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Relatively cheap night vision binoculars? (1 Viewer)

Binastro

Well-known member
Thanks Dennis.
It doesn't give a clear answer.

Even without removing the infra red filter, digital cameras are sensitive to some infra red frequencies.

I use the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 with a Sony A7S Mk 1.
I have faster lenses, but stick with the Samyang.

I would like a Mk2 but can't justify the cost.
Sony should have brought out a Mk3, but have concentrated on half frame models.
All camera makers are suffering from Smartphone cameras with reduced profits.

Removing the infra red filter can affect focus especially on stars.
I do have a secondhand Canon G9 modified for infra red but don't know how to use it properly.
Infra Red film was better for me.

Regards,
B.
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Thanks Dennis.
It doesn't give a clear answer.

Even without removing the infra red filter, digital cameras are sensitive to some infra red frequencies.

I use the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 with a Sony A7S Mk 1.
I have faster lenses, but stick with the Samyang.

I would like a Mk2 but can't justify the cost.
Sony should have brought out a Mk3, but have concentrated on half frame models.
All camera makers are suffering from Smartphone cameras with reduced profits.

Removing the infra red filter can affect focus especially on stars.
I do have a secondhand Canon G9 modified for infra red but don't know how to use it properly.
Infra Red film was better for me.

Regards,
B.
In a really dark environment the Military Grade Night Vision Gen 3 PVS-14 is superior to the Sony a7S II. Look at 7:05 on the video.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
That is what I thought, but there is so much light pollution here and I don't have a generation 3 image intensifier, so I didn't know.
I would think that in moonlight the Sony A7S would be O.K., but not in starlight alone, unless the airglow or Milky Way was bright enough.

I have an old very bulky Gen 2 or 2 plus and it is interesting, but the resolution is poor. It shows Jupiter's moons, but with poor separation.
A large binocular shows fainter stars and has better resolution of Jupiter's moons.

B.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
From a birding perspective, there are two distinct night vision applications.
One is to be able to wander around at night without bumping into things, the other is to be able to spot small nocturnal creatures.
That difference is because 'night vision' devices, using image intensifiers or extreme ISO values, unfortunately do not really help spot small living creatures at night. For that, one needs IR sensors that pick up the body shine generated by the metabolism of all warm blooded animals.
If there are cameras equipped with good IR sensors, they might find new customers in the birding community. Unfortunately, the only references I've seen to IR sensitive consumer cameras have focused on their disconcerting ability to show the living person, rather than the clothes they are wrapped in. Consequently, IR is filtered out in many modern cameras, purportedly because it throws off the sensor color balance.
Yet IR is of course exactly what is needed to pick up a roosting owl in the trees, but no one is addressing that market afaik. Fortunately sensor technology is improving rapidly, so eventually there will be decent 'OwlScope'.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
There are also Thermal Imager's which detect heat. They are great for detecting birds in a tree under total darkness. Hunter's in Texas use them for Hog hunting at night. I had one for awhile and in total darkness I could see all the ducks on a lake quite well. A good one is the FLIR Scout III Handheld Imager which I had but I prefer Gen 2 or above night vision for what I do.

https://www.amazon.com/FLIR-SCOUTII...ds=thermal+imager+flir&qid=1569263429&sr=8-26
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIhFupwqOU4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItjungKKP1E
 

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Binastro

Well-known member
Post 22.

Thanks Dennis,
I couldn't access the video earlier.
Interesting.

I don't know how the meteor cameras would compete with generation 3 image intensifiers.

I could try the 65mm f/0.75 lens, but won't bother.
The A7S Mk3 is long overdue.

There aren't many elephants or lions here anyway.

Foxes every night at 2a.m. are clearly visible to the unaided eyes.
They walk up and down the pavement and sometimes just lie down in the street.
The G15 can photograph them when they are still, but they are usually walking around and 1 second is too long.
But 1/60th second is fine with the A7S.

How do crocodiles show up on thermal imaging?
Are they cold blooded?

Regards,
B.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Although I have not tried thermal imaging on crocodiles even though they are reptiles and cold blooded their head will show up I have heard due to the higher functionality of their brain. Snakes on the other hand hardly show up so watch out for Anaconda's. A good way to see crocs or gators at night is with a bright spotlight. Their eyes glow. HaHa!
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Even without removing the infra red filter, digital cameras are sensitive to some infra red frequencies.

Yes, but that’s near infrared at 750+nm whereas the natural infrared emitted by warm bodies is long infrared in the 10,000nm range. That requires completely different (and much more expensive) sensors, often with active cooling, with resolution in the 100x100 range at best.
 

wllmspd

Well-known member
As said you ideally need gen3, most places will have a secondhand hunting market which might have occasional units for sale. There is also the bright LED torch (900nm so invisible to animals) and a normal cheap low light camera…. Used quite widely by hunters as you can build your own very cheaply.
https://www.sionyx.com sell a very sensitive digital night vision system you can freely buy <$1000, but when the dark gets really dark it will stop helping you unlike the real deal which keeps on going till you get to “down a cave” darkness.
In the EU both Photonis and Harder Digital do pretty much the same level of performance stuff as in the US, so you don’t need to worry about importing. Gen4 is marketing hype sometimes reserved for the filmless tech which performs really well in the dark dark, no moon/stars/overcast miles from anywhere type of situation.
When looking at demo images avoid all that are urban/suburban and have any moon about, that is a very bright condition. Milkyway shots separate the good from the not so good. The Huawei P30 pro phone has unreal night performance as does the Sony A7S previously mentioned.

If your aim is to spot warm blooded live stuff I would suggest thermal infrared (same sort of cost, though worse resolution (300 or 600 pixel across sensors) than intensifiers), as they’ll show up far more readily, especially at distance. The pixel size has been dropping over the years and so the cost has come down (can use smaller and thus cheaper lenses). Note this is NOT the near infrared that is filtered from visible cameras, but the long wavelength heat infrared that need special detectors and lens materials. Axion or Helios models from pulsar seem to be good value and reliable.
Luckily we don’t have nasty cold blooded beasties round about, Foxes, badger and deer mainly.
Camouflaged animals that are not moving can be just as hard to spot with an intensifier, though the white vegetation does help a bit.
For wandering about and not bashing things you need a 1x intensifier unit, thermal isn’t so helpful for that application as the contrast is different.
Being able to see in the night really does show you a totally different view of the world most people are not aware of

Peter
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Both the T.V. and air conditioner infra red remotes show brightly on compact digital cameras like the G15 and many others.
They look slightly purple white on the G15 screen.
I have always used digital cameras to see if infra red remotes are working.
These seem to work at 940nm, so getting near the supposed 900nm to 1500nm of thermal imagers?
So digital cameras even with infra red blocking filters don't respond the same as our eyes.

The meteor cameras and other low light astro cameras are usually cooled cameras.

I suppose it is the percentage of light at 940nm that matters.

I couldn't see the laser image on the G15 camera on the old Leica LRF 1200 that I have.
I can't find what wavelength it uses. It may be that it is somehow shielded and has to be at an exact angle?

The temporary streetlights outside were weird.
The red light to the eye is orange to digital cameras. I think the LEDs they use have strange spectra.

B.
 
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