Axion 2 is the range of our most compact thermal imagers consisting of four models: Axion 2 XQ35, Axion 2 XG35, Axion 2 LRF XQ35, and Axion 2 LRF XG35. Having been around for quite some time, the thermal imager has already been tried and tested by hunters all over the world. So, today, we share their opinion in this detailed review of the Pulsar Axion 2 thermal imaging monoculars.
As the name suggests, Axion 2 is the upgraded version of the original Axion. But we can assure you that it wasn’t just some little tweak we did and called the device Axion 2 – and our ambassadors can vouch for this.
Nathan Stuart, our brand ambassador from Australia who had started his thermal journey with one of the original Axions, notes that improved ergonomics was one of the first things he noticed upon unboxing the thermal imager. “It sits in your hand very comfortably, and the ergonomics are excellent, while the buttons are very intuitive,” says he of the first impression.
Meanwhile, Riccardo Tamburini, a hunter from Italy, adds that “the upgrade wasn’t just a restyling”, and, of course, he is right.
Nathan Stuart, a hunter from Australia
What makes Axion 2 models “even better, more precise and powerful” (Riccardo’s words, not ours) exactly? It’s the image quality, first and foremost. With a 384×288 pix. @ 17 µm (in XQ’s case) or 640×480 pix. @ 12 µm (XG) thermal imaging sensor and an F35/1.0 germanium lens, the Axions aren’t just the best in their class – in fact, they can very well compete with more expensive and seemingly “better” thermal imagers.
Nathan assured us of it by telling us about an outing where he took his Axion 2 LRF XQ35, and his friend had a more pricey thermal imager with a bigger sensor. Guess who was the one able to tell a rabbit from a warm rock from afar? Yup, it was Nathan.
Now, why is that, you may wonder? Well, there are several reasons. One of them is the quality of the components we use in our devices – they are all carefully made and assembled in Europe. Then, it’s the updated image processing algorithms. On all new Axions, you get three image Sensitivity Amplification Levels, a Smoothing Filter, and detailed Brightness and Contrast adjustment opportunities.
“The ability to adjust the image processing algorithms using three different sensitivity levels in combination with a smoothing filter gives you the best image quality under different weather situations,” explains Riccardo, while Nathan says that he finds the brightness and contrast settings extremely useful. With the ability to adjust them from 0 to 20, you can prepare your thermal imager for literally any situation.
Riccardo Tamburini, a hunter from Italy
Of course, image quality isn’t the only reason Axion 2 has become a “favorite Pulsar device”, as it did to Agnieszka Walczak, our Polish brand ambassador. “The Axion 2 LRF XQ35 is a small device, so therefore it’s very handy. You have a lot of equipment going hunting, so you don’t want to carry another heavy device with you,” she adds.
Ann Pedersen, Agnieszka’s Danish counterpart, agrees with this: “I totally love that it is pocket-sized and lightweight! Axion 2 weighs 300 grams and is easy to grip and operate for both right-handed and left-handed people.”
And Nathan being Nathan – a.k.a., the super attentive-to-detail thermal vision snob – notes that it’s not only compact but also reliable. “The build quality is typical Pulsar – excellent”, says he when commenting on Axion’s magnesium alloy housing that’s fully waterproof and designed to withstand temperatures from -25 – +40 °С.
Both Agnieszka and Nathan also notice the friendly price point – we designed the Axion 2 range for those who are looking for a more affordable thermal imager but aren’t willing to compromise on quality. And judging by the reviews, we’ve succeeded in this, making it “a great device for those who wish to start their adventures with thermal vision and look for great value for money!” as Agnieszka has put it.
Ann Pedersen, a huntress from Denmark
Agnieszka Walczak, a huntress from Poland
But it is time to discuss Axion 2 in the field – after all, we all know that field performance matters the most. Let’s see how our ambassadors use the device in practice.
Riccardo prefers Pulsar Axion 2 XQ35 LRF for wild boar hunts because of its size and accuracy. In October, he also spends quite a bit of time preparing plans for the next hunting season, for which he also uses high-quality thermal devices, as they make counting animals easier. “Axion 2 XG35 LRF is a good option due to its pocket size and the option to measure distances with its precise rangefinder.”
For Agnieszka, Axion 2 LRF XQ35 is irreplaceable for any type of hunt. “Thanks to it, I can check whether there is game in an area and what species it is from a distance and then make a decision about stalking.”
And Ann adds that “the thermal monocular captures a useful signal even under difficult observation conditions like rain”.
Regardless of which model you choose, XQ or XG, you will also be able to enjoy a wide field of view – hence our ambassadors’ enjoyment in scanning the fields with the spotter. This we achieved partially because of low base magnification (2x in XQ or 2.5x in XG). Nathan tells us he never goes above 2.5x, as this narrows the field of view, which becomes restrictive for him.
And finally, the built-in laser rangefinder. On a clear day in ideal conditions, it can measure ranges up to 1 kilometer. Nathan shares he’s been able to measure distances to animals in grass that were more than 600 meters away – “way more than you would shoot at during the night, especially with thermal”. In fact, our Australian hunter found the rangefinder so convenient he admitted to sometimes taking his Axion purely for this function.
Last but not least, we have got to mention the built-in photo and video recorder, which makes capturing the most precious moments easy and simple. Transferring the media is just as simple, too – with the Stream Vision 2 app, you can enjoy instant photo sharing between your device and your smartphone. The app has other benefits, too, including remote firmware updates, a motion detection feature, and real-time image viewing on your phone’s screen.
So, to sum up, Axion 2 is versatile, powerful, and offers great performance when hunting in different situations. And with multiple options to choose from – two different sensors and models with or without LRF, we are sure you will find yourself a compact hunting companion that will see you through many hunting adventures.
Before purchasing any night or thermal vision device, please make sure you adhere to the local legislation and only use it when it is allowed. Our ambassadors come from various countries and travel a lot, which allows them to test different devices. We do not encourage or support the illegal use of our devices in any events. If you wish to learn more about export and sales restriction policy, please visit the following link: Export and Sales Restriction Policy.