Customer Reviews: Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular
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Price:$175.58+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on March 1, 2012
I recently obtained this device so as to have a little night vision capability for some night-time deer control at a local farm (authorized by the state DNR). I was not sure what to expect. What we have is an easy to use device that runs off two CR123 lithium batteries. It provides decent visibility out to about 100 yards if there is some ambient star light or moon light. By decent I mean I can tell if there is a human approaching, but I cannot pick out facial features. The picture is green, and does have some "fish eye" distortion around the edges. The image is not clear enough to pick out anyone who is motionless and wearing camouflage against a wooded background. It is clear enough to detect a person or deer in motion or standing in the open. Activating the infrared light does improve the visibility and clarity for a small area out to about 100 yards. The IR IS visible to the human eye, resembling a red LED from a distance.

The device does NOT have an eye shroud, so it will light you up in the viewscreen of another NVD. Overall for the price, for basic scouting at night, I like how it works and would recommend it for that purpose.

Update 5.11.2012: A person (JWB) asked if this device meets my needs as a prepper. By this I take him to mean for tactical operations. I would say that this device is not a good idea for mobile tactical operations, or even static night observation against a well-equipped, well-trained force that is using miltary/police tactics to storm your compound. Note the deficiencies listed above. It would be adequate, however, for static observation of a relatively unobstructed field of view out to 100 yards against routine situations in normal darkness. Since all NVDs that activate IR stand out like spotlights in the dark to other NDVs, it can detect approaching operators who are careless enough to activate their IR. If I were going to create my defensive posture such that I will be engaging in offensve, mobile tactical operations at night, I would save up and spend the money for a good set of head-mounted generation 3 or 4 NVD or binoculars. Thermal systems would be even better, but extremely expensive. Hope this helps.
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on October 12, 2012
I was researching night vision for a hunting friend who needed something to see in the dark shadows after the sun goes down, mainly to study antler size and count on potential trophy buck deer. It boiled down to the Night Owl 5 power night vision. I ordered one to try before suggesting it and was pretty surprised at how well it worked. He ordered one too after trying it. With the faintest ambient light from the moon or far away lighting sources, you can see in areas which are pitch black to the naked eye. The infrared light on the monocular also works far better than I thought. Some people say they remove the battery after use because when they turn it off, it still seems to work for a while. Well it takes a short while for the capacitors to drain down after use,, but I have found that there is no battery drain by using the on/off button. Naturally you won't see police and military using this anymore due to expensive advances in night vision, but they once used this exact technology. If I were to ever need more than this, say the world goes bad, my next step would be in the $8000 range for thermal imagery scope. But if that time were to ever come, it would be mounted on a rifle for gathering food and protecting my family.

Well, after a few months, it stopped working. Indicator lights work, infrared light works, but no image is produced, the eyepiece remains black. I am 63 years old and am careful with things, so it was pampered, never turned on when in light conditions, never bumped or jarred, stored inside the house in it's protective pouch. While observing deer feeding at night, I would turn it on for a while, then turn it off. The last time I turned it off, it never came back on. I put 3 new batteries in it and never lit up again. I only used one battery in the unit before it died. I have contacted Night Owl several times and they only have one lady who can help me, and she has been on vacation for a couple of weeks. I'll report back when I see how this is handled.

Update: The lady at Night Owl called me and told me to mail it to them. Sorry I am so late giving this update, but I had forgotten about it and just got a question on the night scope and saw I had not updated on the repair process. But shortly after they received it, a new one showed up at my door. Great customer service. They just need two ladies trained to do that job. :)
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on February 23, 2012
I just received my NOXM50 today. I did a lot of research and read many reviews before deciding on this device. I found the reviews to be spot-on! This little NV is awesome! I've been around NV for many years and have played with some really high units and some cheap ones. The technology has really improved for Gen 1. I am amazed in this $200 Gen 1 unit by Night Owl. The best unit I have ever played with was a $12,000 US Military Gen 3 unit 15 years ago. This NOXM50 is nearly as good as that one was! Tonight there is no moon. There is some urban lighting. I could see all the way across the local lake...which is well over 500 yards!!! You can't count fingers, but you could see a boat and possibly the number of people in it. You can read a business card at 20' in total darkness. My Sgt has a Gen 1 set of binoc's that do not come close to this unit. I can't complain about the width of view or lack of auto focus because of the price. You will not beat the clarity/distance for $200!
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on December 4, 2011
I was fortunate enough to get this cheap on Amazon's Lightning Deal. My wife didnt poo-poo it as she is ex-military and knows how cool night vision can be! My kids and I go out in our backyard (2 acres of Oaks) and spy on the deer sleeping on our septic field. I also found out our garden night intruder is a possum!! The IR built in spotlight is phenominal!

My ONLY complaint is that you will need to constantly refocus (more than I expected to) when changing distances. The depth of field is very shallow.

I can't wait to take this on our next BSA campout!!!
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on July 23, 2012
My experience: 2-tours Vietnam (1968-69) combat Marine rifleman..Well familiar with the old Starlight night vision scopes...bought two of these Night Owls based on the excellent reviews claiming good performance "FOR THE PRICE"...With all due respect to the reviewers, these scopes don't pass the "TOY" test..

Unless you have a street light nearby or you can have a friend stand behind you and direct a beam from a flashlight at your target area, you won't see as much as the outline of a tree at 50-meters..

Summary...The Night Owl is "night blind"...I bought two at $180 each plus $51.00 in batteries which won't fit anything shipping..TOTAL: $416.80..out the window...burn me once..burn me twice?

Now, I'll do what I should've done in the first place..I'll buy a Starlight or maybe a 6x Bushnell...Get what you pay for...Some rules are hard and fast..In my opinion, that applies in this case.
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on April 14, 2014
If you were in the military and have prior experience with night vision gear, you will be disappointed. I recall using my ANV-4 night scope years ago and I can still recall the vivid green landscape as I peered through the scope, and that is what I had in mind when I purchased this unit. It is not the same, not by a long shot, but then again, if you have no night vision capabilities, anything is an improvement. With this Night Owl Optics monocular, you can see in the dark as well as if the lights were on indoors, in fact, that is where we have used it the most to find items after dark when we don't want to wake grandma (who lives with us) who has a habit of taking the main TV remote control to bed with her. Not wanting to wake her, we have used this device to navigate the pitch dark room and successfully locate the remote without needing to turn on lights and wake grandma up. I have used it outside with excellent results, you just have to focus a lot more often as you turn your head while looking through the monocular at different objects so the field of view is small by comparison but it does work, it does give the user the ability to see in the dark and not too shabbily for the money.
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on April 20, 2012
I purchased this device to aid in night searches for our lost cat which had been rescued from feral life a few years ago, but ran out through an unlatched screen door this Spring. In our suburb, feral cats can hide under decks and foliage, use storm drains for pathways, and only come out very late at night to forage. While we got our cat back through other means, it helped me better understand the nightscape of our neighborhood and focus my search: I learned where the feral cats hung out, and that there were foxes lurking about in plain view. An excellent night vision scope at an affordable price for this technology. As I was looking at both very close and distant areas, I needed to constantly refocus both the eyepiece and outer lens for sharp images which was the only shortcoming, despite the instruction guide which recommended only focusing the outer lens after setting the eyepiece. It took about half an hour to learn how to use it in an area rich with both lighted and dark landscapes as well wooded patches. Really cool. Bright field of vision, though sharpest in the center. I'll use it from time to time to view wildlife in other night settings. Got my batteries for the unit online as the prices in retail stores are outrageous--although ordered from Amazon the same time as my Night Owl, they arrived a couple of days later; the unit comes without a battery so I needed to purchase one locally before being able to use the device.
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on April 6, 2011
This is my first night vision scope. I am very pleased with the performance of it especially for the price. I am able to see 100 yards + clearly. The only downfalls that I found were after adjusting the eyepiece, it was very loose, so I put some tape on it to keep it from moving. The other thing is that you have to remove the battery for it to be completely shut off or wait 10-15 min before it shuts off on it's own. So I just remove the battery. Other than these two issues, this thing is a great buy.
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on April 21, 2014
Let's not pretend but defective electronics happen. But the avg product sold in the USA has less then 1% defect rate. Most defects in electronics aren't defects at all they are defective people. The #1 defect is a lack of reading the instructions.
I'm guilty of this. When I first bought this I felt reading the short manual would be fruitless. Pop in the battery, turn it on, twist twist and it's done. Do it like that and this product won't work! Amazing what happened day #2 after reading the manual. It worked! What changed? I did it right and wala worked fine.
The adjustment is a lil awkward but if you do it they work. Do yourself a favor and adjust the eyepiece indoors. Then go outdoors and use. They don't work great inside, heck they are x5 and unless you live in a mansion it's pretty tough to see clearly since everything will be to close.
Outdoors, once adjusted remember they are x5 your feet aren't going to be clear! But off in the distance wala work terrific. Are they like you just turned on the lights at giants stadium? No! But they light up the dark. If you think you should see the brand name on a cigarette someone's smoking 100ft away it "ain't" happening! But you can see pretty darn clearly.
These aren't flat panel tv technology people. Yes green display like a green old tv. What do you expect! We live in a time that people forgot reality. The world is full of iPads and spoiled kids that have electronics cooler then any of us old geezers. If you want better then these call apple and maybe they will get a app that sees in the night, or heck maybe they have one already! For the rest of us, these night owls work well for a low price.
If you peek over the fence at night when I'm in the hot tub don't complain at seeing my butt!
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on August 4, 2012
I know a few people who insist "Gen 1" isn't worth the money. They each work behind gun counters where they get to fondle the latest night vision devices. But I can actually cut through the darkness when I activate the IR feature. I'm happy with the results I get for the price.

Order a "CR123" battery if you buy this product. I don't appreciate "batteries not included" when a product needs a specialized battery; I cut one star from my review for this reason alone. I don't know why it's not included, given the fact (a) it's not *that* expensive and (b) the package includes a nice carry pouch.
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