The night vision binoculars are widely used for various different purposes, and it’s always considered a convenient tool to possess. More or less it is an essential equipment for night time nature enthusiasts, hunters, naturalists, security guards and even campers. For this purpose, many different manufacturers offer a wide variety of models from different budget levels that will perfectly suit each need for night time vision.
How to choose the right night vision binoculars?
Shortly answered, for a user to be able to choose the right night vision binocular for his needs, has to consider 2 main factors – the budget and the purpose of which the night vision binocular will be used. Firstly, there are a few tips and topics that need to be looked into before a user is going to be able to choose the right night vision binocular for his needs.
Let’s briefly discuss those topics.
Acquiring information about the legal aspect of night vision binocular’s purchase
Before buying your fist night vision binocular, there is a mandatory step to avoid additional trouble to check and see if the country’s legalization allows for the use of this specific equipment and does not impose any kind of restrictions about its use. It may be so that the online purchase of this type of device are actually allowed, but when further looked into the country’s laws, the use of this device may be prohibited. The laws vary greatly from one country to another. Above all, it is a mandatory step to ensure that the usage of this specific equipment will not cause any further legal problems to the user.
Some countries strongly prohibit the use of night vision devices for security reasons or at least put specific restrictions on night vision device usage in some territories of the country.
While others prohibit its use with a hunting weapon – as a quick additional example. Therefore, you should ask additional administrations concerning the equipment you are willing to buy and further look into any restrictions and conditions of its use. This will prevent bigger problems and headaches from just one simple purchase of a night vision binocular.
The second thing to look into with additional detail, are the choices for advanced generations
When talking night vision binoculars, the also called ‘’ Generation ‘’ refers to the technology that is mainly used in the light intensifier tube of the model itself. This feature largely determines the quality and sharpness of the image that the user receives through the binoculars. Currently, there are four main generations of night vision binoculars on the market:
- The first generation is the most widely-spread out generation throughout the world and was developed by the Americans during the Vietnam war. This generation is the most budget friendly.
- The second generation is more technologically developed. It introduces microchannel plate or MCP which plays a role in the amplification picture-process and provides the user with a much sharper image than that compared of the first generation. But if the user chooses the second generation, he must be aware that on average, the second generation night vision binoculars are not so budget friendly- roughly around three times more expensive than the first generation.
- The third generation of night vision binoculars contains an additional component that is called a ‘’gallium arsenide’’. This is a chemical that greatly improves the contrast and brightness of the picture received by the user and is mainly reserved for professional use as it takes up a few thousand bucks to get a binocular of this generation
- The fourth and last generation of binoculars are characterized by a greatly increased light intensification-tube compared to products of other generations. Those binoculars are also reserved for strict professional use and are mainly used by special forces. The other thing that comes in mind without even mentioning it that they are the most expensive generation of the four.
Covering up the generations of the night vision binoculars, there is one more additional factor to consider – the weight of the binocular itself. Night vision equipment is widely used for camping or hunting activities. Those activities require maximizing the weight of the tools used. For this reason, it is mandatory to select a binocular made from those kind of materials that would be the lightest for each specific use. Night vision binoculars would be more comfortable to carry this way, especially it the planned walk, trip or hunting expedition is for a longer distance or duration.
The fourth step when choosing the right night vision binocular would be to preferably buy a new device instead of a used one. In general, the night vision devices are susceptible and work for a specific lifespan. Many consumers purchase their night vision devices and binoculars and then discover that the equipment has lost performance and did not display images as they would like or expect to.
This is perfectly normal, as electronic parts inside the device itself are designed to work for a specific period of time that is determined by the manufacturer itself. When a user purchases a night vision device, they have no idea for how many hours had it been used – and they cannot tell by any way. To avoid this problem, always buy a brand new night vision binocular instead of a used one – because in the goal of trying to save money, you will basically just waste more money on a used one that wouldn’t work for your needs and requirements.
The other thing to look into, is to always prefer a night vision binocular that offers a multi-use function. Many users buy their night vision equipment for one single activity only. However, it is more than beneficial to choose a multi use night vision device (not only binocular) that would be much more convenient and allow for a much more diverse use. Whether your goal is night-time hunting, just observation of the wildlife and hiking, the multipurpose night vision device would always come in handy compared to just a single-use device.
Choosing a waterproof and fog resistant binocular is always a smart move – The weather conditions for using a night vision binocular may from different regions. It is, therefore, much more interesting to choose a material that is waterproof and is much more resistant to bad weather and fog. Waterproof and fog proof binoculars would also be much more convenient than the average ones in weather with higher humidity. Mentioning humidity, it is a big damaging factor to electronic devices in the long term, that’s why it is essential to choose weather-resistant and durable night vision devices.
The other thing to mention are those three characteristics that need to be paid a decent amount of attention!
- Field of View
- Diameter of the lenses
Indeed, the magnification is the ratio between the size of the actual object that is being observed by the used with a naked eye and that observed with the binoculars. The higher the magnification, the better the device itself. The field of view is expressed in angular degrees or also as meters and varies proportionally with magnification. Talking about the diameter of the lens, they are expressed under the term ‘’millimeters’’. The larger the lens millimeter, the more light there is for the vision mechanism and therefore the brighter the image itself.
To conclude all the information regarding on how to choose the best and right night vision binocular for your use – taking all the commented topics into consideration, you will be able to choose the right binocular for your needs. Night vision binoculars are being more and more widely spread throughout the world as each day passes and can be used for a very wide variety of activities – from special forces hunting down criminals and terrorists to just average nighttime hitchhikers and hunters.
- What are the different types of night vision? – Night vision is split into the four main categories, when not talking about night vision generations – Infrared Night Vision Cameras, Low Light Night Vision cameras, Hand Held Thermal Cameras and Thermal vision Monoculars.
- What can you see with night vision goggles? – The night vision devices are mainly based on image-intensification and light-intensification technologies and they allow the user to have a clear picture of what is going on around him and his surroundings even when its pitch-black with naked eye.
- Is it legal to own night vision goggles? – From one country to another, there are different per state regulations. It is mandatory for every user that is looking on buying a night vision device to further look into his country’s law regulations and see if there is a possibility of certain generations of night vision to be prohibited by law.