Night vision binoculars are very popular among hunters. They offer an intensified picture for observation at night but can be used also in dusk or dawn. They are available in different magnification power, which tells us also for what purpose they are meant to be used. In the past, the most commonly used night vision binoculars were analog night vision goggles converted into binoculars. These are pretty long and have one big objective lens.
Night vision devices are available in many different shapes and sizes. These were, and still are, available with different image intensifier tubes, which, in the end, tell us the price.
With an analog night vision device, you see the image directly through the device without a screen. This means the device has no refresh rate, so the image is displayed in normal time without any delay.
Night vision technology works by using a technology known as Intensifier Tube Technology. This technology uses a photon generator that amplifies the available light, allowing even faint starlight to be magnified and turned into usable images.
Additionally, some models may also include an infrared illuminator (infrared light) that helps further increase visibility in dark situations. The lenses used in night vision binoculars also play an important part by collecting more of the available light than traditional optical systems can for a clearer view. The combination of both the intensifier tube technology and quality lenses creates a powerful set of binoculars that can allow you to see in total darkness.
Night vision binoculars come in several different models, each with various features such as magnification power and field of view. Additionally, there are different generations of night vision binoculars, with newer models offering improved performance and features over older versions. It’s important to consider which model best suits your needs as well as if you should invest in a digital infrared night vision since they provide a much cleaner image.
The cheaper night vision binoculars feature a Gen. 1 image intensifier tube, but these are very limited in the distance of observing and also the performance in darker areas. The use of an additional infrared illuminator is in most cases needed.
The better night vision equipment feature a Gen. 2 or even a Gen. 3 image intensifier tube. With these, the detection and visual range extends, but also the price is a lot higher.
An Image Intensifier Tube (IIT) is the main component of an analog night vision technology. It tells us how good we will see in dark areas, and how many times the light gets amplified through the device. The main difference makes the night vision generations of an IIT, but night vision generations 2 and 3 IIT´s can be ordered also in green or black & white.
The differences are not big, but both have some advantages. For many people, observing for a long period of time is much more comfortable with a night vision device that features a green IIT since the green color is more soothing for the eyes. The green IITs have often a brighter appearance, but the detail recognition is mostly better with a black & white IIT.
It is also worth mentioning that night vision devices which feature a black & white image intensifier tube, are in most cases more expensive than the green ones.
Green vs. Black&White IIT
Digital night vision devices, on the other hand, do not feature an image intensifier tube but a sensor, and the image is displayed on the screen in the ocular. Because of that, some digital infrared night vision have the advantage that the color of the image can be changed. For daytime observations, the image can be changed to a full-color mode, and during the night into a black and white mode.
Night vision binoculars can be a great tool when it comes to exploring the outdoors during the nighttime. These binoculars are much more powerful than traditional optics and provide an amazing experience for those looking to get up close and personal with nature at its darkest.
The use of night vision allows you to observe wild animals from afar, something that can often be difficult to do without some form of illumination. Additionally, the superior image quality provided by many infrared night vision binoculars makes them great for night-time hunting and tactical activities as well.
Night vision binoculars are available as analog devices or digital devices. Each of them has some advantages, but also disadvantages.
In the past, only a limited number of manufacturers produce night binoculars. Today, the number is much bigger, and many manufacturers offer also digital night vision devices. Digital optical systems are normally a lot cheaper and have also some other benefits as well.
Analog night vision means that the image gets amplified by a photocathode and the image intensifier tube, and not with a sensor. Analog optical systems also don't have a refresh rate like digital ones.
Yukon Night Vision Binocular Tracker
Digital night vision technology offer the advantage of allowing you to capture photos and record videos, whereas analog systems cannot do so. With digital infrared night vision, it is also possible to use digital zoom, so you are not forced to use only one magnification.
Digital night vision devices can also be used during the day since the bright light can not damage the sensor. This is not the case with an analog night vision device, because exposing the device on a sunny day can damage the image intensifier tube.
Whatsoever, digital infrared night vision devices consume a lot more battery power. Analog systems have much longer battery life, the batteries last 5-10x longer.
With a digital night vision device, the image gets into the device with a sensor that is right behind the objective lens. This sensor processes and converts the image you are looking at to an electric signal, which, in the end, is showed on the screen in the ocular. Because the image gets converted, digital infrared night vision devices have a refresh rate.
The refresh rate tells us how many pictures we see in one second. Good digital infrared night vision have a refresh rate of 50 or even 60 frames per second, so the user sees a nice and smooth picture. When the refresh rate is too low, then fast-changing frames can be seen, which affect the viewing experience. Also the display the user is looking at has an important role. If the display's resolution is good, the displayed image quality and image resolution is better, and you can not see every single pixel.
ATN Binox 4K Night Vision Binoculars
The difference between night vision goggles and night vision binoculars is often not easy to separate. These devices have often the same housing but still, one is called binoculars and one night vision goggles. The main difference between these devices is the magnification power – night vision goggles have true 1x magnification, which is very important, and night binoculars offer a magnified picture.
Primally night vision goggles were designed for helicopter pilots and soldiers on foot. Because of that, the image has to be normal, with no magnification power, so the user had a picture like during the day. With a magnified picture the users would not have the true sense of distance, so it would be impossible to fly a helicopter, drive a car, or walk.
Night vision goggles enable the user to move freely and offer a wide field of view during the night. With night vision goggles that are mounted on the head of the user, the user can also aim with a weapon – many red dot sights on the market even feature a night vision-friendly illumination.
Night vision technology binoculars are available in many different magnification power, but the biggest downside of binoculars is, that the user cannot walk freely when observing. Also the field of view is much smaller, but this mostly depends on the given magnification – the bigger the magnification power, the smaller the field of view.
Some night-vision goggles feature also an interchangeable objective lens, which gives us different magnification power. Thanks to that, the goggles can be also used as binoculars to observe objects on bigger distances.
Night Vision Binoculars and Night Vision Goggles
Infrared night vision binoculars, on the other hand, offer a magnified picture, so the visual range, detection range and recognition range can be drastically improved. The details the user can see during the night are much bigger, even on extended ranges.
Both devices have some pros and cons.
Night vision scopes (monoculars) that feature more than 1x magnification are mostly used by hunters. They offer a magnified and intensified picture, which helps the user observe wild animals, nature, etc. during the night-time hunting.
Compared to NV binoculars, monoculars are a lot smaller in size, and also lighter in weight. Because of that, it is a lot more comfortable to transport since it takes less space.
Night vision monoculars are also cheaper than night vision binoculars.
Night vision binoculars offer the user a great viewing experience because it is a lot more comfortable when looking with both eyes. This is especially noticeable at longer-time observations. The depth perception is also better, but they are more difficult to adjust to the user’s eyes. They are mostly pretty big and bulky, and in most cases more expensive than monoculars.
Night vision binoculars should be stored and handled with care as they are delicate pieces of equipment. Properly caring for the binoculars will ensure that they last a long time and perform their best when needed. With the right model and correct handling, night-vision binoculars can become an invaluable tool when it comes to experiencing the outdoors during the night.
Exposing the night vision binoculars on a sunny day can damage the image intensifier tube, so make sure that they are kept away from direct sunlight at all times.
If you want to make sure that your night vision binoculars operate optimally, then consider following these tips:
By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your night vision technology binoculars stay in top working condition for years to come.
A short presentation of Night - Vision Binoculars is available here.