Night Vision 2.0

Our focus is to offer Night Vision Devices (NVD) and related accessories. By combining real experience with tech talk, we will give you a good picture what are the main differences between NVDs, which generation of Image Intensifier Tube is best for what and what benefits will come from using different accessories.

NEW! Based on our experience we have updated this page!

NV in Airsoft

During a night game a NVD can give you literally unfair advantage. You are able to see your opponents long before then can see or hear you. Independent of the generation of IIT (Image Intensifier Tube) you are using, with little skill you can outperform your opponents who are not using NVGs. 

A bit about generations...

When we discuss NVD generations then we really mean generation of IIT’s. Let’s save tech talk about the generations for later, as there is a lot of material around the internet and the more you read about this the more questions will occur. What we learned is that you cannot compare tubes based on their specs – two Gen3 devices can be worlds apart, depending on manufacturer, the model of IIT and so forth. For example, amplification of useful information vs distracting noise. So let’s concentrate on using NVD in Airsoft and what benefits and limitations different devices can give.

GEN 1+ 

We dont recommend anymore Gen1+ night vision devices for Airsoft, because the need for additional IR light. IR light will show your position to your enemy and therefore Gen1+ night vision device has not much tactical advantage in using Airsoft.

Still – if you are interested in Gen1 devices. Please review this blog.

Standard GEN 2+

We truly believe that Standard Gen2+ is the most you need for Airsoft. The main benefits compared to Gen1+:

1) MCP (Micro Channel Plate) – in short it multiplies light. A lot. With decent ambient light you can use Gen2+ without IR light. During most of our Airosft games we have not need IR light when playing with Gen2+.

2) It is smaller. N-14 and GT-14 are only 12cm long while Core Spark is 15cm. Also overall dimensions are smaller. It makes a big difference when mounting to helmet (check comparison pictures on the right).

3) Good tube protection features like: overexposure protection, bright light cutoff and auto brightness control (ABC) 

4) No edge distortion

5) Shock and water resistant

6) With good care the tube will last over 7000h (vs 4000h with Gen1+)

Main cons of Standard Gen2+ devices

The main problem with most Gen2+ devides is that you almost never know what you will get. The minimum specs are are very low (even with minimum specs it still beats the crap out of Gen1+). On the other hand we have seen Gen2 models that are almost on the same bar with Gen3 devices.

Some examples of different Gen2+ tubes (and 1x 4G):

Standard Gen2+ tube GP

Photonis Commercial GP

Photonis Commercial WP

Photonis 4G

For standard Gen2+ devices usually you will get a decent device with resolution 50-60 lp/mm, sensitivity around 450-550 ua/lm, SN ratio between 20-22 and EBI around 0.15. By the way – those are the 4 main parameters to look for. Even though when buying Gen2+, you usually never know those parameters. In most cases you will not get specs of the concrete tube you are purchasing before the deal.

Super Gen2+ 

There are Gen2+ tubes that can outperform even Gen3 in most environments. In Europe there is one company who produces kick-ass image intensifier tubes based on Gen2+ technology. Thats Photonis.

Their cutting-edge IITs are only available for military (like Photonis 4G and Photonis XR5), but there are tubes that are available also for non-military customers. 

Photonis Commercial 

Usually Photonis commercial resolution is around 60 lp/mm, sensitivity around 550-600 ua/lm, SN ratio around 22-25 and EBI around 0,12. Compared to 

Photonis ECHO

Gen3

A bit more later…