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Thermal scanner magnification? #8460194 11/27/21 05:19 PM
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In other threads, I've seen 1x optical magnification recommended for general scanner use. I don't doubt the recommendation, but that seems very strange given I normally use 7x or 8x binos in day time. I've seen options available from 0.7x up to perhaps 3.5x. Are the low powered options really that usable?


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Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460218 11/27/21 06:08 PM
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I'm not an expert, and I defer to those with more experience and knowledge.

I have an old 1X monocular. It's certainly usable. Thermal does tend to make warm things (animals) really stand out, so you perhaps don't need high magnification just to identify an animal in your vicinity. I use mine to scan a large field, and if I see something that warrants further investigation I fire up my rifle scope and look through it.

I have been thinking lately about upgrading my monocular, and I'm undecided what magnification to get (assuming I actually get something new). It's an interesting discussion topic.


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Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460422 11/27/21 11:38 PM
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It’s not so much that 1x is better than 5-6x in thermal, it’s more about the clarity you get in thermal at the higher base magnifications.

You first have to find a manufacture that offers those high mags and next have to deal with the added cost and weight of the big germanium lens to do it with.

Again all things considered a 5-6x thermal image won’t be as crisp as traditional binos or what some thermal scopes can do at 3-4x magnification.

I think it’s probably to do with finer rendering of heat/cold at extended ranges ….


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Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460651 11/28/21 04:44 AM
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I have a Helion 2 XP50, I think it is 2.5 or 3.0x mag. It's perfect, IMO. I would hate to have a 1x scanner.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460675 11/28/21 06:20 AM
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My long range scanner is a Pulsar that is 4.1 optical and 16 digital. I also have a Flir Breach that is 1 optical and 4 digital for dense woods and game recovery. The high power optical scanners are pretty useless in dense woods.


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Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460814 11/28/21 03:57 PM
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yes, 1x, wide fov are much better suited to finding more animals & faster than magnified options.

They are best used head mounted. I cannot count the number of times I've gotten on targets using it and spent what felt like an eternity walking someone with a 2.5x hand scanner or their rifle optic onto them. My TX and midwest hunting buddies have easily lost several dozen hog and coyote shot opportunities because of it in the last year.

I caught this one on video last week.
The 2 other guys were rifle scanning in this case but it's not much if at all different with a 3x hand scanner.

This one is embarrassing to me with the click no bang & pigpopper level malfunction but it shows how much of a lead I had on them. The guy who took the shot is an accomplished night hunter.

I had detected that coyote on a full run coming up hill towards us across that cut field.
I had enough time from the time I detected and got positive ID on her as she ran through deer and a coon to manually NUC my rifle optic, open my rifle optic caps, start recording and flip my helmet mounted thermal up and get on target with the rifle optic. All of that as I talked the other hunters in on locating the dog. The shooter finally got on her after my click no boom. He acknowledged being on target right before I said "hold on" in the video.





IMO, people who employ 3x scanners tend to lean on it more for the ID portion than scanning for and fixing targets or hunting large open areas.

I'd take a 1x every time in most cases outside of huge open ag fields but I also have a 2.5x scanner too for more open areas than shown in the video.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8460825 11/28/21 04:10 PM
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IMO, people who employ 3x scanners are either hunting giant open areas or tend to lean on it more for the ID portion than scanning for and fixing targets.


Corrected the arrangement of the above opinion.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: Dzhitshard] #8461648 11/29/21 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhitshard
yes, 1x, wide fov are much better suited to finding more animals & faster than magnified options.

The 2 other guys were rifle scanning in this case but it's not much if at all different with a 3x hand scanner.

IMO, people who employ 3x scanners tend to lean on it more for the ID portion than scanning for and fixing targets or hunting large open areas.



I guess I'd disagree with all 3 of those statements.

Scanning with a scanner is nothing like holding a 10-15 lb rifle and trying to scan with it. It's way easier and faster. Think of the difference in scanning with binos vs scanning with your riflescope.

If a person can't find an animal at 2.5x in roughly the same amount of time as 1x I would say they are probably a novice, unless possibly under 30 yards I see no difference.

I will agree that if I am scanning I absolutely want to be able to identify what I am seeing, but most of the areas I hunt the max range is 150-200 yards so 2.5x is perfect for that. If I can't identify it, then it's kind of pointless, IMO. For me, the whole point of a scanner is either looking for animals at dusk or before dawn walking to my stand, or scanning and approaching before getting my rifle set up to shoot. Both of those situations require ID'ing animals.

I think 4-6x is too much for a scanner, IMO 2.5x is the sweet spot.

YMMV.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8461811 11/29/21 04:53 PM
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Is it really not very close to the same?
A tripod and ball head supported rifle is nearly physically effortless to scan with inside your sector and is almost just as effortlessly tipped onto 1 leg to swing further through the arc without moving your feet. About 135degrees of travel . That’s what the shooter was doing above & he’s killed a dump trailer full of coyotes so far this year alone. I don’t think him being slower to acquire the target is an experience issue as much as it was an equipment capability gap.

(On another note a tripod mounted rifle is even easier to use than a handheld for moderate to longer periods because you’re not holding your arms up with a weight in them & are basically leaning on the supported stock. )

Regarding that equipment capability gap I mentioned. The depth of field and the brain’s ability to process the full view is maxed at 1x if you’re device is set to an infinity focus.

At 2x and higher mag you have to physically focus for image optimization at different distance within that view. A 640 can minimize the amount you need to run the focus to get an acceptable image to PID a target but a 384 or lesser core will usually need that step unless you’re IDing animals by traits like movement characteristics etc

A good 640 at 1x with a 2x PiP is the optimal scanning tool over all the others I’ve used. If you have to click a button and roll to 2x it’s still offers more utility to me than a 2x+ scanner.

Frankly a couple times I’ve loaned out my primary kit and have used my handheld. Other users with a 320 1x scanners are usually quicker to get on and still positively ID targets within 100-150+yards. I was using my 2x Trijicon or 2.5x 384 Bering in those cases but the result was similar frustration wishing I had my 1x back.

User mileage may vary but I wanted to add a little context to my earlier statement.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8461921 11/29/21 06:21 PM
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Sounds like the difference is in how we each hunt. Most of the time when I'm night hunting I am on the move....either walking or driving around in my electric SxS. I can drive my SxS with one hand and hold my scanner in the other and drive. Trying to hold up a rifle every minute or two and scan while moving is hard, and it gets heavy pretty darn quickly. I don't normally stay stationary when thermal hunting, maybe that's our difference. I spot and stalk and move into position with my rifle and tripod.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8461995 11/29/21 07:50 PM
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That is Similar to how a lot of my pig hunting goes when I’m traveling ranch roads from site to site. Depending on who I’m with it’s often the primary hunting method. The major difference being that I left the handheld 2x or higher scanner and now use a 1x head mounted scanner and I’m seeing way more targets before whoever is running my handheld.

I have an enormous amount of miles traveled scanning with different thermals on the move. If you’re scanning on the move 1x is 100% the way to go 100% of the time for the exact reasons I mentioned above. 2nd most effective would probably be screen monitor for a pan tilt under 15mph.

The coyote stand scanning example was given because that was the circumstances of the video I provided in the link.

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: der Teufel] #8462136 11/29/21 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by der Teufel
I have an old 1X monocular. It's certainly usable. Thermal does tend to make warm things (animals) really stand out, so you perhaps don't need high magnification just to identify an animal in your vicinity. I use mine to scan a large field, and if I see something that warrants further investigation I fire up my rifle scope and look through it.


I agree with the above and do the same. I scan with an old 9hz ATN FLIR-based OTS in my hand, in the stand, on my helmet in the Pioneer driving or walking. Unless it's 125+ yds, I can usually ID it with the scanner and a fresh NUC. The helmet mount is the cat's azz.

It's pretty tough to find a lower priced monocular that fits on a helmet it seems lately.

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Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: syncerus] #8462727 11/30/21 03:35 PM
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walking? driving? from a blind?

I would say image quality trumps magnification..
with a decent scanner at low power you can clearly id that is a deer or a hog or calf at several hundred yards and you don't "need" the magnification so much.

bad image quality and using the digital magnification for positive ID usually sucks and makes it worse

Re: Thermal scanner magnification? [Re: DocHorton] #8463974 12/01/21 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DocHorton
Sounds like the difference is in how we each hunt.


This is a HUGE statement that cannot be stressed enough for everybody. You gotta find what works best for you.

I also spot and stalk and stalk and stalk. I like a lot of base magnification in my scanner and 640 resolution. As for the limited FOV, that is 100% true, but then I learned I could just turn my head. It was a lot easier to turn my head to scan a wider area than to use a low power thermal and lift up my rifle every time I wanted to ID something before starting a long stalk. Technically, it is also safer to not be scanning with one's rifle.


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