Posted: 6/5/2008 10:39:25 PM EDT
For those who may not be aware, I have been running the SVM through its paces for the past several weeks, thanks to Victor's humoring me by sending the device over.
Tonight is one of those special NV nights where the just-passed new moon is absent with its local rise not coming for several hours yet, and the sky being partly-to-mostly cloudy.
This time, in addition to comparing it with a PVS-14, I have been checking it out side-by-side with an ACOG TA-11F. The environment is suburbia.
In the back behind our house, where artificial light sources are relatively minimal, the SVM actually performed quite well image quality wise. This is a low contrast environment where the gain of the SVM does not flare the display excessively, but there is just enough ambient light to see; I have finally found a situation where this rare balance is met for the device. The downside is that the refresh rate is herky-jerky, even at the minimum 2x mag, with this otherwise ideal lighting combination; not its slowest, but not at all continuous realtime.
The ACOG is a bit too dark to be considered particularly effective.
The PVS is loving life; lower the gain way down for great contrast.
Next I take them out in front of the house where there are plenty of artificial visible point light sources, but it is towards the dark side overall ambient wise.
The SVM doesn’t do quite so well; what it really hates is high contrast environments, and that is precisely what is being presented. Forget about seeing in shadows within 20-30’ of any light source.
The PVS excels; there is obvious point blooming of bright sources, but one can still see in the shadows. Keeping the gain towards the lower end improves contrast.
The ACOG is optically clearer than either of the other two devices, and presents in color. It can’t see as well in the shadows as the PVS, but can easily do so better than the SVM due to the lack of excessive flaring.
What do you think of the SP in a rural dark area on 2X or 3X with and without IR? The digital units I have seen and used would not work at all at my familys rural farm with IR used. When IR was used they worked up to about 75 yards decent clarity and performace something performace wise like a better gen 1 unit would do. Also the Yuckon Ranger I had ate Batteries like candy.
I haven't tried it in a rural area yet; my testing to date has only been in two types of environments.....very dark inside my shop, and outdoors in suburbia.
In the dark, the SVM is completely blind without active IR. With the IR, one has to deal with massive reflections. I would suspect from my observations thusfar that similar results would be achieved in a rural environment with little to no moon or starlight.
To me, the resolution is better than the Ukranian Gen1 that I borrowed from a friend a while back.
The 8x magnification is a bit of a joke. The reason that I say this is whenever one cranks up the digital zoom, the refresh rate goes to crap unless it is quite bright out, and it is difficult to hold the device steady enough without a tripod. Under such ambient conditions, my ACOG or NF provides comparable image quality.
Some of my other comments are on page 6 of the tacked thread.