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Posted: 5/12/2018 9:17:55 AM EDT
I keep reading that Photonis doesn't make Gen 3 tubes, but all of these individual one or two man NV shops/builders that are all over the internet building PVS-14s and duals are selling all kinds of white phosphor tubes from Photonis. Are these just a "Gen 2+" WP tube of some kind. I'm not up to date on the latest and greatest in tubes.
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 10:52:12 AM EDT
Even Photonis flagship models; Intens 4G, XR5, Echo, etc, are "gen2" from a technology standpoint. It's possible that they do make some true "Gen 3" intensifiers but I havent any idea, I don't work for them.

I'm 99% sure these tubes are being marketed by folks who either don't know or are intentionally being called "gen 3" to dupe unknowing buyers.

I have some mid-level Photonis tubes that are honestly quite good and I sold off my small collection of omni4-7 gen 3 tubes because my photonis tubes work just great for my needs and I didn't need a pile of more expensive autogated devices sitting around when my cheaper ones have become my go-to's.

These newer white phos tubes are probably even better than what I have and probably look just as good if not better than an omni4 tube.

I however would NEVER buy from someone who either ignorantly or maliciously sold them as "gen 3"
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 11:24:43 AM EDT
Despite the tech level the photon is 4g tubes trade blows with high spec L3 WP filmless. The are just as spendy though.

Some people swear by the photonis (funny it’s the people who’ve bought them) but I think L3 has the slight edge.

I’ve heard though that photonis is immune to bright light damage. Or at least WAY more resistant to it.
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 11:28:35 AM EDT
If they are the INTENS tubes, then they are not "just" Gen2+ WP units, but the next iteration of Photonis' technology after XR5. They have some advantages over unfilmed L3, but lose in the lowest light.

The 4G min spec all these new tubes must fit into (a bit of mixed info in the EU vs US):
US:
1 - Bandwidth response from 400nm to 1100nm
2 - FOM above 1800
3 - Minimum 57 lp/mm resolution in all lighting conditions
4 - Halo size smaller than 0.9mm (0.7 typical)

EU:
1 - An Extended Bandwidth of photon collection to deliver a consistently high image quality in all environments (from below 400nm to above 1.000nm)
2 - A FOM (figure of merit being Signal to Noise Ratio times the Resolution : SNR* R) above 1.800
3 - A Resolution always superior to 57 lp/mm even in the most polluted light environments such as urban areas or when entering a building where the light is suddenly switched on
4 - A Halo size never larger than 0.7mm around the brightest objects seen in the image to provide the highest details around the light sources

When these were first being sold in the US there was some confusion about the halo size, and I am not sure how it is today, but then it was said the larger halo spec was for weapon mountable variants, though pretty much every Photonis tube handles min 500G shock versus min 75G with US Gen3 aviation tubes. A halo size of over 1.0mm is, or at least was not long ago, recommended with Gen3 for weapon mounting.

So in a nutshell they are different than L3 unfilmed tubes, but perform thereabouts the same if the specs are the comparable. They see illumination that Gen3 doesn't and usually have a smaller halo and a less scintillating picture.

UNV made great comparison videos.
Low light:


High light:
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 11:43:08 AM EDT
Great post above not much more I can add other than I did have one of the first batch of INTENS tubes that hit the USA market. At the time I also had 2 filmless WP tubes, a full milspec pinnacle and a filmless green all newer production. Overall the INTENS was very impressive performance wise it had the best screen cosmetics of all my tubes reminded me of the older ITT tubes that were are ultra clean back in the day.

Both my WP L3 filmless tubes were just average 64lp/29SN etc etc. I thought the INTENS ran right their with them on dark no moon rural property. I’m down to only a TNVC WP PVS-14 and Full mil Spec pinnacle PVS-14 right now I’m always selling/buying/trading gear it’s a sickness :)
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 11:50:19 AM EDT
There's pretty much no difference at the top end of image intensifiers between PHOTONIS and L3 - both companies can make some excellent tubes, and the general ones that show up tend to compare almost evenly.

Anyway, yes, PHOTONIS can and do make Gen3 (GaAs) photocathodes, and they are autogated filmless AFAIK, but they only use them on their cameras, not on their tubes... As of a few weeks ago, they did confirm there are no Gen3 IITs in their product range at all, just Gen3 EBAPS. The reason being that they use the photocathode as a filter to separate visibile/NIR and SWIR light so that Vis/NIR is intensified and SWIR is unintensified.

David.
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 7:44:44 PM EDT
Follow up question - why is it that most builders are using these tubes versus L3 WP?
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 10:12:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By westernhaikus1:
Follow up question - why is it that most builders are using these tubes versus L3 WP?
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Probably the cost and availability of generally high-spec tubes.
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 11:13:46 AM EDT
One note to make - it seems like most of the competitively prices units are using the Photonis ECHO tubes. Do the posters above have experience/data on those? Are they just rejected tubes with lower specs or something different?
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 2:49:52 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jwramp:
One note to make - it seems like most of the competitively prices units are using the Photonis ECHO tubes. Do the posters above have experience/data on those? Are they just rejected tubes with lower specs or something different?
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No first hand experience, just what I've read here. Apparently they are with slightly lower in spec and have more spots in the image. Still 4G afaik, but some specs are loosened. Who knows which as there's not much info out there.
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 4:21:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2018 4:23:39 PM EDT by C3N4-1]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By murtis:
No first hand experience, just what I've read here. Apparently they are with slightly lower in spec and have more spots in the image. Still 4G afaik, but some specs are loosened. Who knows which as there's not much info out there.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By murtis:
Originally Posted By jwramp:
One note to make - it seems like most of the competitively prices units are using the Photonis ECHO tubes. Do the posters above have experience/data on those? Are they just rejected tubes with lower specs or something different?
No first hand experience, just what I've read here. Apparently they are with slightly lower in spec and have more spots in the image. Still 4G afaik, but some specs are loosened. Who knows which as there's not much info out there.
I think you guys are on the right track. I imagine the process Photonis goes through to make their 4G line may be similar to how Intel manufactures and rates their processors. They manufacture to a high target spec, then test and "speed bin" the processors based on designated thresholds for each product tier. The highest testing tubes for the 4G line are labeled and sold as INTENS and the lower spec ones are sold as ECHO--both are originally made in the same manufacturing runs. Our more tied-in industry sources on the board can probably shed some more light on it.
Link Posted: 5/15/2018 12:08:59 PM EDT
I’m sure that’s what they are doing. They do it in their gen 2 stuff and are upfront about it. They have the milspec and then the didn’t pass mil spec tubes. It makes a ton of sense too.
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