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Posted: 9/5/2010 10:49:17 PM EDT
I have been thinking about picking up a relatively inexpensive "night vision" system primarily for screwing around with, but that would be useful if the situation demanded it.

Can anything "useful" be found in the $200-300 range?
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:04:15 PM EDT
the NV forum is going to give you a lot more information than you'll find in GD. there is a range of opinions about gen 1, which is the price range you're talking about. some people think it's a waste of money, but it's pretty tough to look at moving up to a $3+K gen 3. personally, i own gen 2, which i picked up for $700 (patriot pocketscope). to get an understanding of what you can do with each:

gen 1: allows limited navigation outdoors, as long as there is significant natural light (half moon or more). some argue that night-adapted naked eye is actually better in these situations due to greater FOV and better depth perception. without an IR illuminator, combat usefulness is almost zero.

gen 2: allows good navigation under half moon or more, decent starlight navigation. will allow you to navigate through a very dark house due to the usual presence of small ambient light sources (LED clocks, computer power light, etc.). useful in combat if there is some ambient light, but older tubes without cut-out switches can completely white out due to muzzle flash. in an emergency, i would use mine for observation only, and go to a weaponlight for ID/engagement.

gen 3 and 3+: turns night into day.

this is a subjective opinion...for the NV pros, feel free to correct or add to it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:17:18 PM EDT
I see gen 1 at big 5 in the $100 range often. Useful for fun and stationary observation, but you aren't going to clear rooms with it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:21:05 PM EDT
Dont even bother unless you are going to go Gen 2, 2+, or 3.

There are some good deals to be had on decent gen 2 stuff if you look around...and for recreational fun it is fine.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:35:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sirensong:
the NV forum is going to give you a lot more information than you'll find in GD. there is a range of opinions about gen 1, which is the price range you're talking about. some people think it's a waste of money, but it's pretty tough to look at moving up to a $3+K gen 3. personally, i own gen 2, which i picked up for $700 (patriot pocketscope). to get an understanding of what you can do with each:

gen 1: allows limited navigation outdoors, as long as there is significant natural light (half moon or more). some argue that night-adapted naked eye is actually better in these situations due to greater FOV and better depth perception. without an IR illuminator, combat usefulness is almost zero.

gen 2: allows good navigation under half moon or more, decent starlight navigation. will allow you to navigate through a very dark house due to the usual presence of small ambient light sources (LED clocks, computer power light, etc.). useful in combat if there is some ambient light, but older tubes without cut-out switches can completely white out due to muzzle flash. in an emergency, i would use mine for observation only, and go to a weaponlight for ID/engagement.

gen 3 and 3+: turns night into day.

this is a subjective opinion...for the NV pros, feel free to correct or add to it.

this is dead on

for night vision if you are going to go for some then save up, otherwise it is pretty much useless unless you want to drop 500-1000 for something for scouting

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:46:58 PM EDT
gen 1: allows limited navigation outdoors, as long as there is significant natural light (half moon or more). some argue that night-adapted naked eye is actually better in these situations due to greater FOV and better depth perception. without an IR illuminator, combat usefulness is almost zero.


I have one of the cheap Big 5 scopes. Basically, if you can barely see an object at night with naked eye, a Gen 1 scope will bring out some detail. The IR illuminator will light it up at least like twilight, when used within its design limit.
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