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Recommendations, Info/Advice for Binoculars/Spotting Scopes

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RUMURUTI
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NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby RUMURUTI » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:42 am

Morning to you all,
I'm preparing my gear for my August 2009 trip to the Kruger and I have a half idea of getting myself a pair of night-vision binoculars.
Anybody has any experience with these and any reccomendations?
Thanks
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby Tony Park » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi Rumuruti,

Night vision gear can be fun, but it's really not needed in Kruger. If you're going to try and spot things at night from the camp fence you'd be better off with a spotlight.

I've used a night vision monocular scope in the past during game counting activities in Zimbabwe (where spotlights are banned at night). They can be good, but unless you can afford the professional military spec NVG binoculars (around US$10,000 last time I checked), the stuff at the cheaper end of the market can sometimes be a bit disappointing.

You can pick up a russian made monocular for around US$500. Fun to play with, but not overly practical, in my experience.

On my last game count in Hwange, in Zim, I actually found that my wife's good binoculars, used at full moon, gave a better night "vision" than our night vision device itslf.

tony

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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby DuQues » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:49 pm

I've played around with light enhancing bins in my service time (1980, revealing my age here), which at the time were the only ones around, unless spies had smuggled out a few to other countries. (It's a Dutch invention.)
Had to fill in stacks of papers to borrow them so I could go visual hunting for stags and wild boar, and was rather miffed at what the quality was. Infrared worked way better. (Yep! Borrowed a little tank with infrared spotlight, saw plenty!)

But that's a little while ago... So even consumer ones will be better, certainly cheaper by now.
But... A spotlight will give you the results you're after. Madach gave a link to a tiny spotlight with huge power, probably outshining the ones on the vehicles. I'd go for that. Gives you the option of photography as well.
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby david » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:45 am

some Gen 1 night vision kit can be obtained in SA for around R4500.
Where night vision stuff can be nice is while going around inside the camp - most people do not like the spotlights being waved around them and their braais, but the night vision works well to look for birds, bushbabies etc in the trees. it is definitely less intrusive. then if you find something you can light it up with the torch. also, photos can be take with the night vision stuff with an adaptor.

Like Tony said - the more cost effective models can be disappointing - especially if you are thinking they will be like binos in the day. but then unless you have herds of cash around ....

i have a NV monocular - close range stuff. beautiful. for "private" viewing of beasties in the trees - spot on. for the cost, and what it can give you - i cant complain.

david

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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby JDW » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:23 pm

Greetings
I have bought and used night vision equipment over many years as part of my employment.
Unless you are going to spend a very large amount of money night vision is not really worthwhile. Additionally most of the good NV equipment is not available to the general public being reserved for the Military and Police type organisations.
For most people I would expect a good quality camcorder with "nightshot (Sony)" or similar together with an IR lamp would serve their purpose very well.
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:48 pm

Agree with above sentiments ... rather spend you money on an extra night drive or a good pair of binoculars.
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RUMURUTI
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby RUMURUTI » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:14 am

Well, you have all given me great advice and information and that proves that this Forum IS THE BEST!
Following the advice of a few of you I went out and got a friend, he runs a camera shop, to lend me a pair and I was ashamed and surprised of two things: a) quality is far from what I expected, rather on the poor side! b) what you're sold, even of "high" quality, is far from what they state.

Tried them at night, nice moon and I got better results from my regular binoculars.
Thank you very much for your advise on this.

Getting better value for my money simply staying longer in Kruger and adding one or two drives/walks with wife and son.
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby Imberbe » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:39 am

:thumbs_up: Excellent choice! :thumbs_up:
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Re: NIGHTVISION GEAR?

Unread postby david » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:55 am

RUMURUTI wrote:Tried them at night, nice moon and I got better results from my regular binoculars.


just remember - night vision stuff is for use in starlight - when there is little or no other light from moon or other lighting.
if there is enough light for binocs, then night vision gear is not needed.

its a nice to have though. we use them to hunt down evil doers in the suburbs here when they duck into the spruits and open areas.

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Recommendations, Info/Advice for Binoculars/Spotting Scopes

Unread postby MorganQ » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:55 pm

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good entry/bit better level spotting scope? We want it mainly for watching animals/bird from our deck
Thanks
Morgan

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Elsa
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Re: spotting scopes

Unread postby Elsa » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:05 pm

We have the Celestron Ultima 65 which is fitted with a zoom lens and which we find ideal.
It fits on our camera tripod making it perfect for bird/animal watching from hides or decks.
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Re: spotting scopes

Unread postby MorganQ » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:17 pm

Thanks Elsa, I was actually just checking the Celestron Ultima 80!

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Re: spotting scopes

Unread postby Elsa » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:27 pm

Might be a later/updated model than mine, which I have had for about 2 years now. :D
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Re: spotting scopes

Unread postby bushchild » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:09 am

Hi MorganQ
i have used a Kamakura for the last couple of years and they are very good.
It has a max of 45x magnification which is more than ample for any situation.
Not sure what the cost would be today but i think i paid about R3000 for mine.
Ideally they want to be used on a pretty sturdy tripod.
Mine actually came with a small tripod but its application is quite limited because of the size.
I do believe the optic quality versus money spent is very good.
Hope this helps with your search. :)
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Re: spotting scopes

Unread postby MorganQ » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:56 pm

joshilewis wrote:Would you consider buying one second hand?


Yes!


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