First time buyer of thermal and took a real chance on buying
what is a largely unknown or reviewed scope. It has impressive specs though,
the NETD is <30mK , 50hz and 12um putting it ahead of most, if not all of it
competitors. A big price, but a bargain for the specs.
Received it within three days of ordering. Mounted it
first on a .222 on weaver bases, then promptly moved to a dovetail .22lr rifle.
Figured to learn, ammo was way cheaper. Surprisingly light, but still feels
well built and solid! The base accommodated clamping to the weaver and the
dovetail nicely and seems very solid, little high but functional.
Initial impression was wow, what clarity and range,
truly amazing(but only my second thermal experience).
Then the trouble started. There was no owners manual
packaged with it. Contacted Brandon and they sent me an electronic version(very
poorly written). Had trouble working the zeroing function, fyi you need to
press the video button to access the reticle movements once in zeroing mode.
Solved that. Got it to zero, but it would not hold zero. Would go back to the
default position after turning off. Contacted Brandon Optic, they got me in
touch with manufacturer. They promptly sent me an updated software
flash(1-01-31). Was what the scope needed, added three more picture adjustment
features and zero held after shut down.
Now down to actually using the scope.
Lense cover seems solid, its spring loaded and you can
rotate to any position. Buttons are tactile and with a little practice become
intuitive. Battery locks in easy and removes easy, but struggles to get 3 hours
out of a charge. Charge ports on scope are easy to access, but my micro usb
seems distorted and cant connect, factory offered a spare battery to compensate
for this.Never did get the internal memory to work, but once a card was added,
off to the races. Screw cover to access memory and ports work well, just don't
Laser rangefinder is a huge cost bonus, has a built in
laser site on top(has a mount on top for a third sight for hog hunting close
range if needed).Seems to work well up to 500yards, after that it had trouble
reading consistently. It is an integral unit, adds bulk to unit, and in some
instances would be nice to remove, but not a deal breaker. Reads range in lense
and does record range on video.
Screen is very clear resolution amazing, truly one has
to see to believe. The 1x(which is 4x base magnification) starts to justify the
price, 2x you feel better and 4x you forgot what you paid. I compared too
videos of other more expensive scopes to what I could define in this one , and
had a tough time finding a better resolution on scopes that cost three times as
Easy coyote identification at 300 yards. At 420, not
sure if I had a coyote or fox , but that will come with practice. Easily spot
deer out at 1200, cows at 2000 . Crisp lines around stationary objects, mice
were easy to spot at 70 yards! Focus worked very well, smooth and a very large
degree range. Found using a tree at range the best way to define the focus, as
you could sharpen up the branches. I wear glasses, so eye relief was a little
too long to see the entire screen, found myself leaning into the rubber
eyepiece to see my battery level. Without, you would be fine.
Color palettes each have their own purpose. I found
for zeroing, the white outline on a piece of muffler tape worked best. False
color and white hot scan best, black hot defined animal the best. Red hot never
really came into play.
Eight reticle choices were good, to each their own.
Loved you could program 8 zeros for different ranges and guns, wished you could
name the profile instead of numbering but just used the yards to denote that.
Color on crosshairs had options of black grey or white, depending on your
choice, nice option.
Video recording worked very well, takes time to learn
the buttons but you get used to it. I never tried the wifi broadcast feature ,
but useful if you want to have someone else watch on a phone etc. You could
click a still photo with one click or press and hold to record video.
Microphone is too close to the buttons and clicks loudly when recording. Sound
quality leaves something to be desired,not very sensitive and muffled, but it
is a scope not a video camera.
Picture in Picture works well, but I like the single
screen to keep the field of view open just in case.
Zeroing was a steep learning curve. You enter zero
mode, take a shot on target, hold on target and photograph your zero of the
target, press the record button to enter the mode to move crosshairs. Select
your axis and move the crosshairs to actual point of impact, input yards for
reference, This theoretically takes one shot. I used a three shot group,
adjusted then three shots again. Usually took 9 shots to get zeroed(had lots of
practice until I got the reflash). Only problem was in zero mode you cannot
zoom, so a little tricky getting the crosshairs over the actual grouping. Got
easier with practice.
The owners manual, the software flash problem and usb
port are all avoidable problems but really frustrating to a first timer. Happy
with the service I have received so far though. I am really impressed with the
scopes resolution and range and would recommend to anyone looking for good
value for the dollars.I have attached some pics to review for yourself...