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Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

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Old 12-27-2006, 05:06 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 28
Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

Any one familiar with thermal imagery? It is not night vision, it doesnt see reflected light, but rather heat. Im looking for a thermal imaging spotting scope for scouting, and locating game. I realize they will run around ten thousand dollars for spotting scopes, and up to 75K for a rifle scope. Anyone knowing whereabouts a good deal on goggles or spotting scope, im interested.

Thanks, Craig Graham
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:57 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: texas panhandle
Posts: 20
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

Try www.opticsplanet.com
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:08 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

Thermal Imaging

Thermal works basically on the principle of differential temperature, you are pretty much seeing heat.

IF you are trying to see a critter with a skin/fur temperature of 95 degrees in an environment thats 95 degrees ambient you're not going to see much if anything.

From my own use and observation on a couple of these systems they work very well at night or on cold days when trying to spot critters or any heat source. They do not work real well in dense fog or on hot days with objects in direct sun light (radiantly heated). They do not work well viewing through glass (from inside a vehicle or house looking out).

They are expensive, a fairly good model will cost $14,000 with a high end model costing $35,000 or more.

Most models don't offer very high magnification and if they do you're going to suffer from some pixelation/jaggies (look these words up on the web if they're new to you).

Raytheon makes one model I used for a night shoot on deer, it was an early variant of the heavy AN/PAS-13. This is a nice unit, very clear but heavy at about 5.5 lbs.


Personally, I would not get one for trying to judge critters at long range but in the correct conditions they work great for spotting any heat source out to very considerable distances. A great use for one would be to scan a meadow or field for any live object providing it's a cold early morning just before sunrise... It'd also work great for deep woods scanning for critters.

As with most monocular equipment you'll have zero depth perception which will made range estimation difficult (at night).

They're a real neat toy so long as someone with deep pockets buys it and lets you play with it.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:36 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 92
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

Dave is right on about the thermal image cameras. My camera cost me about $65000.00. Flir is the brand I refer. I also use it for my business. Mine will go to within a tenth of a degree, you can buy a zoom lense for it which cost around $8000.00 I have use them for fun to show clients while we are working but for anything past 500 yards it is not very effective. Your camera will only pick one spot in a 5 square foot area. So a zoom lenses is important it you want to go further. If you like more info and phone numbers send me a email or call me. IP
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:15 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 28
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

I know Raytheon has a good rifle scope from what I hear, I believe they have a big military contract.
I dont really want this thing to shoot with, but rather to scout around on cold winter mornings and locate deer. I dont want to spend over 12k on goggles if I can.

Thanks in advance guys,

Craig Graham
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:45 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,380
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope


No darn wonder I'm having problems with my nickel/dime ideas [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

Post firing barrel temperature profile determination is the next hurtle in the flash tube project.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:31 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 179
Re: Thermal Imaging (Infared) Spotting Scope

You may want to check ebay. I have never seen an infared spotting scope but heat sensative cameras are not that uncommon and you may even find an old flair/fleer camer that is used by news depts on their helocopters. I dont really think that either will really help with animals usually being small and moving slow much less as great distance.
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