New iAiming iA-612 Thermal Scope

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I have very little experience with thermal optics because they’re so damn expensive. But what I do know is that cheap thermal scopes are pretty much a waste of time. I stopped by the iAiming booth because it was literally across the isle after my visit to Athlon and it was well worth my effort.

iAiming is an Australian based company with US sales offices in Texas. The showed me their newest scope, the iA612 which MSRP’s for $5799 with a street price closer to $5500. One of the nice things about SHOT Show is getting hands on with products I in no way can hope to afford.

The ia-612 has a digital zoom from 2.4x-19.2x and a digital viewfinder with 1024×768 resolution. It offers the user the ability to range find and to choose one of 6 different reticle types. It has built-in WiFi which allows you to broadcast the scope’s view a phone App so your friends can see real time scope views and potentially spot for you.

The newest feature that iAming was showcasing with the ia-612 is an automatic 1-shot zero feature. When you set it up on the onboard menu, the self-zero feature detects the heat signature that a bullet leaves on a paper target. The scope will automatically re-zero the reticle to that hole and Bobs your uncle, you’re zero’d out. That’s something I’d like to test out myself.

Short Elon Musk randomly gifting 1000 shares of Tesla to Twitter users with “moon” and “dog”in their handle, it’s not likely I’ll get a chance to test one myself. There is hope that iAiming might send me an evaluation model but we’ll see.

This scope is available on Optic Planet using my Affiliate Link:

Oneleaf NV100 Night Vision

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Night vision (light enhancing) scopes have been used by hunters and soldiers since the Vietnam War but even today these devices can cost thousands of dollars. With progress of technology, these devices have shrunk in both size and price. The Commander NV100 is a digital video camera that is designed to mount directly onto a typical rifle scope and turn it into a night vision scope. Oneleaf technologies sent me an NV100 to test out.

Almost all digital video cameras can see in IR light but most have a built-in optical filter that block out most IR light which can distort and fog an image in normal light. Using the NV100, you are looking at its built in digital display viewfinder much like you would with an old-school video camera. In fact, when using the NV100 in normal light, the image looks slightly blown out with a glow on objects, a side-effect of IR light.

The NV100 can record 1080p videos and photos onto a micro-SD card. It runs of a rechargeable CR18650 battery which can be recharged using a micro-USB cable. The unit can also record sound and output though a 3.5mm headphone jack, though the audio sounds compressed and low fidelity.

In practice the NV100 is equivalent to a Gen 1.5 night vision monocular. To a small degree it can passively enhance low-light images but in reality, it does require IR illumination to function as intended. The unit has a built-in IR illuminator and visible red laser to light up and aim at targets.

The NV100 can be used as a hand-held Night Vision monocular. It has a standard 1/4(20) camera screw mount at its base to allow the unit to be mounted on photo tripods. OneLeaf does not offer any type mounting system or adapter to attach it to a helmet or headband.

Where the NV100 shines is its ease of mounting to a rifle scope. The packing includes a 42mm, 45mm, and a 48mm adapter collar to allow you to mount it to your scope (some spotting eye-pieces may be too large even for the 48mm adapter). The NV100 attaches to the collar via bayonet style locking ring; the package also includes a roll of electrical tape to assist in shimming your eye-piece to provide a more secure fit for the adapter collar.

When mounted to a rifle scope, the image you see in the NV100 appears like a low-resolution videocam viewfiender. The unit’s menu system is accessed through the viewfinder and the buttons on the unit function like a D-pad for navigation through the menu system. Adjustments in focus are made through the NV100 large physical focus knob.

I could get a decent focus of an object 100yrds away but I could not get both my target and the reticle in the same plane of focus, despite adjusting the scope’s paralax focus, ocular focus, and the NV100’s focus. I could get both somewhat in focus at my scopes lowest magnification (4x) but found it impossible at magnifications greater than 6x.

I was easily able to see objects 100yrds in low light and even faintly in pitch-black in its full-color video mode. Switching to B&W mode activates the unit’s built-in IR illuminator, an IR LED flashlight with a lens that allows you to adjust the beam from flood to focused. Oneleaf claims it can illuminate objects up to 300m away.

In B&W IR mode, the issues with depth-of-focus were even more pronounced. The reticle was blurred to the point of invisibility when my scope was at 20x magnification. Given that IR illuminators are far shorter range than visible light flashlights, long range engagements using a scope and the NV100 may be a moot point though some users have posted varmint hunts at ranges out to 200yrds or more.

The NV100 does have two shortcomings, the first one is a potentially a deal-breaker for some hunters. In my testing the NV100 has a short 1.5″-2″ eye-relief from the back of its eyepiece (OneLeaf claims up to 2.75″). This is fine for shooting 22LR or even 5.56mm AR’s. But on a large caliber rifle this short eye-relief could easily cause scope bite. OneLeaf does include some larger eye-cups which could provide more padding but a real solution would be to design a viewfinder eyepiece with a minimum of 3″ of eye-relief.

The second issue is minor but annoying. The image the NV100 displays is distorted, with the vertical proportions appearing shorter than the horizontal giving you a squashed image of your target. This is also evident in the movies and photos you take with the NV100.

Overall the Commander NV100 works as advertised without breaking the bank (though the latter is relative the cost of higher-end NV systems costing hundreds more). On my wish-list of improvements would be a firmware update to allow adjustment of X/Y proportions of the image, a lanyard loop to attach a wrist or neck lanyard for handheld use, and an adapter arm to attach it to a GoPro or PVS-14 mount.

The OneLeaf Commander NV100 is available through this Amazon Affiliate link: