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Posted by on July 20, 2020

Night vision scope and thermal optics both serve the same purpose which is shooting at the target accurately. But between those two kinds of optics, there is a silver-lining shaped up due to the visual aspect of the scope.

To put the difference between night vision and thermal optics in plain words, night vision uses infrared illuminator to provide visual to its user, thermal optics, on the other hand, detects the subject measuring its temperature using the radiation technology at hand. This means night vision rifle scope is known best for giving quality identification on the subject, and the thermal scanner is popular owning to its detection capacity. Read on to find out the differences between night vision and thermal optics.

Night Vision Scope Traits

There is a misconception that night vision rifle scopes are not good at shooting as it cannot illustrate the target accurately. It is true in some cases especially when your night vision scope it analogue. Digital night vision scope, on the other hand, is an excellent choice as users can shoot up to 200-400 yards quickly and hit the bull’s eye. Pairing with the infrared illuminator makes the night vision scope stronger. It assists shooters in identifying the shooting subject and extending the shooting range as per the user’s preference.

Moreover, night vision scope is extremely sensitive in the sense that it allows the shooter to have a close and precise aim on the subject. Otherwise, users won’t be able to identify what he/she is shooting.

Without glorifying the night vision scope, it can be said that this scope allows users to be able to be seen away further away and still be able to identify that just because the increased resolution retained due to the technology.

Thermal Optics Traits   

The thermal scope is the latest invention of technology which detects the presence of the target, and target’s approximate movement. However, night vision scope also does the same. Yet, thermal optics is designed in a way so that it can detect the subject even if the weather for the shooting is adverse like windy, foggy or even smoky. Instead of using the other infrared illuminator thermal scanner detects the shooting subject based on its temperature advanced from infrared radiation distinguish from the amenity.

Nevertheless, as it detects the target based on its temperature, so when you are shooting at night in the woods, there might be a safety issue to take care because it may also detect the unwanted subject. In addition, as you zoom in, you will start getting blur images depending on the subject range; as a result you might never know what you are aiming at. So, considering this issue, the thermal scope is likely to get hands down for thermal scanner because night vision scope will give you a quite clear image of the subject as far as the paired illuminator can detect.

Furthermore, a thermal scanner has many significant advantages. Among those, the most prominent one is that users can add a red-dot laser target on it in order to take the perfect shot that can give the user a smooth shooting experience at night.


In the comparison of the price of both scopes, the thermal scope will cost you three or four times higher than night vision scope. But, it may not be accurate in some cases because if you are buying a digital night vision scope with great functionalities, range and most importantly powerful infrared illuminator, then you might have to count three or four times higher price than thermal scope. So, based on the scope valuation and functionalities night vision can cost higher or lower than thermal optics and vice-versa.

Which one to choose?

The answer to this question depends on your preferences and requirements. It is suggested to have both thermal and night vision optics while you are shooting at night because you never know when these two will become handy at the same time. However, it is evident that carrying two scopes while hunting can become troublesome.

Luckily, ATNcorp also offers both thermal and night-vision binoculars which are a perfect pair as rifle scope of the different techniques to kind of give you the best of both worlds without having to carry around two rifle setups. Besides, if you go hunting with a partner, then you’re set, and that’s actually a standard preferred setup to enjoy shooting without any hassle.

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