Night Vision Scopes
Night Vision Scopes – These devices work by collecting tiny amounts of light, including the lower portion of the infrared light spectrum imperceptible to our eyes, and enhancing it to the point that we can easily observe the images. Night vision scopes were originally designed for and still extensively used by the military, for location of enemy targets at night, as well as for navigation, surveillance and targeting. Police and security often use various types of night vision scopes with both thermal-imaging and image-enhancement technology for surveillance. Many businesses have permanently-mounted cameras equipped with night vision capabilities to monitor the surroundings. Hunters and nature enthusiasts use night vision scopes to maneuver through the woods at night.
Keep in mind that many of the “bargain” night vision scopes use Generation 0 or Generation 1 technology, so these spotting scopes may provide disappointing results if you are expecting image-enhancement capabilities similar to that used by professionals. Generation 2, Generation 3 and Generation 4 night vision spotting scopes are more expensive but they provide significant improvement in performance and reliability. See night vision scope generations post for more information. Any night vision scopes can benefit from the use of infrared illumination for very dark areas where there is almost no ambient light available. Night vision scopes image-intensifier tubes are put through rigorous tests to see if they meet requirements set forth by the military. If the tubes meet the stringent military specifications, they are classified as MILSPEC, whereas, tubes that fail to meet all military specifications, are classified as COMSPEC.
Night vision scopes can be split into several broad categories:
- Cameras – Cameras with night vision technology can send the image to a monitor for display or recording. Many of the newer camcorders have built in night vision capabilities.
- Night Vision Goggles are binocular (two eyepieces) night vision scopes that may have a single lens or stereo lens configuration depending on the model. Goggles are excellent for continuous viewing, such as walking around in the dark.
- Monocular (one eyepiece) devices can be handheld or weapon mounted. If you just want to get a better look at a specific object and then return to normal viewing conditions, a monocular design are the best choice for night vision scopes.
- Thermal Imaging devices delivers crystal-clear thermal images under any lighting conditions, painting a high-contrast landscape where warm-blooded targets stand out in unmistakable relief. Since it creates images using heat and not light, you can see through smoke, dust and light fog.