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Talking about night vision optics can be confusing. NYX-14 is really a category of military grade (MIL-STD-810) monocular that includes several models and generations of gear. There are also several NYX-14C models that are intended for photography purposes. To add to the confusion is the fact that the original manufacturer, Armasight, was recently acquired by FLIR. (Currently, the FLIR website has as category of products labeled “Armasight”.)
In this review, I’ll try to sort out the major differences among the models and generations (mainly Gen 2+ and Gen 3) of Armasight NYX-14 night vision monoculars to give you some idea of what is available and what might best serve your needs.
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Which NYX-14 Night Vision Monocular Models Are Considered Gen 3?
They are designated Bravo, Alpha, 3P, and Ghost. In the NYX-14C line, there is no Bravo model, only Alpha, 3P, and Ghost.
The main difference among the NYX-14 models is in which image intensifier tube (IIT) each uses.
The Bravo uses an IIT simply known as Bravo. It gives you fewer line pairs per millimeter – 57 to 64 lp/mm – than the others.
From Wikipedia: “Line pairs are often used instead of lines [to express resolution]; a line pair comprises a dark line and an adjacent light line. A line is either a dark line or a light line. A resolution of 10 lines per millimeter means 5 dark lines alternating with 5 light lines, or 5 line pairs per millimeter (5 LP/mm).”
So in general, the most line pairs, the better the resolution. You’ll see more detail.
The Alpha uses the Alpha High Performance IIT; the 3P uses the High Performance Pinnacle IIT; and the Ghost uses the Ghost White Phosphor IIT. All of these give you 64 to 72 lp/mm.
The NYX-14C models use the same corresponding IITs.
You’ll find a few more differences when comparing the NYX-14 with the NYX-14C models. However, there is yet another element of complexity here because you can get each of the NYX-14C models in a photography version and a standard version.
Magnification with a basic NYX-14 is 1x. In other words, there is no magnification compared to what your eyes normally see. You can optionally get 3x, 5x, and 8x lenses.
Magnification with a photography NYX-14C is also 1x, but with the standard version you get 2x.
Eye relief (the distance you can keep your eye from the eyepiece lens and still use the monocular properly) for the NYX-14 is 25 millimeters. For the photography NYX-14C it is 38 millimeters, and for the standard version it is just 20 millimeters.
The diopter adjustment range on the NYX-14 goes from -6 to +2. There is no diopter on the NYX-14C photography versions. On the standard NYX-14C it goes from -5 to +5. These ranges exist to offset the shorter eye relief in the NYX-14 and the standard NYX-14C. With the longer eye relief of the photography models, you don’t really need to make a diopter adjustment.
The only other significant differences between the 14 and 14C are the (objective) lens size and the field of view (FOV).
The NYX-14 monocular has a 27 millimeter lens, and the NYX-14C has a 38 millimeter lens. You can always use more light for photographic purposes, so that is likely why Armasight made that one larger.
The FOV of the 14 is 40 degrees. For the 14C it is just 22 degrees. This is the trade-off you make with the different lens sizes.
All of the models discussed thusfar have a focus range from 0.25 meters to infinity. They also have manual gain control, bright light cut-off, and an automatic shut-off system. In addition, each comes with a built-in infrared (IR) illuminator. In your field of view, there is an indicator that tells you whether or not you have activated the IR feature.
You power the unit with either a CR123A lithium or an alkaline AA battery. This should give you up to 60 hours of use. You’ll see the low battery indicator come on in your field of view when the power is getting low.
With the appropriate accessories, you can mount your NYX-14(C) on your head, on your helmet, or on your weapon. It works equally well in any of these situations.
One disappointing feature is that these units are only water and fog resistant – not waterproof – out of the box. Waterproofing is optional, but you would think that, for gear of this quality and price point, this should be a standard feature.
By itself, the NYX-14 weighs about 0.88 pounds (0.4kg) and measures 4.7 x 1.9 x 2.7 inches (120 x 49 x 69mm).
Armasight (FLIR) provides a 2-year warranty.
What Are the NYX-14 Night Vision Monocular Models That Are Gen 2+?
Much like the Gen 3 models above, the NYX-14 Gen 2+ models are named similarly to the PVS-7 night vision goggles.
There are the SD (Standard Definition), the ID (Improved Definition), the HD (High Definition), and the QS (Quick Silver White Phosphor) models.
These models have a standard version and a Pro version, but the only real difference I can find between each pair is that the Pro model has an automatic brightness control. (There are a couple of other minor differences.)
The main difference among the first three models (and between the Gen 2+ and the Gen 3) is the resolution (lp/mm) you get.
- NYX-14 SD – 41 to 51
- NYX-14 ID – 47 to 54
- NYX-14 HD – 55 to 72
All the other features are the same as the NYX-14 Gen 3 models discussed above.
Which NYX-14 Model Is the Best?
It almost goes without saying that, at this level of quality (remember, these are military grade units), you are going to get an excellent piece of equipment. Even the Gen 2+ models are nothing to sneeze at. You don’t have to feel as if you are “settling” for something if you can’t afford the pricier Gen 3 night vision monoculars.
And that probably is what your choice will come down to – how much you can afford.
You will notice the increased resolution when going from Gen 2+ to Gen 3, with the possible exception of moving between Gen 2+ HD (55-72 lp/mm) and Gen 3 Bravo (57-64 lp/mm).
The other factor to consider is if you want to use this monocular for night vision photography. In that case, your choices are probably going to be narrowed to the NYX-14C photography models. But even there you have a handful from which you can select.