FAQ’S:1.) How does the PD PRO Stack up against other more mainstream devices.
The PD PRO is every bit as elegant and well designed as units like PVS31’s, DTNVS, BNVD’s, RNVG’s, ETC. They are simply ANOTHER option for users. Are they the best for ALL users? Probably not. With that being said, there is so much misinformation on what Photonis is offering on the internet. We took that seriously and wanted to get to the truth. In doing so what we revealed is a type of night vision unit that excels for most users! The PD PRO offers a high level of strength in a lightweight package. It is lighter than most comparable units. It is nearly 30% smaller than a BNVD. While not a perfect comparison, the PD PRO offers every bit of value as any of the other binocular units on the market.
2.) Are Photonis Tubes Gen II Tubes?
No, they are not Gen II. They cannot be Gen II OR Gen III because they EXIST outside of the spec that makes a unit either generation. Photonis uses a hybrid Multi-Alkali Photocathode which sets it into its own category. Also, Gen II or Gen III is such a subjective statement and NOT an actual measurement of performance. As an example: a low spec Harris thin film tube would technically be a Gen III tube. Photonis 4G tubes walk all over these low 1300-1400 FOM tubes. In our experience, Photonis has had the most consistently clean tubes with high FOM ratings vs other mainstream options like L3 or Elbit.
3.) Are Photonis tubes lower gain?
Yes, in most cases this is true. The White Phosphor 4G tubes are lower gain than SOME L3 or Elbit options on the market. However, gain does not equate to a “good” or “better” tube on it’s own. It is possible to have a high gain tube with low clarity. We will note, however, that the green tubes offered from Photonis land much, much closer to higher gain L3 or Elbit models. Personally we prefer the white phosphor, but green is an option for those of you who want the PD PRO and need higher gain levels.
4.) What Tubes are Inside the PD PRO?
The PD PRO 16B features photonis 16mm 4G tubes. Minimum FOM for this unit is technically 1800 FOM. With that being said, most PD PRO Binos we receive from Photonis land very close to or above 2000 FOM. RARELY will you ever see these units around 1800 FOM. These are very high quality tubes that are in use across the globe from SWAT teams, to special operation military groups and beyond. The 16mm tubes used for this binocular device are extremely high quality and Photonis has an extremely low tolerance for blemishes with these units. If you have further questions about the specs of the 16mm 4G tubes inside of this unit, email us at CS@Arkayne.com
5.) Are the Photonis Tubes AutoGated?
Yes, Photonis NAILS the autogating. The tubes react swiftly and precisely in higher lighting environments. While the 4G tubes perform extremely well in higher lit areas, and they have many safety protocols in place to protect the tube, it is important to never subject the units to high lighted areas or sources of lights.
6.) I have heard that Photonis Tubes do not compare to L3.
We have content all over our YouTube and instagram pages and our site comparing all tube options. It is unfortunate that many companies, for whatever reason, have decided that Photonis isn’t a contender. Not only is this untrue, we’d argue that those vehemently against Photonis either haven’t used them at all or there is some sort of ulterior motive at play. In many cases the Photonis tubes have been clearer than our L3 units. This is not to say that the L3 units are bad and Photonis is better, we are simply stating that the Photonis 4G tubes ARE an effective option and will offer amazing performance. We take great pride in what we do. We don’t recommend products we don’t believe in.
The cool part: If you are 100% set on L3 in a Bino, we can get you set up as well.
7.) Is a helmet mount included in the price above?
No. You will need to purchase a helmet mount separately. Photonis does have their own helmet mount and it works well. If you purchase the photonis mount it has a magnetic arm that will power the unit on anytime the unit is lowered into position, even if the power switch on the unit is off. For more information on the Photonis mount, click here:
8.) Which mount is recommended for helmet use?
The PD PRO dovetail is positioned a bit different than DTNVS or BNVD models. This does create some considerations when you are deciding which mount to go with. The three mounts that we have tested this unit with are: The Photonis Breakaway mount, Wilcox G24, and Norotos Lo Sto mount. The Lo Sto mount, for many people, may not be the best option for the PD PRO binoculars. This is because of the dovetail position on the PD PRO. It pushes the binos closer to the users eyes or safety glasses. Couple this with less adjustment on the lo sto and we have found that in some cases the Lo Sto did not offer enough adjustment to keep the unit from contacting our safety glasses or eyes.
The G24 and Photonis breakaway mounts are the best option, in our opinion, for this device. The Photonis mount is VERY similar to the G24. The most profound differences are the fact that the controls are essentially opposite sides between the two. The Photonis mount also has an extra arm that activates the unit automatically whenever the arm is in the proximity of the device. We don’t necessarily love this feature as it will power up the device even with the power switch OFF. Great if you need a failsafe to fire the unit on. Bad if you accidentally flip it down and have a battery in the unit. It will ALWAYS turn on if a battery is present and the magnet is near the unit.
For this reason, our typical go to is the G24. All options are available here on our site. If you have questions, email us.
The PD PRO ships in a hard plastic case that is custom molded inside to keep your new unit safe. Inside the box are the following items:
*Helmet mount will be packaged inside the box if ordered at the same time as the binocular night vision device.
**These units are manufactured in Europe and imported into the United States to the Photonis Lancaster location. We purchase directly from Photonis US and therefore most lead times are 2 – 10 days until shipment. Lead times MAY vary depending on volume and supply.