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Old October 2, 2007, 07:31 PM   #26
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Thanks for the update. I will say that the more time I spend in the woods, the more I appreciate the greater depth of field of the porro prisms - the less focusing I have to do, the better, so spot game and such. I see little to no reason to get a roofie, and every reason to get a porro.

BTW, is "having a sale" right around on "clearance" or "sale" links and there's some decent deals, even on stuff like Trijicon ACOG and Loop Mark 4 scopes.
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Old October 24, 2007, 10:45 AM   #27
black bear 84
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I have owned this night vision binoculars for about seven years. They are made in Russia and feature the first generation of Russian intensifiers tubes that are so popular lately.

It is my understanding that the Russian tubes were not of new manufacturing, but surplus tubes were released into the market. My first unit of these binoculars had a tube that was much dimmer than the other; however the Night Owl Company quickly exchanged them at my request.

As you probably you already know, unlike the older infrared night vision technology, the intensifier tubes do just that: intensify the light that is available (up to 30,000 times according to the instructions) and if ambient light is present, it doesn’t depend on the attached infrared emitter that is placed on top of the binoculars as an extension of the center pivot.

The binoculars enlarge the image transmitted to the oculars by 4 times. Not exactly a long-range pair of binoculars, but really very useful at short distances.

The Infrared emitter has a separate button for its operation. It is not really full infrared (infrared light is invisible) but a good amount of red shows out of the lens of the tube, making the fact that you are watching with them noticeable to humans. For game it really doesn’t matter, as most animals are blind to the red spectrum of light.

When used with a truly blind infrared powerful source (I just rigged a BOREALIS 1050 lumens flashlight ~2 million candlepower~ with a surplus Israeli jeep infrared filter) the binocular can easily “see” 300 yards away in total darkness.

The glasses weigh 31 oz., which isn't bad for a binocular that is 6 ¼ long by 6 ½ wide and 1 ¾ thick. The barrels of the objective adjust for focus individually. The adjustment is very smooth and easy to move; likewise, the ocular also has an adjustment that is individual to each eye, and it is not a center focus adjustment wheel, like in regular binoculars.

The metal screw in caps covering the objectives have a little pin hole to limit the amount of light that will enter if the binoculars are used during the day, which is mostly done to make adjustments for distance and focus previous to the projected night use. Those metal caps are noisy to unscrew or screw them, so if you're using them when game is near, I recommend replacing them with Buttler Creek or similar spring loaded binocular caps.

The power is supplied by a Lithium 123 3 volts battery that is loaded from the rear where the hinge is in the binoculars. These batteries are more popular than ever, thanks to the amount of tactical flashlights that make use of them.
This is better than the present problem I have of trying to find a number 1 battery for my Israeli surplus infrared night vision goggle (and by the way, if one of you readers know a source for such battery, please let me know).

For a first generation unit, the Night Owl 4x Compact is a very good binocular, well thought-out in its design and construction, with rubber covering to make gripping easier and to deaden game spooking noises. When I first bought them my son was 10 years old and interested in watching game, so we spent a few enjoyable nights watching deer eating apples at the tree and watching over a bear bait in upper Maine, just to see what was showing up. To all you fathers out there, those kinds of memories can last a lifetime and tend to be the greatest ones, especially when that same son is now a college student and interested in watching other types of game. So cherish them well.
Best regards,

Black Bear
builder of the BOREALIS 1050 lumens flashlight
e-mail [email protected]
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Old October 24, 2007, 11:12 PM   #28
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BB, thanks once again for that excellent review on the Night Owls.

Your prior reviews on compacts got me a little stirred up, and so in the last 2 hours I have bought and brought home a pair of Steiner "Safari" 8x30s - very similar to the Military & Marine 8x30s. These were on sale at Bass Pro for $149 plus tax. They are $189.99 at OpticsPlanet. What intrigued me the most was the "auto-focus" (so-called) feature. I tested them out in the store while ago before buying. Seems to work well. You adjust BOTH eyepiece to be clear at 50 yards, and they voila, they are in focus at 20 yards to infinity. They are NOT in focus at short distances, but you CAN focus them down to 5 yards or so with the eyepiece adjustments, albeit with messing with both rather than a single adjustment knob.

Now, I have 2 compacts - the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 is good for woods hunting, and these Steiner 8x30s, being a little more powerful, will be better for a lightweight porro for more open country hunting, and/or in the snow or really bright days where glare is a problem, since these Safaris have a special coating with UV-blocking properties - Here's the description of the Steiners:

Equip yourself for outdoor adventure with the glare and UV blocking optics of the Steiner Safari series binoculars.
You've just reached the timberline and as you stop for a short break, you see something move above the glacial snow in the distance. The sun is high and thereflection is intense, but as you raise the new Steiner 8 x 30 mm Safari Binoculars to your eyes, you get a cool, comfortable look at a Golden Eagle cruising above theglacier looking for his lunch. Steiner's redesigned Safari Binoculars series blocks UV light and cuts glare like the best sunglasses to give you a cool, comfortable image on snow, sand or sea.
All Steiner Safari models include Steiner BAK-4 optics and improved color fidelity, let you choose binoculars to fit your needs exactly, from seaside to the mountaintops at a surprisingly affordable price. All Steiner Safari models are built to last through decades of rugged use, and are resistant to rain and resistant to shock.

The Steiner 8 x 30 Binocular is the perfect all purpose outdoor companion, small and light enough to travel easily, yet powerful enough to put you in the middle of the action. The 8 x 30 Safari Binocular is designed like our versatile Military/Marine binoculars, but with greater glare- and UV- blockingability, and new profiled "wrap-around" eyecups to block distractingside light. They feature Steiner's convenient Sports Auto-Focus that, once set for your eyes, gives you a sharp, clear view of everything from 20 yards to infinity without further adjustment.

Specifications for Steiner Safari 8x30 Binocular 442:

Item no.: 442
Field of View: 360 ft. at 1,000 yds.
Eye Relief: 20 mm
Weight: 18 oz
Warranty: 10-year limited

Features of Steiner Safari 8x30 Binocular 442:

blocks UV light (nearly 100% UV-A and UV-B)
cuts glare
unique lens coating
10-year limited warranty

I will post pics and a review on these after I compare them to the Yosemites; stay tuned...
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Old October 26, 2007, 06:26 PM   #29
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I have found these messages very interesting. I have a nice collection of
binoculars (18 pairs). Most of which I have bought at local thrift shops for
$20 apiece. I keep saying I will get a pair of Svarovski "some day" (their Habicht model-I like the traditional styling.). I often think that for field or
knock about use the inexpensive item is better-doesn't hurt as much when
you get it dirty or get knocks and scratches, and definitetly doesn't hurt as much if-gasp!-you lose it. Most of my pairs are 1960-70s Japanese quality,
mechanically sound and solid and the optical quality seems fine to my probably unsophisticated eyes. One of my favorites are my 1979 K-Mart "Siam Cat" 7x50s with green rubber coating. And I wonder how much of
modern coatings, etc., really make a difference? Some of my best bird, plane
watching and moon gazing have been through my 2 pairs of ex-USN WWII
vintage 7x50s. (U.S. made binculars-what an idea?!) The optical quality seems fine to me, and it's like hunting with a milsurp-you have history in
your hands. I do have 2 pairs of the Russian made "Soviet Army" style
rubber armored binoculars (bought mail order from LAN Optics)-optical quality
excellent, they have individual focusing eye pieces (I wear glasses-nearsighted).
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