Upland Optics Venator 10x42mm Binoculars Review

We here at Optics Den are big fans of Upland Optics products, so we were excited to try out the new high-end binos offered by the brand.

The recently released Venator 10×42 binoculars are significantly more expensive than their bestselling Perception HD, but the increase is well worth it overall.

First, here are the specs:

  • 10x optical zoom, 42mm objective lens
  • 114m field of view at 1000m
  • 15mm eye relief
  • Waterproof & fogproof
  • Includes carrying case, lens cloth, neck strap, and lens caps
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5″ x 2″
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs

The Venator offers the highest quality optical clarity through top-of-the-line Extra Low Dispersion Glass. That means exceptional clarity no matter the situation, and it means you can expect an amazing visual experience in every hunt, birding excursion, or other event.

In addition to the ED glass upgrade, the Venator is notable for its high-quality build. Holding them in your hands you can feel the attention to detail and the solid durability of the body. We like the thumb grips and the texture of the rubber on the body — this doesn’t feel like a pair of binos that will go sliding out of your hands when the weather is inclement. Additionally, they feel sturdy, so if they do take a tumble out of your hands or pack, they feel like they’ll hold up. The design is open bridge, which helps reduce overall weight and enables a sleeker design than less-expensive single-hinge binoculars.

Technically speaking, the Venator offers higher light transmission percentage, which means more light is allowed into the binos. This feature means that you’ll find these are excellent in low light conditions. The upgraded glass is a higher technology than most, with advanced proprietary lens coatings for supreme anti-reflection, anti-fog, and other technologies making them an extremely high quality of glass with actual purposes beyond clarity and precision.

Between the high quality glass and the functional, solid design, the Venators are built for extreme weather conditions. These are the kind of binoculars you want on a long hunt in inconsistent and extreme weather.

There’s a lot to love about the Venator, but here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Lifetime warranty: This is huge. Few companies stand behind their binos for a lifetime, but Upland offers this on all their products.
  • Incredible optics: The Venators blow plenty of the competition out of the water with their top of the line optical technology
  • Superior build: You can take these on any excursion without worrying about whether they can handle the heat, wind, fog, cold, rain…whatever.

It’s worth mentioning price here, as the price is both a plus and a minus. It’s difficult to even talk about the Venator in terms of competition, as there really aren’t many binoculars at this price point, period. It’s tough to know what the price might be if Upland was sold in stores (they keep their prices low by offering their products online only), but it isn’t too far out of line to say this pair could save you several hundred dollars versus competitors with over $1k price tags. Bottom line? The Venators offer you an option for a high end feel at a lower price.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to discuss as well.

  • Price: Though I mentioned this as a plus above, these binoculars are still going to be out of budget for plenty of shoppers.
  • Weight: While fairly lightweight, these do still feel a tad heavy.
  • Focus wheel tightness: If I’m being nitpicky, I’ll say the focus wheel feels a little tight when adjusting it.

The Upland Optics Venator 10×42 should definitely be on your radar if you are looking for a pair of high-end binoculars. For a high-end pair, the price is pretty stellar, and the construction and optics technology make these a pair to beat. Check them out here to see the current price.

 

 

 

Reviews of the Best Rifle Scopes for 2018

The Best Rifle Scopes

Click to see bestsellers

Whether you are a hunter, or you just enjoy shooting for sport, you know that choosing a scope for your rifle will be one of the biggest factors in determining how accurately you’ll be able to shoot. A scope allows you to zoom in on your target, and precisely lock in exactly where you want your shot to land.

There are many scopes on the market from many different reputable manufacturers, so choosing the best one is a daunting task. In the end, the scope you choose will largely come down to personal preference and your shooting needs. This guide will help you figure out what the best scope is to suit your (and your rifle’s) needs.

My #1 Recommendation

If I had to pick one scope to recommend above all others, especially on a modest budget, the crown would go to the Vortex Diamondback. Vortex is an incredibly popular brand of sporting optics, and for good reason. Their products are very high quality, and generally are in the mid range in terms of price. I like their 4-12×40 model scope personally, as it allows me to zoom in just far enough while still being able to make close up shots by cranking back the zoom. Click to see the price.

The Vortex Diamondback is our top pick

Best Rifle Scopes For the Money

Rifle scopes can range from $40 up to thousands of dollars depending on how much one is willing to spend. Depending on what the rifle scope is being used for, you can sometimes get away with or at least get the same results with a cheaper scope that you could do with a higher end one. You should always think about what is economically sound for you to spend on a scope, because a some scopes that are $100 might be all you need, and you can save money by purchasing these scopes instead of getting the highest quality scope that really doesn’t improve your chances anymore than the cheaper one. Below are just a few different scopes that are considered to be the best in their dollar range, but before choosing your scope, you should look at all the details in order to make sure it will provide you with a solution to all of your individual needs.

Best Rifle Scope Under $100

There are a lot of different rifle scopes that you can get for under $100, many of which you probably want to avoid. However the UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster Scope is one of, if not the best in this price range. It offers a lot of quality features, and has a sterling reputation with thousands of online reviews.

UTG 3-9x32 BugBusterFeatures:

  • Mildot reticle with both red and green illumination.
  • Lockable and reset-able turret design.
  • It comes with 3-9x magnification, and the objective lens is 32 millimeters.
  • Included with the scope are a 2″ sun shade, quick release rings, and flip cap covers.

While it won’t compare to the Zeiss and Nightforce scopes at the end of this list in terms of optical clarity and quality, this budget scope is perfect for getting the job done with a minimal financial burden. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $200

There are a wide variety of scopes in this price range, including many from well known manufacturers, and it was Nikon that won here. For a price tag that is handily under the $200 mark, the Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm is of exceptional quality. It is designed for rifles chambered in .223 (although it would work for many others as well), and it is made by Nikon, which is one of the best rifle scope brands on the market (as well as optics brands in general).

Nikon P 223 3-9x40Features:

  • This scope comes with 3-9x magnification, and it has a large 40 millimeter objective lens.
  • 1/4 MOA tactical style hand adjustable turrets with reset functionality.
  • BDC 600 reticle designed specifically for .223 caliber rounds.
  • Nitrogen filled, water and fog proof design.

Also in this price range is the Vortex scope I recommended at the top of the article, which you should really consider (especially if you are shooting something other than .223). Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $300

This scope price range was a little more difficult to narrow down, but in the end, the best rifle scope for under $300 came out to be the Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC 3.5-14×40 Rifle Scope. It offers a variety of different features that makes it stand out more so than the others in this particular price range. The average price of this scope before taxes and shipping is around $279, but of course, that depends on where it is you purchase it from. It could be slightly more or even less if you search for a good deal.

Nikon ProStaff 5 BDCFeatures:

  • This rifle comes with 3.5-14x magnification, and it is equipped with a 40 millimeter objective lens.
  • With this rifle scope, adjustments are made extremely easy thanks to its Spring-Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets.
  • Thanks to being a Nikon product, which is one of the best rifle brands on the market, this scope is optimized to be used with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.
  • This scope makes any rifle superior at long range shooting thanks to Nikon’s patented BDC reticle, which has see through ballistic circles.
  • Using this scope on your rifle will make bringing the reticle into focus quick and easy with its quick focus eyepiece.

As stated earlier, Nikon is one of the top brands on the market for making high quality rifle scopes, and this particular rifle scope is just one of the mid price range examples of why they made it to the top brand list. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $500

This category was a hard choice to make. Out of all the different rifle scopes in this price range, I couldn’t narrow down to just one scope, but I was able to narrow it down to the top two rifle scopes for less than $500.

The Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Rifle Scope – Although this brand didn’t make it in the top rifle scope brands, this particular scope could not be overlooked. It is one of the top rifle scopes on the market today. It has a variety of different aspects that make it this way, and it will surely get the job done efficiently and effectively. On average, this scope is generally anywhere from $448 to $461 depending on where you decide to purchase it.

Vortex Viper PAFeatures:

  • It comes with a one-piece tube that is 30 millimeters, which makes it easier to store without having to worry about loosing any removable parts.
  • It is actually made out of aircraft grade aluminum to guarantee it’s sturdiness.
  • It comes equipped with tall turrets which allows the shooter using it to quickly and easily make any adjustments.
  • There is also a side knob parallax adjustment for versatility. Click to see the price.

Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x50mm Side Focus Rifle Scope – Once again, Nikon makes the top! This variable scope is by far one of the top rifle scopes on the marketplace today price ranged under $500. On average, the Nikon Monarch 3 runs around $418, but that is mainly determined at where you decide to purchase it from, and that is not including any kind of tax or shipping. Nikon does not disappoint with this scope as it has many of the features that Nikon is known for using on their high end scopes.

Nikon Monarch 3Features:

  • The Nikon Monarch 3 comes with 4-16x magnification, and it also comes with a larger than normal objective lens. It’s lens is actually 50 millimeters.
  • It is renowned because of its Ultra Clear Coat Optical System which allows up to 95% light transmission.
  • It has a quick focus eyepiece that is meant to allow the shooter to instantly bring their reticle into focus.
  • It’s best feature is the MONARCH 3 Eye Box Technology which allows for a 4 time zoom range. It also allows for a four inch eye relief.
  • This scope is optimized to be used with the Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.
  • Last but not least, it is easily adjusted thanks to its Spring Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets. Click to see the price.

Top Rifle Scopes For an Unlimited Budget

When money is no object, all the rules of the game completely change. A lot of the scopes over $1000 are made by brands that are not seen at the lower budget products. There is a simple answer as to why that is. When most people think of the best brands, they think about the brands that the majority of people who buy a product actually purchase. That is why the higher end rifle scope brands may vary from the over all best and most popular brands. Seeing as this category in finances is so broad, below are two different rifle scopes that can be considered the best rifle scope for those that have an unlimited budget. You should also consider looking at Schmidt & Bender and Swarovski.

Zeiss Conquest Rifle scopes 5-25×50 Black Rapid Z 1000 – On average, this particular scope runs around $1100. It has a lot of different features, and it is manufactured by Zeiss one of the more popular brands among those that enjoy the high end and expensive rifle scopes. Below are just a few of the many features that makes this rifle scope stick out among all of the other unlimited budget scopes on the market today.

Zeiss Conquest Rapid Z 1000Features:

  • This scope comes with a 50 millimeter objective lens, and it comes with 5-25 magnification ability.
  • It is used mainly for hunting anything at long range, including predators, big game, and varmints.
  • It has a robust, one piece tube that is built to stand some of the worst recoils even on extremely demanding terrains.
  • For the rifles that have a harsh recoil, this scope has a 3.5 inch eye relief in order to help protect the shooter’s face from the rifle’s recoil.
  • The Zeiss Conquest rifle scope is one of the most ideal scopes for those that enjoy target shooting on the range.
  • One of the things that helps this be an ideal scope for long range shooting, it offers precision aiming with accurate holdover and wind-corrected information.
  • The lenses of this scope are MC multi-coated, and this help by achieving outstanding brightness regardless of low light situations that might arise on the hunt. Click to see the price.

Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 5.5-22x 56MM Hi-Speed – The Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope is a high speed scope that could not be ignored for the unlimited budget best category. Nightforce is one of the top brands for professional rifle scopes, and that is why it didn’t make the top brand list. Most Nightforce scopes cost way more than the average person would even think about paying for a sports scope for their rifle. This scope generally runs anywhere from $2,250 to $2,500. Generally, the price depends on where one purchases this scope. Below are just a few of the unique features that this scope has to offer someone.

Nightforce NXSFeatures:

  • The NXS Rifle Scope comes with 5.5-22x magnification, and it also has a 56 millimeter objective lens.
  • It has a 30 millimeter diameter tube.
  • The eye relief for the NXS Rifle Scope is 3.9 inches.
  • It has finger adjustable turrets and it has a click adjustment.
  • The field of view for this scope at 5.5x magnification is 17.5′, and the field of view at 22x magnification is 4.7′ at 100 yards.
  • The NXS Rifle Scope has a exit pupil diameter of 10.2 to 2.5 millimeters, and the scope weighs around 32 oz.
  • This scope can be recommended for just about all types of weather, because it is shock proof, water proof, and fog proof. Click to see the price.

Types of Scopes

There are a lot of different types of scopes, but they can practically all be placed in two categories. It is important to understand the different types of scopes and the pros and cons to each one before purchasing one. Below are three of the different types of scopes, and they are the most common scopes on the market.

1. Variable Scopes – By far the most common, variable scopes are useful if magnification of the target is needed for a clean shot. With these types of scopes, the shooter can adjust the magnification of the target that they are looking at. These types of scopes come in a variety of magnification variables, and depending on what you are hunting, this could be extremely important. Sniper rifles often use variable scopes, because sniper rifles are used at a much farther distance than a normal hunting rifle.

2. Fixed Scopes – These scopes can be a little less complicated than variable scopes, but they are also only better if people know exactly the specs they need when shooting their gun. You cannot adjust the magnification on fixed scopes like you can on variables. Therefore, these scopes are only recommended in certain occasions and for certain types of firearms.

3. Night Vision Scopes – These are specialty scopes. They can be combined as a variable scope or a fixed scope. What makes these scopes different is the fact that they are used for shooting at night or at times of day when there is a small amount of light to naturally see the target. They are very expensive and bulky, so before choosing a night vision scope, make sure that you actually need to shoot during low light hours of the day.

How to Choose a Rifle Scope

buying a rifle scopeThe majority of rifle users want the best scope for their rifle in order to help with whatever it is they are hunting. In the past, the old metallic sights that were placed on rifles were a lot harder to aim with than the newer scopes on the market today. When using a rifle scope, one thing should come to mind: simplicity. The use of a rifle scope has made it a lot easier for the majority of people to be able to line up a kill shot on their target.

When using a rifle scope, all you have to do to get a kill on your target is line up your cross hairs or reticles on the target that you are aiming at. Learning to shoot with a rifle scope is an extremely useful skill. Not only is it easier to line up the gun to your target, but it also magnifies your target, making it easier to tell which part of the target you will actually hit. There are a large number of factors that need to go into thought when choosing the right rifle scope.

Is bigger and more expensive always better?

This can be a tricky question to answer when you are dealing with rifle scopes. The best way to answer this question is this. When you are going to look for your idle rifle scope, you should ask yourself what is it that you are going to be shooting at. In general, if you are a deer hunter, using anything over a 3-9x or 4-12x scope on your rifle would be overkill, and it could actually hinder you in the long run. Those are the average scope sizes for anyone wanting to go hunting, because they offer what is needed for the majority of rifle users.

You also need to figure in what kinds of shots you are planning on having to take. If you know that you are going to be shooting far away at your prey, then you will be using a different scope as opposed to shooting at something closer. This has a lot to deal with having the proper magnification on the scope that you choose in order to be able to perform the hunting that you wish to do.

What do the Numbers on a Scope tell me?

This is a good question to ask. Before you can properly choose a rifle scope, you need to know what the numbers on your scope actually mean. In order to help with this, I am going to reference you to a Nikon P-223 3-9×40 SF rifle scope in order to explain the importance of the numbers on a rifle scope. The numbers when choosing a scope that are important are the 3-9×40.

In this particular number, the 3 means that any image that you look at through this scope will appear three times closer to you than it would to the naked eye. The 9 means the same thing. If the scope that you choose has a 9 like this one it means that you can see your target 9 times closer through the scope than with the naked eye. The last number, in this case the 40, is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. If you see a number like this, these scopes are classified as variable scopes. Basically, you can choose if you want your target to be 3 times magnified up to 9 times magnified. In general, the larger the magnification range, the more that particular scope will cost. This is because the wider the range the more versatile that scope will be.

Why is eye relief and light transmission important when choosing a scope?

A shooter’s age can affect the dilation of their eyes. People who are older will experience smaller dilation than someone of a younger age. An exit pupil is extremely important when choosing your scope. Basically, an exit pupil can be determined by holding a scope out at arms length from you. The small circle of light that appears in the scopes eyepiece when doing this is the exit pupil. The exit pupil is extremely important when thinking about eye relief because the larger the exit pupil is the less important head positioning in relation to the scope becomes.

When talking about eye relief in regards to rifle scopes, eye relief is the distance that your eye can be away from the ocular lens of the scope and still provide a full and clear picture of your target. Currently, four inches is the largest eye relief available for any standard rifle scope. If you are using the rifle correctly, four inches in plenty of distance for your face to be out of the way of any recoil your rifle might do. You should always pay attention to the amount of eye relief and exit pupil that a scope offers before purchasing it.

What should I look for in a scope in regards to the objective lens size?

On most medium variable scopes, the standard object lens size is anywhere from 40 to 44 millimeters. There are objective lenses on the market that are larger, but in most cases these larger lenses are not necessary. As a matter of fact, the larger the objective lens on a rifle scope is, the harder it is to be able to hold your rifle properly. These larger lens also can cause your rifle to be a little less comfortable to shoot due to the fact they can make the rifle feel unbalanced, clumsier, and heavier.

Why is Field of View on a rifle scope so important?

When speaking about rifles, field of view is generally measure at every 100 yards. What this means is the field of view is the amount that you are actually able to see from right to left at a distance through your scope. When adjusting the magnification of your scope, your field of view will be adjusted. In general, if you decrease the magnification of your scope your field of view will actually increase. This is generally more important with variable scopes, because the difference in magnification can change the field of view drastically. For instance, if you are using a 3-12×42 scope, if the magnification is set to 3 then your field of view will be the full 100 yards. However, if your magnification was turned closer to 12, your field of view would actually decrease down to somewhere around 14 to 10 yards.

For more about choosing the top rifle scope, watch the below video:

Best Rifle Scope Brands

  • Leupold
  • Redfield
  • Sightmark
  • Burris
  • Bushnell
  • Barska
  • Nikon

revies of rifle scopesJust like any other product, there are a lot of different brands and companies that make rifle scopes, but just like with every other product, there are a number of brands that stick out in the market. Below are a list of the top six brands that make rifle scopes, and they all got on this list for a variety of reasons. Some have created special features that make their scopes better in certain aspects, and some brands have an all around aspect to their products that put them on top.

Leupold

A family owned company since its founding in 1907, Leupold & Stevens is without one of the highest quality optic manufacturers in the world. It’s scopes are used by the United States Marine Corps and Navy SEALs, which definitely is a major vote of confidence in their design and manufacturing. They make everything from simple hunting scopes to the incredibly powerful and adjustable tactical designs used by the military.

Redfield

Redfield was purchased by Leupold & Stevens, Inc. back in April of 2008, but they did not acquire any of Redfield’s capability of repairing their products that were made prior to them buying the company. However, Redfield is still currently one of the top manufacturers of rifle scopes on the market. Their motto is “No Excuses”, and they offer a full lifetime warranty to their customers on all of their non-electronic products like their rifle scopes.

Sightmark

Sightmark was founded back in 2007, and they have steadily been growing in the modern shooting market thanks to their products and rifle scopes. Currently, they are operated out of Mansfield, Texas, and there motto is “Make Your Mark”. They offer a variety of different products that are ranked top of the market, and they are known for making Triple Duty, Ezekiel, and Pinnacle rifle scopes that excel in performance.

Burris

Burris considers themselves specialists when it comes to making rifle scopes. They vow that they only employ the most passionate and knowledgeable engineers to manufacture their products. Burris products are not only used by the occasional hunter or sports shooter, but some of their rifle scopes are used by professionals throughout the entire world. Burris is best known for their scopes having lenses with larger diameters than most of their competitors.

Bushnell

Bushnell is one of the older popular rifle scope manufacturers with their products still on the market. They have been in business for over 65 years, and they pride themselves on providing only the best quality to their customers. The majority of their products are some of the more reliable and affordable hunting products, like rifle scopes on the market to date. Their shotgun scopes are also among the best.

Barska

Barska is currently operated out of Pomona, California, which is on the southern end of California. Their priority products all deal with sport optics, and they are considered to be one of the top brands that puts out rifle scopes on the market today. They actually have a global customer base. They have over 40 countries that they distribute their products too outside of the United States. They even offer products that can be individualized for their corporate customers if needed.

Nikon

Nikon is one of the more well known Sports Optics companies in the world. They have a variety of different products that they create, and they are well known in the hunting industry for both their cutting edge hunting optic rifle scopes. Some of their company strengths include their commitment to innovation, quality, and the performance of their products.

See the current bestselling rifle scopes here.

Ozark Armament Rhino Rifle Scope Review

We enjoy talking about Ozark Armament’s products because they rarely come out with a lackluster product. Though on the cheaper side, their products are lauded around the web for being of great quality. Their Rhino 4x magnified scope is one of four different rifle sights they have and the first to have magnification.

Consider this scope if you’re looking for a shakeup from red dot or reflex sights. Its price is only a little higher than the most expensive red dot or reflex sights, so it’s definitely affordable if you trying to stay cheap.

 

Rhino 4x Magnified Optic

Purpose

To give hunters mid-long range sighting capabilities at a fraction of the price of the most popular riflescope manufacturers. Despite its all-metal construction, it weighs in at around a pound.

The top dial changes the illumination of all three reticle colors. Those who are upgrading from red dot or reflex sights may be used to having this dial on the side, so it may take a little adjusting.

  • The Picatinny mount comes with the scope, so you can try it on shotguns and rifles alike.

 

Stats

Magnification: 4X
Objective Lens: 32 mm
Exit Pupil: 8 mm
Field of View: 7.0 degrees
Field of View @ 100 yards: 36.8 ft
Eye Relief: 3.5″

 

Overall

Is the Rhino the best rifle scope on the market? Probably not, but its almost unbeatable as a beginner’s or budget scope. The tri-color illumination is perfect for those who prefer the choice and 4x magnification is powerful enough for ample viewing at 600 yards.

FOV at 100 yards is about 37 feet, which doesn’t seem like much at first, but it really depends on the target and terrain. If you’re tracking a moving animal, 37 feet is a modest range

Perhaps the most notable fact about the Rhino is its simplicity. It doesn’t try to be a higher-end scope with bells and whistles dominating the exterior. Its cheap, accurate, and clear, which is probably all you need in a good beginner’s scope.

Image result for amazon click here button

LaserWorks LE-032 Mounted Rangefinder Review

The LaserWorks LE-032 scope is a curious optic designed to be mounted on a gun, crossbow, or hunting bow. It doesn’t look like your average rifle scope but in the end it’s not designed to replace true rifle scopes. 

It doesn’t have the round tubes and lenses that are customary for rifle scopes. It’s actually designed to fit on top of your rifle scopes by either of the rings that attach it to the firearm.

  • If you have a bow or crossbow that has hardpoints for attachments, simply choose the position that feels right for you.

Purpose

The purpose of the LE-032 is to replace the traditional rangefinder you carry around with you and have all your ranging equipment in one place. We can see this being of enormous help to hunters who don’t like having to handle their weapon and rangefinder with two hands. With the LE-032, you can handle the weapon and acquire distance without using separate devices.

The all-electronic readout is also bright and readable if you’re switching between it and the actual scope (if you’re using a gun or crossbow). If you’re using any type of bow, you may have to angle you’re head a bit but not by much.

Stats

  • Precision to +/- 1M
  • Maximum range: 700M
  • Speed range: 0-300KM/H

There is some discussion that there may be a slight distortion in the LE-032’s accuracy due to the fact that the laser emitter is sitting a couple of inches above the scope and even more so above the muzzle of the gun. This can be a huge factor when shooting at long distance or if it’s windy or foggy outside.

The LE-032 compensates for this situation by having an overall small frame. It looks big on the webpage but in your hands, it’s actually pretty small. If it were bigger, it would weigh more and it would start affecting your shot.

The rangefinder has five modes for different situations: ordinary ranging, fog, horizontal distance, fog and horizontal, and speed. These modes will help you acquire accurate distance in different weather conditions and if your target is on the move.

Overall

The one big problem (especially for bows) is that you can’t see what the rangefinder is locking on to. With normal rangefinders, you can look down the lenses to what you’re trying to acquire. For rifles and crossbows that have actual scopes, this will be easier and the distance much more accurate.

Despite the LE-032 being a relatively new product, it has some good feedback from customers who appreciate its light weight (.6 lb) and reliability. We understand the hesitation that occurs sometimes with a new design or concept, but the LE-032 has surprised many by having trustworthy ranging data.

Full-size rangefinders have prices that vary from the tens to hundreds of collars, and the LE-032 probably leans more so on the expensive side. However, in our opinion, its benefits justify the cost, especially when you consider how much you’ll be packing on your trip and the device’s versatility with ranging modes.

Click here to buy the LaserWorks LE-032.

The Best Image-Stabilization Binoculars of 2018

It seems like there’s a pair of binoculars for just about every situation and sometimes with intricate pieces of technology infused within. We’ve seen rangefinder binoculars among other things, but an even lesser known form of binos is image-stabilization binoculars.

Image stabilization is a very sought after quality among camera fanatics, including those who own DSLR and SLR cameras. For more information and guides on DSLRs and SLRs, visit Bokeh Hub. We all want our binoculars to transmit the best quality images to us regardless of weather conditions. While most binos do a pretty good job on their own, these particular binos are specialized to produce some of the best non-shaky images in the world.

Let’s take a look at each of them:

Fujinon

Fujinon is widely known for producing polaroid film and polaroid cameras. Their entries into the IS-camera market have been met with near-universal acclaim, so let’s explore why.

14x40mm Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440 - 14x40 Image Stabilization Binocular

This 14x40mm pair of binos is more rectangular than your average pair of binos, but does have some hand grip on the left side so you can handle them with ease. These particular binos come with 5 degrees of stabilization. Degrees of stabilization, in the simplest terms, refers to the level of which the lenses operate in order to stabilize the image.

Advanced cameras utilize degrees of stabilization with the utmost importance, especially when filming. The Fujinon 14x40mm has received rave reviews because of its ability to display images in the far distance but with maximum stability and image quality.

  • Fujinon also manufactures a 12x32mm version with 3 degrees of stabilization.
  • You can also view the upcoming 12x28mm version.

Canon

Canon is a renowned camera maker, so its no wonder that they would have a large number of image-stabilization binos.

10x30mmCanon 10x30 Image Stabilization II Binoculars

The 10x30mm model is Canon’s most popular model of IS-binoculars. It differs from other binos like Fujinon’s because it has elongated eyepieces. The eyepieces also flatten images on the edges of your vision, eliminating blurriness that commonly occurs with other binos.

The 30mm lenses utilize the same image stabilization technology that you’ll find on Canon’s line of EF lenses that go on SLR and digital cameras. This technology is battery powered and in ideal conditions can last over 8 hours. We don’t recommend taking these in extreme conditions like below freezing temperatures, but they can operate for about an hour.

Canon really went all out with these binoculars, and its no wonder they’re so popular. Check out some of the other sizes of image stabilization binos by Canon:

Zeiss

Carl Zeiss binos may have some of the biggest price tags in the binos world, but that price is reflected in their almost unmatched image quality and handling.

20x60mm

The 20x60mm pair of binos is the biggest on our list and certainly the most powerful. These 60mm lenses and long eyepieces ensure that you’re seeing objects and a

Carl Zeiss Optical 20x60 Image Stabilization Binocular

nimals in the distance and to the edges of your lenses.

These binos also give you the ability to “lock in” an image while you’re looking through the lenses. This feature will really appeal to

outdoorsmen like birders who really need their binos to be stable as they analyze features of avians.

The high magnification of the 20x60mm makes them a good candidate for nighttime viewing as well. Some users have even used the 20x60mm to spot stars at night before getting a closer look with a telescope.

Design

Due to the construction process of these lenses, the overall design of the binos is a little different than your average pair of 10x42mm or 8x42mm. They look a bit like rangefinder binos but in the end built with image quality and stabilization in mind. The lens sizes are also not the usual size you’d find browsing for normal binoculars, but the kick is getting even better images.

Because the technology for these binoculars is still very new, you’ll see that there is not many of them currently on the market and the ones that are are going to be a bit of an investment.

Besides above average image stabilization, these binos share many of the same characteristics that apply to all binos:

  • The bigger the lens, the more light that is gathered
  • The higher the zoom, the more focused an image will be

8x42mm Binos vs. 10x42mm Binos

When it comes to binoculars, 8x42mm and 10x42mm are pretty much the standard measurements for the best overall views. There are smaller and larger pairs of binoculars that would be ideal for certain situations, but 8×42’s and 10×42’s are certainly the most popular and widespread among manufacturers.

So what makes these two sets of binos similar and dissimilar? At first glance, you might not notice the difference between the two. Design-wise, they’re very similar to each other unless we factor in wide-angle binos as well. More on those later.

Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm Hunting Binoculars

In case measurements are unclear to beginners, let’s clear some things up. In an 8x42mm model, for example, the 8 refers to the level of zoom the binoculars can reach. The 10mm refers to the diameter of the objective lens within the binos. The wider the diameter of the objective lenses are, the more light the binos gather and the brighter the overall image. The larger the zoom, the closer you can focus in on a specific object.

Large vs Small Binos

Given what we know, this doesn’t mean that the binos with the largest measurements out there are going to be the best on the market. The reason we have different measurements is that different measurements are better in different situations.

The difference between the two may seem small at first, but once you get a feel for the detail provided by both, you’ll see what we mean.

Let’s look at both models individually.

8x42mm

The 8x42mm model is a pretty average size for binoculars, making them some of the best all-around binos in the industry. Despite similar measurements, not all 8x42mm models are exactly the same. Some companies use specific manufacturing techniques to allow just the tiniest bit more of light to pass through the lenses.

8×42 models provide ample zoom and field of view (FOV) for their user without trying to add too much flare.

Here are a couple of examples of situations where 8x42mm models would be ideal:

  • Opera-for a smaller field of view
  • Stadium Events-you may not need to track high-speed objects, but see many things at once
  • Hunting-for ideal target acquisition in ideal conditions, normally shorter range
    • 8×42’s also have slightly larger exit pupils, eye reliefs, and field of views, making them more ideal overall for low light conditions

10x42mm

The 10x42mm offers the same or similar level of light transmission as 8x42mm models but offers a small boost in the zoom factor. For a more powerful zoom, you’ll get clearer images so you can identify objects and animals at long range.

Here are a couple of examples of situations where 10x42mm models would be ideal:

  • Birding-for fast moving animals
  • Hunting-for target acquisition of animals in the distance, usually at maximum range
  • Twilight Factor-while the 8×42’s model can acquire targets in low light, its the clarity and resolution of the object/animal that matters. This is where the 10×42’s excel

Wide Angled BinosBushnell Perma Focus 7x 50mm Wide Angle Binocular

Wide angled binos offer an even larger field of view with the same measurements. For activities such as birding which require fast movement and a wide field of view as much as detail acquisition, wide angled binos are the preference. For birding in particular, you may prefer one model over the other depending on what environment you are glassing.

As we mentioned, these optics come in the same 8×42 and 10×42 models, but their design is noticeably different, (see image on the right).

Overall

8×42’s are generally more stable than 10×42’s, meaning you’re not shaking as much at maximum range. Seeing an object in the distance doesn’t mean necessarily mean you’re going to get unreal image quality. On the other hand, 10×42’s are going to pick up more detail each time you glass a certain area.

Both models of binos have their advantages and disadvantages. This means you’ll want to conduct your research carefully and plan out what you want to use a particular pair of binos for before you buy them.

Click here to browse our picks for the best binoculars of 2018. You can also find many individual reviews of specific binos in our binoculars category.

Binoculars vs. Spotting Scopes

The question to bring one set of optics on an outdoor excursion over the other will always be tricky. It depends on the situation and the power and versatility of your optics. In this article, we’ll narrow down some areas where you should prefer one over the other. On the other hand, you might be inclined to bring both.

Spotting Scopes

On average, spotting scopes are going to have more powerful focus and longer range than your basic set of 8x42mm or 10x42mm binoculars. If you recently purchased a spotting scope or are looking to get one, here are a couple of situations you should consider:

  • Hunting-For long distance hunts where the terrain is variable. Spotting scopes will help you determine key details about the environment. When you are sitting in a location where you can observe the terrain around you for miles, the scope will be preferable to a set of binos.
  • Birding-In order to have a successful birding experience, acquiring the most intricate details of birds is the priority. It’s no surprise that two different bird species may only be separated by a small and hard to see color scheme. With powerful zoom and light transmission, the spotting scope is going to be your best friend.

The inconvenience with spotting scopes is that the larger ones (that are usually the best), require tripods for the best stabilization. Depending on where you’re going, tripods add a lot of excess weight. If you’re planning on walking long distances or going up steep terrain, you might want to think twice about bringing a spotting scope. Despite the excess weight, there are ways to bring a spotting scope and tripod and still get the job done:

  • Travel with a friend
  • Bring a larger backpack
  • Use a pack animal

There are some spotting scopes that you can freehand. This means less overall weight but smaller and less powerful lenses.

Click here for our picks for the best spotting scopes of 2018.

BinocularsNikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)

While not as powerful as spotting scopes, binoculars are certainly the most widespread and versatile optics in the outdoor adventuring world. They weigh less than spotting scopes but some models do produce impressive power, focus, and light transmission.

With binos, you can place them in pouches on your body for easy access. You don’t have to take off your backpack every time you need to glass terrain. Compared to spotting scopes, they’re a whole lot more convenient.

So, where should you be using binos? Rather, the question should be where shouldn’t you be using binoculars? Binos can be and are usually used in just about every outdoor excursion there is. They are also commonly used in indoor events such as opera or theater, where people sitting far away may not be able to see the stage that well.

  • The key thing to do before you purchase a new pair of binos is to check the product description carefully. This description should give you the correct measurements, and how well they hold up during low light conditions (morning and evening).

For a reliable viewing experience, binos are pretty much a necessity when venturing into the wilderness, especially when dealing with shorter ranges. You would never want to travel with just a spotting scope.

Click here to see our choices for the best binoculars of 2018.

Click here to see our picks for the best rangefinder binoculars of 2018.

Overall

There isn’t a primary set of criteria that dictates which optics are better than others. Sure, spotting scopes on average sport more powerful and longer reaching lenses. However as we’ve discovered, the most power doesn’t equate to the best experience.

In our opinion, what you should be judging binoculars and spotting scopes on is the excursion you are about to embark on.

  • What’s the terrain like?
  • What will the weather be like?
  • What time of day will you be out there and for how long?
  • Are the animals/objects are want to see well camouflaged or reclusive?

There is no set answer to each of these questions. In the end, the answer will come down to how quickly you want to spot what you’re looking for. In that case, it’ll be a good idea to bring both sets of optics on a trip so you can get the best of both worlds.

Do you have a preference for one type of optic over the other? Leave a comment and let us know!

The Best Rangefinder Binoculars for your Adventures in 2018

At the crossroads of the long-range optics industry are the rare products called Rangefinder Binoculars. While still available to the general public, the rarity comes at an increased price. Basically, these optics combine the basic mechanics of binoculars with the acquisition abilities of rangefinders.

As with normal rangefinders, these types of binos do require batteries. They may not be the large CR2 batteries that most rangefinders run on but you will still have to spend some money every now and then to replace them.

The process to hybridize rangefinders and binoculars is very tricky, hence the larger than normal price jumps. These binoculars are fine-tuned during manufacturing to make sure that the rangefinding system is accurate and compatible with each size of objective lenses.

Laser rangefinders usually don’t use the x and y-axis markers that appear within the lenses. They use a laser acquisition system and a pointer reticle that simply tells you how far away each object is.

Best Under $300

Hooway 7x50mmHooway 7x50 Waterproof Fogproof Military Marine Binoculars w/ Internal Rangefinder & Compass for Navigation,Boating,Fishing,Water Sports,Hunting and More

The Hooway 7x50mm model is sort of your all-around tough and reliable set of rangefinder binos. The large, 50mm objective lenses are encased in non-slip rubber armor-making them shock-proof and water-proof. On the underside of the binos is a tripod adapter. A tripod may be ideal in situations where you are planning to remain in one spot for a long time.

The rangefinder on this pair of binos uses a y-axis to determine distance. In this case, distance is approximate and measured in kilometers to as opposed to laser rangefinders which are usually dead on. The calculation is as follows:

Distance=(100)x(Object Size)÷Rangefinder Scale Reading

If you can approximate object height or width, you’ll get the object distance. Aside from the rangefinder itself, the binos are equipped with an internal compass for navigation and direction.

We like that the Hooway’s objective lenses provide a wide FOV and appropriate level of zoom all for a very affordable price. The rangefinder may not be the best in the world, but it gets the job done and saves you the hassle of having to carry two different pairs of optics.

Aomekie Ultimate

Aomekie’s set of 7x50mm binos are very similar to the Hooway model. They are a durable pair built to handle tough conditions whether it be rain, fog, or humidity.

The rangefinder with these binos is nearly identical to the Hooway and the same goes for the compass. The downside is that you won’t get the exact distance of an object to the “T” but it will be very close. The tricky part is knowing or guestimating an object’s height or width.

One thing to note is that the product description is misleading-these binos do not come with night vision but do better in low-light conditions than the average pair. Aomekie has a couple of different colors available, but make sure that you remain on the 7x50mm pair.

USCAMEL 10x50mmUSCAMEL 10x50 Military Waterproof HD Binoculars with Rangefinder Compass - Army Green

The 10x50mm by USCAMEL increases the zoom by a factor of three. This gives it a little bit of an advantage over the Aomekie and Hooway models in terms of close up detail and target acquisition. The more chance of appropriately identifying the target, the more exact your rangefinder calculation is going to be.

We like that these pair of 10x50mm uses folding eyecups. This design makes viewing for users with glasses much easier. Especially when conditions aren’t great, this pair of 10x50mm is durable and reliable for users of all ages and experience levels.

The FOV at 1000 yards with these binos is 396 feet, which is about the same as the Aomekie and Hooway models. The level of zoom on this pair of binos will be key in identifying objects and animals on the water, where vision can be blurry and unfocused.

Best Under $1200

Snypex Knight Arm Yourself With the New SNYPEX Knight LRF1800 8x42 Precision Tactical 1.2 Miles Laser Rangefinder Binoculars, "Crime Fighting Eyes for Cops"

The Snypex Knight is an 8x42mm model of binoculars with a laser range finder. This simplifies the overall process with the push of a button. Speaking of which, the buttons are conveniently located across the top of the binos-one for power acquisition and one for changing the distance measurement.

With a hard rubber exterior, the Knight is built to handle tough conditions and the occasional high drop. A common laser rangefinder problem is inaccuracies when the laser is pointed at or through glass. You can rest assured that the Knight has solved this problem and even allows for continuous ranging with moving targets.

The inclusion of the rangefinder and its batteries barely alters the overall weight of the Knight. In the end, it’s still covered protective armor, so you almost wouldn’t notice the difference until you actually used them.

Bushnell Fusion

The Bushnell Fusion 10x42mm pair of binos give a good introduction to higher-end rangefinder binos. Its powerful laser extends in a one-mile arc in front of the binos.

The internal display is actually pretty intuitive. Not only will the Fusion give you the distance to the target, you can switch between rifle or bow hunting focus and get the angle of elevation. For the hunter or outdoor enthusiast who is nitpicky with detail, these measurements are hard to pass up.

At maximum range, the rangefinder can acquire targets up to 1760 yards away. In particular with the rifle mode, the Fusion has different settings that allow you to sight-in the binos at 100, 200, 300, and 400 yards.

While people may initially be wary of picking up a pair of rangefinder binos, Bushnell really sets the tone for the industry by including multiple ways get the correct distance. It does this, all while providing the user with great light transmission through the lenses.

Nikon Laser ForceNikon 16212 Laser force Rangefinding Binocular Spotting Scopes

Nikon’s 10x42mm laser force binoculars are a sight to behold. Most rangefinder binos of this price range and above use lasers to get the distance to an object. They are more accurate than the cheaper pairs of binos that require you to do some slight calculations to get the approximate distance.

The laser force has a range of 1900 yards and can also factor in inclines and declines. This small but noticeable addition to the laser rangefinder will ensure that you are getting near precise measurements. In low light conditions, you can also adjust the intensity of the display within the lenses.

Like most rangefinders, the laser force can acquire the range of a target as it moves, but only up to 8 seconds. Overall, the laser force is one of the best all-around rangefinder binos despite the price.

Vortex Optics Fury Vortex Optics LRF300 Fury 10x42 Binocular LRF

We all know how popular Vortex can be and they really knock the ball out of the park with the Fury’s. Their 10x42mm measurements give you ideal FOV at 1000 yards and provide ample light transmission so you can study an object or animal closely.

The Fury’s rangefinder reticle is similar to the one you’ll find in a normal rangefinder. Like the Laser Force and Fusion, these binos utilize a laser to acquire distance. If your target is at an odd angle away from you, the Fury employs the Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) to compensate for those angles and ensure you are getting precise distances.

Aside from being a reliable pair, they are waterproof, fog proof, and built to withstand the occasional drop or scratch.

Best Under $2500

Leica GeovidLeica Geovid 10x42 HD-R 2200 Rangefinder Binocular, Black

The 10x42mm Leica Geovid’s look like some oddly designed optics, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re a lackluster pair of binos. The orientation of the binos has no effect on your overall viewing experience, it’s just how the lenses are constructed.

While the Geovid indeed uses a laser to calculate distance, it also factors in ballistic trajectory. For example, the actual distance to an object might differ with a bullet as opposed to a laser. If you were holding a gun instead of the Geovid, the binos will factor in a bullet’s drop to give you perhaps the most accurate information on our list up to 1200 yards.

What makes the Geovid worth the price? It’s quality optics. The Geovid’s wide FOV at 10x42mm makes it nearly unmatched in wide area scanning and target acquisition. The ability to combine a lot of perks like detail and zoom in addition to a rangefinder is what gives the Geovid an advantage over its competitors.

Best under $3500

Carl Zeiss Victory

The price doesn’t get much larger and the quality not any better than the Carl Zeiss Victory 10x56mm models. Despite their price, they’re more than capable of handling rain and fog. They’re encased in thick but grip-friendly rubber to protect against scratches.

So what makes the Victory’s the cream of the crop? They do sport the largest objective lenses on our list with about the same level of zoom. You’re going to notice a difference in zoom quality between the Victory’s and a pair of 10x42mm’s. Zeiss ensures that with this pair of binos, in particular, you’re getting unparalleled quality through carefully coated lenses.

The rangefinder on this set of binos is a simple but incredibly accurate laser that can acquire targets up to 1300 yards away. Another factor you’ll appreciate is the Victory’s performance during twilight and evening. With enhanced optics and larger lenses, the Victory is going to be soaking up more light compared to any other pair of binos on our list. With the appropriate light transmission and zoom, you’ll still be able to see in detail in low light.

Are you considering Rangefinder Binos?

One thing is for sure, Rangefinder Binos definitely cut down on the space and weight given by carrying two items at once, even if it is minuscule. Despite the couple thousand dollar difference between the cheapest and most expensive pair, each of these binos has proven its worth in the field and picked up some satisfied customers along the way.

Personally, we like the laser-equipped rangefinder binos, but the ones that you use an old-fashioned x and y-axis do a throwback to the old ways of calculating distance. We imagine that the laser-equipped binos are going to more suitable for hunting and other tracking activities, while the others will be suitable for sight-seeing and birding.

 

 

Reviews of the Best Night Vision Goggles for 2018

Night vision goggles are the perfect tool for after dark use because they can be lightweight, versatile, comfortable and hands free all while providing you with the power of improved vision in the dark. This makes them ideal to use in a wide range of low light operations. Your experiences will widen as you take on the low light with the power of a good pair of night vision goggles.

This guide will show you why you should get night vision goggles, what you should look for, and then help you determine the best pair of goggles to suit your needs. Use the table of contents to jump to the section that interests you.

Why Night Vision?

Human eyes are powerful tools. Thousands of years of achievements speak to the power of the human eye as is seen from the many wonders created and achievements made over the generations. From the age of the hunter-gatherer to the modern man the human eye has been a vital part to humanity, but as strong as your eyes are there are certain times where natural eye power is not enough. After nightfall your eyesight drastically diminishes leaving you in the dark. This can be detrimental to your enjoyment if you are wanting to see the less illuminated side of nature. It can also be fatal if you are take a misguided step due to your lack of proper vision.

If you have ever tried to hunt in the dark, hike a trail through the mountains in the evening hours or attempted to capture delicate photographs of nocturnal creatures such as owls, bats or lemurs in their natural dark habitat then you know that the human eye has its limits. It operates at its most effective level when there is ample light present.

That is why it is important to consider adding a pair of night vision goggles to your list of outdoor gear if you plan to engage in any kind of nighttime outdoor activity that requires clear and high definition sight without the sun or other sources of light.

 

Generations of Goggles

Nigh vision goggles come in three generations, shortened to Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3. Gen 1 goggles are the most affordable, have minimal but quality features and tend to last about 1500 of hard use. Gen 2 costs a little more and has a longer overall life at 5000 hours. Gen 2 usually has a higher resolution image and wider field of view. Gen 3 is very expensive, lasts for about 10,000+ hours and are used by special forces around the world.

You can expect to spend anywhere from $400 all the way up to over $5,000, but there are more than enough options that fall somewhere in the middle of the price range. Educate yourself with what is out there on the night vision goggle market before you make a purchase.

Below you will find the best choices for under $500, under $1000, for the money and the overall best choice for all around functionality. All are either Gen 1 or Gen 2 goggles, but the brands listed do offer Gen 3 units if that is what you are seeking.

You can use the recommended models below as a starting point on your path to obtaining your first pair of night vision goggles. All four are top of the line items that will fill many different roles. They all keep your budget and preferred uses in mind.

Best Night Vision Goggles For Under $500

It can be tricky to find quality night vision googles for under $500. Most will be $1000 and above. However, this pair of night vision goggles, the Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit, is listed for under $400 (it’s regularly $599). 

 

Affordability meets versatility in this particular product, as the Ghost Hunter features a range of options for night vision use, as well as simple and comfortable hands-free operation. It includes a built-in IR illuminator for better range in total darkness. It has a smart shut off to automatically power down when the device is exposed to light. Sightmark offers a limited lifetime warranty (plus three year warranty on the dual tube system).

Here are some of the specs:

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Lens Diameter: 24mm
  • Resolution: 36mm
  • Field of View: 30 Degrees
  • Max Viewing Range: 184yds
  • Dimensions: 139mm x 57mm x 74mm
  • Weight: 13.4oz

Click here to see the current price.

 

Best Night Vision Goggles For Under $1000

If you want to keep your spending under $1000 you will want to check out the Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1×20 Night Vision Gogglewhich is full of solid features while keeping your budget in mind.

 

The Edge GS features an IR Illuminator with adjustable power and dual tubes for depth perception. The construction is durable and built to allow for use in any weather or harsh conditions. These goggles are made of of quality optics, CF-Super Image Intensifier Tube, and wide-angled five-lens eyepiece which provides lack of distortion and the highest edge-to-edge resolution performance.

Here are some key specs:

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Objective lens: 20mm
  • Resolution: 42 lines per mm
  • FOV: 36 degrees
  • Exit pupil: 6mm
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 113mm x 60mm
  • Weight: 0.65kg

Click here to shop for the Edge GS

Runner up: Armasight Spark-G Night Vision Goggle (CORE IIT, 60-70 lp/mm)

Armasight Spark-G, our runner up in the under $1000 category

Best Night Vision Goggles For The Money

The most expensive item on the list but one that will grant you the most power for the money is the Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles by Armasight. It runs just under $2k, but is hands down the best pair you will find for a little more money.

 

The Nyx7-ID weighs in at only 1 pound, making it a super lightweight model. The headset and chinstrap can be adjusted to fit a wide range of head shapes and sizes. This model is great for the serious user of all ages but should not be considered a toy. It is a no-nonsense pair of goggles that is known for being a professional level product.

One special feature that this model includes is a water resistant design. If you ever hunt, fish or explore the outdoors you know that the weather can change in an instant. In those moments this pair of night vision goggles is perfect because you can continue to use it while making your way to safety without fearing that your goggles will be rendered useless and destroyed by the rain. Being water resistant also makes this model ideal for search and rescue situations where you are looking for someone who is lost and the weather has prevented him or her from being found. You can rest with confidence knowing that these goggles will perform when you need to them to no matter the weather.

The built in IR light in the Nyx7-ID helps keep this unit working for many close range situations whether you need to check your GPS device, a map or read a sign in the dark. Depth perception and high definition vision are guaranteed.

Unlike other night vision goggles you can shop from a wide range of accessories. For longer range magnification you have a large option of accessories for 3X, 5X and 8X optional lenses. These are attached with ease and can be stored when they are not in use. The Nyx7-ID is a great modular device because of this. If you enjoy customizing your device this one is perfect.

Armasight has made sure with this model that you will not be left stranded in the dark. The stock battery is a lithium CR123A. You can also use an alkaline AA battery, and changing the battery is easy and can be done on the fly. A power adapter is included for quick and efficient charging so that you can stay on the go.

As a Gen 2+ pair of goggles the Armasight Nyx7-ID has a stronger power than most Gen 1+ goggles and is a great pair if you have the money. For overall money versus functions the Nyx7-ID is the first choice for all of your night vision needs.

 

Shop now for the Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles.

 

History and Modern Features

Night vision goggles were developed for military use in the 1940s during World War Two. Soldiers uses them to their advantage and turned the tides of key engagements because of the obvious advantage that the night vision goggles provided them.

Night vision received much wider use in the dense and dangerous jungles of Vietnam as snipers and other special military personnel used them to have an edge against their enemies under the cover of darkness.

Over the years many types of night vision goggles have since spread into the civilian market and carry the same strengths as their military cousins at a fraction of the price. You do not need to be a military or hunting buff to know why these goggles have been loved by many since their inception. Night vision goggles continue to be popular among outdoor enthusiasts, from the casual user to the most dedicated disciple of night activity.

Modern technology has made low light vision devices available for almost any price and for a large range of uses. It is not uncommon to see night vision goggles being used for nighttime photography, hunting, fishing, gaming and personal security. The affordability and reliability of most night vision goggles has given rise to a large following of loyal users who can not imagine life before night vision.

Features to look for on a new pair of night vision goggles should fall in line with your needs. If you are into night photography it might be important for you to have a zoom magnification option and a pair that will not interfere with your camera.

If you are hunting in low light perhaps you will want to consider a pair of goggles that has the option to flip up and down for when you do not need to use them. They should not weigh much because you never know how long you will be sitting waiting for your game to appear.

Battery life is another factor to think about as you will not want to lose sight in the middle of use. If you plan to hike in the dark for long stretches consider units that offer an easy way to exchange or charge batteries.

When you are looking for a new pair of goggles it is important to consider how you plan to use them and weigh that against the options available. Explore the different manufacturers and see what is offered.

There are many companies to choose from. Each one offers something similar but with varying features. Popular brands include, but are not limited to, Armasight, Firefield, ATN, Night Optics and EyeClops. Each of these can be trusted for producing high quality and affordable night vision goggles.

Conclusion

When you are shopping for a new pair of night vision goggles that are hands free and compact you need to consider your needs as well as what is offered in your price range. Features to look for include:

  • lightweight
  • long battery life
  • zoom options
  • available accessories

You might be a hunter who would like to take on beasts that are more prominent during the night, you could be a wildlife photographer who wishes to see those rare animals in their moonlight environment or you could be a neighborhood watchman who wants to ensure maximum safety in his neighborhood. By using night vision goggles in your nighttime activities you are furthering your operating capabilities in low light conditions. This will prove you with even more freedom to do what needs to be done no matter the lighting.

Night vision goggles also make exciting gadgets for your kids, and with affordable options available you can provide them with hours upon hours of fun without the sun. Give your kids supervision and that competitive edge while playing hide-and-seek in the dark with their friends.

Your reasons for needing a pair of night vision goggles may vary but what remains is that you need the best options for what you can afford. Research what is out there and find something that fits into your lifestyle without ruining your budget. You do not have to spend an entire life’s savings in order to own a powerful, reliable and awesome set of night vision headgear.

Technology is at a point in time where a person from any walk of life can own night vision goggles. There are dozens of brands and models that are always pushing the limits of what these goggles can do. Headsets are getting smaller and lighter while magnification is getting smarter and higher powered. Night vision goggles of today are not entirely different from what was used 60 years ago, but there are noticeable improvements on what can be considered a basic utility device.

Whether you are a nighttime hobbyist or a professional hunter you will find plenty of use with the right device, and owning the right pair of goggles will take your adventurous lifestyle to the next level. You will smile when you are seeing the world of the night in new light for the first time. Few have seen what you will see as you step into the dark with the power of light behind you.

Best Holographic Sights of 2018

What are Holographic Sights?

Holographic sights are part of the primary trio of gun sights with red dots and reflexes. They are also the most advanced type of reticle sight, utilizing internal lasers to craft the image of a reticle in the sight’s viewing panel.

They come in a variety of shapes, but the holographic fabrication process is pretty much the same across all holographic sights. These are not to be confused with authentic laser sights, which produce a laser dot on target that almost everyone can see.

  • It’s not uncommon to see tube and open circle versions of the holographic sight. A tube version looks sort of like a dedicated scope but provides better sighting at close range.

It’s commonly thought that reflex and holographic sights are constructed differently but solve the same problems. Zeroing and focusing issues are common across all sights, even iron sights. A holographic doesn’t entirely eliminate those problems, but like reflex sights, they eliminate the need for eye relief with a more accurate optic.

Why Were They Developed?

The first holographic sight was developed by EOTech in 1998. These sights are the first to use true lasers in order to craft the reticle you see in the sight. The thought was that these sights would even further increase target acquisition speeds and reduce sighting problems that one may still encounter when using reflex or red dot sights.

EOTech remains the largest manufacturer of holographic sights in the country and due to their price, you’re not likely to see holographic sights as widespread as red dot or reflex sights. Regardless, those that have them are in for an entirely new shooting experience.

Note: You’ll definitely come across some sights that say “holographic” in their name. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see the word “reflex” in their title as well. These are not pure holographic sights, they are reflex. Holographic and reflex sights may look similar but their construction and use is different.

How Do They Work?

Reflex sights and holographic sights work in similar ways. If you move your head left, right, up, or down, the reticle will always remain pointed forward or down the barrel of a gun its mounted on. The concept is different than if you were to move the sight around freehandedly.

It’s astonishing to think that so much goes on inside these little sights in order to correct zeroing and parallax problems. The basic concept of a holographic sight is that a laser bounces light off a collimating reflector.

  • A collimating reflector straightens light.

The light then travels to a holographic grating panel which produces the holographic image you see in the sight. Light is technically reflected three times, but no two sights are completely identical to each other.

Best Under $500

The XPS2-0 is EOTech’s lightest and easiest to use holographic sight. When you set the illumination factor to its basic level, you can get nearly 600 hours worth of use out of the XPS2. Considering the battery life of holographic sights is relatively short, this is a huge plus.
This sight is similar to the XPS3 sight, also sold by EOTech, but the XPS2 does not have night vision capability.

Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight 

The Vortex UH-1 is one of the more unique sights we’ve seen, even if it is holographic. It’s housing definitely makes it stand out compared to tube or open constructions. Despite this construction, the UH-1 is popular for its larger than normal viewing panel and 15 levels of brightness settings.

You also have the option of using a rechargeable battery and using the UH-1’s onboard USB port to charge it. Otherwise, it runs on a standard CR2 battery.

Best Under $600

The 552 model is one of EOTech’s smallest holographic sights. The reason for its elongated structure is that it is actually powered by two AA batteries instead of a single CR2 battery. It can also support Lithium or rechargeable batters, the former allowing for nearly a thousand hours of use.
This model is night vision equipped, which explains part of the price jump but gives hunters and other handlers an edge in nighttime shooting.

What to Consider When Buying A Holographic Sight

Purpose

A holographic sight is pretty neat, but you shouldn’t consider just because it is a holographic sight. It’s designed to give you better target acquisition compared to normal red dot sights. You should be considering a holographic sight if speed of handling and acquisition are integral to your job.

Price

There are few “cheap” holographic sights on the market. As we explained earlier, they are still a relatively new technology and more likely to be seen in the hands of law enforcement and the military than civilians.

Regardless, each of the holographic sights has proved its worth with a happy fanbase. While the EOTech XR308 may be the most expensive and versatile sight on our list, it shouldn’t have to be your first choice. Remember, a high price doesn’t always mean the best sight for your gun.

Battery

One of the noticeable drawbacks is battery life. The power used to illuminate the laser diode in a holographic sight is considerably larger than a reflex or red dot sight. As such, the battery life is shorter.

Red dot and reflex sights have noticeably longer lives with their batteries. If you don’t want to pour money into AA and CR2 batteries, consider getting a rechargable battery or USB cable if a sight has the correct port.

Overall

Holographic sights are pretty rare and relatively new, the first only being developed by EOTech in 1998. Even now, it’s still pretty hard to find holographic sights because the process of manufacturing them is very particular. Not to mention working with lasers is always expensive.

In the end, a holographic sight is constructed for a better user experience and target acquisition. Target acquisition is defined as how fast the reticle gets on target, and how much space it takes up on the target. Using different reticles will probably change the experience for you.

Click here to see our picks for the best red dot sights of 2018.
Click here to see our picks for the best reflex sights of 2018.