Review of Budget Friendly Night Vision Scopes

Night vision view of hog at 150 yards using Digital Crosshairs NV clip-on
Night vision view using Digital Crosshairs night vision clip-on

If you are interested in night vision hunting scopes today is a great time to get one.  The technology is getting better and as you would expect. The really exciting thing is how some low cost digital scopes are just as good as much more expensive, older industry standard Gen 2+ intensifier tube technology.

Picking the right product for your needs and budget can be a challenge. There are enough people “proclaimed experts” out there with opinions on which scopes are the best and what technologies are better than others to keep the average newbie very confused.  If you take anything from this article let it be this, with today’s NV technology you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to enjoy night vision hunting.  Much of the new digital technology is just as good as Gen 2 and a lot more affordable.  Don’t think the more you pay the better quality you will always get, not true in today’s dynamic world of IR illuminators and CMOS chip based night vision technologies. If it is IR night vision, get a good IR illuminator and watch the night light up!

Would you buy a race car to drive to work?  Most hunter are shooting less than 100 yards at night and most of the night vision devices in this article can see farther than that, except maybe the Yukan which is just Gen 1, stay away from anything Gen 1.

What is your typical night hunt going to be like.  Are you shooting 150 yards or less from a stand to a baited feeder?  Are  you shooting 300 yards from the road into a field?  Are you walk and stalk night hunting?  Are  you hunting in rain, snow, or humid conditions?  Are you hunting in wooded conditions or open fields?

As an example of how functional specification don’t alway tell the whole story, if your location has a lot of rain and fog during hunting season,  a $10,000 thermal scope that sees 800 yards is your worst choice. Even if dollars are not an issue, thermal can not see through humid conditions or glass for that matter.  If you are hunting in heavily wooded areas or tall brush, all IR night vision scopes will pickup and be blinded by the reflection off leaves and branches in your field of view.

Night vision devices fall into three technology categories; intensifier tubes, thermal, and digital.   Those technologies are either implemented as a stand-a-lone scope or as what is generally called a clip-on.  Clip-ons enable hunters to attach a device to an existing scope to enhance it with night vision.

The key benefits of a clip-on are:

  • Use multiple guns without re-sighting (hogs with .308, coyote with .223)
  • Day scope is still functional if night vision device fails
  • Use quality day scope in daylight, clip-on night vision in evening
  • Digital Crosshairs clip-on’s ocular mount takes advantage of scope’s quality optics if you have a good scope

 

Affordable Night Vision Scope Clip-on

Digital Crosshairs 1000 http://www.digitalcrosshairs.net

Night Vision Clip-on - Digital Crosshairs
Digital Crosshairs 1000 night vision clip-on mounted on Savage 223

Key Features

Core Technology = Digital Night Vision

  • Silent operation
  • Picatinny Rail attachable digital LCD display system for scope.
  • Auto focus at your scope’s fixed magnification (focus all magnifications of variable magnification scopes with adjustable objective)
  • Mini DVR recorder & Playback on screen (optional)
  • High Definition 1000 TVL CMOS IR board technology
  • Minimum Illumination 0 LUX
  • F1.2 lens for maximum light capture
  • Total darkness IR system activates at 1 LUX
  • High power zoomable long range 850nm IR illumination
  • Color output (not always true colors, Black & White IR night vision output)
  • Powered by 12 volt polymer lithium-ion rechargeable battery.
  • Weight of Digital Crosshairs = 22.5 oz
  • Weight of Illuminator = 7.5 oz

 

Digital Crosshairs 1000 Reviews:  https://goo.gl/qg8RNe

Digital Crosshairs 1000 Night Vision Clip On
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!
5 out of 5 by Joshua C. (1/12/2016 5:49:31 AM)
IP: 71.88.224.196

The DC-1000 is everything it claims to be and more! I can see clearly at 230 plus yards in the dead of night! This will definitely help you get the animal your hunting when there is no sunlight. I would also recommend you to buy the DVR as well, it’s so much fun to re-watch your hunt and a great way to save your memories. The products are A+++++++ but what’s even better is the customer service! Theses guys go above and waaaaaaaaaaaay beyond just answering questions and/or making sure your products get to you quickly. The customer service dept. are super knowledgeable and easy to talk to! I will definitely and have been telling my hunting buddies about this product. I am going email Digital Crosshairs some of my hunting video’s so they can post video’s of my hunt on their website! I love the product and customer service! Thanks again for an affordable night vision product, J.C.

NiteSite Wolf

Key Features

Technology = Digital Night Vision

  • Infrared Night Vision
  • Identification range 330 yards
  • Operational run time up to 7.5 hours
  • Net weight (excluding battery) 16 ounces
  • Water resistant

Reviews

Cost – especially with DIY systems becoming increasingly popular – http://www.airriflereviews.co.uk/accessories/optics/night-vision/nitesite-wolf

 

Affordable Dedicated Night Vision Scopes

If you are looking for a dedicated night vision scope for under $1,000 here are a few to consider.  You will want to read the reviews to see what real users have to say.  No product is perfect so we hope this helps you make the best choice if you don’t choose us.

ATN X-Sight-II 5-20x Smart Day/Night w/HD Video Wi-Fi GPS

Key Features

Core Technology = Digital Night Vision

  • Green night view, black and white night, and color day view
  • Displays in-view menu, functions
  • Obsidian Shooting Solution: wind/ballistic data and calculators
  • Recoil Activated Video (RAV) automatically records your shots
  • Profile Manager saves your personalized ballistic data
  • Smart Rangefinder automatically calculates a point of impact
  • Smart HD Channel allow for easy recording and sharing of videos
  • Smooth Zoom provides contentious zooming
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allow sharing and simultaneous viewing on smart devices
  • Compatible with iOS and Android operating systems
  • Green night view, black and white night, and color day view
  • Displays in-view menu, functions
  • Obsidian Shooting Solution: wind/ballistic data and calculators
  • Recoil Activated Video (RAV) automatically records your shots
  • Profile Manager saves your personalized ballistic data
  • Smart Rangefinder automatically calculates a point of impact
  • Smart HD Channel allow for easy recording and sharing of videos
  • Smooth Zoom provides contentious zooming

Reviews

Not great illuminator light – https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx10WW3G6TK3WYU/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B01BYDUZ60

 

Reviews:

Gear Review: ATN X-Sight Digital Day/Night Optic   http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/08/jeremy-s/gear-review-atn-x-sight-digital-daynight-optic/

Videos:

Using T67 IR Illuminator really helps        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEw_gNvShfE

 

 

 

Armasight Vampire 3X Night Vision Rifle Scope

Key Features

Technology =  proprietary Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine image intensifier tube

  • CORE technology 60-70 lp/mm
  • Detachable long-range infrared illuminator included
  • Illuminated reticle with brightness adjustment
  • Water and fog resistant design
  • Mounts to standard weaver rail

Reviews

Rated for use on a .308, but makes the lens drop out – https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx3OJFONPSOL4IJ/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B00IBIO9VE

 

 

Yukon Advanced Optics – YK26013WL – Yukon Varmint Hunter 2.5×50 Rifle Scope

Key Features

Technology = Gen 1 Intensifier tube

  • Rugged titanium housing
  • +/- 4 Dioptric correction
  • Powered by 2 “AA” batteries
  • 30 lp/mm resolution specified
  • Comfortable, oblique shaped eye cup
  • Mil-Dot type luminous reticle with on/off switch
  • Precision internal windage and elevation adjustment
  • 50 Hours of battery life from two “AA” batteries

Reviews

 

Small reticle – https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/425544-REG/Yukon_Advanced_Optics_YK26013WL_2_5x50_Titanium_Varmint_Hunter.html

 

 

Sightmark Photon 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Riflescope

Key Features

Technology = Digital

  • Day and night Use
  • Digital reticle with option of 6 reticle styles
  • High 6.5x magnification for extended viewing range
  • High resolution display
  • Built-in 780nm laser IR illuminator

Reviews

It will “blink” on high recoil rifles (you won’t see your shot) – https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx1Y6OY9EFQOK16/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B00JAE0UCA

Extremely poor range, even with aftermarket IR illuminator. (actual operative range is less than 150 yards) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R20S1JHMBJ5I7F/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00JAE0UCA

Author: DigitalFOV

Founder and Chief Innovator at Digital FOV, LLC

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