D-300-3ST Review

Customer Reviews of Night Vision Equipment

Moderator: Michael

D-300-3ST Review

Postby pmac » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:21 am

After first purchasing the D-112, I "upgraded" to the D-300-3ST. The D-112 was a fine entry level scope, however it was not able to offer the type of image quality that I needed for my application. I am using NOD for night time marine use on the Arkansas river, and found that the "fisheye" (geometric lensing) effect of 1st Gen to be distracting, and not able to offer the type of detail that I needed in order to see floating obstacles. Other than that, the D-112 is a great 1st Gen scope, and I highly recommend it for someone who is wanting a low priced way to enter the world of nightvision.

After my initial purchase I contacted the vendor, OpticsHQ,(http://www.opticshq.com) who deserve VERY HIGH PRAISE. They were in a word, AWESOME. They allowed me to upgrade my purchase to a 3rd Gen scope. After many questions, hours spent reading reviews, specifications, etc, I ended up purchasing the D-300-3ST. There is no comparison between the two, nor should there be.

With the D-300-3ST, I am able to navigate confidently at higher speeds, without fear of striking an obstacle. I have actually driven an all terrain vehicle at speeds of 40 - 50 mph while wearing the D-300 mounted to head gear with absoloute confidence. It is just like driving in daylight only with a green tint. The scope came to me in about 3 days, and eventhough I did NOT order the "select alpha tubes" I received a tube that only has one tiny "blemish". The spot is not in the field of view, and you actualy have to look for it in order to see it. I was impressed with the quality of materials, and could not be happier with my purchase. It comes with a built in IR illuminator that is able to be switched between on -off, and two different power levels. Personally, I have never even had to use the IR due to ambient light levels from stars, moon, etc.

Before my purchase, I spent countless hours on the internet looking for information, etc. I found this forum to be a very useful tool. I understand that a person doesn't want to spend that type of money not knowing what they are getting. I want to say thanks to all the great posters here, Michael for answering all my stupid questions, and the guys over at OpticsHQ, who answered any question I had cheerfully. They were a pleasure to do business with, and when they tell you they will call you back, THEY DO! I'm no NOD expert or anything, but if anyone has ANY question about either the D-112 or the D-300, I'll be more than happy to give a laymans point of view.

Thanks again to everyone,
pmac
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Postby Tom » Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:22 am

Hi there!!!

Very nice review!
I'm about to order the D-112. You can see a big topic in the General Night Vision Discussion part of the forum: http://www.nightvisionforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=373
But I want to ask you, do you happen to have any pictures taken through the D-112? Or a picture that you should compare to it? I would really like to see what it's like to look through a Night Vision Device like the D-112.
And is it bad for the unit to look at lights such as a carlight or streetlights? I know you may not use it at clear daylight but what can it handle?

Thank you!

-ToM
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Postby pmac » Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:22 am

Tom,

I did not take any pictures through the D-112. I am still trying to find a way to connect my Sony DV (TVR-33) camcorder to the standard C-Mount lens adapter. The view through the D-112 was really good for a 1st Gen scope. One thing you should know is that all 1st Gens have sort of a "fish eye" effect. The view one sees is pretty good in the center but a little distorted around the edge of the field of view. Also, the specifications on lp/mm on 1st Gens is applicable in the center of the lens. This can be minimized somewhat by "tweaking" the diopter adjustments on the eyepiece. I found it to be a really good quality scope. It is made solidly of metal, and feels like a precision instrument, not a plastic toy as some others I've handled. One feature I really liked on the scope was the ability to turn the IR illuminator on and off independantly of the tube. Depending on what your application is, I would HIGHLY recommend purchase of the long range illuminator for the D-112. The integral illuminator is fine for short range viewing, but if your going to be looking at anything over 50 - 75 feet or so, it is well worth the money. As far as looking into lights etc, I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not an electronics expert so I don't know what the effects would be on the tube itself. I can tell you that when I used the unit outside, the occassional passing car, did not effect my viewing to the extent I could not see or anything. There is a "blooming" effect to some degree or another, but not really much worse than on my 3rd gen scope. I do think that 1st gen scopes do NOT have the automatic brightness control that a scope with MCP does, but you would be better off asking one of the experts here. Overall, I was very happy with the D-112 and would highly recommend it for someone who is wanting an entry level scope. The only reason I upgraded to the 3rd Gen is because of my specific application. If I only would have used it to "play" at night with, I would have kept the D-112. I will look on the net and see if I can find a comparative picture that is somewhat close.
pmac
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Postby Tom » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:05 pm

Thanks for the information Pmac,

Mostlikely I'm going to use it for walking through the forest or playing airsoft. I dont really know wether I need the long range illuminator or not. But I want to test it first with its built in IR. I can always purchase the long range IR if I need it.
I've heard about the geometric distrortion, I think I can live with it since its not that much.
But I have one more question, what is it like to walk with it? Since only one eye is seeing everything you cant see 3d (dont know how to say it) which you can with two eyed sight. Does this have any effect of the way you walk with the D-112 mounted?

Thank you,

-Tom
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Postby pathfinder » Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:09 pm

Pmac,

Have you ever worn the D-300 with a headmount for a long period of time? e.g 7-10hrs
If so, how long does neck fatigue kick in?

Cheers,
Vic
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Postby Guest » Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:15 pm

Tom and Pathfinder,

There is a post by JimmyJ, (here I think)http://www.nightvisionforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=347
that touches on what it is like to walk with night vision. He basically nails it on that one. Seems to me that the darker it is, the easier it is. But after a short period of time, your mind does somehow or another blend the images together. I have noticed this when in higher lighting conditions. I can see color with my non-aided eye and it seems that somehow or another it makes my aided eye sense it as well. I can tell when an object goes out of my unaided side's vision, because I don't see the color any longer in the aided eye.

As far as long periods of time? I have worn the goggle in the headmount for up to 2.5 to 3 hours at a time, and you do get somewhat fatigued. Not enough to make you complain or even think about it. However, it is so much better than trying to hold it up with one hand. I can only do that for 5 minutes or so before I need to rest my arm.

Thanks,
pmac
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Postby Tom » Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:50 pm

Ah now I understand, thanks,

I ordered my D-112 this weekend. Since it had to come to the Netherlands OpticsHQ has to send me an e-mail how they are going to send it. I've not recieved it yet but I'm looking really forward to getting it. I just cant wait to see in the dark. I'll post a review on the forum here when I have tested it.
As in reply to this thread http://www.nightvisionforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=391 , I might consider getting a Long range IR for my D-112. But I have no idea how far I will be able to see with the intergrated IR. I can always order it later on.

Thanks again for your info!

-ToM
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