Night Vision – The struggle is real!

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts Night Vision – The struggle is real!

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    NEAirGunner
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    What's up everyone! So I am setting up a coyote rig based around my new Benjamin Bulldog and I want to go with some kind of night vision set up. I am not going to go thermal as it is not in the budget. I wanted to hear from guys that are using different IR set ups and what their good and bad experiences have been. I have read 50/50 reviews on most of the ATN stuff so I am not convinced that is a good choice for me. There is a new budget friendly IR system on the market from Sightmark that I have been looking at but, again not sure about how reliable they are. Any and all input is appreciated! 

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    edosan
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    I recommend Pard NV007 if you want to use your own scope, or pard nv008 if you want something like ATN 

    I have the NV007 and love it…

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by edosan.
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    rangur1
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    two for consideration are the sightmark photon RT digital 4.5 x 42 s  or the nitesight viper / wolf / eagle   these are around 400-600 bucks. fairly well received all around.

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    Laity
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    rangur1

    two for consideration are the sightmark photon RT digital 4.5 x 42 s  or the nitesight viper / wolf / eagle   these are around 400-600 bucks. fairly well received all around.

    I have a Photo RT and its ace . Works a treat . Good shout 

     

     

    Rog

     

     

     

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    Willie14228
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    I know that there is been a lot of negative reviews on the ATN system. A lot of those negative reviews came when the system was first released before all the bugs worked out.

    I have had three different night vision systems from ATN. Including the Thor LT with the exception of adjusting to using night vision I have not had any issues with any of them. The first version I had was an IR system it's only issue was that it the battery life was short 

    The LT and the newer version of the IR both has a dramatic increase in battery Life. 

    One of the things that you may want to consider is that units that use your existing scopes are going to only be as good as the scope that you're using another thing that you're going to want to consider is the millimeter of that scope for example a 40 mm is not going to capture as much ambient light as a 50 mm and a 1 inch tube is not going to allow as much light as a 30 mm tube. so if you're thinking about using an external system then you going to want to attach it to the largest diameter tube that you have. The new versions of ATN night vision also use your existing mounts and 30 mm which is very nice. 

    An alternate to a night vision scope is a laser designator these work a little different than just a laser. The diopter is adjustable allowing you to adjust the size of the laser from a dot all the way out to about a foot with something like 75 yard range it works very well in lighting up the eyes of the animal and most are in a green laser and I believe that the last one that I bought costed somewhere like $120 even if you still want to go with night vision it is a great addition to the setup because night vision is very hard to estimate your yardage. By zeroing the laser at with your scope at your premium yardage anything above or below that zero will present itself with the laser because the laser will be above or below your zero point respectively when you aim at the animal. Alerting you of the animal Being inside or outside of your zero

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    tsakula
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    edosan

    I recommend Pard NV007 if you want to use your own scope, or pard nv008 if you want something like ATN 

    I have the NV007 and love it…

    Does 007 record video?

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    biohazardman
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    I built my first night vision unit and it werqed better than most of the available commercial units but I had to look at a screen and not through the scope.  So I purchased a Sightmark photon RT.  It was as good as my DIY unit but I looked through the scope which was a plus in my book.  But it gobbled batteries so I bought some rechargeable lithium AA batts to help with that.  I did not even use the thing before they came out with the new ATN X-Sight pro 4K with an 18 hr rechargeable battery on board and better graphics than the Photon so I grabbed one up and it is great!  I upgraded the software then downgraded one step and it has been perfect ever since. My only complaint is it is a bit on the heavy side.

    DIY  self contained unit DVR and camera have QR levers so come of in seconds.

    DVR and camera used on the above DIY unit.

    Picture of the screen in the pitch black basement lit with a 940 IR flashlight

    Impact with Photon

    Impact with ATN 4K Pro and ABL rangefinder.  This is a treat because once you range your target the reticle moves and gives you the perfect shot every time.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    NEAirGunner
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    All great info guys I do appreciate everyone's input… I still haven't made up my mind yet. Some nice looking rigs out there too!

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    NEAirGunner
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    Damn that ATN looks like a monster with the range finder on it! What does she weigh in at?

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    biohazardman
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    The ATN is 2.1 lb and the rangefinder is .8 lb so it is a heavy load for sure.  I think the rangefinder is a bit heavy for what it is and the scope needs to diet as well.  Weight is why I originally bought my first Photon it was .5 lb lighter than the ATN.  I thought the Photon was defective, when I got it, and so sent it back they upgraded me to the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles, but weighs near the same as the ATN. :^(

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    edosan
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    tsakula

    edosan

    I recommend Pard NV007 if you want to use your own scope, or pard nv008 if you want something like ATN 

    I have the NV007 and love it…

    Does 007 record video?

    I does, lots of reviews on YT … I have tested a lot of NV, and pard is one of the best. WiFi etc, I have record from 20 to 200 y videos with no issues, lots of videos on my instagram page (check my profile) or check this, PARD only. is small, light battery long last, you can use it as a monocle too, and the best is that fits almost all scopes, so you do not need to change it same settings, no focus problems  … and in daylight records VERY GOOD and clear.

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by edosan.
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    STO
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    So there are really just so many different options out there at so many different price levels all of which do different things, it is hard to make a recommendation with such a broad prompt. 

     

    What I'll say on the subject is, having played this game for years and watched the technology change, is my best advice is to start out small. Some of my friends didn't think they'd be into night vision hunting and went absolutely bananas in pajamas for it once they tried it. Others thought it'd be the coolest thing, tried it, and just weren't that excited by it. 

    My personal stance is that I love it, but I have a couple requirements. First and foremost is I don't build exclusive night vision rifles, I shoot my rifles primarily in ambient light, and so don't want to have to trade optics to move over to night or burn batteries day and night in order to shoot. It just isn't worth it. For this reason, I strongly prefer the clip-on night vision optics. They let me shoot through the scope I've spent so many hours behind with the same zero, some holdovers, same bubble level, same reticle, same clicks, same everything. It also means, with clip on night vision, all my rifles can run at night, not just the one I invested big $$$ into night vision for. 

     

    I reviewed two budget night vision optics here you might want to take a look at. It is amazing what you can get for 100$ these days:
    https://www.airgunnation.com/topic/budget-night-vision-optic-reviewed/

    I actually really like the clip on night vision unit I reviewed there, and still use it. For me, when night hunting, I stick the rifle on a tripod so being able to just watch a screen (rather than hunch over and look through a scope) is very convenient. Also, if you're not sure how "into" night vision hunting you'll be, it is an inexpensive way to dip your toes. So that'd be my recommendation. Obviously it is a pretty broad topic though and I don't have a good idea what you're looking for so this may not be the best solution for you. I hope it helps though. :) 

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    Kdog
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    I like the size and weight of the Pard nv007 and 008 compared to the ATN units.hmmm

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    tcgun
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    +1 for ATN 4K.  I hesitated for two years because of the negative reviews.  Got the 5-20x in December and love it. 
     

    I’m using a nitecore c17 IR illuminator, which is much better than the included one, but overall I am blown away.  It far exceeds my expectations.  The ui is surprisingly intuitive, the resolution is fantastic, and the reticles (especially the latest firmware which was not installed when I bought it) is great.

    If theres an issue, it’s that i wish the fov was wider for scanning at night.  I just ordered the 3-14x, and will sell the higher mag version when it arrives.

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    jwrabbit123
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    I own 2 nite time setups  one is Digital night vision and the other Thermal , I now have had both for over 1 year , I got the digital night vision n first here is my  take on them .

     

    digital NV

    I got a Pulsar NV-550 , I paired it with a arm slight  IR light , it uses 4 batteries and doesn't record , I bought a recording device from nite-vision guys , and I got a battery extender that uses usb , I have used it from coyotes to chipmunks , it is great and works well up to about 100 yds

     

    Thermal

    I looked at thermals for about 4 years and then narrowed it down to a few and I ended up getting the ATN 5-50 HD , I love this unit , It did take me a few months to get used to ho it operates and to learn how to tweak things for different conditions , I use this alot for a spotting scope to hunting , The price came way down on thermals and thermal is the way to go , I am glad I got this as at first I didnt like it I used to think it was blurry up close , well I can use it from 10 yards to 1500 yards , and nothing can hide from me with it .

    I can go out on my deck with either my best rifle scope on a tripod or my spotting scope and scan woods line which is about 200 yards from deck , I may see a bird or a squirrel , but when I take out the thermal , I can see like everything , I see  like 8 squirrels and say 50 birds in trees , You would never know they their , the thermal is amazing,

    As for tracking it is also a good tool , it can see a blood trial or even footprints , so I would say  buy the best thermal you can ,

    Aso for features in mine it records has like 8 colors about 10 reticles and other things like , it saves 3 guns in memory ,so you can clip it on say my edgun 30 cal and enter in profile say for my 52 grain slug and you ready to hunt , I have over 30 pprofiles saved to cards , I have it zeroed for hi power guns to my sub12 gun now ,

    AS for zoom , this is only thing is with a thermal zoom isnt same as with my regular scopes , With my thermal I rarely go past say 10x , My unit has a sub menu you can choose a zoom of 5×20 or 5-50   use the first one I find no use for the higher zooms ,

    the unit has many cool features you can use your cell phone to see recordings or shots or even change setting ,It even has a  built in level for cant , it also has a built in ballistics rangefinder which can automatically adjust for wind-age and elevation ,

    say you see a coyote and you see he is 470 yards , you can have the scope do the math and correct for wind and all inputs , this is a very cool feature , I have tested it on targets a few times out to 600yd and it actually hit steel here

    The unit is like a computer it is actually so to work well it needs good clean power , it also uses AA batterys 4 of them , The CPU on the ATN  works better with 1.5 volts then 1.25 volts

    SO I found best batteries to be kentli aaa batteries they have a 1.5v voltage regulator built in battery , they last hours , I carry a spare sent on me , I also have a ATN battery pack which gives you like 20 hrs ,I got mine on sale and would do it again , I hope this helps

    LOU

     

     

     

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    intenseaty22
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    I had been asking around recently and learned of the 007 from one of you guys here on the forum. The more I look at it, the more I like the idea of it. Being able to use it from rifle to rifle and not have one single gun committed to night vision. I think it would meet my needs just fine as I don't need it for long distance shooting. The only Negatives? have been lack of truly good reviews of the unit and they say it puts the eyepiece way far back. 

    I actually have an old ATN X I bought used from Joe, but have not figured it out very well, bit of technically/time challenged. Perhaps Shot Show and or IWA will bring good tidings. 

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    NEAirGunner
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    I have decided to go with the Pard NV007. I like the quick disconnect option and I can use it on my other rifles if I choose to. Thanks to everyone who chimed in and helped me in my decision. I will post up again after I get it all hooked up and working. 

    Cheers!

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    cmatera
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    I'm thinking about the PardNV007 too.  Lot's of issues to address though, specifically, alignment (with daytime scope), collimation (always an issue with clip on devices), light transmission (the more layers of glass, the dimmer the picture), and rail space needed for the 2 optics.  I am currently using an ATN 4k Pro 3-14 and am reasonably happy with it, but also have real non-digital and thermal as well.

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    bmwgsboy
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    I’m letting go of a nitesite eagle rtec, it’s on the market place great unit. 

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    pesty3782
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    So where did you order your PardNV007 from?

    Tony P.

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