All our products are designed, manufactured and assembled in our OVNI Night Vision workshop and design office located near Royan (Charente-Maritime, France). OVNI-M / OVNI-B benefit from the technical know-how and many innovations of OVNI Night Vision® such as « Intensified Eyepieces Technology » and « Astronomy Grade ».
Section 1 : « INTENSIFIED EYEPIECES TECHNOLOGY »
The OVNI Night Vision range is composed of 2 night vision eyepieces. They are dedicated mainly for astronomers practicing visual observation. It is also possible to connect a smartphone, an astronomy camera or a DSLR camera to practice astrophotography, photometry, astrometry... and contribute to astronomical research.
★ the OVNI-M required 2 years of R&D between 2017 and 2019. It is a 26mm focal length monocular and 1.25" barrel. It fits into the eyepiece holder of a reflector or refractor telescope and you can observe through the glass part of the eyepiece. It can be associated with a focal reducer, a barlow, filters...
★ the OVNI-B was officialized in November 2020. It is a binoviewer
OVNI-M and OVNI-B have been developed for astronomy and are optimized to be compatible with all refractor / reflector telescopes (from the smallest to the largest). And they benefit from the diopter adjustment to be adapted to the sight of all astronomers.
Note that they both have manual gain control features to reduce or eliminate scintillation (may be visible when using a filter).
For maximum contrast they feature anti-reflective blackened inner edges and multi-coated lenses that delivers high transmission from 390nm to 1000nm.
OVNI-M and OVNI-B can be used in 3 ways: :
at the focal point, by inserting them directly into the eyepiece holder of a reflector or refractor telescope
in afocal, by using them on a traditional eyepiece. This makes it possible to increase or decrease the magnification and the field of observation.
- hand-held (like binoculars) for very low magnification and wide field observations. It is possible to observe large structures such as the Barnard Loop, the California Nebula, M8, M20...
Many accessories are also available (included or optional).
Section 2 : INTENSIFIER TUBE « ASTRONOMY GRADE »
OVNI-M and OVNI-B are manufactured in France with the most powerful intensifier tubes in the world, type " Astronomy Grade " GEN3. Designed in our workshop, these "Astronomy Grade" intensifier tubes are one of the many innovations of OVNI Night Vision. This means that they are specially manufactured for astronomy by combining the best performance of GEN3 filmless/unfilmed tubes with the extended lifetime of GEN3 thinfilmed tubes.
They are available in three versions : FOM 2200-2400, FOM 2400-2600, FOM 2600-2800. The FOM (Figure of Merit) is the main performance measure. A FOM 2200-2400 will have a real FOM between 2200 and 2400, a FOM 2400-2600 will have a real FOM between 2400 and 2600, a FOM 2600-2800 will have a real FOM between 2600 and 2800.
However, the FOM is not the only measure to be taken into account to define the performance of a tube « Astronomy Grade » and it is also appropriate to have the highest performance on other values such as EBI, Luminous gain, Luminous Sensitivity, SNR, Limiting Resolution... Each OVNI-M and OVNI-B is delivered with a tube data sheet measuring all its values and guaranteeing that each tube is manufactured according to our own criteria of performances perfectly optimized for astronomy.
A description of these measurements and an example of a tube data sheet are available in the OVNI-M / OVNI-B user guides.
In addition, OVNI Night Vision tube meets other parameters :
★ all our « Astronomy Grade » tubes are manufactured with perfect control of the cosmetic defects that affect all civilian and military tubes such as chicken wire, honeycombs patterns, bright spots, dark spots...
★ all our « Astronomy Grade » tubes have 2 essential features for astronomy. The manual gain control to reduce or eliminate scintillation (mainly when using a narrow bandwidth filter) and the autogated feature to protect the tube in case of high light intensity.
★ all our « Astronomy Grade » tubes have a white phosphor perfectly adapted to astronomy since it has a a neutral and natural color, much better than the green phosphor (delivering a greenish tint during observation).
★ all our « Astronomy Grade » tubes are sensitive to wavelengths between 390 and 1000nm, with a peak intensity at 750nm.
With the help of the video (to watch at the top of the page), the operation of the « Astronomy Grade » intensifier tube can be explained in 3 steps :
- The photons composing the visible and near infrared light (from 390 to 1000nm) are transformed into electrons by the photocatode.
- The MCP (MicroChannel Plate) multiplies electrons by thousands. About 70,000 times more.
- The generated electrons will hit the white phosphorus and be transformed into photons in the same original alignment before passing through the eyepiece.
OVNI-M / OVNI-B eyepieces designed for astronomy are very different from terrestrial night vision devices. All the differences are detailed on our blog in the following publication : www.ovni-nightvision.com/en/blog/post/2-differences
Section 3 : Differences with other night vision devices
OVNI-M / OVNI-B are the only night vision eyepieces in the world designed specifically for astronomy and should not be confused with other night vision devices.
Since the 1980s some astronomers have begun to use night vision devices made for terrestrial purposes (war, hunting...), medical applications... These other NV devices which are mainly used in the USA inspired us to design the OVNI-M then the OVNI-B. To be totally adapted to the needs of astronomers the OVNI Night Vision technology required 2 years of research and development. They are the only night vision eyepieces in the world designed for astronomy. Let's see what makes them unique and so different from other night vision (NV) devices.
1/ Thanks to their very innovative housings the OVNI-M / OVNI-B eyepieces can be used in 3 different ways unlike the terrestrial devices which can only be used afocally :
- Prime mode is ready to use and is the easiest method. Simply insert it into the focuser of a reflective/refractor telescope. You can also use barlows, reducers, filters as you would with any glass eyepiece. For many reasons this method is not possible with other NV devices.
- Handheld mode with SLR lens is an amazing way to observe the sky with a magnification of 1x to 10x. It is possible to attach SLR lens like Canon, Sony, Nikon... to the c-mount and T2 threads of the OVNI-M / OVNI-B. The use of an SLR lens with other NV devices is not possible.
- Afocal mode is the only way to use NV terrestrial devices with a telescope. It is important to note that the afocal method is primarily intended for observing large targets like diffuse nebulae and other very big deep sky objects. For this reason people who use other devices often explain that NV astronomy is not suitable for other objects. But prime mode is the best method to observe smaller targets like galaxies, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, comets... (another reason is the limited spectral sensitivity of other devices compared to OVNI Night Vision « Astronomy Grade » intensifier tubes which will be detailed later). Of course OVNI-M / OVNI-B are extremely flexible and versatile so they can work in prime, handheld and also afocal with the included 26mm/27mm F/1.2 front lens. Finally with the OVNI Planet filter you will also be able to observe the planets. And with calcium filter you can also observe the Sun !
- Small & Light housings to improve the user experience in prime, afocal and handheld modes. OVNI-M weighs only 240 grams and OVNI-B 500g. This is also important to obtain a perfectly aligned optical axis without tilt for afocal observation requiring a long and heavy stack (glass eyepiece + adapter + night vision device).
- Blackened parts and multicoated lens. OVNI-M / OVNI-B housings and accessories have blackened anti-glare inner edges to improve contrast. All our lenses have a special coating for maximum brightness in the visible and infrared. They also provide sharper star shapes. The requirements of astronomy are different from those of terrestrial devices.
- Accessories. We design included and optional accessories optimized for astronomy like afocal adapters, filters, camera adapters...(direct link).
- Field of view up to 90° with specific lens for OVNI-M / OVNI-B while only up to 40° for other NV devices.
2/ « Astronomy Grade » intensifier tubes are specially designed for astronomers and is an OVNI Night Vision innovation. They are used exclusively in our eyepieces and guarantee the highest level of performance for use in astronomy :
- Extended spectral sensitivity from 390nm to 1000nm (610nm range) while other NV devices have a spectral sensitivity from 600nm to 900nm (300nm range). The extended spectral sensitivity we propose will allow you to observe details in OIII, H-alpha, H-beta, SII, Methan (for the planets), Calcium (for the Sun)... which are invisible with the 600nm to 900nm of other night vision devices.
- Longer lifetime minimum 12000 hours and up to 20000 hours. This is up to 100% more than other GEN3 night vision devices (from 6000 to 10000 hours depending on the intensifier tubes).
- Extremely high specifications optimized for astronomy like FOM, SNR, EBI, light gain, light sensitivity, resolution... our intensifiers have specific parameters that are very high and perfectly balanced for astronomers. Other devices work differently and have different specification levels for many reasons. For example there is much more ambient light to observe terrestrial objects while astronomical targets are much dimmer. There is no compromise with « Astronomy Grade » intensifier tubes that are made for the demanding astronomers who are looking for the most breathtaking observations.
- Cosmetic defects that affect all civilian and military tubes such as chicken wire, honeycombs patterns, bright spots, dark spots... are extremely annoying for astronomers. All our tubes are manufactured with perfect control to ensure that none of these defects affect the observation.
- White phosphor of our intensifier tubes are perfectly suited for astronomy because they have a neutral, natural color. The result is a more traditional, black and white, monochrome view similar to a glass eyepiece. Compared to green phosphor tubes which are the phosphors commonly used for terrestrial night vision devices.
- Manual gain control to reduce or eliminate scintillation when using a narrow bandwidth filter such as the OVNI Planet Filter and the OVNI Nebula Filter. Most other NV devices do not have this feature.
- Autogated function we use is to protect the tube from being accidentally damaged by exposure to bright lights. This is a very important feature that is often optional on non-OVNI Night Vision equipment.
3/ More, more, more… :
- OVNI-M / OVNI-B users have access to the OVNI Night Vision Observatory which will open in France in 2024. It will be the first observatory in the world entirely dedicated to Night Vision Astronomy with specific equipment including a Dobsonian 32" F3.5 telescope at the disposal of OVNI users. There will also be a lodge to welcome the users.
- Lifetime after sales service for any questions or information as long as you own an OVNI Night Vision eyepiece. Our average response time is 2 business days.
- Worldwide shipping. Most of our customers are in the United States and the European Union. But we have an export license to ship to many countries around the world and there are OVNI users on all 5 continents. Please note that all our prices on the website include the French VAT of 20% but we remove the French VAT when we ship outside the European Union.
- Access to a worldwide community of users and all our weekly news. It includes the blog (direct link), the official Facebook group for users (direct link), the Facebook page (direct link). the Instagram page (direct link), the reviews from press and users (direct link), the Youtube channel for tutorials (direct link).
- Our eyepieces are not limited to visual observation. For astrophotography you can make your own adapter or use the OVNI Camera Adapter. See some amazing pics from OVNI-M / OVNI-B users (direct link). Scientific Research is possible with an OVNI-M / OVNI-B and we have also established partnerships so that you can participate in Pro/Am collaborations and make incredible discoveries (direct link).
- For professional applications (observatories, space agencies…) we make custom housings and intensifier tubes (direct link Section 2).
All our products are designed, manufactured and assembled in our workshop and design office located in France. Since 2017 we are constantly innovating to manufacture unique night vision devices for all amateur and professional astronomers practicing visual observation, astrophotography, scientific research and space domain awareness activities.
OVNI Night Vision® eyepieces will allow you to see the invisible ! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the contact form (direct link).