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My Camera has arrived, some advice?

Discussion in 'Night Vision Optics and Illumination' started by Alex.mc, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Today I received my camera for my NV build, it's this camera, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261342610416?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 based off a recommendation here. It arrived quite reasonably quickly given it's from China!

    Brain fade means it's arrived with a 25mm lens, rather than perhaps the 16mm which would be better. Either it wasn't an option or I forgot to order another lens at the time. Checking it all works I find the camera has to be a good 8" behind the reticle to focus and there's a very tight image of it, mainly Mildots! However, this can be rectified.
    So the questions;

    A. Is a 16mm lens optimal, or is it personal choice? Scope will be a Hawke Panorama.

    B. Should the camera be focussed for a sharp reticle? Or a sharp Image? It seems you can have neither at the moment, but maybe the 25mm lens isn't helping. Is there always a trade-off?

    C. There is a glass part in front of the sensor. I can't tell if it's pink or not, not accurately anyway, the fact that it's there...does that mean it's an IR filter? Or are protective clear ones used as well?

    D. I tried a spare 6mm lens for the sake of it and thought the image degraded a touch? Am I correct in thinking there are probably many qualities of board lens available? Is there a recommendation for a good clear lens supplier?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Falcon User

    Falcon User Engaging Member

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    -16 or 25 both work, it's just a personal preference IMHO.
    16mm can have some black at the edges of the picture, the 25mm does not, but you lose a small bit of your viewable area as it falls outside the screen.

    -Focus the camera for a sharp reticle, then use the scopes AO or side focus to sharpen the rest of the image.

    -Do not remove the glass filter at first as the add states "Support IR Sensor"

    -Optics indeed vary, stockoptics is usually good quality and fast shipping, but a smidge more expensive then Ebay sellers for example.
     
  3. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    Sound advice above. The camera takes board lenses (12mm thread) and you can swap the 25 for a 16mm version. There are variations in quality and Stock Optics supply decent quality stuff - look for an 'IR lens' or 'day/night' as they will be optimised for ir.
    The cameras will have a protective glass over the sensor, usually there is a pinkish tinted one in front of this which is best removed as it does stop some ir light and the main purpose is to provide balanced colours in daylight. Try the camera first and think about removing the filter if you can't get adequate performance.
    You need to focus on the reticle and this has to be done by screwing the lens in and out of its housing, there will be a grub screw to lock it in position. Aim your scope at something plain to carry out the focussing, a cloudy sky is ideal or a plain wall as far away as possible. The front of the camera lens should be about 38/40mm behind the rear scope lens in most installations unless you have a long eye relief scope.
    Focussing of the target is done with the AO or side focus only.
    I think that the reference to 'supports ir sensor' may mean that it has a connection which would switch on an ir illuminator when light levels drop.
    I would expect that camera to work well. If you're going to try and remove the filter you should remove the camera from its housing first as this will make it easier to do, I find the best way is to use a curved scalpel blade and ease the curved part of the blade between the glass layers along the edges rather than the corners which might cause the glass to shatter.
     
  4. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Thank you for the informative responses so far. I have looked at the stockoptics website and there are a LOT of lenses there!
    Am I correct to assume that the lowest F rating is best much as per SLR lens? On that basis this lens at 16mm is F1.6 for £11.66+VAT
    http://www.stockoptics.com/board-lenses/cctv-board-lens-day-night-megapixel-400-850nm.html

    It's also quoted as being a "megapixel" lens, and also is quoted as having an M.O.D. factor of 0.4? I'm not sure what these refer to? The Megapixel may be that it's a high quality lens and will pass your high resolution through? M.O.D. I have no idea?

    There are also vari-focal lenses http://www.stockoptics.com/board-lenses/vari-focal-fixed-iris-m12-mount-ir.html some of which have reasonable F ratings. Would these be a good idea if the camera mount and tube is carefully constructed to allow mounted operation of the zoom and focus?
     
  5. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    There's not much difference between f1.6 and f1.8 in practice, lower is better all things being equal. The varifocal will allow you to adjust the view of the scope to your own preference and it has a focussing mechanism built in so should be dead easy to set up, it would probably be my choice.
    Once you have got the settings right they never need be changed again.
     
  6. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    There is a variable 9-22mm for £16.82+ That's not a huge amount more than the fixed 16mm at 11.66+ and I guess it would allow me to have a bit of adaptability regarding how much zoom and screen I see?
     
  7. Falcon User

    Falcon User Engaging Member

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    Yes indeed.
     
  8. weebster

    weebster Posting Addict

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  9. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    I have placed an order with Stock optics for the 9-22 zoom. I figure that it will allow me the benefit of creating the image size I want by experimentation? I can probably make an estimation of the focal length when happy with the set up, and then possibly go to a fixed lens to reduce the glass in the way as Weebster mentions.

    Looking forward to a bit of soldering and fettling!
     
  10. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    For a first build that's probably a good choice. As you say you can experiment with focal lengths and focusing which is not possible with a standard fixed board lens. The next step, in my opinion, is to use the cs lenses by fitting the lens holder to the camera board, they tend to be better quality but first things first! Hope it goes well.
     
  11. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Thank you. I will keep this thread posted with updates and probably questions too!

    Do the CS lens holders follow a similar fixing format as the 12mm board mounted lens holders? Or will they require fettling into place?
     
  12. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Just a note on this camera, I have now tested it in darkness and the NV is good! With a ir laser for illumination it seems excellent! So I'll risk an assumption that it has no ir filter in place as standard.
     
  13. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    You may be right but the filter does not cut out all the ir light so there may be scope for a big improvement still.
    C and CS lenses have a 1" thread to fit the holder so they're a good bit larger than the board or MTV lens which is 12mm. The holder is screwed to the camera board using the 2 holes which are on most of the boards. The lenses will have a focussing ring and often have an adjustable iris and sometimes zoom as well.
     
  14. Dicer

    Dicer Donator

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    Hi Alex.mc
    I ordered the same camera as you from the same people on the 18th Jan but no sign of it yet, how long did yours take to come?
     
  15. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Hi Dicer, ordered and paid on the 20th, arrived 3 days ago.
    The seller seems to have good feedback?

    Maybe contact and say a friend has his one? Is thereba problem with yours?


    Seems a good camera? Image quality is good with the Stockoptics lens.
     
  16. danfick

    danfick Active Member

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    Hey

    I have the same camera on order and I'm trying to plan the construction of my NV Rig. How are you planning on attaching it to the scope eyepiece? Have you tried it with the IR Illuminator? If so did you find that the IR filter on the camera, under the lens, needed removing?

    I have the following lens on order in case you are interested:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200956983228?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    Thanks

    Dan
     
  17. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Dan, That lens appears to be pretty well the same lens as I got from Stockoptics. The 9-22mm is printed on mine rather than a sticker though. It could well be the same lens just badged differently for different markets.
    I found that you can't obtain sharp focus over the whole zoom range. You lose a bit off either far or near. Easily countered though by winding the whole lens in or out a little.

    I have this box to mount the camera in, it'll be quite snug I think. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200977319464?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    I have a length of this tube coming from here. My Panorama is 43mm OD at the eyepiece, and the ID of this tube is 46mm so not much packing to do for a good fit. It's clear but I'll wrap it with black. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200973097...eName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    I have recently got one of Terry1001's ir torches, which is excellent! I set it up last night quickly and pointed the camera down the garden and viewed on the screen whilst illuminating with the torch. Everything was fairly distinct with no ir, so if the camera has any filtering it's minimal, but with the torch it was like daylight! I've yet to point it through the scope, as jury-rigging inplace is not easy without the tube etc. but it's looking very promising.

    All the final small bits should turn up today or tomorrow, so I can start getting it together.
     
  18. Andy-K2

    Andy-K2 Posting Addict

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    Hi guys, this is a very informative post and very interesting too, but I have got a little confused.

    Are you going to do a step by step or idiots guide to this build, as I would love to have a go. I'm ok on the build etc, its the techy stuff that confuses me, old age I'm sorry to say.
     
  19. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    I hadn't intended doing a step by step, as this is my first build and there are many far more experienced NV builders on here. But I'll try and do some pics along the way if I remember and post them as I go.

    There are some build posts on here, but I think because the technology availability changes relatively quickly, those build become superceded quite quickly?
     
  20. Alex.mc

    Alex.mc Busy Member

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    Some build pics.

    All the bits.
    IMG_2063.jpg
    Box drilled for Camera and switch.
    IMG_2064.jpg
    Installed.
    IMG_2065.jpg
    Wired.
    IMG_2067.jpg
    Lens on.
    IMG_2068.jpg
    Hard wired.
    IMG_2069.jpg

    I decided to hard wire as I think it's neater and more reliable. Any joint in cabling is potentially a weakpoint. Besides which I quite enjoy soldering!
    Battery pack will probably be a spare Model aircraft flight pack I have spare.

    Next job is to set up and mount tube onto the box, with slots for zoom and focus, and some packing to hopefully give a tight but sliding fit. then I can set it all up for length and image.
     

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