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Posted: 10/11/2020 7:41:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2020 6:44:07 AM EST by laxman09]
Looking for advice and Ill do my best to talk through my thinking, but posting here to get feedback from those who have better insight and experience.

I picked up a Sionyx a few weeks ago and while it is pretty amazing, it left me wanting the real deal. The limitations that others mentioned are true and Id like to have something that is an actual NVD.

I was debating between the PVS14 XLS WP and the Photonis ECHO units available at a site vendor here and after talking with him it seemed like the XLS was the poorer choice due to unceratantiy about what I could end up getting.  So that left me with the Photonis ECHO which does seem to be a pretty nice option.

My uses are going to be for neighborhood watch (currently live in a residential area with a decent amount of ambient light, however I live in a less than desirable area and we seem to lose power at night a few times a year), would like to take some night shooting classes, and woods nav for when I have time to start hunting again.

Those that bought the Photonis ECHO, do you regret it? I have no illusions about being a Tier1 operator, but like getting the best value for my money.  Maybe one day Id upgrade when more funds are available, but I have enough to make this purchase and just need a push one way or another if its a solid unit.

Thanks for any input and feel free to ask any question that might help you guide me to the best choice.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 7:47:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 7:53:56 PM EST
I would take gen 3 over gen 2 any day of the week, especially knowing the XLS line average is well above the min spec. Both JRH and TNVC/NGI sell them.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 7:56:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Synyster06Gates:
I would take gen 3 over gen 2 any day of the week, especially knowing the XLS line average is well above the min spec. Both JRH and TNVC/NGI sell them.
View Quote


Yeah thats my debate, but spending almost $3k Im a bit risk adverse to purchase a XLS unit that could come back very lackluster. Thats why Im here asking though.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 7:59:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:


Yeah thats my debate, but spending almost $3k Im a bit risk adverse to purchase a XLS unit that could come back very lackluster. Thats why Im here asking though.
View Quote


Either one is going to make your Sionyx look like garbage. The XLS is going to outperform the Echo in pretty much every condition.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:00:28 PM EST
I don't regret my echos, I think you run more of a gamble with the XLS at the same price point seeing the sample size of the echos vs xls here. XLS seem to have more blems and tubes in the mid 20s snr. Kind of a toss up in value with the availability being a solid nudge in favor of echos in my mind when I bought.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:02:55 PM EST
I just got my Photonis from JRH about 2 weeks ago and been out using it almost every night.
I live in a semi rural area where there isn't any lights from town or anything.  Just dark woods.
On the nights when it's really dark I bought a cheap IR flashlight for something to supplement a bit.
If you live in a residential area and bought a decent IR flashlight for when the power goes out you should be good to go.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again.
And they're pretty high spec tubes from Robert.
Here's a link to his thread that has some specs of the photonis tubes that have been shipping out.
Photonis thread

Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:03:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:08:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:


Well in our case for those who ordered the NGI/TNVC XLSH's we have a NO questions asked 15 day return policy, and NO restocking fee, NO nada.
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But when will the be available again?
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:10:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:45:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:


Next month.
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Mental note.

Still seeking input about the ECHO. Or I guess the XLS tubes.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:51:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/11/2020 8:52:13 PM EST by Synyster06Gates]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:


Mental note.

Still seeking input about the ECHO. Or I guess the XLS tubes.
View Quote

I've had two XLS tubes.

One was 76 resolution and 35.5 SNR for a FOM of 2698. It was blemish free and a great tube.

The other was 27 SNR and 64 resolution with a 0.3 EBI and also blem free. It wasn't the highest spec unit, but it was easily my favorite that I've had to date. Something about the screen cosmetics was fantastic.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:54:25 PM EST
The EE is where I'd look man. The XLSH tubes will be impressive compared to the sionyx even if you get a low spec unit but I think its dumb. You don't go to Chevy dealer pay $50k and say I hope I don't get the base model Camaro. You may get the 6cyl while another guy gets the ZL1.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 8:59:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ARShooter91:
The EE is where I'd look man. The XLSH tubes will be impressive compared to the sionyx even if you get a low spec unit but I think its dumb. You don't go to Chevy dealer pay $50k and say I hope I don't get the base model Camaro. You may get the 6cyl while another guy gets the ZL1.
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Thats my thinking about getting a random tube. Hell of a bitter pill to swallow.

Ive done a fair amount of buying/selling on the EE, but buying a NVD would have me nervous.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:07:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:


Thats my thinking about getting a random tube. Hell of a bitter pill to swallow.

Ive done a fair amount of buying/selling on the EE, but buying a NVD would have me nervous.
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That's understandable. If you keep an eye out you can find units with a warranty as well.

A thread over on snipershide has lots of tube comparison pics of the Photonis and others. He has an unusually high spec Photonis though(pretty sure it's an echo) and it can hang with some of the better Elbits and even L3s.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:10:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ARShooter91:


That's understandable. If you keep an eye out you can find units with a warranty as well.

A thread over on snipershide has lots of tube comparison pics of the Photonis and others. He has an unusually high spec Photonis though(pretty sure it's an echo) and it can hang with some of the better Elbits and even L3s.
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Ive never been over SH way, but Ive seen some really nice looking pics out of the Echo units which is why Im considering it so much even though its in a weird in between Gen2/Gen3 place.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:24:31 PM EST
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Good comparison of 3 different tiers.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:47:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/11/2020 9:49:05 PM EST by CDN_Datawraith]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:
Ive never been over SH way, but Ive seen some really nice looking pics out of the Echo units which is why Im considering it so much even though its in a weird in between Gen2/Gen3 place.
View Quote

I've got a very nice Echo with excellent specs. If I was able to do it again and have access to gen 3, I would save up and get a gen 3.

My experience is that a very high spec Echo is about 80% of the performance of a good gen 3 tube. The Echo does what I want usually, but I found even older gen 3 tubes are able to resolve details and pick out things in shadows better than the Echo. For instance, my buddy and I were approaching a structure about 50 yards away and he could see details inside the dark doorway that I could not resolve at all. For PID, you'll also want to be able to resolve finer details sooner. He can read lettering on signs using an OMNI IV tube sooner than I can with my Echo outdoors with starlight (no moon). With a half to full moon though (or any higher lighting condition), the Echo performs absolutely beautifully.

The gain on the Echo is also lower than gen 3, meaning the screen cannot be turned up as bright. Some people like a darker image, others will just run any tube turned all the way up. While it's kind of a personal preference, at least with the gen 3, you can turn it down if you find the max gain too bright. With the Echo, if you find the max gain to be too dark, too bad, you can't turn it up more. Be careful when people say it's better for urban environments too; I completely agree with Augee when he says urban environments are when you want the absolute best low-light performance because of how dark indoor spaces can get as well as all the shadows generated by light sources.

Now, after bashing it's performance a little, I will say that it has amazing screen cosmetics. The image is extremely clear and calm when it collects enough light. If you're planning on dealing with dynamic and mixed lighting conditions, it may be a decent choice as well as it has a minimum high light resolution (that said, people will argue why you would be using NODs in high light anyways).

Other people may have different experiences with it, but that's my thoughts on it.
Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:54:20 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ARShooter91:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zns4sqYTVDg

Good comparison of 3 different tiers.
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Great video, thank you. The L3 Filmless is clearly a great tube. I can see how the Echo was darker and lacked some of the finer details in darker environments.

Link Posted: 10/11/2020 9:59:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:


Next month.
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Can you give a price point for them? I'm looking to buy something within the next 6 weeks...
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 1:28:40 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tunatuk:
Can you give a price point for them? I'm looking to buy something within the next 6 weeks...
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Link

Just click on either the mono or bino.  Prices are still there
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 7:25:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:20:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2020 7:48:08 AM EST by GroundhogOZ]
You will find the Photonis tubes a great value proposition.  

They are very robust with a shock resistance of 500g.......and they are very effective.  

Have a look at the videos, although not definitive they give you some perspective.  

They have extended wavelength too - so can pick up some types of target designators - something the "gen3" units can't do (as can the SIOnyx which can also pick up very nasty UV lasers).

They are solid, robust and have solid specs which means they are very effective at the price point they're offered at.  

There are some very low EBI units out there too.


Caveat:  With OOB its largely the 4G/4G+ that is sensitive out to ~ 1100nm, the others have sensitivity out to about 300nm e.g. UV XD, XR5, super gen etc. The SIOnyx black Si can range out from about 300nm to 1200nm although it may be clipped in the Aurora ~ 400nm to 1100nm.  It should also be noted at the spectral limits of any of these devices, the quantum efficiency is much much lower e.g. anything in marginal wavelengths may be feint.  Besides if you don't know why OOB is important - then it doesn't really matter if there is some ability in those regions  



Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:42:55 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GroundhogOZ:
You will find the Photonis tubes a great value proposition.  

They are very robust with a shock resistance of 500g.......and they are very effective.  

Have a look at the videos, although not definitive they give you some perspective.  

They have extended wavelength too - so can pick up some types of target designators - something the "gen3" units can't do (as can the SIOnyx which can also pick up very nasty UV lasers).

They are solid, robust and have solid specs which means they are very effective at the price point they're offered at.  

There are some very low EBI units out there too.



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Bolded part is why they have caught my attention the most.

If tubes could be hand selected, Id probably have already bought one.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:45:49 AM EST
I picked up an ECHO WP unit from JRH.

No RAGRETS.

I ended up with a damn fine specimen w/ 2230 FOM, 30.96 SNR, 72 Res.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:21:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2020 10:24:59 AM EST by NorCalRT]
I have an echo spec tube and have been very happy with it so far. 68 resolution, 32.5 SNR, FOM 2208, EBI 0.19 and I really like the display on it.

I had an XLS in my cart and waited to get off work to check out, and TNVC pulled it that afternoon so that they could focus on their back log

So I ordered an Echo from JRH and I have no regrets.  Both companies were really nice to deal with.

Don't get too worked up on the difference btw XLS and Echo, they are both GOOD tubes for the price and priced right based on the min specs offered. The bonus is JRH and TNVC usually best min specs. For me, I think I would have been very happy with either, the one thing I know makes a difference for me is the WP, my brain just prefers it.  But if for some reason you change your mind, they really don't drop much in value, you will be out a few hundred worse case (if it is high spec you might make a profit) no way you risk being out a few thousand. The biggest driver for me to get an echo was that I got it asap and I could start practicing with it asap. I have had at 2 friends so far look at my echos and decide to upgrade to them from their current gen 2's.

Couple pics from my iphone 8, nothing special.

First pic is just down my street at dark, right after a full moon (3 nights past), we have no street lights but everyone has porch lights. With no NV the street is dark enough people easily creep up on you, the light in the photo that hits the street are actually mostly IR lights from peoples security cams Edit to add: This night was during the wild fires here, the smoke was THICK and it felt like a no moon night to the naked eye, but it honestly seemed like the IR just past right through the smoke with ease. I thought that was interesting.
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My house backs up to a golf course, in the middle fo the course is 12 acres of woods, I took this picture there during half moon.
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Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:33:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2020 10:36:27 AM EST by Hard_ware]
If you want to know what you are going to get buy off the EE.
If you want to wait and see what is in the box order an wait.

I had asked about getting a tube with minimum spec I would be satisfied with and was told specs were unrealistic. One week later 2 tubes were offered up on the EE with specs that exceeded what I had asked for. Got a filmless with +38s/n and 72 lp/mm $3200. So deals pop up but you have to be quick as they sell fast and no telling if and when one will pop up.

I think the majority of current tubes are way better the the tubes from years back. Hope you get what you are seeking.👍
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:46:54 AM EST
Also keep in mind that pictures of NVD's suck. You are taking a photo of something the size of a dime or so, and then blowing it up to fill your PC screen. Of course it looks like crap compared to how it really looks in person. I was actually pleasantly surprised the first time I looked through a gen3 NVD because of this "disconnect" of the internet vs. reality.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:06:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Hard_ware:
If you want to know what you are going to get buy off the EE.
If you want to wait and see what is in the box order an wait.

I had asked about getting a tube with minimum spec I would be satisfied with and was told specs were unrealistic. One week later 2 tubes were offered up on the EE with specs that exceeded what I had asked for. Got a filmless with +38s/n and 72 lp/mm $3200. So deals pop up but you have to be quick as they sell fast and no telling if and when one will pop up.

I think the majority of current tubes are way better the the tubes from years back. Hope you get what you are seeking.👍
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I do watch the EE pretty closely and would love to see a nice WP PVS14 pop up one day soon. However, it seems the chance of that happening are low.

Now I have no immediate need other than I want them. Could I wait for something to hopefully pop up when I have the chance to review the specs and sang it? Sure.

I just a hard time being patient
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:19:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:


I do watch the EE pretty closely and would love to see a nice WP PVS14 pop up one day soon. However, it seems the chance of that happening are low.

Now I have no immediate need other than I want them. Could I wait for something to hopefully pop up when I have the chance to review the specs and sang it? Sure.

I just a hard time being patient
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Any thing WP that isn't a Photonis, is gonna be a large amount more expensive.

You could get Elbit thin-filmed WP tubes, but that that point, why not just spend the extra money and get an L3 Filmless WP tube? Suddenly you find yourself close to the $4000 range....that's what happened to me. Set sights on the Echo, then an Elbit thin-filmed WP....saw how much I'd be spending already and just said "screw it" and ponied up the almost $4000 for my filmless WP 14.

Have you contacted this guy? He's all over the Nightvision 101 facebook group too. He's selling this -

L3 Filmless 20UM PVS-14
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:25:21 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:


I do watch the EE pretty closely and would love to see a nice WP PVS14 pop up one day soon. However, it seems the chance of that happening are low.

Now I have no immediate need other than I want them. Could I wait for something to hopefully pop up when I have the chance to review the specs and sang it? Sure.

I just a hard time being patient
View Quote



WP units pop up regularly but go quick as someone else said. They also go for a premium compared to a similar spec green.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:30:15 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ARShooter91:



WP units pop up regularly but go quick as someone else said. They also go for a premium compared to a similar spec green.
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Just seeing videos and pics the WP is way more agreeable with my eyes.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:38:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Airborne_Infantryman:


Any thing WP that isn't a Photonis, is gonna be a large amount more expensive.

You could get Elbit thin-filmed WP tubes, but that that point, why not just spend the extra money and get an L3 Filmless WP tube? Suddenly you find yourself close to the $4000 range....that's what happened to me. Set sights on the Echo, then an Elbit thin-filmed WP....saw how much I'd be spending already and just said "screw it" and ponied up the almost $4000 for my filmless WP 14.

Have you contacted this guy? He's all over the Nightvision 101 facebook group too. He's selling this -

L3 Filmless 20UM PVS-14
View Quote


I wish I had the budget for that, but sadly no.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 12:59:26 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Airborne_Infantryman:


Any thing WP that isn't a Photonis, is gonna be a large amount more expensive.

You could get Elbit thin-filmed WP tubes, but that that point, why not just spend the extra money and get an L3 Filmless WP tube? Suddenly you find yourself close to the $4000 range....that's what happened to me. Set sights on the Echo, then an Elbit thin-filmed WP....saw how much I'd be spending already and just said "screw it" and ponied up the almost $4000 for my filmless WP 14.

Have you contacted this guy? He's all over the Nightvision 101 facebook group too. He's selling this -

L3 Filmless 20UM PVS-14
View Quote


The TNVC WP XLS was $2350 on release, and when they're back are $2450 normal price. That's as much or less than a lot of people are selling echos for.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 1:10:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2020 1:15:11 PM EST by KC-ROUGHNECK]
I've got an echo on order from jrh. I live in a pretty rural area and Im second guessing my purchase because of the low light performance reviews ive been seeing vs other nv.

Plus my buddy was giving me s over gen2.

ETA:My opinion isnt worth squat till I get em. Just saying. I'll post the specs in the echo thread.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 1:19:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KC-ROUGHNECK:
I've got an echo on order from jrh. I live in a pretty rural area and Im second guessing my purchase because of the low light performance reviews ive been seeing vs other nv.

Plus my buddy was giving me s over gen2.

ETA:My opinion isnt worth squat till I get em. Just saying. I'll post the specs in the echo thread.
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Im definitely a Tier 87 operator so Im not needing Tier 1 NVD.  I think for what it is, its the best bang for the buck for my uses. If in a couple years I want to upgrade, well then I can and sell off my ECHO for a decent price.

There is just no way to swing $4k right now when I have other priorities.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 1:20:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Synyster06Gates:


The TNVC WP XLS was $2350 on release, and when they're back are $2450 normal price. That's as much or less than a lot of people are selling echos for.
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Not a bad price. Hopefully it makes NV more open to a wider audience.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:09:27 PM EST
Well decided to go with the Photonis Echo from JRH.  I think the harder part will be waiting the 2-4 weeks until it arrives.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:44:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:51:23 PM EST
I have an L3 filmless, a green phosphor Pinnacle tube, and the Echo. Don't get me wrong. My Echo can't compete with the gen 3 stuff in terms of light amplification, or even sharpness. But it doesn't lag that much. I showed my Echo to one of my friends and he thought it was better than my L3 from memory. I had to show him back to back for him to realize the L3 was better. I think it is about the best dollar-to-performance ratio.
It's sure as hell better than no night vision.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:52:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:56:27 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:
Well decided to go with the Photonis Echo from JRH.  I think the harder part will be waiting the 2-4 weeks until it arrives.
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Congrats dude! Welcome to the madness!
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:56:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TNVC:


Next month.
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as in new unsold units will be shipping next month or the next preorder will start next month?
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:58:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Cansiae1nundatio:
I have an L3 filmless, a green phosphor Pinnacle tube, and the Echo. Don't get me wrong. My Echo can't compete with the gen 3 stuff in terms of light amplification, or even sharpness. But it doesn't lag that much. I showed my Echo to one of my friends and he thought it was better than my L3 from memory. I had to show him back to back for him to realize the L3 was better. I think it is about the best dollar-to-performance ratio.
It's sure as hell better than no night vision.
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I fully expect L3 to be better, especially with how much more it costs.  

Maybe in a few years when I have a couple grand laying around Ill sell the Echo and move up in the world.  But for now I think Ill be pretty happy based on what Ive seen and feedback Ive gotten here.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 8:58:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Airborne_Infantryman:


Congrats dude! Welcome to the madness!
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I blame you for this.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 9:14:14 PM EST
I don’t think you will regret the purchase.  I purchased one from Robert last week.  It will be replacing an older GP 14 that finally died last month.  I live in a rural area, and my old 14 struggled in low light situations, and was plagued with multiple blems, so the Echo should be a big improvement.  I really don’t worry that much about the low light abilities, as all the videos I watched comparing the two were in situations where I’d be using IR anyway.  The way I looked at it, the specs would be much better with the Echo vs the XLS tubes with unknown specs and blems.  Although, either would have been an improvement over my current 14.  Lol
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 9:18:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mgpatty:
I don’t think you will regret the purchase.  I purchased one from Robert last week.  It will be replacing an older GP 14 that finally died last month.  I live in a rural area, and my old 14 struggled in low light situations, and was plagued with multiple blems, so the Echo should be a big improvement.  I really don’t worry that much about the low light abilities, as all the videos I watched comparing the two were in situations where I’d be using IR anyway.  The way I looked at it, the specs would be much better with the Echo vs the XLS tubes with unknown specs and blems.  Although, either would have been an improvement over my current 14.  Lol
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When you get a ship notice, let me know.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 9:21:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2020 9:30:51 PM EST by texassooner]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC_Sam:
Gen3 is gonna beat a Gen2 system in way more situations plus they get better performance over the life of the system and oh BTW the resale value is better.
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This.  There’s a few situations I chose high spec echos over Gen 3, and I keep an echo set just for those situations.  But you are fooling yourself if you think they are just as good in the other 90 of 100 scenarios.  A nice set of echos is more than capable for the majority of people’s uses.  And I use my echos maybe 10 hours a week.  But they should cost less than Gen 3 and make sure you buy higher spec ones.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 9:27:01 PM EST
Will do
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 11:42:07 PM EST
Couple pics from tonights walk. Reshi likes to take his glow in the dark chuck it ball on walks now. Guess he is perfecting is night play as well

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Link Posted: 10/13/2020 12:52:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2020 1:10:24 AM EST by GroundhogOZ]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC_Sam:
Gen3 is gonna beat a Gen2 system in way more situations plus they get better performance over the life of the system and oh BTW the resale value is better.
View Quote


Post the evidence, photonis Echo, Echo plus, 4G or 4G plus Vs anything else.  The Echo and Intens tubes are rated at 10,000 hours and they have a 500g rating - if you use any tube hard its life span will be shorter than this.  

Also define way more situations and post up lux and lumens relative to image - and before you respond, in many of the ultra lowlight conditions you're going to speak of you will need either an illuminator (detected) or thermal (for no detection).  The Echo tubes on sale here will easily get into NL5, hell my first 1100 FOM unit was useable at late NL4 early NL5 conditions.  

Moreover when all is said and done, high spec tubes are like high performance cars - the spec sheets look great but are largely meaningless unless you have the training and operational hours.  

Agreed with regard to older "Gen 2" and Ekran tubes on life span.
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