InfiRay TL35 digital Thermal scope - full test & review
- Credit: Archant
We previously gave you a sneak peak of the new Tube TL35 digital thermal scope from InfiRay - here, Dave Barham tests it out properly and reviews its many benefits
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PREPARE TO BE AMAZED
When I wrote part one of this review last month I had only had a quick look through it during daylight across some fields at Optical Solutions HQ when I collected it. Now, having had a month of playing with it, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that this is by far the best quality piece of thermal optics I’ve ever peered through!
Okay, so my knowledge of thermal imaging units is fairly limited, but from the ones that I have used in the past, this TL35 is just simply miles apart in terms of quality and ease of use.
THE BEAUTY OF THERMAL
This scope is designed for hunting. Based on the principle of thermal imaging, without an external light source, ignoring strong light exposure, you can observe your quarry even when they’re hiding behind barriers such as tree branches, grass or bushes, no matter if it’s day or night, even in bad weather such as rain, snow or fog!
The first thing that struck me was the crisp, clear quality of the display, even at 6x zoom. Above that and you can begin to pick out minimal pixelation, but it’s nothing like previous thermal-imaging scopes I have used in the past and barely noticeable. Of course, you would expect it to be this good, wouldn’t you, with a price tag just shy of £2,800, but again the old adage of ‘You get what you pay for’ rings true.
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As I flicked through the various palette modes, which are all accessed by a single click with the left button, it became clear that they’re all as good as each other, but with obvious uses for all of them. You get a choice of White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot, Pseudo Colour and Target Highlighting pallettes, and as you can see from some of the pictures here they are excellent. I particularly like the Target Highlighting mode, which makes the eyes of the rabbits glow like evil zombies!
The main menu is accessed by pressing the button on the top turret once. Here you can access all the main functions, from choosing the reticle (of which there are six pre-programmed), colour of reticle (Black, White, Red or Green), and Image sharpness (five levels to choose from). It really doesn’t get much easier than that, and even I found it a doddle to use and understand.
Once in easy menu mode, if you depress the button on the main turret for three seconds you’re into the advanced menu. It’s here where you can find calibration tools amd the Wi-Fi mode, which allows you to hook up to an app that you can download onto your phone. It’s also how you get access to zero the scope – either manually or with the one-shot function.
THE REAL TEST
I had planned to take this scope out on a proper rabbit hunt, but yet again we found ourselves locked down and although I could have technically visited my usual perm, that was unfortunately locked down as well due to a case of Covid in the family. So, I was left with no alternative but to ‘hit the roundabout’. Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a big roundabout near my house at the main A16 to A17 junction which has a very healthy population of rabbits living on it! There are so many that some of the locals actually feed them with old cabbages etc. although no good for hunting, it’s the perfect place to test out NV and thermal scopes.
So there I was, standing on the footpath some 50 metres from the roundabout in the dark with the scope propped up against a lamppost, cycling through the various palette modes and taking pictures. Bear in mind that the images here are all ‘handheld’., because there was no way I was going to mount it on a rifle and point that at the oncoming traffic! You can see just how clear the images are, and I’m in absolutely no doubt that they will be even crisper when the scope is mounted on a rifle, propped on a bipod. I’m going to ask Cliff at Optical Solutions if I can borrow the scope again in the spring and do another short review with some zoomed-in close-ups of rabbits – I’m really looking forward to that.
Distributor: Optical Solutions
Magnification: 3-12x variable
Digital Zoom : 1-4x
Objective Lens Diameter: 35mm
Detector Resolution: 384 x 288
Frame Rate: 50Hz
Field of View: 7.5 x 5.6
Eye Relief: 70mm
Body Tube: 30mm
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
Built In Memory: 16Gb
Interface: USB Type C