Unlike normal binoculars, NV binocs can’t have something crazy like a 20 power magnification.
Instead, you are typically isolated to less than 5 power. At the same time, they are the clearest option for magnified viewing. They are clearer and provide a wider field of view than NV monoculars.
NV field glasses are often expensive because it uses two separate intensifier tubes to provide two-eye outputs. ATN avoids this by offering a single eye output. This reduces the cost significantly. I’m talking several thousand dollars cheaper than two-eye output options.
One of the best sets of night vision binoculars is the ATN NVB5X-2. They provide a very clear and very consistent picture. Plus, they’re affordable.
The ATN NVB5X-2 is a 5 power binocular that is a Generation 2+ device. You get a clear picture with the 40-45 lp/mm resolution. The magnifications cut your field of view down to 8 degrees, but that is to be expected in any magnified optic.
The system runs off a single 3V CR123A and has a battery life of up to 60 hours. That is quite impressive for a night vision device. This is a benefit of single output lens over two separate lenses.
Comes with an external IR illuminator that attaches to it and a smaller, less powerful internal IR illuminator. This is a long range IR illuminator that works perfectly with the binocular aspects of this system.
It has an automatic cut off for sudden bright lights which protects your device from damage. There is also an automatic brightness control for ensuring the user remains comfortable while using the optics.
The unit is water resistant. And like almost all night vision gear, it is not meant to be submerged or exposed to excessive moisture.
Comparison to Similar Products
|Product|| || ||
|Resolution||40 - 45 lp/mm||45-51 lp/mm||51-70 lp/mm|
|Range of Focus||10 yard/m to infinity||10m to infinity||10 ft to infinity|
|Diopter Adjustment||-6 to +5||-5 to +5||+4 to -4|
|Weight||1.95 lbs||2.87 lbs||2.19 lbs|
|Dimensions||7.9" x 6" x 3"||12" x 5.5" x 3.4"||7" x 5" x 2.5"|
|Power Supply||1 x 3V (CR123A)||1 x CR123 Lithium 3V||1 x 3v CR123|
|Battery Life||60 hours||Up to 50 hours||30 hours|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Armasight Discovery 5x SD Gen 2+
The Armasight Discovery 5x SD Gen 2+ is quite similar to the ATN NVB5X-2 when it comes to design and price.
- Provides an IR illuminator specifically designed for long range function
- Compatible with most optics tripods
Resolution: 45-51 lp/mm
FOV: 9.5 degrees
Similarities with the ATN NVB5X-2
- Single output lens
- Battery size and type
- Provides excellent Generation 2 performance
The Armasight Discovery is also almost a pound heavier and a bit bulkier than the ATN NVB5X-2. The ATN NVB5X-2 is more compact so it’s a bit easier to carry it around the neck and use for extended periods.
It’s worth mentioning that the Armasight Discovery is compatible with most optics tripods which takes the weight out of extended viewing altogether.
Night Optics IRIS 221
The Night Optics Iris 221 is a slightly more expensive option for night vision field glasses due to its system.
It uses two image intensifier tubes and true stereoscopic vision. These are probably the most affordable option for two-lens outputs. You also get the added versatility of the ability to change the magnifying lenses from 3.6x to 1x and use them as goggles.
Resolution: 51-70 lp/mm
FOV: 15 degrees
You get a wider 15-degree field of view though that is almost twice the FOV of the ATN NVB5X-2. The Iris 221 also tops out at 3.6 power magnification compared to the NVB5X-2’s five power.
Another issue comes from price versus clarity.
The Iris 221 is more expensive than the ATN NVB5X-2 but it provides substantially less resolution. However, you do get a true stereoscopic view.
The Iris 221 can be used as goggles while the ATN NVB5X-2 is purely binocs.
Rating the ATN NVB5X-2
The 40-45 lpm/mm combined with the powerful long-range IR illuminator create a clear picture even on darker nights. This is certainly one of the higher end Gen 2 devices that is an excellent choice for hunting or even tactical use. They are also ideal for observation.
At the end of the day though, a Gen 2 tube will never be as clear as a Gen 3. The 8-degree field of view is rather small as well. 4 stars for its picture.
These are one of the lighter pairs of night vision binoculars out there, especially when you consider the 130 mm lens. Weighing under 2 pounds, they are comfortable when hanged around the neck or held for long periods. They are easily and safely held behind the main lens.
Replacing the battery is easy and can be done in the dark, thanks to the tethered battery cap plus pronounced and raised cap. Attaching the external illuminator is simple and using the internal is a short flick away. 4 stars for ergonomics.
This is where the unit falls short. It’s made to be a handheld observation device and nothing more. This may be a good thing but there are options that can maximize the utilization of this optic.
When compared to other models, it lacks the ability to be mounted on a tripod or be adaptable to any additional magnifying lenses. What you see is what you get. 2 stars for its versatility.