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Old October 25th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #1
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filming through night vision googles

Has anyone ever had to get night vision goggle images onto tape ? If so how did you do it ? I have some army training to film and the producer wants the images in the goggles to use in the doco we are shooting. Is there a rca / video output on some types of goggles, I realize that different makes will have outputs and some not. I cant think of a way to get it onto tape especially if someone is wearing the goggles. I dont have access to the goggles until I get on location so if anyone has any kind of info on this your input will be appreciated.

I have a Pana HVX 200 that has RCA inputs so IF I can get a feed out from the goggles I will be able to capture the images.

Thanks !!

Adam Dodd.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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I believe I might be qualified to answer this...


The best way to film night vision is to use a night vision adapter. There are several manufacturers; the best I've used is the AstroScope by Electrophysics. I've never used NVGs with external outputs, which isn't to say that they don't exist, but I highly doubt that you'd find any.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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NVG's

Thanks Daniel will see how I go.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #4
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Probably a silly thought, but how about just getting an inexpensive Sony handycam with nightshot? You could add IR illumination if needed for cheap too (Sima IR LED lights come to mind). You'd get basically the same images, and viewers wouldn't know the difference I'd think - if there are any graphical overlays in the goggles, you might have to have those recreated, and maybe some other tricks in post to better match the image, but I'd think it would do the trick?
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Old October 26th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #5
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Adam,

What is it that you are thinking of shooting with the 'night vision' gear?

Andrew
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Old October 26th, 2009, 04:03 AM   #6
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I know a lot of people who have used the adaptors and they are OK up to a point but make very dim green images. Some of my contacts have used a sony hi 8 camera with nightshot and it is very good as it shoots in infa red and you can actually light a scene with IR lights.

It is also more black and white that green so it easier to see.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #7
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Infra red (eg through a Sony camera with nightshot) gives a completely different picture to that seen through night vision binoculars/monocular. I use a Sony camera and get a completely different result to a colleague filming through a (very expensive) night vision camera.

I have been shown some relatively inexpensive night vision equipment which did have composite video output for connecting to a monitor or camera. Something like the Yukon Ranger Pro Digital Night Vision Scope 5 x 42. I have no idea of the size of image produced by this.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #8
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In a squeeze, you could always use the 'hypergain' mode of the Sony V1 and colourize it to be green. At least you would get the night-vision effect.

Andrew
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Old October 26th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Adam:

I have had two very high end pair of NVDs, an ITT commercial product (cant remember the model) and a surplus product (AN/PVS-23).

None of these are going to have any provision for feeding a video signal. They are not made for that and it would also require the unit to contain a video imager/CCD, something they just don't have.

You are going to need a specialty NVD product of some kind. Probably you can rent them from somewhere. Those are bound to cost $10K+ for any recent technology product.

As far as using some other method, no camera or spoofing trick is going to provide any similar performance, at all, to a recent Gen III NVD. Don't even think about it. Until you use one of these NVDs, you have no clue about the performance (and limitations when there is light in the area).

You need to contact some rental houses and/or the military contact ASAP. The military guys believe in doing things the right way. Don't show up unprepared.

What base will the filming be on?

EDIT: I just noticed you are in AU. Good luck.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Ahh. Adam, you are in Australia?

I was almost going to mention this earlier ...

There is a company somewhere that rents military grade ($20k worth) night vision gear, and this has been used before by current affairs programmes such as Today Tonight etc.

Here's the product info: Night Vision Module - AstroScope 9323B for Broadcast Cameras - Military & Law Enforcement Technologies

Here's the rental info: Rental Night Vision for ENG Broadcast - Military & Law Enforcement Technologies

Hope this helps. :-)

Andrew
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Old October 26th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #11
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Oh yeah ... camcorder adapters are also available.

(I'm on a roll here tonight!)

Andrew
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Old November 21st, 2009, 08:28 AM   #12
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How did you go?

Hi Adam, I was just wondering how you went.... I tried to open a new account to ask you at the time you posted, but it takes weeks to get an account on this forum :(

Anyway, I use a simple Yukon DV camera adapter with my NV goggles/scopes. Then I wind the eyepiece correction up to about +3 diopters (helps when I zoom in) and just shoot straight through the eyepiece and get a nice circular image that's really sharp.

You can get NV lens adapters ( I had a M2160 but it was just too large... ) and I have a digital NV device that puts out CCTV and works quite well but I find that the camera adapter is still the simplest way to record through a NV goggle.

But I'd be interested to find out how your solved your particular issue -

Regards,
David.
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