Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Luna Optics SM30 Monocular

This monocular, by Luna Optics is a civilian 1st generation night vision device. 1st generation means it's older technology. With newer technology comes higher prices, that not everyone can afford. Selling at Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet for $199.95 it's a decent device for that cost.

This monocular is better used, and most likely designed for, outdoors. The reason I say this is that 1st off it has a 3x magnification. This is honestly hard to tell. If I didn't read that it had this magnification I'd say it had none or maybe 1x. But also when I've tried this device inside in an average sized room in complete darkness you can't see a thing. But the monocular has an infrared illuminator, so I turned that on. When this is turned on inside and the light reflects off something in close proximity it flushes out the optic and the optic will turn off. This is a good feature so that the optic is saved from damage, but that's my reasoning behind specifying that this is for outdoor use, at least when using the illuminator.

The illuminator needs to be used in complete darkness and on extremely dark nights for a good picture. This is a result of this being lower/older technology. In the civilian market this shouldn't be a problem as you won't have "bad guys" looking through their own NVDs trying to spot your IR illuminator.

Quality of the picture is what you should expect from 1st generation technology, and under optimal settings the manufacturer claims a 200 meter viewing distance. I'd say under most circumstances you're looking at 100 to 150 MAX distance (with the IR illuminator being used).

Durability has been good so far, though I haven't had the opportunity to test it under harsh conditions. As I continue to use this device I'll update the review with any new observations.

This device is powered by 2 AA batteries. AS with any electronic device, I suggest using lithium batteries to extend battery life and for the better durability of lithium batteries.

Overall, not a bad device for civilian use. At an affordable price it's proven to be useful and practical.

• High-quality all-glass optics. • Built-in IR illuminator and tripod mount. • One-touch controls with power and IR light indicators. • Attractive Duo-Tone rubberized finish. • Technology--------------Top-Grade Generation-1 • Magnification:-----------3x • Objective lens:----------50mm • Field Of View:-----------12 degrees • Focusing distance:--------1.5m (4.9ft) to infinity • Viewing distance:---------200m (650ft) • Power:--------------------2 x AAA-size • Operating time:-----------30 hrs • Warranty:-----------------1 year

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