Any recommendations for night vision mono/binoculars?

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Safari Chick, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Safari Chick

    Safari Chick AH Veteran

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    I hope this is the right place to post this query...I have decide to buy some night vision mono/binoculars but thought I would ask for recommendations here to start my search.
  2. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    SC... most well-known optic brands produce them and of course you cannot go wrong with Zeiss. But look for the ones made in belarus - they are more affordable. They are a lot of fun and a great gadget.
  3. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    You get what you pay for

    Being a former military pilot I can tell you that the difference in various night visions devises or NVDs is great. When you see “GEN-1" you are talking thirty to forty year old Infra Red illumination technology. They are not impressive and they require a IR light source. "GEN-2" was the first step towards passive light gathering. Not bad overall but far more expensive than the GEN-1. "GEN-3" is the stuff fairy tells are made of. My GEN-3 Night Vision Goggles (AN-PVS-6c) are good enough to read a newspaper in a dark room. We use these when flying helicopters at night. You will pay in excess of 10K for a real set of GEN-3 goggles or binos. So hope this helps.
  4. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    Reading what I wrote, I want to clarify something. I don't personally own a GEN 3 set of ANVIS goggles, those are provided by my employer, Uncle Sam, and they are pretty much specific for night flights. There are some fine GEN 2 and 3 binos or scopes out there, but the prices do run high.
  5. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    Just about any animal will look at you at night, and when they do, you can light their eyes up with a cheap 1st Gen Russian scope and an IR illuminator.

    No matter if you have 3rd Gen scopes, if you look at that glowing green screen you are night blind for a while afterwards.

    I only use a monocular and only use my left eye. I use my right eye for sighting my scope and it retains my night vision at all times.

    I have a Hawke white LED light with a flip down red filter on my scope. It can vastly increase the range of the monocular, much farther than the IR illuminator, and red light doesn't scare animals.

    After fixing the target in my scope, I can flip down the red filter and transfix the animal with white light for a few seconds, or I can increase my ability to see the target if I have less than a half moon or overcast night sky. If you have a half moon or more, a regular scope like my Hawke Nite-Eye SR6 3-12x50mm will outperform cheap 1st Gen rifle scopes, at far less cost.
  6. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    MacB is correct: you get what you pay for, or at least you don't get more than you pay for. My advice is go with high quality Gen 3 and do not try to save money beyond shopping for the best price for equivalent gear. You will only end up wasting the money you spend if you cheap out the first go around.

    I had a Gen 1 Russian made scope that was completely useless. About 4 years ago, I purchased a Gen 3 PVS14. The difference is night and day. The 14 is simply fantastic.

    I've read on other boards comments about NV being overrated, useless, etc. I can only conclude that the people writing this haven't tried the good stuff. The best I've tried is my (freely available) PVS14, and it really does turn night into day. I can only imagine what the restricted access, government-only kind of stuff can do.
  7. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    If price is a problem, buy Russian optics. The cheap 1st Gen stuff is what most people are familiar with, but you CAN buy high quality current state-of-the-art gear made by manufacturers like LOMO.

    LOMO of St. Petersburg supplies NV gear to government agencies around the world, and the biggest difference between their best stuff and our best stuff will be the price. LOMO supplies 90% of the high end optical gear to the Russian military.

    My 6" LOMO telescope blows my 8" American Meade telescope into the weeds on optical quality, and the same goes for a comparison against Celestron. I looked through a 9" Celestron that was vastly inferior to my 6" LOMO Mak-Cass on planetary and lunar viewing.

    LOMO is comparable to Carl Zeiss in optical quality. One of the finest American telescope companies, Stellarvue, has used LOMO objective cells in it's best quality telescopes. LOMO is a big company and isn't too interested in dealing with common consumers anymore, which is why you may not have heard of them. In things like medical optics and other high end applications, LOMO is known around the world.

    Compare LOMO's best NV goggles against American PVS. The biggest difference will be the price. Finding a source is your problem, but if you are creative there will be people willing to sell it to you at far below American NV prices. As far as the restricted stuff goes, my visits to Russia seem to indicate that if you have the will and the money, there will be a way to get hands on it. And I am sure that's what a lot of people have been doing. Government agencies included. Special forces troops often use foreign made equipment as it has "deniability" in case it is captured or abandoned during operations. I'm sure some of our tropps are using LOMO NV gear when the situation calls for deniability.
  8. opticspecialist

    opticspecialist AH Member

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    depending on your price range, i don't recommend anything below gen 3. i favor the pvs14 unit, it can be weapon or helmet mounted, and well as hand held.

    check out our site, www.sportoptics.com or give me a call 1-800-720-9625 and i'll get you into something
  9. JOlivier

    JOlivier New Member

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