ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS                                                                                                                                                                                                             +++ OVNI BLOG / NEWS +++

Latest posts

Why OVNI-M / OVNI-B are unique and very different from other night vision devices ?

1 Comment

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 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 2023. It will be the first observatory in the world entirely dedicated to Night Vision Astronomy with specific equipment. 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 joko@ovni-nightvision.com or by using the contact form (direct link).

Leave a comment


  • Solar Lunt Telescope with OVNI-B ???
    By: Ricardo Calderón On 20/06/2023

    Sorry for the question, but I prefer not to remain in doubt: has anyone tested the use of OVNI-B in a Lunt solar telescope obviously with an Etalon filter? Could my OVNI-B "burn" or decompose? Would using an OVNI-B add anything to the view of the Sun? Greetings and thanks.

    Replied by: OVNI Night Vision On 06/12/2023 Update from our reply :

    Thank you for your question.
    Yes you can use your OVNI-B in a Lunt solar telescope. See this publication from an OVNI-M user :

    ⚠ Do not make this without precautions. Pointing your OVNI-M / OVNI-B to observe the Sun can create permanent burn to your image intensfier tube. In addition to the CaK filter, you must use neutral density filters to attenuate the light. And before observing, be sure to lower the manual control level of the OVNI eyepiece and then gradually increase it.