Sofradir EC Night Vision Imaging
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FAQs - AstroScope Night Vision for Photography and Video
  Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers)
 
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Frequently Asked Questions About AstroScope and Night Vision

Where can I get more information about current night vision technologies?

Will the AstroScope work in total darkness?
(for example, in a cave without an infrared illuminator)

The AstroScope utilizes Gen III image-intensifier technology. No traditional night vision device will work without at least some ambient light available (including pocketscopes and monoculars like the AN/PVS-14 and night vision goggles like the AN/PVS-7). Image intensifiers are basically light amplifiers some ambient light must be available to produce the familiar green imagery; even just starlight, moonlight, or near-infrared illumination that is invisible to the naked eye.

I'm a private/commercial (non-US Military) end-user. Can I take the AstroScope out of the United States to capture night vision imagery for my project?

The technology is export-controlled by the US Government. Please contact us for more information about export licensing requirements.

I'm not located in the United States. Can you export the AstroScope?

Yes, though special conditions may apply. There are export restrictions on this technology and a license is required. We offer both Gen III and Gen II intensifiers for export. Please contact us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions About the AstroScope
Family of Products

Is the AstroScope complicated to operate?

NO! Packaged with each new unit, we provide a Start Here Card that you can carry your cargo pocket. The basic instructions are short and simple. For example, when using the AstroScope 9350EOS-P for Canon or the 9350NIKS-P for Nikon, we recommend that photographers operate the SLR camera in Manual mode (not shutter priority, aperture priority or automatic program modes) using initial settings of 800 ISO, 1/30 second shutter speed, lowest f-stop (wide open aperture), using Manual focus.

Is the AstroScope expensive?

The AstroScope 9350-series products are cost effective modular solutions We designed the AstroScope with modularity in mind to save you money and to build in a level of forwards compatibility. You can take advantage of the unique opportunity to swap our patented Gen III AstroScope common module Central Intensifier Unit from one night vision imaging platform to another (for example, use one CIU for both a camcorder and an SLR camera setup).

I work for the US Federal Government. Does Sofradir EC, Inc. maintain products on a GSA schedule that I can purchase at a discount?

Yes! Contact us for our updated GSA Contract Number and Contract Period. Our CAGE Code is 61834.

Does Sofradir EC, Inc. manufacture the AstroScope in the United States?

YES! Sofradir EC, Inc. is an ISO 9001 certified US manufacturing company. We design and build the AstroScope products under stringent quality controls in our facility in Fairfield, NJ.

Do I have to carry a pocketful of batteries into the field to power an AstroScope?

NO! The AstroScope 9350EOS-P for Canon and the 9350NIKS-P for Nikon draws minimal power directly from the SLR camera. No additional batteries are required. For a non-removable lens camcorder setup (where we cannot easily interface with the host power), the AstroScope draws minimal power from two common AAA batteries for continuous operation typically exceeding 40 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Night Vision
for SLR Cameras

In the past I tried to rig a pocketscope to my SLR camera with little or no success. Is it difficult to mount an AstroScope to my camera?

Mounting the AstroScope to your camera could be quicker or easier. The AstroScope 9350EOS-P for Canon and the 9350NIKS-P for Nikon are specifically designed for these SLR camera platforms and our adapters mount between the camera body and the native objective lenses using the manufacturers standard lens bayonets. AstroScope's battlefield-proven design delivers seamless integration with your camera body, requires no back focus adjustment, no additional batteries, and delivers sharp, full-frame images with little or no vignetting on most platforms. Install the AstroScope in the field, in the dark, in under 10 seconds and use the same high performance lenses that you carry for daytime photography.

Can I use auto-focus with the AstroScope for my SLR camera?

When using the AstroScope 9350EOS-P for Canon or the 9350NIKS-P for Nikon, we recommend that photographers operate the SLR camera in Manual mode (not shutter priority, aperture priority or automatic program modes) using initial settings of 800 ISO, 1/30 second shutter speed, lowest f-stop (wide open aperture), using Manual focus. Without the aid of an image-intensifier, Canon and Nikon SLR cameras will unsuccessfully attempt to auto-focus under nighttime low-light conditions. Auto focus is unreliable in low light because the auto focus algorithms built into the Canon and Nikon camera firmware are based upon contrast comparisons. Simply put, SLR cameras are designed to take pictures under typical daytime ambient lighting conditions; they are not designed with nighttime picture-taking in mind. Even with the aid of a night vision device, low-light level noise and phosphor effects can confuse the focus sensors. This is a limitation of the camera, NOT the AstroScope hardware. SLR cameras are not designed with night vision behavior in mind.

Will my high performance, image stabilized long lens work with the AstroScope 9350EOS-P on my Canon EOS SLR camera?

YES! AstroScope maintains seamless electronic communications between the SLR camera body and the objective lens. Lens functions are retained, including image stabilization.

I want to identify a man-sized object at about 300 meters with my camera and an AstroSope night vision adapter. What lens will I require?

For illustration purposes, assuming that you are using a Canon 30D digital SLR, you can use a fast EF-type (EOS) 75mm lens and our AstroScope 9350EOS-P to identify the man-sized target at about 300 meters (as defined by the Johnson criteria). For more detailed information specific to your application and your camera/camcorder, please visit www.electrophysics.com/nvrc to download our AstroScope Night Vision range calculator tool.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Our Company

What is the relationship between Electrophysics Corp. and Sofradir EC, Inc.?

Electrophysics Corp. changed its name to Sofradir EC, Inc. in 2009 when the company joined the Sofradir Groupe of companies. The location remained the same and new AstroScope models continued to be designed to maximize end customer performance.

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Sofradir EC Night Vision
SOFRADIR EC NIGHT VISION IMAGING  (formerly Electrophysics Night Vision Imaging)
373 US Hwy 46W Fairfield, NJ 07004 USA  |  Phone: 973-882-0211  |  Fax: 973-882-0997  |   info@sofradir-ec.com