Introduction To The Zeus-Pro 640 (Zeus Pro Product Line)
The Zeus-Pro 640 4-32×100 from Armasight is one of the best – if a bit expensive – accessories that employ thermal imaging to offer high-powered performance for a scope.
For those of you in a hurry, here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of this scope:
- Excellent thermal imaging qualities, even at long distances
- Variety of thermal imaging color settings
- Highly useful for tracking, surveillance, hunting, search and rescue
- Straightforward menu with simple navigation and customized settings
- Easy to mount and sight
- Can be used in any weather condition
- Can see through fog, haze, smoke and dust
- DVR for recording videos and taking photos
- Bluetooth capabilities and Armasight apps available for smartphones
- Can get heavy, especially for extended use
Thermal Imaging Capabilities
The Zeus Pro is a full Mil-spec thermal imager, but not the “Mil-spec” as defined by every other company claiming to use the technology. This is true Mil-spec and can be used during heavy rains or storms – the Zeus Pro can sink up to 20 meters under water, for as much as two hours, and resurface working well.
Thermal imagers function by seeing beyond visible light, or what humans can perceive to be visible. The thermal levels are translated into colors that people can recognize and associate with temperature: blue for cold, yellow for warm and red for very hot. The Zeus Pro has different color palettes to suit your taste, such as a palette named “rain” that can, by its name alone, be used to see through heavy rains. Other options include “white hot,” where hot items show as white and “black hot” the opposite of white. You can also customize the palettes to suit your preferences.
The Zeus Pro 640 uses solid state technology reticle adjustments and algorithms, combined with a complementary color reticle platform, to ensure high level target accuracy. This accuracy can be translated to the tracking electronic zoom (e-zoom) feature of the scope, which can increase to 1x, 2x, 4x, and 8x without changing the aim. Reticle colors are black, white, red and cyan.
The Zeus Pro has a 100mm objective lens made of germanium, an element that allows infrared rays to pass through. This lens magnifies an image, which is then fed to a FLIR high-quality Tau 2 core and produces a 640×512-resolution of a thermal image.
The differences among thermal imaging cores are in their resolutions and frame rates. A VGA-like resolution, while something we who are used to HD may scoff at, is top-rate in the world of thermal imaging. For example, the early FLIR models had resolutions of 80×60. FLIR had to add visible light images so forms and shapes could actually be discerned. These new FLIR cores are far more advanced.
The Zeus Pro has a fantastic refresh rate. In general, the inexpensive scopes have very low frame rates, making things look choppy and slow. The Zeus Pro has a refresh rate of 30Hz or 30 frames per second – the higher the refresh rate, the better the image you get when something is moving really fast or when you’re panning the scope. The 60Hz option is available, but the 30Hz actually shows better imaging. This is why the Zeus Pro cannot be sold to non-US customers without the State Department’s approval.
Thermal imaging sees infrared radiation in order to see through light smoke, dust, haze and fog. And since the Zeus Pro is intended for military and commercial purposes, this is an important feature. In combat situations, soldiers often find themselves in the midst of hazy, dusty conditions where sighting can be near-impossible. SWAT teams ordinarily charge through conflict situations in almost total darkness, law enforcement officials conduct search and rescue operations at night. These tasks are ones the Zeus Pro is very much up to. Aside from aggressive action, the Zeus Pro can also be used for simple surveillance and tracking movements by law enforcement agencies, special forces units and hunters alike.
In commercial use, Armasight says thermal imaging is important for boar hunters, who are professionals hired by farmers and authorities to stop wild boars from ravaging everything in their path. Wild boars are reported to do damage totaling $1.5 billion every year and carry disease and parasites that can be transferred to other animals and to humans, necessitating a “culling.”
The Zeus Pro enables year-round hunting, in all weather conditions and night or day, in states where there are abundant wild boars. These are nocturnal animals, so they have to be hunted in pitch-black night conditions. Thermal imaging helps locate a boar that has been killed, as it’s still a warm body, so the scope is great for tracking and finding kills in the dark, too.
When a target, like a person or an animal, is standing around 100 feet away and the magnification is at a minimum, the Zeus Pro produces images with stunning clarity. You can differentiate if the target is male or female and what they’re wearing, even in pitch-black environments. For military applications, this is very important.
In a scene in “Predator,” the actors covered themselves in mud to make them invisible to thermal imaging aliens. This is scientifically unreliable and mostly false, as the Zeus Pro is still able to make out a heat signature even if a target is covered head to foot in grime, mud or grease. While specific features may be blurry due to the mud, you can still clearly tell if it’s a person or an animal, if it’s a male or female and if they’re holding anything or are moving.
The Zeus Pro is built like a high-tech tank. It has an internal screen with an 800×600 OLED panel that will display the thermal image, a digital compass and inclinometer for better range estimation and target orientation.
The Zeus Pro also offers optical and digital magnification from 4x to 32x and has standard 1913 quick release mounts, plus a 45mm long eye relief eyepiece lens. The scope also turns on in three seconds, which is a great response time, especially if you’re in a hurry. Sighting is very easy with the Zeus Pro, as its direct button adjustments, direct combination button functions and electronic menu selections makes this a no-brainer to use. Its menu and control panels are very straightforward and allow you to customize your settings, so even beginners will be able to use this without difficulties.It’s also incredibly sturdy, able to withstand the pressure of being mounted onto a .50-caliber rifle, which takes a lot of weapon shock and recoil.
You can change the settings on the scope using a small but rugged remote with five buttons on it, or by manually selecting on the menu. The Zeus Pro can be connected to any smartphone via Bluetooth in case you need to save GPS data. The scope also has a 9-pin multi-pin connector that provides video in imagery and Armasight has a DVR that can be mounted on the rail system so you can record your footage, as well as take still photos of your environment and targets. These are then saved on an SD card that goes into an SD card slot. To support these, Armasight offers an optional laser range finder, external battery pack, multispectral laser and other accessories that can be attached to the rail.
Military units have always preferred lithium ion cells over rechargeable batteries, primarily because there’s no way to charge batteries during combat or in far-flung areas where electricity is scarce. The Zeus Pro runs on four CR123 lithium batteries that can run for four hours continuously. When absolutely necessary, the scope will run on a single CR123, and there is an adapter ring that allows for AA batteries, in case of emergencies. A battery status indicator lets you know when the batteries are due for a swap-out, but four CR123 lithium batteries are enough to last for a regular hunt. For longer battery life, Armasight sells batteries that can run up to 14 hours of use.
Available From TacticalSupplies.Net
The Armasight Zeus Pro is a powerful thermal imaging scope, capable of producing long-range images. However, weighing in at 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs), it can get quite heavy, especially if used while on the move. The Zeus Pro is in the upper price range for scopes, but you get what you pay for: the scope performs as advertised and is a solidly built piece of technology that is easy to use and delivers results above expectations. The Zeus Pro is at the top of the Zeus range of powerful, hi-tech scopes, tagged by Armasight as “epitomizing Armasight’s 20/50 design gold standard.”
For military and professional use, the Zeus Pro would be worth its hefty price tag. It is also great for civilians who have a need for thermal imaging sights when they use their firearms, but probably not for every day, run-of-the-mill shooting at the range or home defense. It comes with a three-year warranty and 10 years’ warranty on the FLIR detector.
Available From Amazon.com
- Magnification 4x – 32x
- Refresh Rate 30 Hz
- Objective Lens Type Germanium
- Type of Focal Plane Array FLIR Tau 2
- Pixel Array Format 640×512
- Pixel Size 17 micron
- Display Type AMOLED SVGA 060
- Pixel Display Format 800×600
- Objective Focal Length 100 mm
- Objective F-number 1:1.4
- Focusing Range 5 m to inf.
- Battery 4 each 123A 3.0VDC or 4 each AA 1.5VDC
- Battery Life at 20 °C (68 °F) > 6 hr (optional up to 14 hours)
- External Power Supply Optional Extended Battery Pack with rechargeable batteries (up to 8 hours) or 6 VDC/ 1А external power source
- Operating Temperature -51 to +57°C (-59 to +134°F)
- Storage Temperature -57 to +85°C (-70 to +185°F)
- Dimensions, mm/in 265x90x100 / 10.4×3.5×3.9
- Weight 1.3 kg / 2.9 lbs
- 24/7 Operation in presence of environmental obscurants (smoke, dust, haze and fog)
- Superior engineering and design from inception to Armasight’s 20/50 standard
- Rugged MIL-STD-810 compliant performance
- Operates on 123A or AA batteries
- Reliable quick-release locking weapon mount
- Objective Germanium Lens Options
- TAU-2 17 micron Pitch Thermal Sensor
- SVGA 800×600 OLED Display
- Long eye-relief eyepiece lens
- Digital Compass
- Digital Inclinometer
- Battery Status Indicator
- Multiple User Selectable Ballistic and Quick Acquisition Reticules
- Selectable Reticule Color
- Selectable Palettes: White Hot/ Black Hot/ Sepia/ OEM Custom/ Other Color Variants
- Imaging Filter Algorithms:
– Active Contrast Enhancement (ACE)
– Smart Scene Optimization (SSO)
– Information Based Histogram Equalization (IBHEQ)
– Second Generation Digital Detail Enhancement (DDE)
– Silent Shutterless Non-uniformity Correction (SSN)
- Wireless 5-button Remote
- Tracking Digital e-Zoom: 2x, 4x and 8x
- Still Picture and Video Recording Capability (Mounted DVR Option)
- Made In the USA