TFB Review: Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 Thermal Clip-On
Optics

TFB Review: Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 Thermal Clip-On

After almost one year of ownership, here is my review of the Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 Thermal Clip-On. The Pulsar Krypton 2 models (there is a “budget” FXG35 model as well) were released last year at IWA in Germany. Since thermal riflescopes (digital sights with reticles) are forbidden in Germany, and some other countries, the only way to get thermal capability for your hunting rifle is to connect a thermal clip-on to your ordinary day scope.

Pulsar Thermal Reviews @ TFB:

Below: Browning BAR Match in .308 Win, with Schmidt & Bender 1-8x and the Krypton 2.

It’s been two and a half years since I reviewed the predecessor, and the new Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 is smaller, lighter and more powerful in every possible way. Once attached to your day optic, it transforms your day scope to a thermal riflescope, using the new Lynred 640×480 sensor with up to 2300m detection range. It’s cheaper too. Let’s see how it delivers!

Below: Comparing the Pulsars. Krypton 2 (middle, lacks battery) versus Pulsar Proton (top) and old Krypton FXG50 (bottom, lacks battery).

An Overview

The new design is slightly slimmer, more balanced and feels more modern. The battery has become more powerful, and the thermal sensor is more capable. The Krypton 2 now comes with a color screen, and the device is very versatile, as it can be used both as a handheld monocular and as a thermal attachment on your day scope. There are images of how this switch is done below.

THERMAL specification

The Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 uses a Lynred 640×480 @ 12 µm (NETD <40 mK) thermal sensor. 50Hz refresh rate and 50mm/1.0 germanium lens. The recommended magnification of the day sight is between 2 − 6 power. The display is AMOLED with 1920×1080 pixels.

Below: The Snigel backpack is hidden by Concamo’s cover.

The Krypton will add some weight in the forward direction, but it’s not too bad.

The brand new Schmidt & Bender 6-36x PMII with Pulsar’s Krypton 2. With 6 power minimum, the setup works but scopes with lower magnification are my recommendation.

Here are three images to show how easy it is to go from monocular view and usage of the Pulsar Krypton 2 FGX50. The monocular piece, with 3x power, works great. I never really used it with the old Krypton, but there are many reasons to. You would, for instance, save money by not buying a separate monocular and a thermal riflescope.

Just twist the bayonet mount and remove the monocular, and place the Krypton 2 on the adapter on your riflescope.

Now you have the thermal capability on your ordinary riflescope.

Ready to do some wild boar spotting? This is black hot, and the white “beard” comes from the cold water it just drank. Very close distance here, like 6-10 meters and one of the reasons why I didn’t have time to get the focus set correctly. This is probably the closest I’ve ever been to a wild boar.

Below: Everything here has a purpose. The Schmidt & Bender PM II Ultra Short 3-20×50 has two Aimpoint Micros. The top one is to help change targets at long distances, zero around 300 meters, and then you sink into the main optic with the chosen magnification. The side Aimpoint is zeroed at around 20 meters (or your choice), to be able to engage targets closer. The thermal clip-on is more of a show in this case, but just shows how versatile these optics are, for day and night. This rifle is used for DMR-style target shooting competitions, where a thermal is never needed (not yet anyway).

JP Rifles PCS-12 in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Rarely seen together. The Safran Vectronix PLRF25 BLE X3, high-end Laser Range Finder and the Pulsar Krypton FXG50 in monocular state.

This image was taken with the onboard image and video recorder. Wild boar at about 30 meters. The quality is enough to make out the sow, with pulled seats. This image quality is very important in Europe and perhaps other countries, where legislation would forbid shooting this pig.

Here’s the Concamo man with his Ghosthood, using the Pulsar Telos for spotting. The rifle is a JP Enterprises PCS-12 with an S&B 3-20×50 PM II Ultra Short with the Krypton 2 front attachment. The Telos offers a better image quality mainly thanks to its higher sensitivity, but the Krypton 2 isn’t too far off.

Krypton 2 goes bolt-action, on a Ruger Precision Rifle.

It’s quite convenient to have the lens cap on a hinge. Huge improvement over the previous Krypton.

There’s a Bluetooth remote control (unfortunately not pictured anywhere here), which works really well. You can double-tape attach it close to your trigger finger and adjust most if not all of the settings in a much easier way than on the Krypton itself.

Here’s a great combination. My old Swarovski Z6i Gen 1 with the 30 mm adapter to be able to fit the Krypton 2. Having 1-6x power (or thereabouts) is a great magnification range for use with a thermal clip-on. A hunting scope with 2-10, 3-12, etc would also work really well.

The rifle is a Ruger Precision Rifle in .308 Win, Anarchy Outdoors handguard with Arca.

Here’s a size comparison between the Krypton 2 and the InfiRay Mate, both with their sides shown.

The Krypton 2 is 131x78x84 mm and weighs only 0.33 kg (w/o battery) and 0.46 kg (with IPS7 battery).

The adapters will differ in size, depending on what you need to get.

Bolt-action versus semi-auto, which one do you prefer?

Image Quality

The Krypton 2 FXG50 offers good thermal imaging, but not as good as the best and most sensitive thermal monoculars and riflescopes. It’s easy to become a thermal snob (I’m guilty as charged), so the samples below are still quite a lot better than what most devices on the market could deliver just recently.

Below: A roe deer with two kids, distance is about 200+ meters. This was during the daytime, but it was still almost impossible to see them in the grass (with normal eyesight).

Visiting a wildlife park, you can get really close.

I didn’t have an ocular at the time of this photo, so it was difficult to get the focus correct.

Close distance, but the thermal performance is not bad at all.

You still get a good depth in the image provided. The Pulsar algorithms are good at delivering a good overall image, including the backstop.

With sunshine, the ground was getting to a high temperature.

Moose, but they are not on the loose.

Wild boar danger close.

Nice details in the fur, but there’s probably a little room for improvement as I think it’s slightly out of focus. The wild boar moves too fast to be able to get the best focus and image detail, but it’s not that it’s going to have a negative effect on your hunt or shot placement.

Price & Availability

The unit is Made in Lithuania (EU). The online price I find is around €2,990 (incl. 19% VAT) and $4,499.97 in the USA.

Conclusion – Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50 Thermal Clip-On

Personally, I prefer dedicated riflescopes over clip-ons but there may still be quite a few reasons to choose the “attachment route”. I’m still quite impressed with the new Krypton 2s, as they deliver quite a performance punch in a small package – plus the option to quickly attach or remove from your normal riflescope. If you think about it, it’s genius!

While the price point for thermals remains high, the Krypton 2 FXG50 is as far as I know the cheapest in its class – this is quite remarkable! If the price point is still too much, there’s a lower-specced FXG35 model that hangs on to the FXG50 surprisingly well (lower resolution, but more sensitive sensor). I’ve had them side-by-side, so we may review the FXG35 later.

As a bonus, I offer this comparison:

Horrible conditions for any thermal. Winter, and it’s snowing quite a lot at the shooting range. Due to some “warm lead”, there’s a bit of a heat source behind the paper targets.

iPhone. Person hiding in the bush to the right.

Below: A friend decides to “hide, so we cannot see him with the thermal“. How do you rate his success?

Below: This is him walking around the targets (all firearms pointing in a safe direction, no shooting going on).

Picture taken by Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG50.

Picture taken by Pulsar Krypton 2 FXG35. As mentioned, this is also a capable unit.

Below: I also had a Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XG50 Thermal riflescope present, so you can see the difference. It is NOT attached to a firearm, just hand-held.

Pros

  • Very durable, with able and stable firmware and user interface.
  • The screen is now in color.
  • Smaller, lighter and more powerful than its predeccessor.
  • Fast start-up time, within seconds.
  • Low latency in the image (important feature when hunting).
  • The ocular works great when you want to use it for scanning.
  • The Bluetooth remote control is perfect, and makes operation much easier & faster.

Cons

  • An even more sensitive sensor hadn’t hurt (lower NETD).
  • Sometimes it’s easy to miss the buttons. However, there’s a Bluetooth remote control which is excellent, and you can attach it close to your trigger finger for convenience.

Here’s a direct link to the Pulsar Krypton 2s: https://www.pulsar-nv.com/glo/products/33/thermal-imaging-attachments/krypton-2/



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Source link: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2024/02/15/tfb-review-pulsar-krypton-2-fxg50-thermal-clip-on/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss by Eric B at www.thefirearmblog.com