You have seen in movies, where military or spy uses green hues scopes to locate the person in the dark. We are gonna discuss more about night vision scopes which are of two types –
- Thermal scopes
- Night vision scopes
Before comparing thermal scope vs night vision, let’s understand the technologies first and then we’ll discuss the scopes, so that you can finalize the scope type ideal for you and you can make an informed decision.
#1. What is Thermal Imaging
Thermal imaging technology utilises infrared scanners that detect the heat signatures of target objects and compare them with heat of other objects around them.
The infrared scanners then convert those heat signatures into an image in which the higher heat signatures look brighter and you can easily see them in pitch dark night.
The thermal imaging device has a very high range even more than 3000 feet depending on the power of your thermal scanner.
#2. Thermal Imaging Scope
Since thermal scopes use infrared scanners, you don’t need any light source to detect your prey unlike other scopes.
You can detect any deer, pig or whatever animal comes into your way by seeing their thermal heat image in the darkest of night.
Benefits of thermal scopes
- You don’t need any light to use the thermal scope
- You get clear bright thermal images in red, orange and yellow colors depending on the heat those living beings are emitting.
- You can see through dust, smoke, rain and fog thanks to thermal imaging.
Cons of thermal scopes
- You can see thermal images rather than getting natural image of target
Also read – Best Air Rifle Scope For Night Shooting
Night Vision Scopes
#1. What is Night Vision
Night vision devices use light at greater magnification to see in the low light conditions. Night vision devices absorb any present available light which they magnify and portray-through those images with a greenish tone.
Night vision technology intensifies any available ambient light around, it could be moonlight, the stars, or any distant light source.
The intensifiers magnify the available light and allow you to see through greenish images. You would have normally seen that in movies, and video games.
However, if the ambient light decreases, for example, if the night is cloudy and overcast, blocking the moonlight, you can see a dramatic decrease in the night vision output.
Similarly, fog or heavy sometimes reflect light off, making it difficult to see clear output.
#2. Night Vision Scope
In night vision scopes you get powerful light intensifiers that let you see clearly in the night such as a deer in the woods.
However, you may find it hard to see clearly through the green-filtered image. You can then go for digital night vision scopes that come with a HD screen to see your target comfortably in low light conditions without struggling with green hues.
Though they are highly dependent on available light and clear conditions, night vision scopes are generally cheaper than thermal scopes.
Benefits of night vision scopes
- You can see more natural image of target
- Less expensive
- New scopes come with HD screens that make target hunting easy.
Cons of night vision scopes
- You always need any light source to use the night vision scope
- You can’t see through rain and fog if light ambience is decreased
Check out – Best Scope For Air Rifle Target Shooting UK
Thermal Scope Vs Night Vision – Comparison
|Thermal Scope||Night Vision Scope|
|Use in any lighting conditions – Day and Night||Useless at daytime|
|See through smoke, fog, dust and heavy rain||smoke, fog, dust and heavy rain impaires the output|
|You can also track residual heat (footprints)||Not possible|
|Can’t see natural image||Produces more natural image|
|Highly expensive||Less expensive|
|Requires training to understand working||Beginners friendly|
|Narrow field of view as compared to night vision||Wider field of view|
|Battery life is average||Longer battery life|
Also read – Nikko Stirling Review
Final Thoughts – Which is Better
If you are a newcomer and wants to try on night hunting, then you shoudl start with night vision scope as they are cheaper and easily available.
Once you are more indulged into the night hunting, then you can buy a thermal scopes that would let you hunt in pitch dark conditions without any difficulty.