In the most anticipated business move of 2021, Swarovski Optik unveiled their very first thermal imager tM 35, thus entering a new phase of optics production.
Hunting at night is an intense experience and not just for greenhorn hunters. Every crunch of leaves underfoot or an owl’s screech runs shivers down your spine. Pitch darkness is disconcerting, relying on senses other than eyesight puts you on edge.
You are never truly alone in nature. But it’s the safe cloak of the night that lures wild creatures from their burrows in large numbers. Increasing concerns of agricultural damage, uncontrolled population rise, and diseases like African swine fever call for frequent hunts that continue long into the night.
Responsible hunting requires a combination of the hunter’s own skillset and modern equipment. Newer technologies in sports optics like NV and thermal imaging are indispensable. They aid in reducing the risk factor for the hunter and allow for precise assessment of the game.
Own the night with Swarovski tM 35.
Sleek, Smart, Swarovski
Swarovski tM 35 sports a sleek, streamlined design. Subtle Swarovski aesthetics like the company name and silver goshawk are embossed into the unsmooth surface. The round tube with 3 control buttons on top is ergonomically optimized for fatigue-free handling.
The device weighs 495 grams (18 oz.) and is among the lighter thermal imagers in its price range. The reduced weight is especially beneficial when used as a clip-on, mounted on a riflescope.
35mm objective lens is coated with scratch-resistant diamond-like carbon (DLC). Swarodur and Swarotop finishes on the eyepiece lens enhance image contrast and brightness.
What’s most impressive is the device start-up time – only 2 seconds. Swarovski was able to cut down on the usual 5-10 seconds by letting the menu load in the background.
This compact thermal imager is also fog- and waterproof, so it won’t let you down in even the most adverse conditions. With the resistance rating of IP68, the tM 35 can be submerged in water down to 4 meters deep for about 30 minutes and survive the ordeal.
Powered by a single, rechargeable Li-ion battery ARB, tM 35 offers up to 7 hours of continuous use – depending on the outside temperature. Manually switching off the Swarolight will also save up on energy consumption that all thermal devices are notorious for. Easy-grip bayonet catch makes replacing the battery in zero light a breeze. The device is operational between -15 and +50 °C (+5 to +122 °F).
Sensor and Screen
This model is built around an uncooled VOx microbolometer.
For the marketed price, the resolution of 320×256 pixels is disappointing, there are no two ways about it. While higher quality 380×280 sensors have been an industry standard for the past 3-5 years, devices with superior sensors of 640×512 pixels are also becoming commonplace. Steiner Nighthunter H35 or Flir LSX-R 35 are prominent examples of the latter.
The temperature sensitivity of the VOx sensor is 60 mK. That’s good enough for a reliable assessment of trophy since the temperature contrasts between cold parts like hooves, antlers and warm parts are considerable. But it can not be used for finer details or person identification. In the near future, we hope to see Swarowski thermal optics with a NETD factor of 40 mK or less.
The refresh rate is 60 Hz., which means the eye interprets the frame sequence as a smooth movement. The higher the refresh rate, the clearer the image and more comfortable is the observation. Your eyes will tire much faster with devices with a lower than 30 Hz refresh rate since they show visible movement pauses or “gaps” between frames.
AMOLED screen has a resolution of 2560×2048 pixels. Thanks to the 12-micron pixel size, Swarovski was able to keep tM 35 small and compact. The user can toggle between 2 color modes – White Hot and Black Hot.
The trouble with using thermal optics at night is that the stark contrast between the artificial brightness of the screen and the lowlight environment. The quick transition from looking through an artificially bright optic to using our ‘natural’ sight in the darkness can be very jarring, even disorienting for the hunter. The eye pupil simply cannot contract and dilate fast enough. Swarovski solved this issue with the responsive tM 35 screen that automatically adjusts to the prevailing light conditions.
No Frills, Just Thrills
Thermal and NV devices have long entered from the sidelines of sport optics into mainstream use. But this is new territory for Swarovski and the launch of tM 35 will surely introduce thermal imaging to an even larger audience of more traditional hunters and nature enthusiasts.
For this reason, simplicity is key. Swarovski chose not to incorporate any advanced functions like photo and video recording. There will also be no incorporated rangefinder or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Though no one can argue that it makes sense to start with rudiments, this puts Swarovski at a clear disadvantage against comparable products from other brands.
Versatile from the get-go, Swarovski tM 35 was developed to function as a stand-alone device or be fit onto a riflescope.
When used as a hand-held thermal imager, the magnification can be switched between 1x and 4x. Please note that in North American and Canadian markets, only 1x magnification will be available due to local law restrictions.
Swarovski tM 35 is ready when you are. The clip-on is easy to attach in complete darkness, in a few seconds and you don’t have to sight it in.
Don’t let the elegant and sleek appearance fool you – tM 35 is maximum rated for all hunting calibers. Built to withstand strong recoil and accidental impact, it ensures a reliable point of impact at any distance.
Another perk is the Swarolight automatic switch ON/OFF. Your tM 35 will activate when in shooting position and return to energy-saving mode once the rifle is put away. This motion-detecting feature works when tM 35 is used as a hand-held scope and a clip-on.
|Take note that some countries allow combining thermal imagers with hunting scopes and some do not. That’s why you must always check your local legislation before making a purchase.|
Is my Swarovski scope compatible with the tM 35?
For ultimate flexibility of use, Swarovski also designed tMA thermal monocular adapter for tM 35.
It’s made of aluminum and available in 7 sizes: tMA 24, tMA 36, tMA 42, tMA 44, tMA 50, tMA 52, and tMA 56.
With the right adapter, this clip-on will fit on all Swarovski Z8i, Z6i, Z5i, Z5, and Z3 models.
Swarovski tM 35 is also compatible with Kahles Helia riflescopes.
|tMA Adapter x Riflescope Combinations|
Please note that tM 35 is not compatible with any Swarovski scopes for driven hunts that come with an integrated SR mounting rail. Swarovski dS and X5 models also cannot be used with tM 35.
List of non-compatible Swarovski riflescopes:
- all Swarovski dS
- all Swarovski X5
- Swarovski 0.75-6×24 SR
- Swarovski 1.25-4×24 SR
- Swarovski 1-6×24 SR
- Swarovski 1-8×24 SR
Of course, Swarovski tM 35 can also be used with scopes from other manufacturers. But the same easy, reliable connection and shooting precision cannot be assured.
Accessories in the Box
Swarovski tM35 comes in a complete set with premium accessories.
- RB tM 35 rechargeable battery
- RBC 2-dock battery charging station
- Micro-USB charging cable
- Soft field bag
- Winged eyecup
- Carrying strap
- Hand strap
- Eyepiece cover
Entering the world of NV and thermal optics is a daunting project for many traditional European manufacturers. The pressure of getting it right the first time is immense. Big names are hesitant to throw their hat in the game so late in the game and risk tarnishing the brand’s reputation.
Therefore it’s not surprising that many brands will take shortcuts – pay for their name to be slapped on a finished product from a lesser-known manufacturer. But that’s not the Swarovski way of doing things. This thermal clip-on is manufactured entirely at Swarovski headquarters in Absam, Austria.
The warranty period on tM 35 is 3 years from purchase. The rechargeable battery RB tM 35 has a 12-month guarantee. Obviously, this is a big change from long-term guarantees of classic Swarovski devices. But it’s no different from what top-notch manufacturers like Pulsar and Night Pearl can offer you.
All after-sales services are available in Austria. Everything will be worked on in-house: device repair, maintenance, and software updates. You can read more about the Optics Trade’s warranty policy HERE.
Swarovski tM is priced at €4,800.00 and available for purchase NOW.