Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Biggest benefit to NV?

NV
  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 24 February 2020 - 11:25 AM

I've been contemplating the benefits of NV. Mind you all my experience is from a Bortle 6 light polluted sky. I'm also currently not taking photos through my device, which appears to provide more detail once dialed in (smart phone or what have you). I have future plans to try this out a bit.

 

My view on NV with telescopes is it provides a view similar to a dark sky through eyepieces (maybe not quite as sharp/soft a view). But not really competing with even EAA astro-photos except on certain objects. Such as the Orion Nebula looks better than many EAA photos. And of course full on astro photos provide a much better view. This was apparent to me when moving back and forth between Stellarium and looking at my scope.

 

So while this has provided an improved capability when observing at home through the telescope. The improvement for me is more not having to drive to a dark sky to get a similar view. I don't want to downplay what an improvement that is, but just want to point out what it is and is not.

 

So for me, I think the biggest benefit is what this has done for extreme low power observing. I don't have a 3x adapter and have not yet outfitted my camera lenses to accept filters (should be pretty easy to do so with some epoxy). But even 1x observing is pretty neat. Seeing satellites and shooting stars is very cool to me. In the summer I got a pretty cool view of the Milky Way. Not quite dark sky Milky way but decent Milky way. And some of the larger nebulas are neat at 1x. I'm thinking 3-4x would be even better on some of these larger nebulas.

 

The recent posts about getting two devices setup for binoviewing is interesting. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford this. But I think it will be a long time. 

 

What is your biggest benefit gained by doing NV? Have you found the benefit proportionate to the price? I got my unit used and I feel like the benefit is close to the price I paid. But I'm not sure I would feel that way if it had cost more. Or is the fact that I've only used it in light polluted skies the difference. Kind of like if you upgraded to a 10 inch dob from a 6 inch dob. In light pollution you may say, well, it's better but still not a huge improvement. But in dark skies you realize what a 10 inch dob can do.

 

 


  • GeezerGazer and careysub like this

#2 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,954
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 24 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

Cost/benefit analysis depends, more than anything else, on the individual... because how we value the happiness provided by the ostensible purchase and the money we must relinquish to have it are so variable. Many things we would not buy, at any price... and others that we consider to be ~priceless~ To the right person, a Night Vision Viewing Device is worth ten, even a hundred times the price. But to 99+% of the earth's population, it's worth almost nothing... so they wouldn't even consider buying it! Philosophical, but true.

 

To me, a decent Gen 3 1x handheld NV monocle is "worth" --- probably around $10K. That is, if that were the going price, I would seriously consider buying it... but hesitate for a long time. And, because I got it for a fraction of that... I always think of it as a great bargain, almost a ~steal~!   Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 29 Toms Night Vision Hydrogen Alpha 1x.jpg

Edited by TOMDEY, 24 February 2020 - 11:52 AM.

  • GeezerGazer, PEterW, Dale Eason and 1 other like this

#3 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:35 PM

After having one I think it would be hard not to have one. The only alternative is a PVS-7 like Doug had up for sale recently. That would probably be a great way to get into it. 

 

Tom, how improved is your view binocular wise? I believe you have both telescope and handheld. 



#4 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,954
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 24 February 2020 - 01:14 PM

After having one I think it would be hard not to have one. The only alternative is a PVS-7 like Doug had up for sale recently. That would probably be a great way to get into it. 

 

Tom, how improved is your view binocular wise? I believe you have both telescope and handheld. 

 

 

Hi, Gol! I am pleasantly astounded at how much better going true bino performs, even at 1x. I use true bino at 1x, 3x (dedicated NV lenses) and 74x (with the 16-inch binos). The experience is brighter, more contrasty, and even better resolution. Almost too good to be true. Especially the brighter affect, which I didn't "logically" expect. The best analogy is just looking at the (dark) night sky, naked eye... flipping between both eyes open and one eye covered.    Tom


  • SMark likes this

#5 Mazerski

Mazerski

    Ranger 4

  • ****-
  • Posts: 321
  • Joined: 13 Nov 2013

Posted 24 February 2020 - 01:15 PM

In a nutshell, with a 15" Obsession and glass eyepiece and pointing at the star Alnitak, all I could see is black space and a bright star (includes the h-Beta filter). With NV at a minimal 3x, I can see "dust" at Alnitak and at 7x, the notch of the HH is visible. Pacman, Rosette (just to name 2) are not visible with glass from my location and are easily visible at 3x but look better at 5-7x with NV. Also, globular clusters look ok hand-hand but are wicked in a scope.

 

PVS7 - I have white phosphor and others have stated why the resolution is better in the Mod 3 but the benefit of using both eyes is hard to beat.

 

I just sold both c-mount ENVIS lens (Mod 3 and PVS7) as 1x didn't really do anything for me and at f/1.8 or whatever, too much light gets pulled in and the sky is too bright.

Picked up the Nikon 43-86mm zoom and it provides a better view than the ENVIS. A few months back I was out west in a truly dark sky with blazing Milky Way... the 1x provided some cool views but I have a mid-Atlantic sky.


Edited by Mazerski, 24 February 2020 - 01:17 PM.


#6 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,638
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 24 February 2020 - 01:33 PM

Lots of benefits, so I had to ponder which one is the biggest for me. 
 

More opportunities for astronomy.

 

The astronomy commute takes a big chunk of time, and sometimes the site is not available due to mud or snow. Quite simply, it limits the number of times I can observe in a given month. 
 

With NV, my backyard is a highly viable observing site, and available for a ten minute session if weather breaks or mood strikes. Warm-up and refreshments are nearby, and I can go very late with my bed only yards away. 


  • GeezerGazer, GOLGO13, Dale Eason and 1 other like this

#7 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 24 February 2020 - 01:57 PM

Another thought I had was not having to worry about dark adaption. Quick sessions. As you talk to Jeff, being able to observe from home things other than planets, moon, double stars, clusters. 

 

I barely and able to head out to dark skies...and we don't have clear skies here much. So it matches my observing capabilities and timelines. I also like being able to observe for a bit. Come inside and warm up (maybe do some cloudynights and look at stellarium), then go outside again. 

 

So while I thought 1x observing maybe my favorite thing. Maybe just being able to observe from home and see stuff is more the benefit. But I think I want to give taking photos a go sometime. Just hate getting out the tracking mount. I'm a hardcore alt/az kind of guy. 



#8 PEterW

PEterW

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,996
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2006
  • Loc: SW London, UK

Posted 24 February 2020 - 01:59 PM

12nm Tom?..., more narrow, more see... ;-)

Peter

Cost/benefit analysis depends, more than anything else, on the individual... because how we value the happiness provided by the ostensible purchase and the money we must relinquish to have it are so variable. Many things we would not buy, at any price... and others that we consider to be ~priceless~ To the right person, a Night Vision Viewing Device is worth ten, even a hundred times the price. But to 99+% of the earth's population, it's worth almost nothing... so they wouldn't even consider buying it! Philosophical, but true.

To me, a decent Gen 3 1x handheld NV monocle is "worth" --- probably around $10K. That is, if that were the going price, I would seriously consider buying it... but hesitate for a long time. And, because I got it for a fraction of that... I always think of it as a great bargain, almost a ~steal~! Tom



#9 Peregrinatum

Peregrinatum

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 902
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2018
  • Loc: South Central Valley, Ca

Posted 24 February 2020 - 02:12 PM

Now - I can see objects in my Bortle 6/7 backyard that are not possible with glass (M33 for example which is not visible with glass.. with the MOD3C and no filter I can see the stars of the core, with an Ha filter I can see the hydrogen cloud that surrounds the galaxy).

 

Later - when I am too old to lift scopes and mounts, they can wheel me out to backyard and I will still be able to lift up the MOD3C and see the wonders of the night sky.


  • GeezerGazer and Dale Eason like this

#10 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,954
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 24 February 2020 - 02:38 PM

12nm Tom?..., more narrow, more see... ;-)

Peter

Hi. Peter! Yeah, that's on my to-do/buy list. I've usually got so many balls in the air that takes time to maybe get to them all. My skies are pretty dark here (SQM 21.4), so I'm already doing pretty good, but will get one or two narrower filters and try them out. Hmmm...   Tom



#11 bobhen

bobhen

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,770
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:14 PM

NV Gains
1. You can use lighter, more portable scopes and still see more with NV. This helps especially with ageing/retirement.

2. The views from my heavily light polluted backyard using NV are better than the views I got from Bryce Canyon (except for the naked-eye view) using just glass. And Bryce is a heck of a long drive from Philadelphia.

3. No need for power at the telescope, as a simple, manual alt/az mount will do just fine.

4. Relatively inexpensive telescopes like SCTs and fast, inexpensive Newtonians and inexpensive, fast achromatic refractors work really well with NV. No pressing need for ultra high quality optics.

 

Cost Savings
1. One NV intensifier can replace a set of Ethos (or other ultra wide field) eyepieces
2. A NV intensifier can deliver more with a smaller scope than that larger, more expensive telescope can using just glass.
3. No pressing need to drive to dark skies and the costs involved
4. No pressing need for ultra high quality optics

 

Observing Benefits
1. The joy, pleasure and delight of seeing objects that were previously invisible and in real-time – priceless.

 

Bob


  • GeezerGazer and Peregrinatum like this

#12 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,792
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:19 PM

I have only used my PSV14 3 times since it was purchased earlier this year.

 

Biggest benefit so far to my wife and I: Seeing deeper with modest aperture, seeing Ha nebulosity, and better contrast in light polluted skies.

 

I have only used it so far at 1x, 3x and with a SVR90T and TEC140. Hope to have a much larger range of viewing experiences after using it at the Golden State and Oregon star parties this summer.

 

I am glad I was able to get past the barrier of purchasing indecision to be able to finally use it.


  • GeezerGazer likes this

#13 chemisted

chemisted

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 368
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2012

Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:27 PM

Over on the Deep Sky Observing site a current OP has documented his troubles finding and observing M4 near Antares.  That was me back in 2002.  I lived directly north of a large city's light dome and huge, beautiful clusters like M4 and M22 might be barely observable on only the most sensational of nights.  With the purchase of my I3 ($2295) every cluster was a showpiece - really like a photograph - on virtually any night.  I cannot imagine looking at the night sky without one of these amazing devices in the kit.


  • GeezerGazer likes this

#14 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:48 PM

3. No need for power at the telescope, as a simple, manual alt/az mount will do just fine.

 

Bob

This is a big one for me. As I am much more of an alt/az fan over powered scopes. 

 

And the 10 inch dob is my best scope so far for NV. I was using the Intelliscope feature and popping back inside to look at Stellarium to see what was up. This was helpful. Intelliscope is much easier to setup compared to a GOTO scope. I can have it aligned within 1 minute. Only downside is when that controller gets cold the screen gets a bit funny. 

 

Though I do want to try and do some photos through the device and may need to use my tracking mount. 



#15 JMW

JMW

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,792
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:22 PM

I forgot another advantage to night vision. We were camping next to a lot of non-astronomers at Death Valley. While the skies were dark the local light pollution was intermittent. We stopped worrying about dark adaptation until the other campers were in bed after 10PM. We just used the PSV14 until the light pollution went away. Your eyes don't have to be adapted to enjoy looking at the output of the PVS14.



#16 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,638
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 25 February 2020 - 01:22 AM

Over on the Deep Sky Observing site a current OP has documented his troubles finding and observing M4 near Antares.  That was me back in 2002.  I lived directly north of a large city's light dome and huge, beautiful clusters like M4 and M22 might be barely observable on only the most sensational of nights.  With the purchase of my I3 ($2295) every cluster was a showpiece - really like a photograph - on virtually any night.  I cannot imagine looking at the night sky without one of these amazing devices in the kit.

 

Last July a day short of full moon we turned my friends 94mm AP Stowaway on M4:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-dob/?p=9595800



#17 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 25 February 2020 - 10:37 AM

Cost Savings

1. One NV intensifier can replace a set of Ethos (or other ultra wide field) eyepieces
2. A NV intensifier can deliver more with a smaller scope than that larger, more expensive telescope can using just glass.
3. No pressing need to drive to dark skies and the costs involved
4. No pressing need for ultra high quality optics

 

While I agree with your thoughts above, it's turned out the opposite for me in a way. I did sell quite a few things to help offset the NV device and related purchases. But since getting the device I've revamped my astronomy interest...which has resulted in a lot of purchases: magazines, books,  star charts, telescopes which can be used for NV, trying binoviewing again (not related to NV but more revamped interest). I also picked up some basic DSLR items to try out some astrophotography...though I'm not sure if I will actually end up doing it. It's a bit overwhelming quite frankly.

 

But in principle I agree it could save money. Though I'd argue a fast large newt would be a great purchase for NV. While it does perform well in small scopes, I find aperture helps. My 10 inch dob does provide a fairly significant improvement over the smaller scopes. I don't believe I'll go larger than that, but I could see a 16 inch F4 being a good fit.


  • GeezerGazer likes this

#18 spereira

spereira

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,016
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Bedford, NH

Posted 25 February 2020 - 10:45 AM

You can see in my signature, I have only modest aperture.  I have always been reluctant (make that completely resistant) to pack up my equipment and driving anywhere else, even though I have moderate light pollution at my home.  Hence, my NV has enabled me to see a great number of DSOs and star clusters that have previously invisible or imaginary to me.  In my situation, and with my personal quirks, NV has opened astronomy for me way past the Moon, Planets, and Double Stars.

 

smp


  • GeezerGazer and GOLGO13 like this

#19 slavicek

slavicek

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 306
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2017
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 25 February 2020 - 03:49 PM

Recently I've been showing Barnard loop, Horse Head etc. from light polluted sky to "old timers" who have never saw them before! Can you put price on it? Why would you? After all every hobby is "money pit" and astronomy is just another hobby.

I like nebulas so NV works for me. I know few double star specialists, NV would be waste of money for them.

Buy what you can afford but do not go bankrupt with you hobby! smile.gif


  • GeezerGazer likes this

#20 Darren Drake

Darren Drake

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,975
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2002
  • Loc: Chicagoland

Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:41 AM

Where can someone get one of these things?  I know TV offers a version I used it at WSP.  But 4k is outta my range.  Is there an alternative more affordable version ?



#21 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Aurora

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4,897
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:53 AM

Where can someone get one of these things?  I know TV offers a version I used it at WSP.  But 4k is outta my range.  Is there an alternative more affordable version ?

They come up on the used market every once in awhile. Sometimes they can be affordable. Ask around here if you see one available for advice.

 

I was able to get mine (Mod3 C monocular) used for around $3k. But some of the PVS-7 units (looks like a bino-viewer) go for $1500-1700 and would probably be a good starting point.

 

And even some of the Collins i3 come up used also and can be affordable. 

 

So there are options, but as far as new goes it's pretty pricey. Still also quite neat and can really improve capabilities at home.



#22 bobhen

bobhen

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,770
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:16 PM

Where can someone get one of these things?  I know TV offers a version I used it at WSP.  But 4k is outta my range.  Is there an alternative more affordable version ?

An intensifier is only out of your price range if you decide to keep all of your telescopes that are in your signature. 

 

I would recommend ( actually highly recommend) selling one or two telescopes ( and maybe some eyepieces) and using that money to fund an intensifier. The intensifier will show you things that are impossible to see or hard to see using just glass no matter how big or how many telescopes you have.

 

I’ve been observing for 40 years and I’ve been using my NVD Micro for 4 years and it still amazes. I rarely use regular eyepieces for deep sky observing. I’m pretty sure that TV also sees the benefits of NV and wanted to offer the market a system that still incorporates the use of their eyepieces. With the Micro or Mod 3 (when used at prime focus) you do not need to use eyepieces.

 

For a new NVD Micro with decent specs (and with filters and some odds and ends) say around $3,500 and up, give or take.

 

HERE is a link with some good preliminary info.

 

Bob

 

The image is my Intensifier in the diagonal of my Tak TSA 120 - so powerful and yet lighter than many eyepieces.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_2984.jpg

Edited by bobhen, 27 February 2020 - 12:18 PM.

  • Jeff Morgan likes this

#23 Jim4321

Jim4321

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,816
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Asheville

Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:53 PM

In addition to the advantages listed by others.... Getting a real time low-power (2-3X) NV look at the many & vast nebulae, especially in hydrogen alpha, has altered and perhaps expanded my understanding of how the universe works.  

 

Jim H.



#24 bobhen

bobhen

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,770
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 27 February 2020 - 02:09 PM

In addition to the advantages listed by others.... Getting a real time low-power (2-3X) NV look at the many & vast nebulae, especially in hydrogen alpha, has altered and perhaps expanded my understanding of how the universe works.  

 

Jim H.

Agreed.

 

NV certainly gives one a new respect for and perspective regarding the Milky Way.

 

Although the Orion Nebula gets all the press because of its brightness, with NV one soon discovers that M-42 is far from the largest.

 

Bob


  • Jim4321 likes this

#25 outofsight

outofsight

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,704
  • Joined: 31 May 2015

Posted 27 February 2020 - 02:54 PM

Where can someone get one of these things?  I know TV offers a version I used it at WSP.  But 4k is outta my range.  Is there an alternative more affordable version ?

Here's a search in the classifieds for PVS 7, starting at around $1500 in this search you could have gotten some nice night vision equipment. If you do research and keep your eye out you can get excellent equipment for as low as $700, but it does take the research to know what you're looking at.

 

https://www.cloudyni...h&fromMainBar=1

 

Good luck with your hunt.

 

Edit: My link didn't work well and I don't know how to get it to work right. If you click on Classifieds and type PVS into the search box in the upper right corner you'll see the search I did. But that's what little I found on CN searching pvs, google and eBay are vast resources. All the devices shown here would be a fine way to go for astronomy. Here's an excellent device.

 

https://astromart.co...ar-with-c-mount


Edited by outofsight, 27 February 2020 - 10:08 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NV



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics