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Thermal pricing #8997578 01/31/24 03:06 PM
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Buzzsaw Offline OP
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I know you get what you pay for but what makes these thermal units so expensive?

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8997614 01/31/24 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzsaw
I know you get what you pay for but what makes these thermal units so expensive?


You do get what you pay for, but what you pay for may or may not match your expectations.

What makes thermals so expensive? You can start with the rare earth lens that alone accounts for approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the overall cost of the unit. Then there is all the R&D to go with it, coding the firmware, cost of the electronics, etc.

I had to laugh at your question about thermals being 'so expensive.' I see it as asking why giant screen TVs are so expensive. Both are exceptionally cheaper than they were just a few years ago and have a lot more capabilities. Nine or 10 years ago I bought a 320 resolution ATN weapon sight for over $7000. It had issues and I returned it, but it was the best priced 320 resolution optic I could find. The 640s were starting at 9 grand and going up to 20 grand at the time. Today, you can get a 384 resolution thermal sight that is better over all with a better image and better features from 1.8 to 2.6 grand. You can get a 640 for less than 4k and your choices explode if you go to 5k. The 640 image of today is significantly better than the 640 image of yesteryear due to reduced sensor pixel distance and improved sensor sensitivity along with improvements in firmware and image technology (image smoothing, etc.).

Warranties on thermals are better today than ever as well. You have companies offering 3 and 5 year warranties. There were no such things 10 years ago. As I recall, warranties were 1 year. ATN had a 3 year warranty, but getting them to honor it was another matter. Armasight came along with a true 3 year warranty and I think IR Defense or Trijicon started bumping them to 5. Along the way, Pulsar entered the game with long warranties and the most outstanding warranty service of the industry, often just replacing scopes. This has become something of the gold standard for the industry that wasn't present 10 years ago.

Compare thermals to the prices of new cars. New car prices haven't come down in price. In fact, they are at an all time high. Thermal prices are down down down by comparison.

You can now get 1040? and 1280 thermal scopes for the prices ther 640 units 10 years ago and you will get 4 times the resolution (1280). ATN has a much cheaper offer, but so far their high res stuff looks sketchy.

So given inflation and improved technology, the prices of thermal today are downright cheap compared to the past.



Last edited by Double Naught Spy; 01/31/24 04:04 PM.

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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8997744 01/31/24 07:59 PM
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Germanium lens is a major part, plus QC on that lens. Development cost of firmware is negligible at this time. Just some rehash and minor changes. The IR array isn't cheap and only a few companies making them so they control that cost. Tooling changes for new housings is not cheap and ROI comes from older models. Lots of cost in a product other than just manufacturing. I always figured 4x markup to retail, tax/overhead/material/sales(profit is usually <10%).

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8997814 01/31/24 10:42 PM
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Thank guys I didn't know about the special lenses. Very informative.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8997976 02/01/24 04:02 AM
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DNS saved me a lot of writing. Very well said.

As mentioned, what electronic item do you own that comes with a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty? That's worth a whole lot right there.


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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998114 02/01/24 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Buzzsaw
Thank guys I didn't know about the special lenses. Very informative.


Yeah the whole germanium lens thing is pretty cool. The lenses are actually opaque to visible light.
https://www.flir.com/discover/rd-science/what-are-ir-camera-lenses-made-of/


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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998128 02/01/24 04:37 PM
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Here's Arken's new offering, 5 yr warranty and a great price.

https://www.arkenopticsusa.com/optics/

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998173 02/01/24 06:05 PM
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https://www.edmundoptics.com/f/germanium-infrared-ir-aspheric-lenses/14180/
Interesting data for anybody interested. Scientific quality lenses are more $.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Jgraider] #8998247 02/01/24 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Here's Arken's new offering, 5 yr warranty and a great price.

https://www.arkenopticsusa.com/optics/


Those are exceptionally good thermal prices, but mostly because Arken doesn't sell any thermal scopes. Those have nothing to do with this thread, LOL.


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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8998278 02/01/24 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Jgraider
Here's Arken's new offering, 5 yr warranty and a great price.

https://www.arkenopticsusa.com/optics/


Those are exceptionally good thermal prices, but mostly because Arken doesn't sell any thermal scopes. Those have nothing to do with this thread, LOL.


Maybe he meant to post Athlon’s thermal :

Just guessing since both company names start with ‘A’ and aren’t the known ATN, AGM, Armasight, etc…

https://athlonoptics.com/product-ca...athlon-optics-cronus-ats-thermal-scopes/


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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998342 02/02/24 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Buzzsaw
I know you get what you pay for but what makes these thermal units so expensive?


Because they’re worth it. I have no idea what kind of money goes into building those things, but once you hunt with one, you understand why they get away with charging what they do.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Pig_Popper] #8998411 02/02/24 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Pig_Popper
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Jgraider
Here's Arken's new offering, 5 yr warranty and a great price.

https://www.arkenopticsusa.com/optics/


Those are exceptionally good thermal prices, but mostly because Arken doesn't sell any thermal scopes. Those have nothing to do with this thread, LOL.


Maybe he meant to post Athlon’s thermal :

Just guessing since both company names start with ‘A’ and aren’t the known ATN, AGM, Armasight, etc…

https://athlonoptics.com/product-ca...athlon-optics-cronus-ats-thermal-scopes/


Yes.....I'm an idiot. Thanks for the correction.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998415 02/02/24 02:58 AM
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I am looking heavily at the AGM Rattler. Magnification is not important to me. This seems like the best option I’ve found so far.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #8998424 02/02/24 03:12 AM
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Think of the germanium lens as a filter as well as a lens. It could be totally flat to simply filter all light except the in the 8–12-micron range that many thermals work in. Behind the flat "lens" would be a curved germanium lens. The flat germanium is much easier to manufacture than the actual curved germanium lens. Look at any military platform and you'll see the exterior germanium lens is flat. If you want to have optical zoom in a thermal, you need at least two curved germanium lenses plus the mechanical housing to switch them with precision. Be very careful if you clean the germanium lens. Military grade thermals have coatings for durability. The coating is not cheap to say the least and I have no idea if the thermals hunters use in the States have any coatings applied to them.


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Re: Thermal pricing [Re: Buzzsaw] #9009633 02/22/24 09:02 PM
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Base mag for the Rattler varies (lens #, 25,35,50 etc.) at base mag of the 35, reticle 'x' covers a small hog (<100#?) at 100 yds. You probably want 2x the base 2 mag (4x). You can download the manual on their site.

Re: Thermal pricing [Re: erathar] #9013359 03/01/24 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by erathar
I am looking heavily at the AGM Rattler. Magnification is not important to me. This seems like the best option I’ve found so far.



have 2 currently, selling one to upgrade. good scopes for the price, I have one ea. of the 256 and for short range hunting they work good.

going to get the 640x512 agm next.



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