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Night vision Binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 18:59
cervelo View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: November/22/2011
Location: fl
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Points: 12
Are night vision binoculars not popular-- thought I might find a bit of info on the different generations on the forum , but turned up no luck so far. Would appreciate any first hand info if youhave the time

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/07/2011 at 13:15
etudiant View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: August/17/2009
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Hi Cervelo,

Night vision binoculars are very different from regular binoculars.
With regular binoculars, one can get much improved vision in the dark because the lenses focus much more light into the eye than the eye gathers by itself, but once it gets really dark, that no longer is enough.
This is where night vision glasses come in. There are some, mostly military, that rely on an infra red light that pick up the reflection. These give sort of a black and white TV image and have short range.It is rather like using a flashlight, the beam diffuses after maybe 50 feet or so. These IR glasses are cheap, at least relatively, and there used to be a lot of NATO surplus gear available, but they really are not great for nature observation, as the resolution is poor and the image blurry.
Much better gear is available, using image intensifiers, so called starlight scopes. These use electronics to amplify the ambient light 50,000 times or so and give good night views, albeit again black and white (green and white really).
There are several generations of these, with the military again getting the latest technologies, but they are commercially available. Prices are all over the lot, with cheap stuff sold for a few hundred dollars,  but good gear is close to $10,000 a copy. 
Removed link to competitor

Edited by tahqua - December/07/2011 at 15:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2011 at 05:06
cervelo View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: November/22/2011
Location: fl
Status: Offline
Points: 12
Thanks Tahqua-

 Just trying to learn as much as I can about the differences in what is the difference between the "generations"-been checking the web and haven't found much info and thought this would be a great place to get info. They just don't seem as popular as I thought they would be though.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2011 at 06:15
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: December/02/2011
Location: High Asia
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Points: 72
NVD Night Vision Devices are Light and/or Infra-Red (IR) Amplifiers operating passively and/or actively; with "actively" meaning trough "illumination" of the target with a non-visible radiation (generally IR)
They can be divided in 5 generations, from 0 to IV
Gen 0 started with the ZG-1229 "Vampir" mounted in the StG44 in 1945. It used a huge IR lamp (active system) and detector, for a total weight of over 10kg.  From Gen I to Gen IV the differences between systems are technical and linked to increased amplification power and reduced noise. Devices over Gen II are generally considered strategic in various NATO countries and subject to limitations of export and sales
Civilians can generally freely buy Gen II devices  but (depending of your intended use) I will generally NOT suggest to invest serious money in this equipment, as the performances are quite poor = they can detect BIG objects / living creatures but not their details; they were intended as targeting more than observation / identification devices, mainly at mid-low distance (50-100 meters) 
As "evolution of the specie" top level present military NVD binoculars have amazing specifications with recognition range (3Lp / 2.3x2.3 m) up  to  1.9 km (e.g. Zeiss Opus-H)
More simply and cheaply, let me remember that a good optical 7x50, giving an exit pupil >7mm, is very capable of giving U a pleasant view in full to half moon of a not-totally cloudy night. Here not only optical sheer measures, but also quality of lens will play a key role, with the top brands taking care of maximum transmission in the "blue" range of visible spectrum, giving clear advantage in low light situations
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2011 at 07:10
Kickboxer View Drop Down

Joined: February/13/2008
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Unless you are "making a living" shooting at night, I also suggest not investing large amounts of money in NV scopes.  In Kalifornia, I spent a bit of time with a group of coyote hunters.  We always went at night, never had any NV gear, slew many... we hunted on waxing Gibbous, full, and waning Gibbous moons.  I actually had a Remington 700 .270 with a Shilen barrel and a Leupold 3-9 scope that I used.  There, I finally told you... sue me... I got it CHEAP... $270.00, only reason I had it...  I finished the stock and sold it for a bit more than I had in it.  

I've "participated" in a number of NV development programs.  

NV certainly has it's place... it can be used for predator hunting, but it is an expensive prospect.  FLIR-quality gives a "recognition" capability, some of the very HIGH END scopes... most of the stuff out there won't provide much detail on the "target"...

I am currently researching a Gen I for use in engaging some pretty sneaky coyotes.  But, I am very confident of the location and nature of the targets and the fact that there is virtually NO possibiilty of an "unintended target".  I might go up to Gen III(doubt it), but truthfully have little use for Gen II.  It is, to me, not that much better in "presentation" than Gen I and not nearly as good as Gen III.  Gen I has a high failure rate (I believe all Gen I intensifiers are now made in the Ukraine), Gen II is a bit better, Gen III is pretty good, Gen IV is pretty darn good, but VERY expensive.  When you reach the Gen III and above range, you start talking serious dollars... at least to me.  
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