What are the various grades of Night Vision Image Tubes?

When buying night vision equipment you should be advised of the different grades of image tubes. You should not buy a 2nd or 3rd Generation night vision device without knowing the grade and resolution of the Image Tube. The lower the grade the lower the resolution or the greater the blemishes.

Black spots are cosmetic blemishes in the image intensifier which do not affect the performance or reliability of a night vision device. Some number of varying sizes is inherent in the manufacturing process.

  • 2D – Gen 2 US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 28 lp/mm (32 lp/mm typical) Noticeable blemishes on screen.
  • 2ST – Gen 2 Standard US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 28 lp/mm
  • 2MS – Gen 2 Military Spec US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 28-38 lp/mm (32 lp/mm typical) Mil-Spec comes with tube data sheet.
  • 2HD – Gen 2 US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 51-70 lp/mm Above Mil-Spec comes with tube data sheet.
  • 3ST – Gen 3 Standard US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 51-64 lp/mm.
  • 3A – Gen 3 Advanced US Image Intensifier – Minimum resolution 64-72 lp/mm comes with tube data sheet.

Last Update: 04.01.2020  

02.12.2020  Thermal FAQ

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