Night vision monocular
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Thread: Night vision monocular



  1. #1
    Deadeye
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    Night vision monocular

    I have been looking at some cheap night vision monoculars in the $500-$700 dolar range. Lots of different manufacturers and claims. Does anyone have any experience with them?
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  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    Lots. The first thing is to learn the generations. Gen 1 night vision is the oldest type. Gen 2 is far better. Gen 3 is latest tech and costs a fortune. There is also Gen 1+ and Gen 2+. A monocular in Gen1+ is still very useful. All night vision will benefit from additional infrared illumination.

    There are two basic types, the older passive and active, known as an intensifier or digital. Non digital will work without extra IR illumination, but still needs some light, like moonlight. Cant 'intensify' whats not there. Infrared light source sorts that out. Digital tends to need it. One big issue is when using infra red you can be seen by others with NV. Not a problem for animal watching but a big problem if military or police type roles.

    A monocular is great for observation, but not shooting. You will need a NV scope with reticle and rail mounting. More expensive.

    Most economic would be a digital monocular. Some are 1x, other 2 or 4x typically. If money is no limit heat sensitive NV is gaining popularity. But is still very pricy. There is also some debate as to which provides a better more useable image.

    Like doing a threat assessment exercise you need to figure out what you want from it. Does it matter if you can be detected? If not, digital is fine. Do you need magnification? If not, 1x or 2x will do. That sort of thing.

    Its a huge subject. I am no expert but have used NV a fair bit over the years. Any specific questions and I will try to help.
    Last edited by tranteruk; 06-14-2019 at 01:45 AM.
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  3. #3
    Marlin Fanatic
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    Good info tranteruk!
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  5. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    After thought. To be clear, a digital low magnification monocular is I think the best value for money and performance balance for the average user. They will mostly come with an integrated IR light, but that can be added to with a second if needed.

    I still have a G2+ NV scope, but keep a cheap digital monocular in the car as a back up unit. Like a spare tyre, you never know when that might be useful. Also, if waiting or stuck in the wilds after dark, it helps pass the time spotting wildlife.
    'Diligentia Vis Celeritas'

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  6. #5
    Marlin Marksman
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    What do you want it for? Tran gave a great synopsis. I'll add a little from this side of the pond. I have 2 NV scopes. One was a MilSurp from Germany. It is a Zeiss Gen 1 but it has close to Gen 2 performance. It has an 80 mm objective lens and has 2 Gen 1 amplifiers in series. The thing works really well but it bulky. If you are stationary, no problem.
    I also bought a Russian made one at a gun show. Cost around $400. It works pretty well out to 100 yds. It is a gen 1 with a IR lamp. I set this up on a 22 WMR for fox and yotes.

    There is gen 2 and gen 3 out there and they are great. A Gen 3 goes for $4k. I think there are Gen 2 for around $1500. Sky is the limit for this stuff. You can also go straight IR now days. I think the base models are around $4k. Depends what you want to do.
    V

  7. #6
    Wrangler
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    Has anyone used the Leupold LTO Tracker Thermal Viewer? If so, what do you think?
    Last edited by white cloud; 06-14-2019 at 07:14 AM.
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  8. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    If you have a smartphone, you already have half of a pretty good thermal night vision camera. FLIR and Seek both make thermal add on cameras that offer (based on reviews) very good capabilities. IR and thermal have their individual benefits and negatives. For instance, you can't see through glass with thermal, but thermal lets you see through smoke and fog. If you need to see an IR laser dot, then thermal is useless.

    Monoculars and smartphone add-ons are good for detection, but no good for shoot'n. Don't try to shoehorn a monocular onto a rifle, they are not made to stand up to recoil and have no useful reticule. Lastly... If you can't afford a $1500 scope, you can't afford a $700 scope. What I mean by this is; do yourself a favor and save up for a better scope. The difference between a $700 rig and a $1500 rig is, umm, night and day.
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  9. #8
    "Opinionated Texan" Super Moderator
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    the nv monocular i have is made by bestguarder. i think i paid like 350. for it.
    it has a didgital screen in it, and can also record. has a zoom button and 3
    ir settings, and you can focus the lens. it also has a rail so you can upgrade
    to a stronger ir.
    mine is a 6x50mm
    i use it for spotting hogs at night so i don't have to use a light until i want to
    shoot. out to 250 yards it's effective. you can tell a calf from a hog that far.
    i didn't really expect it to be this good.
    i also bought a set of perimeter alarms for the feeders up here by the house
    made by them and they are quite reliable.
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