I went to a fluke distributor today and spent many hours comparing their
Ti25 to Ti32. The Ti32 is much better, of course. But then I found out later in the internet (which their demo rep which uses old brochure doesn’t even know) that their Ti32 is now improved and rated at <45mK with the TiR32 rated at <40mK for products released June, 2011 this year:
This makes me choose Fluke over Flir E60 with only 50mK rating.
The TiR32 has maximum temperature of 150 Celsius while Ti32 has maximum temperature of 600 Celsius. Now my last question (I promise this is my last question for this forum before I buy one and attend a class (I wanted to own one before attending a class) is… how often does one need above 150 Celsius application? I wanted the 40mK thermal sensitivity of the Tir32 but with con of only up to 150 Celsius versus the Ti32 45mK but up to 600 Celsius. I think others may be interested to know what to choose as well. There are only a few thermal camera forums in the net so sorry to ask this here but I promise I won’t ask other question and leave. Thanks.
What you have to realize is that manufacturers have come up with all kinds of jargon to market their imagers and make them sound better than the next guy. Comparing thermal sensitivity between 80mk to 40mk is not something that you will be able to really notice on the screen of the imager or in the pictures. It is like trying to split a silk strand down the middle it is so fine. It is all marketing hype!
When selecting an imager, you have to look at possible applications that you may eventually may get into. Using a camera with a low temperature span designed for building inspections will not perform as well doing high temperature work like mechanical or electrical inspections. Some of the imagers that are rated for high temp work also have settings where you can decrease the span and use it for both high and low temp differentials. The key deciding factor is going to be your detector size. Other things you want to look at are comfort and user interfaces. Pistol grip units are nice for doing building work that is vertical. Flex head models are better suited for doing all positions including horizontal and vertical due to the swivel being able to angle to see overhead without compromising the view of the screen. One downfall about pistol grip units is that they are not very stable when mounted to a tripod for doing detailed imaging. They have a tendency to shake a little while pulling the trigger to capture an image. This is where a flex cam chassis may perform a little better when doing stationary work.
Another aspect that you want to consider is extendability of the camera. Meaning you should choose one that allows you to use different lenses or filters based on the specific job that you will be conducting. While a standard 25mm lens will be able to do a lot, there will be some jobs that will require either a telephoto or wide angle lens. Fluke has come out with a field swappable lens system that they say does not need calibration, however I have a tendency to think that is more marketing hype.
When you start getting into cameras in the mid range to higher end, you will find that they are relatively close in price in the grand scheme when you start comparing similar features. For an extra $1000 here or there, you can get all kinds of bells and whistles. Personally myself, I don’t like some of the newer cameras out there because of all the automatic settings that are next to impossible to change on the camera. I prefer some of the older cameras where the thermographer can actually input information about the reflected temperature, transmittance, emissivity, distance, ambient temperature, humidity, and whatever else that may be going on in the area. Much like most professional photographers prefer a completely manual camera to one of the new consumer friendly point and shoot digitals out there.
I would really suggest that you take at least a Level I course before purchasing a camera to learn what kind of camera can be used for each application. You do not need a camera for that course to understand everything. This will help you understand a little better to make an informed decision instead of listening to manufacturer’s marketing hype that you will not notice in the camera performance.
You are still trying to buy a “one camera fits all” applications!
Every camera out there has a specific purpose in mind.
You do not want a single range camera that goes from 50° below 0 to 1200°.
This sounds impressive but it just doesn’t cut it.
Cameras are calibrated for certain sections of the span. The wider the span, the more calibrations that must be programmed into the camera and the camera must decide which one to use.
A narrow span camera for building applications is desirable. If you wish to use a building camera on a high temperature application then you must increase your investment by purchasing a camera that has multiple/programmable spans to work in. This also costs more for recalibration as you are basically calibrating the camera three or four times.
If you don’t use it you’re going to pay a significant amount of money every time the cameras calibrated (but then I venture to guess on how many people actually calibrate their cameras).
[size=2]Another thought for you to ponder; someone that has a building camera that operates from freezing to boiling temperatures and goes out and tries to evaluate something at 1200°C is very unlikely to understand the emissivity changes with temperature rises like this.
In order to make the proper adjustments to get accurate readings you are going to need some significant training to understand what the emissivity change of a particular material is when it changes between 50°C and 1200°C.
So you have a camera that has a measurement span that goes to the melting point of metals but you can’t adjust emissivity, because you don’t know how. So your measurements are inaccurate. When you’re measuring something at these temperatures it is probably a very critical component and knowing the actual corrected temperature is critical (as in life-threatening).
So in actuality what good is it?
And I can guarantee you that if you drop it into refractory inspection equipment it won’t make any difference between a Fluke or a Flir…
I didn’t ignore IFOV. It was the first thing I agonized over and studied last week.
IFOV is acquired from the formula d/F. In the case of the Flir i7. I researched and found out it has a pixel pitch of 25 micron, a focal length of 6.76 millimetres, a field of view of 25 degrees, and an F-number of 1.5 with an effective aperture of 6.76/1.5 = 4.5 millimetres).
Now for IFOV = d/F in radian = 25 micron/6.76 millimitres = 3.7 mRad which is the IFOV of the i7 or converting to degrees about 0.21 degree… this is why the field of view of the 120x120 i7 is 25 degrees (0.21 degree x 120 pixels).
Now to arrive at the object spot size I found out the formula is
A = 2 * arctan(0.5 * d / D), or
d = 2 * D * tan(A / 2)
So for a pixel scale of 0.21 degree (12.7 arcmin/pixel), and a distance of 5 m,
d = 2 * 5 m * tan(12.7 arcmin / 2) = 0.018 m = 18 mm per pixel.
or for small degree approximation. It’s
object spot size = IFOV x distance = 3.71 x 5 meters = approx 18mm
for 1 meter and 3.71mrad, the i7 can see = 3.71mm or 0.1484 of an inch.
This is not detail enough? A thermal camera which can see 0.1484 of an inch at a distance of 1 meter? yet you guys unanimously hate the i7 and said it is not enough for electrical works. So I figure maybe electrical works need you to see even smaller size. In the case of the fluke ti32. It has IFOV or 1.25mRad so at distance of 1 meter, you can see 1.25mm. But electrical wire doesn’t vary too much by 1.25mm versus 3.71mm in the temperature so I guess the other big factor is the thermal sensitivity. Hence knowing I should get 320x240 instead of 120x120. I now agonize whether to get the ti32 45mk or tir32 40 mk. btw… 45mk translate to 0.045 Celsius and in a temperature span of 10 degrees compared to say 0.100 Celsius. It can mean more colors so yes one can notice it. About 45mk vs 40mk, maybe one can still notice it at the limit of resolution in a subtle way… so it affects one’s unconscious in the ultimate determination and precision of home inspection parameters. Anyway. I wonder if there is a poll before that give what particle brand and model each one of you own… hmm…
I’ll get the best… because I want to use it now as potential home inspection business. I learn that locally we have physical Infrared class but it’s gonna be in December so I’d buy one before attending the physical class.
Back to my post #21. You’re agonizing over things that doing a standard home inspection and using an IR camera are not really that pertinent in everyday life …
I don’t think you’re doing home inspections at this time or you would realize this. If you were doing home inspections and I asked you why you liked the Flir better than the Fluke OR the Fluke better than the Flir … You would say things like …
The Fluke feels like it is built heavier to protect it in case I slip and drop it; the Flir is smaller and lighter and will fit in a belt holster better; I like the wider screen of the Fluke; I like the taller screen view of the Flir; the Fluke has a better picture; the Flir has a built-in laser pointer; etc, etc
Instead almost all your thoughts seem to generate around concerns that one is 1/1000th of a nano-second more sensitive than the other. I guess what I’m saying is instead of looking at it from a building inspectors pluses or minuses, you seem to describe it more like a math professor teaching a physics class to graduate engineers.
I would hope that when you become an active home inspector that you would not be trying to report findings to clients that way.
I am amazed that you went through all that trouble with calculating everything, however there are some basic things that you overlooked that will significantly impact the image quality.
Most imagers on the market are typically limited by the pixel count of the display screen. It does no good if your detector can see more than what can be displayed on the screen.
Camera manufacturers use software in their cameras that assign colors in a palette to temperature ranges in the span. Some manufactures only have 100 colors per palette, some can go up to 256 colors. Colors cover a range of temperatures. Minute temperature differentials within a wide temperature span will all be seen as the same temperature.
Thinking that the difference between 80mk and 40mk is going to give you more colors in an image is flawed thinking. Again, it is marketing jargon and purely hype to try to make one camera sound better than the next.
Most specs in modern thermal camera I saw have display that is equal or greater than the pixel resolution. Name one model that doesn’t do this (maybe the ones prior to 1990). Display screen are much cheaper now hence 640x480 resolution display is quite common nowadays. I think the manufacturer usually make the display pixel count equal or greater than the pixel resolution. Why would any manufacturer put a lower resolution display to a higher resolution pixel chip sensor and waste the latter ability.
I assume all use 256 colors which is 8 bit. And 2^8 is 256. With 256 colors. For example, if you temperature span is 10 Celsius. 10/256= 0.039 Celsius or 0.040 C or 40mK. Hence each color of the 256 color should correspond to 40mK difference. Therefore theoretically you should see more colors in 40mk camera. I spent about one hour comparing the Ti32 to Ti25 in the fluke store which I found locally. I use the face of the demo rep as target and the Ti32 can show more white compare to Ti25. The white is mostly in the sides of the neck that corresponds perhaps to heat generated by the carotid arteries that supply the head area. This is almost invisible to the Ti25. I wonder how many percentage the Ti32 better 320x240 resolution compare to Ti25 160x120 correspond to the improvement compared to the Ti32 45mk thermal sensitivity versus the Ti25 100mk sensitivity.
Anyway. I can’t find in the internet the actual color bit used in the palettes of common thermal imagers. I’m assuming it’s 256 color or 8 bit. To know this. Load your jpeg images in an image viewer that shows the total number of colors. If it’s close to 256, then it’s 256 color. Also if you know of a model that is 100 bit. Please tell what it is because the data about bits of color used in palettes is nowhere to be found in the internet.
You have to reverse engineer the software a little and you can see for yourself. Download a trial version of each camera manufacturer and open up the color palettes. Your will see the RGB values listed in each palette. Some have as little as 100 values. Some have 256 in them. What some people don’t know is that you can make your own color palettes based on the work that you want to do.
NOT to be rude BUT I originally started this post to gain input from REAL home inspectors and others actually using the Ti32 OR E-60 in their daily business OR preferably someone that REALLY has COMPARED the two. It has gotten so OUT in LEFT FIELD and OFF BASE its ludicrous.
Rye seems to have turned this into a physics class with his mathmatical equations. I’m still looking for real life info if anyone has it.
Shucks I thought all yous guys up that direction was rude:p:p
Dan to cut to the chase without all the advertising BS from the different companies when comparing apples to apples very little difference with the end product as long as you are comparing like cameras. (The image itself) Fluke is slamming their cameras against the wall trying to sell them and FLIR is stating we have been in the IR business longer than anyone buy from us.
I started out with Flir and own 3 of their cameras and I like them its what I am use to using. If I had started out with Fluke I would have stayed with them. If I use a image in a report I want it sharp and in focus its not so much the camera as it is the operator. JMO
I have a Fluke Tr32 also love it ,i also had a Flir for 5 years I was in need to upgrade glad i am glad i did both company sell good cameras Dan. Just my 2 cents, Picture over picture is great for home inspectors .
Hey John, I’m struggling a bit with what to buy. I’m level 1 and have a Flir C5 and a Testo 885-2 which I love! 320x240 with Super Resolution and 30 mk, 33 hz refresh. But the Testo is old with no WiFi and no video, bit heavy. The Lens is 30x23 so I also would like something with a slightly wider angle. I am not crazy about the Flir’s durability or Flir’s/Testo software but I hear good things about Flukes software and durability.
I can get a gently used TI 32 for about $4k or should go with the Flir e54 series? I don’t want to spend more than about 5k if I can help it. Any words of advice.
That, plus your long list of questions indicates that you are in analysis paralysis.
You have that backwards.
To make a simple analogy, you’re trying to buy a race car before you have learned to drive. Like anyone starting out in anything, you should start small with basic tools and basic training, and build your experience and knowledge along the way. That’s how you’ll know what the right tools are, or at least a general understanding, and ask questions about other’s experience with similar gadgets and uses.