As I continue to work with the latest version of the Pulsar Digisight night vision scope I wanted to do a field review using extermal illumination in order to determine if there is variance in the detection range between the previous Digisight n550 and to determine what the maximum effective range is of the scope with an external illuminator.
This is not a "shootout" style review with a handful of illuminators, instead I chose to go with a time tested and proven product that other users report as good to go. Many of these users are combining the TNVC extreme distance infrared illuminator "Torch Pro" with traditional intensifer tubes (Gen 1 / 2/ 3) and I sought to review how the illuminator does with the later version of digital night vision.
Conditions: Half moon (Waxing phase) , 45 degrees , review done in full dark conditions , starry night with low humidity.
I used the same decoy setup as in my previous reviews with one change, another user mentioned that the white border on my decoys might enhance the effect of detection - so I made new decoys on a dark brown surface for this field test.
Also I included another illuminator in the review (Bosch AEGIS UFLED) not so much to compare directly with the Torch Pro but rather in an attempt to determine a maximum viewing distance and to portray how the scope responds to static/stationary multiple LED systems, more on this in the conclusion section.
Specifications for the equipment used in the review are available on each products website and are listed in the video description section on the host service webpage.
Here is the link to the video review:
In my opinion the rated detection range of the Digisight scopes are close to half of what is listed on the website, 400 meters for the n550 and 600 meters for the n750. I would venture to guess that perhaps these detection ranges are based on daytime use of the scope being that the digisight can be used as a day optic. However it was apparent that even with 1.5x digital magnification of the base 4.5x image, which yields 6.75x, that magnification would be a limiting factor in making an ethical kill shot beyond 400 yards on a medium to large animal. Note: There are some companies that offer physical "doubler kits" whereby a telephoto lense can be used in front of the Pulsar's native lense and it is plausible that with that type of configuration that the detection ranges at night could be more inline with the stated numbers.
It is apparent that the sensivity of the digisight n750 is much higher than the n550. I am unable to quantify by what value however the last two video reviews consistenly show that the n750 can see clear and further than the previous model. In my opinion this extra sensitivity is of marginal benifit if you are hunting in thick cover or at short range (<100 yards) but if you intend to utilize the Digisight at extended ranges, or as TNVC states "extreme distance", then certainly you will realize the benefit of the n750's enhancements.
Lastly I would like to mention that the TNVC illuminator really shines amoungst a bevy of options in the market for IR illuminators. I believe it will be getting the nod from me in most of my hunting scenarios based on the ability to weapons mount the light and the total weight being relatively small (10 oz). I did discover that the Torch Pro cannot be mounted on the integrated weaver rail on the Digisight due to the bell housing not clearing the scope body so I you decide to get a Torch Pro be sure you have an available rail on your gun. As for the AEGIS UFLED, I hope that it demonstrates the shear power of the LED bulb and how multiple LEDs can quite simply turn night into day. I would highly recommend a fixed installation of this style of light if you have a dedicated power drop to the hunting blind or if you can attach it to a nearby structure overlooking your hunting areas. The AEGIS is weatherproof and designed to work with CCTV systems which is what the Digisight is at the core (CCD array). The cost and weight is prohibitive for most however I am hopeful that companies will begin making cheaper versions of these systems for mobile/hunting applications.
Thanks for checking out my review(s) and I don't have anything else planned except attempting to capture video of hunting action. I very much would like to stake a claim as being the first Digisight user to record a +300 yard kill shot on a feral Texas hog.