Pulsar is one of the most prominent names in the world of night vision & thermal optics. They have a habit of introducing updates in this field almost annually – this resourceful strategy allows them to stay ahead of the competition. F155, a digital riflescope clip-on, has been one of their most successful devices up to date – they couldn’t keep up with the demands of the market. The demand was high for the smaller F135 also, but it wasn’t as sought after as its ‘big brother’. Why was F155 so popular? For a little more than 1000 €, the performance was just outstanding. After roughly two years, Pulsar decided that it was time for an update. In 2019, F155 was succeeded by F455.
Digital night vision attachments
Digital clip-on attachments are gaining in popularity – you can easily transform your riflescope to a night vision device; should you want your standard riflescope back in action, the removal of the attachment is just as swift. With Pulsar’s Forward devices, no zeroing is required – if the riflescope is zeroed, simply mount the attachment on the riflescope’s objective and you are ready to shoot.
From F155 to F455
F135 and F155 succeeded the DFA 75 model in 2017. The high demand for these two models started immediately after they were announced – when they were finally launched, the orders started piling up – Pulsar had difficulties appeasing the demands of the market. In 2019, the devices were far from outdated. They were still selling like hotcakes. Nevertheless, Pulsar launched a successor, F455, discontinuing F135 and F155, with an intention to stay ahead of its competition. The reason for the introduction of a single model probably has to do with the fact that F155 was much more popular than F135. Even though the latter provided a wider field of view, F155 displayed a more detailed image, allowing shots on longer distances.
Differences (and similarities) between F155 and F455
The biggest difference is in the sensor. Pulsar had problems supplying a sufficient amount of sensors which resulted in an inability to satisfy the demands on the market. For this reason, they contacted another sensor supplier. Not only was this a solution to being able to supply this device in bigger quantities; it also greatly improved the performance because of the higher pixel count. F135 and F155 had a 702 x 526 CMOS sensor while the new device features a 1280 x 720 CMOS sensor. The user is provided with a wider field of view and better image quality. Because of improved sensor sensitivity, less light is needed to produce an image – in situations where you already needed to turn on F155’s illuminator, F455 still works without it. Furthermore, Pulsar made a huge step up with the display resolution. On the F155, it was 640 x 480. F455, impressively, has a display resolution of 1746 x 1000, adding to the recognition of details. Pulsar also improved the video resolution, going from 640 x 480 to 1280 x 720. If F155 powered on quickly, F455 powers on super-quickly.
Not many differences have been made to the exterior of the device. The only notable difference has to do with the illuminator – The attachment and removal of the illuminator on F155 were done with the help of a rotating ring. On F455, the procedure is much easier – the illuminator is attached and detached with the help of a lever, making the solution a quick-detachable one, taking only a few seconds. The design of the illuminator is also a little bit different than on the previous version.
F455 costs more than its predecessors. The prices for F135 and F155 were set at around 960 € and 1070 €, respectively. Because it features a better sensor, F455 is priced 1250 €. Based on all the improvements, the price is reasonable.
Pulsar retained the form factor of the device, which proved to be very popular in the last two years. All the buttons were kept in the same place. Even the bayonet for the attachment of the adapter is the same as on F155, meaning that an adapter designed for F155 fits on F455 and vice versa. The devices use the same battery (B-pack – IPS7 and IPS14). It supports the Stream Vision application.
The illuminator still emits a beam with a wavelength of 940 nm, invisible to the game. The device is made in Lithuania and the service also takes place there. The buyer is granted a 3-year warranty. F455 can be submerged in shallow water for up to 30 minutes and withstand temperatures as low as -25 °C.
Pulsar doesn’t rest on its laurels. Even though there isn’t much difference in the design of the housing, F455 is a huge step forward from F135 and F155 in terms of software and hardware. Currently, it is an indisputable best-buy in the field of digital night vision attachments at the price point of 1250 €.