Reply To: Anyone know a good NV for scope?

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Anyone know a good NV for scope? Reply To: Anyone know a good NV for scope?

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So I did recently make a post about this in another thread:
https://www.airgunnation.com/topic/hand-held-ir-monocular/

 

"Here is the thing, something I want to preface this recommendation with: everything under 200$ is going to be made in China. You can pay for some brand to put their tramp stamp on it first, or you can go straight to the horse's ass and skip someone's markup. I personally am inclined to do one of two things with my purchases: either go so cheap I won't cry if it fails and needs to be replaced, or to go so good and high performance it will last me a lifetime and won't be rendered obsolete any time soon. 

 

So that said, this is a straight-to-the-source recommendation so you can get the maximum value. 
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Monocular-Night-Vision-Infrared-Digital-Scope-For-Hunting-Telescope-Long-Range-With-built-in-Camera-Shoot/32919835380.html?

 

So what is that? It isn't a tube amplifier, it is digital image intensification. Basically it is a more-sensitive-than-average camera sensor which has had its IR filter removed. This gives you a level of reliability and durability you don't get from analogue image intensification; there is no tube you're going to burn out. The Chinese are also excellent at building camera sensors, as they do a lot of it, which is why this thing can be made so cheaply. I also just ordered one, so I am putting my money where my mouth is.

So what are the downsides? Well I expect the housing will be cheap, really cheap. The optics are probably also quite inexpensive, so there will probably be some distortion and so on. It also doesn't have the image intensification capability of gen2 and higher night vision, so you will often want to supplement with an IR light. It has an in-built IR light, however you can quite cheaply buy MUCH more powerful IR illuminators, and depending on where you're using this you may or may not want to do that."

 

So that was my pitch on a handheld NV monocular. Regarding scope use though, I'd be inclined to recommend this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Night-Vision-Riflescope-Hunting-Day-and-Night-Riflescope-Hunting-Quick-Disassembly-Digital-Night-Vision-Scope-Outdoor/32911399909.html

 

So I also bought one of these at the same time. I'm still waiting for both to arrive, however in this case I have a couple generations old version of the clip on unit for a scope. I have a bit of a fetish for flashlights, so I don't use the supplied IR illuminator nor have any plans to, I use a MUCH more powerful unit. So far it has given me great visibility out beyond 500 yards. At about 60 yards I can actually watch mosquitoes flying around. The old gen clamping system was a little jenky though, and with my "new" Crown setup I'm short on tube real-estate where I can attach the screen. Thus this all-in-one unit appears rather tempting. I attached an image below of a cheap cell phone camera picture of the display screen. Please note I'm not hunting cats here, I was hunting rodents and it appears another local predator showed up to share my hunting ground. I left him to it, however I wanted to snap a quick pic before hand to show to friends, thus the image with the reticle placed off center. 

 

 

 

I should mention that these setups are not meant for the technically inept, there is some futzing to get everything aligned, focused, and working properly. If you're expecting it to be idiot-proof you'd do better to spend some extra greenbacks on a dedicated night vision scope, rather than a clip-on NV unit for your day scope. And in either case, I want to be very clear that my recommendation of both of these NV units is tentative until I get them in hand and am able to test them. If you're able to wait, I will test and review both units when I get them. If you're not able to wait, you might want to bank on someone else's advice. Either way though, in the sub 200$ range for NV, your options will be extremely limited and you should have realistic expectations of capabilities particularly in the absence of supplementary IR illumination. 

 

I hope that was helpful. :)