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Generation One Night Vision Binoculars. - |

Generation One Night Vision Binoculars.

ATN Night Shadow Gen 1 Night Vision Binocular


ATN Night Shadow-1 Gen 1+ 3x Night Vision Binocular


Enhancing Your Sight With Night Vision Binoculars.

From the beginning, mankind has been enamored of the gift of sight. Of course this is all perfectly natural and well for those of us who can and do have it. It is always a terribly sad thing when one loses their sight, as so much of the world we interact in and our transactions within it are based upon what is seen.

Take a walk outside, and look around. It is a beautiful, exciting, and somewhat dangerous world out there – so much the better to appreciate the beauty and excitement, and guard against the danger of it all by looking closely at it, and should you have something to further enhance your sight, then so much the better you can be for it.

When the Sun goes down, or before the Sun comes back up – the world is just as beautiful, dangerous, and exciting, however, we have much more trouble seeing it all without lighting, and while a terrific LED flashlight indeed is a wonderful and valuable tool to have, we just might prefer to remain unseen ourselves, and if this be the case – we need night vision binoculars to see while remaining cloaked in darkness.

What Are Night Vision Binoculars?

Quite obviously, night vision devices allow one to see during the night, and they do it quite well. Whether you are a hunter, or just out looking at the many forms of wildlife that are active mostly after dark, then night vision binoculars will allow you to do this.

Night vision devices were first used in World War Two, and came into wide use during the Vietnam War The technology has evolved greatly since their introduction, leading to several “generations” of night vision equipment with performance increasing and price decreasing. Another term is “night optical device” or NOD.

Though night vision optical devices were developed for military and police use originally, there is a very large array of such devices available to civilians, and spanning a large range within cost or price, and features.


Classifications Of Night Vision Binoculars

All night vision devices are classified by their generation, meaning the date or time frame in which the technology a generation of night vision device uses.

Generation synopsis of night vision devices is as follows:

Generation 0 - obviously, the first generation of night vision technological devices and vision-wear. At that time infra-red was commonly called black light, a term later restricted to Ultraviolet - these were not successful due to both size and cost to consumers.

Generation 1- second generation, obviously mislabeled insofar as logic goes, these devices were introduced during the Vietnam War, were an adaptation of earlier active GEN 0 technology, and rely on ambient light instead of an infrared light source. Using an S-20 photocathode, their image intensifiers produce a light amplification of around 1,000×, but are quite bulky and require moonlight to function properly. Generation 1 night vision devices are still readily available to consumers, and likely will be for quite some time.

Generation 2- utilizing micro-channel plate (MCP) with an S-25 photocathode, with these devices one needs no moonlight for the device to operate well. These have terrific image resolution, and are quit reliable, amplification of light reaches levels of up to twenty thousand times what is present in the ambient atmosphere where used.

Generation 3- has the micro channel plate but also utilizes a photocathode made with gallium arsenide, which further improves image resolution. Light amplification reaches staggering levels of around 30,000–50,000×. with these things – they are rather expensive, as one might ought to have expected.

Omnibus-VII (GEN III+) - sorry, you can’t own these…they are military devices. If you do happen to have a set, then more power to you, as who exactly doesn’t sort of just want the best of the best of anything if and should they be able to have it?

Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular (5x)

ATN Night Shadow

Now generation one night vision devices like the ATN Night Shadow are still very good devices for most purposes. Being somewhat antiquated technology wise, they are also the most affordable night vision devices on the market.

Simply put, for two grand or more, one can get a much better night vision device than this one, but for a half grand, this is a damned good device. I have played with these, and I wouldn’t expect at this point ot own something better – not at my current rate of pay, and for merely night watching the coyotes or the local feral hogs, or maybe the occasional cougar, then this will well turn the trick.

Specifications for the ATN Night Shadow are as follows:

  • Magnification: 3x
  • Detection range: 150 meters
  • Recognition range: 100 meters
  • FOV: 20 degrees
  • Min. light req.: 5×0,0001 lux
  • Lens system: F1:1.7, F 90mm
  • Diopter adjustment: +/- 5
  • Range of focus: 8 feet to infinity
  • Power supply: 2×3 volt lithium
  • Battery life: 20-30 hours
  • Dimensions: 10.0 x 4.8 x 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds


Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular

Concerning the Night Owl model of generation one night vision binoculars, one had the following to say:

I was blown away at the hundreds of yards of view with these night vision binoculars! Unmatched, as I also own night vision monocular or single sight IR which can barely see 10 feet! I live next to a very large cranberry bog and watched a coyote, at 300 yards in complete darkness, walk along the far bank. Amazing

Now the Night Owl night vision binoculars are almost half as much more expensive, or more (depending on sales, stock, etc) than are the ATN Night Shadow night vision binocular devices, but these devices were never going to be cheap, and this is still relatively new technology that doesn’t seem to have a large enough demand to bring the prices down.

Suffice it to say, you’ll most often get what you pay for in life, and happy you should be when you get better than what you’d paid in. These devices are all rather fragile. If you buy secondhand, you might ought to be somewhat wary, and also familiar with the exact device in a new model – so as you can see and know the used one is sound enough.

I lust after these things. No, I don’t need them – I just want some. I hope I’ve provided something interesting for someone here.

Thank you for reading

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  • Article by Wesman Todd Shaw

    avatar A Texas native, I love music, history, science, and good food. More than any of that, I love good friends and good conversation. I'm a bit overly into debating on the web, it's just irresistible to me sometimes. I have a long history with acoustic guitars, and love those things above most others. If you also love acoustic guitars, then I am a resource you should enjoy, but I also would like to prove myself useful to you, and in other ways still.
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