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steviebee

Night vision Binoculars, help needed!

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My wife has been talking about getting a pair of Binoculars for night vision and a bit of Astro. We are visited by Owls and other nocturnal creatures. Ideally she wants something manageable size wise. Price range £100-£150 would be OK. Digital? Any suggestions/help would be appreciated.

 

Steve..

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You're really talking about two completely different things: astronomical objects emit (or reflect) light, night creatures don't (other than fireflies, spontaneously combusting owls etc). For astro an ordinary pair of 10x50s is the best way to start. For nocturnal wildlife try googling "trail camera". Put one in your garden and when something goes by it gets flashed with invisible infra-red light and the camera captures a photo or video of it.

I've never used light-intensification "night vision" goggles but I'd expect the best to be expensive and the very best (military) to be unavailable. In the US Collins make light-intensifier eyepieces that can't be exported because of potential military use. In any case these things are only as good as the quality of your sky: if there's light pollution then goggles will boost that as well as stars.

For bats there are various devices that detect their sound and convert it to an audible output. For hedgehogs a saucer of milk and a torch. For mice a cat. ;)

Edited by acey
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As Acey has said, such instruments are unsuitable for astronomy. I don't think you will find any "night vision" equipment that will give you satisfying wildlife observation within your suggested budget. At least binoculars for astronomy are cheaper!    :icon_biggrin:

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6 hours ago, acey said:

 For hedgehogs a saucer of milk and a torch. For mice a cat. ;)

I know it was just a [removed word] comment, but please don't feed hedgehogs milk, it's not at all good for them. A little bit of dog food will be more like it, as long as you don't have marauding neighbourhood cats or foxes, which will eat the dog food and scare off the hedgehogs.

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2 hours ago, JonF said:

I know it was just a [removed word] comment, but please don't feed hedgehogs milk, it's not at all good for them. A little bit of dog food will be more like it, as long as you don't have marauding neighbourhood cats or foxes, which will eat the dog food and scare off the hedgehogs.

Thanks for putting me right on that. I quite often come across hedgehogs, never feed them, but certainly wouldn't want them to come to any harm. Recently saw a pair fighting and was surprised at how fast the loser ran off, with the other one chasing. Lively little critters!

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Yes, I saw one in my garden recently and it was very sprightly. Incidentally, goodness only knows why the forum removed a word, it was nothing at all contentious, I just made reference to your comment only being a bit of a joke.

Edited by JonF

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2 minutes ago, JonF said:

Yes, I saw one in my garden recently and it was very sprightly. Incidentally, goodness only knows why the forum removed a word, it was nothing at all contentious, I just made reference to your comment only being a bit of a joke.

You need to keep an eye on that predictive text if you use it, results in all sorts of amusing / puzzling posts.

Dave

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A binocular with a large exit pupils will work for night animals, if you have enough ambient light (example: full moon or street lamps).

In contrast, a binocular for astronomy would require a smaller exit pupil, to darker the sky.

BTW: exit pupil is given by the ratio lens aperture / magnification. Your eye could get as large as 7mm if you are young, and then decrease up to around 5mm for old people (but it really depends person by person).

Of course, finally, you need center (and not individual) focus.

If night animals are more important than astronomy, I suggest to look at a 11x70 binocular which, of course, can also be used for astronomy.

A very light 11x70 can also be used hand-held to watch animals, while for astronomy you could buy a light tripod. I don't think this is available at first light optics, so I link an italian reseller.

http://www.rpoptix.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=35_41&products_id=95

I linked this product, and not a very common one like

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p2005_TS-11x70-LE-Porro-Prism-Binoculuar---perfect-for-extreme-low-light-conditions.html

simply because the first is much better. All these binoculars are manufactured in China by a firm called United Optics, and then sold in Europe and US with different names according to the importer. The first bino comes from United Optics BA3 series, which is much better than the second one (BA1 series).

Edited by Rick_It
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I remember as a teenager watching young badgers playing outside their set with a simple red-light torch from my bicycle. Most animals are not sensitive to red light apparently, and I guess nocturnal birds, bats etc likewise.

I have heard that especially in the USA, a few people do use image intensifying equipment for astronomy - but I don't know any details, perhaps search on the Cloudy Nights forum?

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Yes. I seem to remember there was an image intensifying eyepiece on the market a while back, though the reviews were pretty equivocal.

Found the link:

http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/eyepieces/eyepieces-14mm-55mm/the-i3-piece-image-intensifier-eyepiece-r64

Edited by billyharris72
Added link.

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