Bushnell Stealthview II
Overland Park, KS 66214
800-423-3537 Toll Free
- Images comparable to Gen 2+
- CCD vs image-intensifier tube
- In-view COLOR LCD micro display
- Automatic infrared spotlight
- 300-feet viewing range
- Weather resistant
- Video output
- Built-in tripod mount
- Operates on 4 AA batteries
- AC Adaptor included for continuous operation
Night Vision Uses
- Scouting game
- Security and surveillance
- Camping fun / Exploring caves
- Nighttime navigation
- Night fishing and boating
- Wildlife observation
- Search and rescue
I’m old enough to remember when “night vision scopes” were something that only the military had. They were pretty big and heavy but they allowed you to see in “semi-darkness“, as long as there was some ambient light from the moon or stars. The images were pretty fuzzy and mostly green but it was still pretty exciting to be able to see in the dark.
Over the years those night vision “scopes” became more and more available and like most electronic items, they also got smaller and less expensive. Some worked pretty well and some did not.
I looked at several of those but just was never happy with the fuzzy green images. Recently, that’s changed.
About 3 weeks ago UPS delivered the Stealthview II to my door. I’m always happy to see the big brown truck in the driveway and was especially excited to try this new product from Bushnell.
While I was excited, I was also a bit nervous, as I always am, about using any new “electronic” product. I’ve never really figured out the DVR and the Wii that was a birthday gift this year looks good above the television set but is still not operational!
I like to be able to take any new product out of the box, put in the “batteries, required but seldom included“, and be able to use it without reading the instruction manual cover to cover.
Would I be able to do this with the Stealthview II? I was going to give it a try.
I found it pretty intuitive to use if you’re at all familiar with binoculars or a spotting scope. I looked it over and put in the 4 required AA batteries. So far, so good.
There is an “objective lens focus ring” to set the device for your individual eyesight and a “focus wheel” to bring distant objects into focus, just like any good binoculars or spotting scope. I noticed that all of the controls were easily felt and identified by touch. A good feature for a device made to be used in the dark. Pretty simple and just my style.
So, that evening I was off and out into the night to see how well the Stealthview II worked and to see what I could really see on a very dark night. I took a walk down to my shooting range to get to a really dark area. I left the Stealthview II off until I arrived there. My range is surrounded on all 4 sides by very tall trees and on a night when there’s little moon light, it’s a very dark place.
I felt for the on button and gave it a click. As I brought it to my eye, it was as if someone had turned some floodlights on the range. It was really bright! There were none of the fuzzy green images of night vision of the past. Everything was very clear and sharp.
After I’d played with the Stealthview II for a while and looked over the sights, I went back to the house to read the manual that came with it, just to see what I might have missed.
I read that there’s a “infrared illuminator” switch that allows the user to manually adjust it to improve image quality if necessary but it had not been for me. I also learned that by removing a plug on the bottom side, you can access a “standard tripod mounting bracket”. There’s also an external power source cord that allows you to use household current and a “video output jack” so that you can transmit images to a monitor or video recorder.
That’s all good information of course but I really had learned all that I needed to know to make it useful to me by taking it to the range in the dark. That was my "test" and it passed.
Speaking of the dark, the Stealthview II does not rely upon any natural ambient light source. That means that you can see in total darkness. The infrared illuminator provides everything that you need for illumination which allows you to see crisp and clear black and white images. With just some ambient light, color vision is possible. Both are a vast improvement over the fuzzy green images that I’ve seen in the past.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken the Stealthview II to the woods on several trips at different times of the day. I’ve taken early morning and late evening scouting trips just before the last firearms deer season and gone out just for fun to see what’s moving around out there in the dark. Since we have a cat that likes to play “hide and seek” just before it’s time for him to come into the garage for the evening, I’ve even used it to find him a couple of times.
I also parted with it for a couple of days to let a friend give it a try. This fellow is not easily impressed with most things and usually considers anything more sophisticated than a pump shotgun a “gadget“. I handed the Stealthview II to him, without the instruction book and asked that he give it a try some evening. His wife told me she had a hard time getting him back in the house that night! He walked all over, “…just looking around.” It’s on his Christmas list.
So, how would I rate the Stealthview II? It’s a top-notch piece of equipment that’s very simple and easy to use. It lets you see clearly in the “real” dark with crisp and clear black and white images and with just a little ambient light, you can see in color. It’s small and handy enough to carry with you. I like it and see it as a regular part of my carry pack.
If you’re in the market for night vision, I’d certainly recommend the Steathview II.
You can read more about the Steathview II and other Bushnell products at the site above and you can read more “Product Test” articles at http://www.allaboutshooting.com