Night Vision Explained
Here at Ronnie Sunshines we are deeply involved in most shooting sports, with each of us having a particular field of expertise from HFT, shotguns, Rimfire, centrefire to range plinking. Here I'm going to call on experience to throw some light on the popular Night Vision options that are available today.
There are many great products from which to choose right now as technology is getting better and retail prices are becoming more competitive. So how do you decide which is the right option for you?
Operating Range: at what range do you want to operate? There are relatively inexpensive systems which will preform well between 50-100 yards that are perfect for sub 12ft/lb air rifles such as the Pulsar Challenger or the Nitesite Viper. However you might want to 'future proof' or already use a FAC airgun or rimfire in which case the Nitesite Wolf, Yukon Photon, ATN Excite and the AC Night Stalker will give you more range. With the exception of the Nitesite range upgrading to a higher power IR illuminator will boost performance but this can cost over £100. You must also consider if you want to view your quarry at high or variable magnification.
Digital v image intensifier systems: The digital revolution has really opened up NV to the masses as it has advantages over Image intensifiers. All digital systems can be used in the daylight if you wish, which means you don't have to dedicate one rifle for night use, however, the daytime image will be compromised compared with a tradition rifle scope. Image Intensifying tubes can be damaged by daylight. This is a massive consideration however they produce images with more depth and clarity and they do not suffer from processing lag. Intensifiers are also considerably more expensive and must be used carefully to avoid damage, even at night. Digital images are also very easy to record, share and save and as digital systems use a processor they generally come with a whole host of added functionality (which you may or may not need).
Dedicated Optical system or scope conversion: scope conversion systems such as the Nite Site range, the AC Night Stalker and the Pulsar Challenger are convenient to set up, allowing you to switch between day/night and from one gun to another. The compromise here comes in shooting position which is either 'heads up' or with your head a long way back on the stock. Front fitting digital systems are getting a lot better, look out for the Yukon Pulsar Forward F135 / F155 in the new year, costing around £1000. The ATN excite is a dedicated system but designed to easily switch between different rifles using a picatinny rail system and recorded ballistic profiles, that make re-zeroing redundant.
Budget: If money is no object then skip this section but if not then please remember to factor in an additional IR torch upgrade and mounting system. Other costs include batteries, chargers, battery packs, mounts and SD cards. Here at Ronnie Sunshines we offer 0% finance so nothing is out of range.
Use our quick comparison table below to narrow down your options then come into the shop and see us for a chat and if possible a demonstration.
|Nite Site Viper||Digital||Yes||100 yards||No||£399.00|
|Nite Site Viper RTEK||Digital||Yes||100 yards||Yes||£599.00|
|Pulsar Challenger||Intensifier||Yes||70 yards |
(with IR Upgrade)
|AC Night Stalker||Digital||Yes||200 yards||No||£249.00|
|Yukon Photon||Digital||No||200 yards|
(with IR Upgrade)
|Nite Site Wolf||Digital||Yes||300 yards||No||£599.00|
|Nite Site Wolf RTEK||Digital||Yes||300 yards||Yes||£799.00|
|ATN Excite II|
(3-14x50) or (5-20x85)
|Digital HD||No||200 yards||Yes||From|
|Nite Site Eagle||Digital||Yes||500 yards||No||£799.00|
|Nite Site Eagle RTEK||Digital||Yes||500 yards||Yes||£999.00|