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Old 02-14-2015, 04:23 PM
Jobu23 Jobu23 is offline
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Default Entry level nightvision monocular?



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So I have decided something is better than nothing for night vision and am looking at some gen1 monoculars. Does anyone have experience or recommendations on a brand they liked? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:39 PM
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So I have decided something is better than nothing for night vision and am looking at some gen1 monoculars. Does anyone have experience or recommendations on a brand they liked? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
My opinion and my opinion only. Save your money and buy some used Gen 3 or FLIR. New FLIR can be purchased for under 3K and used Gen 3 can be picked up for about the same. I have both FLIR and Gen 3 night vision, as well as some Gen 1 night vision. Gen 1 is very disappointing and I seriously wouldn't advise spending the money.

As FLIR will locate heat, it can be used both at night and daytime as well. If you are not familiar with FLIR you will be excited with the results when you first start playing. Locating warm dog poo is easy, as is finding a car that has recently been driven into the lot. You can even see your feet prints for a short time after walking across the deck. A squirrel on a tree is very easy to locate as is someone hiding in the bushes, day or night.

The Gen 3 work extremely well at night but won't locate heat like the FLIR will. I use them both when doing night drills around my property. BTW, don't laugh at the "warm dog poo" thing, it's actually handy sometimes. I'll leave it at that...
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:49 PM
strvger strvger is offline
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it all depends on the intended use. my 1st gen is the little Famous Trails FT 400 "ATLAS". it does great for me. 2.5 power with a 42mm objective lens. I purposely wanted a low power model with a larger front lens. it's all about gathering light and this is a good compromise. being compact, light weight, using aaa batteries and having an ir illuminator makes it a perfect fit for my needs. it is so much better than the 1st gen nvg goggles I had in the military that were heavy and cumbersome to the point of distraction. and I much prefer the green to the newer gray scale digital models, but that is a personal preference.
again, it depends on your needs. for no more than I paid for mine, I'm a happy camper.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:44 AM
Rusty52 Rusty52 is offline
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Here’s my two cents from someone who owns several types of night vision and knows the science behind them.

Many will be telling you that you must buy Generation 3 or nothing. Don’t believe them. You can get some useful night vision for under $200. I have a night vision device from Stealth Cam. It’s a digital night vision (not strictly speaking Gen 1, 2, or 3). It does require that you use the IR light that is in it, but the resolution is great and you can see up to 300 feet. I also have traditional night vision, but think that digital night vision is the best buy for the money.

This is the way I look at it. The most likely SHTF scenario will be looters in your neighborhood while the power is off. They probably will not have night vision, so a cheaper set that gives you a chance to see them and evaluate the threat will be invaluable. Remember that in a world of the blind, the man with one eye is the king.

As far as spending more for Gen 2 or 3, beware. Night vision can suck up a lot of money that can best be spent on other preps. Also don’t be blinded by the arguments that gen 3 is better than gen 2, which is better than gen 1. The Gen – 1, 2, 3 label was attached by the US government to identify three differing types of night vision tubes (S-20, S-25, GaAs)– not their relative quality. It doesn’t look at technological advances within the generation or other advances in the night vision device, but outside the tube.

In many ways, it’s like saying that a car is a four cylinder, six cylinders, or eight cylinder. There’s a lot more to a car than the number of cylinders. It also doesn’t look at the steady advance of engine technology that makes today’s 4 cylinder better than one 50 years ago.

Take Gen 1. for all the bad talk about them, first generation tubes are characterized by good image resolution (25–30 lp/mm), a wide dynamic range (the ability to reproduce the ratio between bright and dark parts of an image), low noise, and clear image with few blemishes.

However, technology, especially electronics, manufacturing techniques, and magnets have advanced considerably in the past half century and these have made the current Gen 1 NV many times better than their ancestors. For instance, better magnets developed in the past 50 years help sharpen the image near the edge on Gen 1 NV scopes. As a result of the advances in technology, the gain of some Gen 1+ is better than that of older Gen 2 (which should be a warning about buying older, used Gen 2 and 3 gear – it may not be as good as some newer, lower end stuff).

This Generation focus has actually hurt US consumers who focus on this. While US manufacturers focus on the highest Generation rating (in order to be more competitive in getting government contracts), European manufacturers focus on overall performance.

This focus on the generation of the tube in the US, has upset many European NV manufacturers,, who say customers should focus on the relative quality, not the generation technology of the tube. For instance, I have a set of binoculars that are rated Gen 1+ in the US, but have better gain and resolution than some Gen 2. In Europe, they would be rated Gen II Plus by Photonis (based on image resolution and signal to noise ratio).

Also remember that Gen 3 night vision has some weaknesses in what they see (something the manufacturers will not tell you). More modern night vision like Gen 2 and 3 are more sensitive in the near infrared region. However, that sensitivity comes at a cost – loss of sensitivity in the ultraviolet range (just below the blue band in the electromagnetic spectrum). For instance, at 360 nm – the frequency of those black lights students used in their dorm rooms in the 60s – a Gen 1 night vision device is over 30 times more sensitive than a Gen 3 and over 130 times more sensitive than a Gen 2. Gen 1 is also more than twice as sensitive in the blue band than Gen 2.

Of course, Gen 3 does give you about 50 nm of additional sensitivity on the near infrared side.

Bottom line, buy what you need and can afford, not what everyone else tells you. Prepping is the art of balancing several needs: food, medicine, shelter, weapons, survival skills, and night vision. Don’t overbalance the equation by spending too much on one component like night vision. In most SHTF situations, even a low tech night vision system will give you an advantage over looters in the streets.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:25 AM
DEFTanker DEFTanker is offline
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HAHA Rusty I was thinking you were totally geeking out... but I understood it all! Thank you THAT is exactly the response I was looking for to settle my internal doubts. GREAT write up
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:09 PM
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I bought a monocular NVG a couple of years ago and did a lot of research. I went with one that had no magnification because if I'm walking or moving at night I wanted it to be as normal as possible. I have had a lot of fun with mine, watching night critters or using it to go to the bathroom at night while camping.
They were fairly reasonably priced and there was no way I was ever going to splurge $2000 for a Gen 2 or 3 set, or even a pair of Gen 1 binos @ $500+ (although those would have been nice).
This is what I bought and I think it's pretty functional. Even comes with a head mount which didn't work for me since I have suh a tiny head, but would work for most. Reviews on a myriad of other sites gave it good reviews as well:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SYIM3S/ref=oh... cover
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SYIM3S/ref=oh...
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:15 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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It depends on your use I have a set of Armasight spark core and they are the best gen 1 I have used. That being said as far as distance shooting not so good. I can walk through the woods fine but that is with the ir on. To mean an ir flood is like a big spotlight saying here I am come shoot me. I am upgrading to some gen 2 stuff when I get a chance and the wife isn't looking
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:35 PM
DEFTanker DEFTanker is offline
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Dune- I was looking at that one but wanted something I could possibly mount on a rail, were you able to do that? So my alternative was this
Amazon.com : Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night... cover
Amazon.com : Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night...
Infntry/crunchie I absolutely understand what you are saying and eventually someday (when the 3 kids move out probably) I will be able to get something better but for now I wouldnt mind being the 1 eyed man.
PS:My wife wants one too so I have that going for me
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:51 AM
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Dune- I was looking at that one but wanted something I could possibly mount on a rail, were you able to do that? So my alternative was this
I don't honestly know, but I don't think so.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:25 AM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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Dune- I was looking at that one but wanted something I could possibly mount on a rail, were you able to do that? So my alternative was this
Amazon.com : Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Kit : Night Vision Optical Devices : Sports & Outdoors

Infntry/crunchie I absolutely understand what you are saying and eventually someday (when the 3 kids move out probably) I will be able to get something better but for now I wouldnt mind being the 1 eyed man.
PS:My wife wants one too so I have that going for me
Don't get the ghost that thing is garbage
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:07 PM
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Roger that. I grew up with the PVS 5 goggles and the ball crushing VVS 2 vehicle periscope before being issued the PVS 7 which was like night and day.... I know how good the 7's were and cant imagine being able to get something like that in the foreseeable future but I think I can squeeze the armasight into the budget.

Thanks guys
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:20 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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I am selling my Armasight on eBay for 605 with a Rifle mount and rhino adapter with 2 batteries
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:43 PM
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How does your Armasight Core compare (in terms of field performance) to other devices? Like a PVS-14, PVS-7B?

How was it with IR source turned on? Turned off? Clarity, fish eye effect, etc.

What's the practical range for distinguishing things like moving people?

In other words, did you feel the Armasight Core was worth the money in terms of being vastly better than Big Box Store Bushnell or Russian surplus Gen 1? Or was it only marginally better?

I've used most late model military passive and thermal gear. Just looking for something less expensive that would be useful for surveillance out to 100 meters or so.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:51 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
How does your Armasight Core compare (in terms of field performance) to other devices? Like a PVS-14, PVS-7B?

How was it with IR source turned on? Turned off? Clarity, fish eye effect, etc.

What's the practical range for distinguishing things like moving people?

In other words, did you feel the Armasight Core was worth the money in terms of being vastly better than Big Box Store Bushnell or Russian surplus Gen 1? Or was it only marginally better?

I've used most late model military passive and thermal gear. Just looking for something less expensive that would be useful for surveillance out to 100 meters or so.
It's way better than other gen 1's I have used but not quite where gen 2 starts. The clarity is pretty good. The light gathering is also better than my vega or my Russian set.
The it is good for walking in the woods but not great at range. However with it mounted to my rifle and an ir filter on my sure fire I can see well enough to pick off hogs or coyotes.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:08 AM
firesteelsteve firesteelsteve is offline
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I know this post is a little outdated, but is there anything new in the Gen1/Gen2 range that's easy on the wallet? I was looking at this Bushnell night vision monocular on this list?
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:02 PM
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I ordered 2 of these tonight at this Price. Good Reviews and Vids on Youtube, Got 1 for me and 1 for my Dad to spot Coyotes Running Around the Farm. I know the IR is only good to 100 Yards. I plan on using IR solar walk lights to light up further locations past the 100 yard range. I seen on another post on Here ~ Saved $150.00 a Set. $300.00 Savings. My First Dabble in Night Vision. Gen 1 is Better than a Flash Light !
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:27 PM
ilgar ilgar is offline
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I'd suggest staying away from Bushnell n/v with thermal, infrared, anything else they may offer. They suck more than Celine Dion's music.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:57 PM
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I have a night owl 4x monocular, I've had it for a couple years now and it works. It can be used with or without the IR illuminator, with, it's reasonably clear and the detail is sharp, without, it's grainy and sometimes it looks like it's snowing. I spent 150 bucks on it (n sale) from Cabelas, for what I'm using it for it works fine.


Edit add;
https://www.amazon.com/Night-Owl-5-P...g%2C228&sr=1-4
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:39 PM
ImbriD ImbriD is offline
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I have a Gen 1 and a Gen 3 (PVS-14 bought from a friend that needed cash). Yes, the Gen 3 is much better however, many Gen 1's are very usable depending upon your situation.

My Gen 1 is a Firefield Nightfall 2 and it's clarity is excellent. For $100 referb you can't go wrong and will not be disappointed once you read the manual.

Without the IR it's impressive. Was able to make out identifable shapes at 50 to 75 yards with only ambient light. With IR, I could do pretty darn close to 100. Now could I identify friend or foe, no.

At the BOL when I need / want to play with night vision I usually grab the Firefield. It's clarity is really nice.

Here's a link to the Gen 1 I have: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SOTIEB6/ref=dp_cerb_1
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Old 07-31-2019, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty52 View Post
I have a night vision device from Stealth Cam. It’s a digital night vision (not strictly speaking Gen 1, 2, or 3). It does require that you use the IR light that is in it, but the resolution is great and you can see up to 300 feet.

Stealth Cam STC-NVM. I paid $139. for it at WMT. They're cheaper now. They work well but they're not stealthy because the IR light glows red. You can't see the IR light cast onto things but the LED's themselves are visible from a long way off when the space around the viewer is dark (in shadow). Great for watching wildlife but if you're in a situation with dangerous human threat, you'll give your location away lickity split. Someone with a cell phone camera/ digital camera will see the light from from the IR LED's like it was the sun itself. It is very affordable though and it resolves things a long ways out.


I should add that you can focus them to your eyesight and whatever distance you're viewing. You can adjust the brightness of the IR spotlight. three setting I think. There's also a daytime setting so you can view things during daylight hours.
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