Night Vision astronomy continues to expand with more and more amateurs buying military-grade night vision gear. As Gavin Orpin told us in a guest blog post last year, night vision “has given me a completely new aspect of the hobby to explore.” He’s able to observe Deep Sky Objects through his portable Tele Vue-85 that would have been impossible to see otherwise from his home near central London.
We’ve taken advantage of the full-field capability of our 55mm Plössl by introducing a night vision specific converter lens that extends its focal length to 67mm; thereby reducing the eyepiece’s apparent field of view from 50° to 40° to exactly match the field of view of the PVS-14 objective. That’s a 20% increase in true field-of-view seen with a simple screw-in accessory lens!
Equally important as seeing the entire field available from the 2″ eyepiece format, the larger exit pupil produced by the 67mm focal length provides more light to amplify. Additionally, the 55mm Plössl by itself requires more drawtube out travel than most eyepieces and the 67mm attachment moves the focus out by another 1” (25mm) from nominal. Therefore, we recommend the purchase of our 2” Extension Tube (X2C-0008) for your telescope when purchasing this attachment.
You can buy the 55mm Plössl, Converter lens, and Extension tube as a package (ECP-5567) or as individual parts direct from Tele Vue. See our website Night Vision page (mobile version) for part numbers and prices.
Tele Vue Optics teamed up with Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC), of Loma Linda, CA, in 2017, to produce astronomical accessories for the night vision monoculars they sell. These accessories include the TNV-14 Eyepiece Adapter that allows mounting PVS-14-style monoculars onto our eyepieces for afocal use in telescopes, and the TNV-14 FoneMate Adapter that connects the Tele Vue FoneMate to the PVS-14. The TNV-14 48mm Filter Holder is a step-up adapter from the PVS-14 objective to 48mm filter threads. Using the PVS-14 hand-held at 1x with a narrow-band hydrogen-α filter, turns it into an ultra, wide-field hydrogen-α nebula finder!
All of these accessories plus the TNVC TNV/PVS-14 L3 Gen3 Un-Filmed White Phosphor night vision monocular are available directly from Tele Vue.*
Sky & Telescope rewarded our initiative by conferring on us a 2018 Hot Product Award.
“Tactical Night Vision Company and Tele Vue Optics teamed up to create an unusually versatile night-vision system for astronomy. While the military-grade TNV/PVS-14 Gen3 night-vision monocular can be used as a standalone 1x viewer, a custom adapter allows it to connect to any Tele Vue eyepiece that is Dioptrx compatible, opening up a wide range of telescopic observing possibilities. And there’s also an adapter for the Tele Vue FoneMate.”
Sky & Telescope, (Editors). “Hot Products 2018”. Sky & Telescope (Jan. 2018).
A few months later they published a glowing review of our system. You can read the full review online.
Perhaps a good way to illustrate the magnitude increase due to the monocular [alone] is through a pair of observations made from my backyard on a night of below-average transparency. At the time I struggled to see naked-eye stars in the Little Dipper fainter than Polaris and the two at the end of the dipper’s bowl, but the monocular easily showed more stars in the area that are plotted in Sky & Telescope’s Pocket Star Atlas. That’s a gain in the ballpark of three plus magnitudes.
From Dennis di Cicco’s review of the TNVC / Tele Vue Optics night vision system published in Sky & Telescope.