The important engineering changes in Image Intensifying night vision
identified by the night vision generation numbers, 0 through 3. As the
generation numbers get larger so does the sophistication, performance
This is the classic night vision developed for military use starting
with the Gen
0 used in the Korean conflict. Over a period of about sixty years the
development of intensifiers has gone from Gen 0 to the advanced
The bottom line is that there are basically three generations of IIT
vision available to you and me. Each has advantages.
Gen 1 night vision
devices are the most common. They
are the least
expensive and come in all the useful packages. The generation
1 and newer
generation 1+ night vision devices are well made and suitable for
activities like camping, hiking, boating, hunting and general animal
observation. A Gen 1 device is a very
effective surveillance tool
around the homestead or neighborhood.
Gen 2 night vision
devices are more for the serious
enthusiasts and professionals. With far greater light amplification and
higher resolution image, the generation 2 night vision devices will
cost two to
three times more than a Gen 1. Some of the newer Gen 2 + and super-gen
can rival the Gen 3 in performance and price. The price of a
Gen 2 may be
a little more than the average enthusiast is willing to pay. However,
are not the average enthusiast and you have room in the budget, a Gen 2
way to go.
Gen 3 night vision
devices are more for the very
serious night vision
enthusiast, security professional and of course the military.
night vision features a light weight device with a bright well
image. This is the current state of IIT technology. This is the best
vision out there and is priced accordingly.
The biggest influence on price is the generation number and quality of
Image intensifier used in the device. The other factors are the quality
of the optics, durability of the device s and enhancements like water
resistance or water proofing.
IIT NVDs make it possible to see in
the dark using delicate
glass lenses and an electronic tube that is physically fragile and very
sensitive. Many of the night vision devices available today come with
protective lens coatings and protective armor. Electronics may be
combination with sensors designed to prevent bright light overloading
unit. It all adds up.
More information on night vision generations from Wikipedia