of the time. Just bought a aux battery pack, and I'm happy. I compared it to my buddies XP50 the other night. Looked into his after looking into mine.... we both said WOW. Then I adjust the focus. HAHA I did not see a 3k dollar difference between the two when properly focused. I love my XD50, but some xp38 and xp50's can be had now for under 4k lightly used. If I was to upgrade, that's probably the route I'd take. BUT I'm still happy.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7421647 02/01/19 04:52 PM
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Thanks again guys for the feedback. I ended up ordering a Thermion XP50. Got suckered in with the 10% Super Bowl discount on Optics Planet.

Who knows when it will arrive. On the customer service chat, they said their shipping is estimated at 10 - 19 days based on what they were told by Pulsar. I've read several places that it's not coming out until this summer. Not expecting it for a few months, but would be happy if it arrived in February.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7422072 02/01/19 11:27 PM
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Pulsars rep said in a pre-Shot video , July.

I wouldn’t doubt if Optics Planets rep is hearing what he wants to hear to generate interest and sales.

I hope it’s February too , they didn’t charge your card till it ships right ?


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7422114 02/02/19 12:16 AM
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Darn. That's a long time to wait and to second guess the purchase... hah!

I do see a charge pending, but I bet it's a pre-authorization charge. The confirmation email indicated they won't charge until it ships.

Just looked at the Optics Planet again and noticed the time-frame is now 14 - 25 days. Probably trying to get orders in the door. Wouldn't be surprised if they string me along until July.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7423267 02/03/19 09:55 AM
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That's a big change from buying used to buying something that won't be out for 5 months. I couldn't wait that long. Bought my Trail XP50 and already have 2 pigs down.


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7423277 02/03/19 11:54 AM
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cant tell the difference in xq and xp but I like the lrf

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: Toxarch] #7423481 02/03/19 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Toxarch
That's a big change from buying used to buying something that won't be out for 5 months. I couldn't wait that long. Bought my Trail XP50 and already have 2 pigs down.


Indeed. Have thought a couple times of cancelling the order. Optics Planet says today it will ship in 12 - 23 days and Amazon says March 4th through March 28th. Hoping it's less than 5 months based on those two time frames.

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7423805 02/04/19 12:39 AM
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Minute mark 2:45


Last edited by Pig_Popper; 02/04/19 12:44 AM.

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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7423886 02/04/19 02:00 AM
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I once waited 4 months for hand guard that had a 7-10 day shipping estimate at optics planet never again couldn’t cancel online had to call took 2 hours


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7424256 02/04/19 02:55 PM
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Never buy from Optics Planet, bait and switch all the time

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: Brother in-law] #7425011 02/05/19 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Brother in-law
Never buy from Optics Planet, bait and switch all the time


Pulsar repeatedly told us at SHOT Show in Vegas 2 weeks ago that the Thermions are scheduled to ship in July/August. It's no secret at all. If they ship before that it will be a surprise to everyone, including Pulsar. I was talking with the VP of Sales at Pulsar today and everything was still lining up with the July/August timeline.

This is the way OP operates their business, they knowingly and yes it is 100% knowingly, lie about ship dates and break the minimum pricing agreements we all sign, in order to get sales. This is standard operating procedure for them.


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Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7427074 02/07/19 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy
they knowingly and yes it is 100% knowingly, lie about ship dates


Coincidentally, they called me yesterday before I was stepping into a meeting. Tried to push me to change my order to a Trail XP50 and then offered the Trail XP38 LRF. The person on the phone said the Thermion wouldn't ship for another 20 days. Highly doubt that's the case. Odd that they'd try to get me to switch if it was supposed to be shipping in 20 days.

I picked up an Armasight Zeus 3-24x75 from MDMORROW last night. Started to doubt my purchase of the Thermion XP50 due to lower native magnification. I have a couple days free this weekend and got real eager to pick up a thermal, heh. I tested it last night - wow. Looking forward to putting it to use this weekend.

Still keeping my Thermion XP order active on Optics Planet in case I change my mind about Armasight. Maybe by the time it arrives... I'll find some funds keep it roflmao

Re: Thermal resolution vs micron? [Re: JDP Ranch] #7434340 02/14/19 11:55 PM
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Just bought an XP50lrf from Outdoor Legacy, it is my 2nd thermal scope. Couldn’t be happier, and Jason was a big help in selection. Got some “different” business to take care of with the scope this weekend, but it’ll be going on a rifle ASAP.

The video really doesn’t do justice to actually looking through it but should give an idea of the capability. Pardon the shakes: https://youtu.be/UGroSb8EPAs

I’ll 2nd any suggestion about a monocular. Smaller and lighter the better IMO, all I really need to know is something is out there then put a scope on it.

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