The Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 binoculars have arguably become the most-asked-about thermal product of the year, and rightfully so. They are the first Pulsar device to feature an HD thermal sensor with a staggering 1024×768 pixel resolution, which provides an incredibly informative image, even if you zoom in on it 20 times. But that you can find in the description page. Today, let’s focus on what hunters who have tested this device have to say about it.
Dimitri Hullebroek, a hunter from Belgium, describes the experience of the Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 “Like watching a Full HD TV in your living room. It renders sharp images with great reflection of the surroundings around the animal.”
Phil Taylor, Dimitri’s counterpart from the UK, seconds that: “The new 1024×768 HD sensor with a 12-micron pitch from Pulsar has taken the Merger to the next level of thermal imaging; the image quality is insane.” And Night Vision Viking, a Swedish hunter and equipment tester, isn’t arguing, either: “The Merger XL is a huge leap in image quality. To be able to witness HD quality thermal live and in the wild has been an astonishing experience.”
Aside from the great quality, the large sensor has two very positive side effects that are slightly less obvious yet just as beneficial. One is a wide field of view, and the other – high image detail at any level of zoom. Which, in Merger XL’s case, goes from 2.5x to 20x. Here’s Dimitri to prove our point: “It’s the first time that the image stays clear with a device. Others lose sharpness quite fast, but not this one.”
Curious to hear more? Here is what Christian Rysgaard, a Danish hunter, told us: “You get a crystal clear image with a horizontal view of 24.6 m at 100 m distance. This is a very broad field of view with an insane amount of details. The large HD sensor really shines through when you start zooming in on the detected objects, and I could zoom up to 10x before starting to see visible pixelation.”
At this point, Phil pitches in to ensure that pixelation is minimal: “Yes, of course, you still get some pixelation, but the HD sensor makes it much more usable. People know that as soon as you increase your magnification with a digital scope, you get pixelation, but the Merger XL really cuts down on it when going up through the magnification range.”
Meanwhile, Night Vision Viking admits to “often finding myself using a base magnification of 5x since the image quality is so detailed.”
The Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 really was created for the long distance – as we see from the hunters’ feedback, that’s exactly where it shines the most. And while we don’t know about you, we were surely curious to find out what’s the farthest distance our ambassadors managed to spot animals from. Let’s see what they’ve got.
“I don’t often use digital magnification for target identification – I prefer the pixel density and clarity a device offers at base magnification. And with the Merger XL, I have legitimately identified a fox at 800 meters in an open field as it pounced on rodents,” says Nathan Stuart, a hunter from Australia.
For Dimitri and Phil, it was roughly 800 meters. “I have positively spotted foxes out between 400–500 yards and spotted deer on boundary lines at over 800 yards. Any bit of kit that makes the spotting easier has to be worth its price tag!” tells Phil.
Christian seems to be the record breaker, with animals spotted as far as 1 kilometer away. However, if you have ever used thermal, you know judging distances this big with it is not the easiest thing to do. The Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 fixes this problem with a built-in precision laser rangefinder. “Laser rangefinder is good with precise measurements and fairly easy to get a good fixpoint at the game, head and back sticking out of the crops, or at least in the near vicinity,” explains Christian.
The Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 – and the whole Merger line – got a significant design update when compared to its predecessor Accolade. And, of course, the dual eyepiece inherent to binoculars makes things even better. “Using two eyes open on a binocular type thermal results in less eye fatigue than a monocular. As a professional shooter and user, out multiple times a week for extended hours viewing, this is a worthy aspect,” tells Nathan.
For Dimitri, there are multiple benefits the design updates bring: “The buttons are intuitive. The menus are very user-friendly. It’s a very easy-to-use device; you don’t need to go through a manual for several hours. Everything points out itself. And it’s not too heavy, yet built to withstand some heavy use.”
And in Christian’s case, it seems like he might have trouble not using the binoculars: “After long hours of use, I have gotten so used to the comfortable classic binocular design of the Merger XL50 that I am starting to find it awkward to use the monocular again. The fit of the palms around the two dual spheres is quite good for my hands, and I often use it single-handedly, my thumb resting perfectly in the center for balance. For extended use, I swap the neck strap for a proper back-fitted harness.”
And just in case you aren’t convinced yet, you’ll be pleased to know that Phil doesn’t disagree with his fellow ambassadors, either: “Aesthetically, they look beautiful to the eye, but feel even better in the hand. The ergonomics of the Merger are first class; this is A unit that has been made with the end user in mind. It is very eye-friendly, and anything that helps with eye fatigue has got to be positive.”
As you might have figured from the ambassadors’ comments, the Pulsar Merger LRF XL50 thermal imaging binoculars are ideal for long-distance observation. In Dimitri’s case, it’s “scouting for wild boar or deer from a high seat”. “If observation is your main goal, this is your go-to device,” adds the Belgian hunter.
Christian also tried the binoculars on a high seat, although he says the device really shines through when used in big open fields. Meanwhile, Phil loves it for pest control and deer stalking while also noting it could be used well beyond hunting, with law enforcement, search and rescue, and birding being just a few of the areas where the binoculars could benefit largely.
With Merger XL, whatever your task is, you can be sure you’ll achieve it with ease and comfort. As Night Vision Viking puts it, “The comfort of viewing through binoculars is outstanding. The proximity sensor works great, so you don’t have to worry about putting the device on and off all the time.”
We won’t be humble today and end this article by saying that it could have been much longer – we really do receive lots of positive feedback about the Pulsar Merger LRF XL50, and we’re very proud of it. Yet instead, we’re just going to leave this quote by Christian here: “I have yet to find better thermal binoculars on the market.”
But if you do want more, a little birdie told us that Nathan is cooking up a video review of the device. And if we know Nathan, it’s going to be as informative as humanly possible. So, do swing by his YouTube channel, Edge of the Outback, for some Merger action in the Australian nature.
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.