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Advice wanted on Night Vision IR monocular scopes

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:16 PM
Ok, first off I have used the search function to find the answer to my query, I found this thread:

It touches on the subject but doesn't answer my question.

I was also not really sure what forum to put this in, but I do think/hope it'll get the people who are versed in this technology to answer, and I do want it for UFO hunting as well as general night sky observation, so mod's if it's in the wrong place please move.

I'm thinking of investing in a Night Vision IR monocular scope, I want to use it to observe the night sky (if a UFO pop's up all the better), I've done some research in NV-IR scopes and can determine a 3rd Gen scope is the dogs nuts, but is way out of my price range, I also understand the difference in Gen 1,2,3 and why they are called as such, what I have my eye on is the 'Yukon NV 5x60' it seems well priced and has a good ratio of light capture/function/price, but what I want to know is will it allow me to observe the night sky (stars, nebula, planets) in NV? I know I’m not going to get good close up viewing I have a Meade auto guided telescope for that, I also know the IR won't reach very far so the natural/ambient light will be used at the distance I'm aiming for. Will this scope be suitable for what I want?? Or will I be wasting my money? I intend to hook it up to a HD cam and it does cater for this, The model I'm looking at does tick all the boxes in spec, but will it work for my indented purposes (Night sky observation /UFO hunting)

I'd appreciate any help or suggestions on the subject thanks

'Yukon NV 5x60'


The NV 5x60 Night Vision Monocular is remarkable for its high light- gathering capacity and stunning high power magnification that far surpasses the capabilities of standard night vision devices. Due to a the large optical diameter of the objective lens (60mm) and enhanced contrast transfer function, the images produced by the NV 5x60 are is bright and crisp with a resolution of around 40 lines/mm. The figure of the visual magnification – 5 power – is one of the most impressive among gen.1 night vision devices. The housing of the unit is made of highly durable plastic. Efficient internal arrangement of parts and components contribute to an optimal weight-dimensions ratio. The NV 5x60 is equipped with a built-in IR illuminator for observing images in complete darkness and also when there are insufficient levels of natural illumination at night (to increase quality and range of observation). The NV 5x60 is also tripod adaptable, convenient for long-time observation.

Built-in Infrared Illuminator featuring Yukon's PULSET System
Lightweight & Compact
Open Field or Long-Distance Observation
Photo/Video Adaptable


posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:39 PM
I did a quick google to see if there were any radiation issues listed. None found thankfully.

Some early NV goodies had low level radiation issues.

I used to have a 4x russian unit. man. wish i had it back. 1st gen but it was fun!

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:09 AM
I have Night Vision and I can tell you that Yukon make some GREAT monoculars, Really good value...

before I bought mine, I did all the research that I could and I will tell you what info I found and also what monocular I ended up getting.

Like you, I just couldn't justify the expense of any Generation 2,3 or what they are calling "Generation 4" which really has no bennifit over a Generation 3 NVGs.

So my goal was to find the best Generation 1 NVGs, I found another tech that you may not have heard of, it doesnt have a "Generation" its called "Digital" all the manufactures were comparing it to Generation 2 and they didnt cost any more than Generation 1s.

It turns out that the Digital Night Vision is only comparable to Generation 2 when you have access to a IR light source, The Digital NVGs wouldnt allow you to see anything that your IR beam (attached to the side of every yukon NVG) is to far away from. So looking into the sky would be out of the question, All other NVGs do what is called Passive light amplification which means that even without ANY IR source they can boost your vision. STAY AWAY FROM DIGITAL!

Now there is another tech that you also may not be aware of, and this is what I ended up buying, Its called Gen1+ basically they have the resolution and light amplification abilitys comparable to any Generation 2 NVGs but they are using the gen 1 tech. The scientists have squesed every bit of light and resolution out of the gen 1 tech and they refer to it as Gen 1+ they dont really cost anything more than regular Generation 1s, maybe between 5 - 10%

The Yukon Exelon is the the way to go. I have the 3x50s but they have just bought out a 4x50s and they both have the same wide (13deg) field of view, I wish they had bought those 4x50s out before i bought mine

You can also buy adaptors which let you attach these scopes DIRECTLY onto a Digital SLR, Video Camera and also little happy snap cameras.

I have a DSLR that shoots high def video so im going to get one of the adaptors and post some videos up as soon as I have some time.

I think the Yukon Exelon would suit you better than your current choice, even though they are only 3 & 4x over your 5x, I think that the quality of Gen1+ more than makes up for an extra 1x of zoom.

[edit on 17-12-2009 by Viper2097]

I forgot to mention, The Gen1+ Scopes don't have any image distortion which means that the image doesn't bend at the outer edges, The best way to describe distortion is like a Fish eye lens, Although that is a super distorted affect, you get the idea of what I mean. The Exelons are flat images so you are getting a much better representation of what you are looking at.

All Regular Gen1 scopes have quite a bit of distortion (Although nothing like a fish eye lens)

Good luck and let me know what you end up getting.

[edit on 17-12-2009 by Viper2097]

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:21 AM
oh, and one last thing...

when i look at the night sky through my Yukon Exelon, I can see like 1000s of times more stars than if im just looking with a nakid eye, its really quite amazing what this gen1+ tech i capable of (for the money)

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:24 AM
Any image intensifier based device (even gen1) will provide higher instantaneous light sensitivity than your regular vision (something commercial CCD and CMOS cameras cannot yet claim). It will also provide the added benefit of near infrared sensitivity giving you access to that part of the spectrum. Many cheap gen1 monoculars have very limited benefit because the optics are kept small (for economics and ergonomics) thus providing a highly distorted and barely brighter image. Because the NV 5x60 employs a large primary objective (60mm) and a relatively low magnification (5X) I have no doubt it will provide you with some useful observing gain. This is the way gen1 image intensifier tubes should be employed and I’m at a loss to understand why manufactures generally don’t offer a model with a large input aperture. Every gen1 scope I have had I have ended up modifying to adapt to a large spotting scope. They have been otherwise useless toys only capable of short range observing within the range of the NIR illuminator. Keep in mind that if the magnification is produced by the input optics the 5X magnification will reduce the effective aperture of the main objective so that it provides the light collecting gain of only a 8.5mm lens at 1X magnification.

An issue you may find with the extra large input aperture is that the monocular may be more vulnerable to flash-over damage if accidentally pointed at a bright light source. Just something to be wary of. Also gen1 intensifer tubes have a fairly small usable area of viewing in the center of the display so you may find with the 5X magnification that the useable field of view is quite narrow compared to the total field of view advertised making scanning of the sky difficult.

When it comes down to it the only people that are going to be able to tell you what to expect are those who have used this particular device. It would be admirable of you to “take one for the team” and give it a shot. If you don’t like it there is always Kijiji.

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 01:13 AM
Also, just a note to say that I completely agree with the technical points that Viper2097 provided here. Good info and posts!

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:08 AM
reply to post by felonius

Thanks for your reply felonius,
and thanks for taking the time out to search for me, it’s very good to know the Yukon’s don’t have any radiation issues, radiation isn’t something I’d taken into account to be honest, it’s good to know I won’t be frying, or exposing myself to radiation poisoning

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:54 AM
I have a 'Yukon NV 5x60'. I generally use it for hunting by night. I can really suggest you to avoid this product: is hard to distinguish a wild boar from a stone at 30 meters!
1) It is absolutely non enough sensitive
2) images have not enough contrast
3) images are excessively "smoothed"
4) there are two regulations: focus on distance and dioptrical regulation: the second one is too easly "movable".. so is enought you put it down for a little and you have to readjust everything.
Very bad product.
Instead I have tryied a second generation russian device that can be bought for the same money and is really great: Baigish 6U
Not a modern design but compared with a Yukon NV 5x60 100:1
Look on ebay

[edit on 17-12-2009 by nuspy]

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:06 AM
reply to post by Viper2097

First off I’d like to say thanks for the reply and the time and effort you put into it Viper2097, I wasn’t sure I’d even get a reply let alone an in depth informative one like yours, much appreciated thanks!

I did come across the Exelon range when I was researching NV-IR’s, and thought (wrongly) the NV 5x60 would be better due to the large optical diameter of the objective lens, in the world of telescopes the larger the diameter of the objective lens the better the scope tends to be, (large light capture) I have a good understanding of telescopes having had them for many years, but I’m glad I posted this now for advice, otherwise I may have overlooked the gen1+ tech on the Exelon, as you say the price is a little more on the Exelon 4x50, it works out about £40 ($65) more than the 5x60, so it’s not really that much more to pay for the better tech, and like you say the quality of Gen1+ more than makes up for an extra 1x of zoom.

I think I’ll take your advice on this and go for the Exelon 4x50 model, the only question I have is, is it tripod adaptable?? The sites I’ve looked at don’t seem to have that spec for the 4x50 Exelon, all I get is the same spec which doesn’t include any information on tripod adaptability, all I seem to get is this:

The EXELON 4x50 features enhanced operating characteristics. Combination of a CF-Super tube and a high-aperture 50mm R-Contact objective lens provides a distortion free, crisp and geometrically precise image on the entire surface of the screen. The CF-Super light amplification ratio of 1200 essentially exceeds a similar value of the gen. 1 tube. This feature gives the EXELON 4x50 a great viewing range and high degree of detailed recognition of observed objects. In field conditions (under natural night illumination of 0.05 lux) the unit can detect objects at a distance of up to 500 meters, and recognize them within a 230-270m. range. Wide field of view perfectly describes the EXELON 4x50 as a monocular ideally suited for observing moving objects. Along with fine ergonomics, the EXELON 4x50 can be easily transported and is perfect for use in harsh field conditions (hunting, fishing, and hiking) as well as for nature preservation purposes. Coupled with various accessories (IR flashlight, photo and video adapters), the EXELON 4x50 is not merely an observation device, but also an excellent means for image recording.

Built-in Infrared Illuminator featuring Yukon's PULSET System
Lightweight & Compact
Open Field or Long-Distance Observation
Photo/Video Adaptable

Again thanks for your very informative post Viper2097, you are a star!, and I have given you a star too!

[edit on 17-12-2009 by Majestic RNA]

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:58 AM
reply to post by dainoyfb

Thanks for the reply dainoyfb, again a great post with time and effort put into it, I appreciate it

Yeah I get you on the commercial CCD and CMOS cameras, I also don’t really want to end up having to mod a toy like scope, If I’m going to invest in a NV-IR scope, I want the best for my money without having to mess with it for the purpose I intend to use it for, Like you I find it hard to get my head around why manufactures tend to (in the Gen1 range) avoid large input apertures, I guess it’s down to the money involved in enlarging the aperture, I understand the useable field of view will diminish as the magnification increases, my telescope (Mead 105pe) tends to suffer from reduction in effective aperture objectivity and it’s something I’ve taken onboard, however your advice on flash-over damage is great and something I had overlooked, I guess it’s common sense thinking about it, point it at a bright light source and your going to bugger the scope up!

Taking the advice from Viper & nuspy I may well go for the gen1+ Exelon and not the 5x60 scope, I’ve just noticed nuspy’s post so it looks like I may have a bit more research to do into this.

Thanks again for your post! Star for you!

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by nuspy

Thanks for your reply nuspy,

From yours and previous posts I’m now not going to go for the 5x60 Yukon, I fell into the trap that biggest is best I guess, I’ve had a look into the Baigish 6U, boy are those big!!
Are they made from Russian tank metal?

On a serious note, from what I can gather they are very good for hunting and mounting on a gun, Unfortunately here in England there doesn’t seem to be a retail shop that sells these, and my e-bay search’s didn’t come up with anything either, I suppose they are a mid 90’s NV binocular so not too many of them on the market it seems (in the UK anyway) but thanks for your input and advice on the Yukon 5x60 NV’s, I’ll avoid this product!!


posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 07:37 AM

Originally posted by dainoyfb
Also, just a note to say that I completely agree with the technical points that Viper2097 provided here. Good info and posts!

Thanks Mate...

Also Majestic RNA... re: the mounting... on my 3x50s there is two screw holes on the bottom of the scope. both are the same size, i think they are 1/4inch but cant be sure. I would all but guarantee that the 4x50s would have the same.

One more thing, I dont know how the UK is on return policy but in Australia, most shops let you do kind of like a try after you buy scheme where you can buy something and if you dont like it after x days (usually between 7 & 14 days) then you can take the product back (even after you have opened it and used it) and get a full money back refund. Obviously it wouldn't be such a bad idea to buy it from one of these stores just in case... at the end of the day, $ for $, there is nothing better than a gen1+ but its always worth having that return option.

again mate... let me know how you go and what you think of the scope you buy.

posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by Viper2097

Cool thanks for that, I want to set it up on my tripod, then hook it up to a HD cam, we do have a returns policy in the UK, but I’d have to look into it, as far as I know it applies to defective goods, I’m not sure if we have a try before you buy type policy?
yeah I’ll let you know how I get on and maybe post a vid or two

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