Hello reader. Thank you for joining us on the last Friday Night Lights of the year. Last week we took a look at a newcomer to the panoramic binocular bridge scene, the Code 4 Defense NVB-58. Well, today we take a look at another newcomer with his own unique take on a bridge. Night Vision Plus Arc Panning Bridge does not require pupillary adjustments when switching from 40º to 65º FOV. Oh and you can switch between both FOVs in less than a second.
Panoramic Night Vision @ TFB:
- Friday Night Lights: Noisefighters’ Panobridge MK1 – Panoramic Binos
- Friday Night Lights: Code 4 Defense NVB-58 & NVA-14
- Friday Night Lights: PP-NVG (Panning Panoramic Night Vision Goggles)
Pano Bino Bridge Cons
The NoiseFighters Panobridge was revolutionary. It brought panoramic night vision to the masses. However, there is a slight inconvenience. When you pan the monoculars, the pupillary distance (PD) of the eyepieces moves closer together. To correct this issue, you roll the pods with the articulated arms but by doing so you not only move the eyepieces further apart but their height changes. Another minor inconvenience is that your collimation will shift ever so slightly doing this. The shift in collimation is minor but the height shift is a big one. You have to tilt or physically move your mount down to bring the eyepieces back down to your eye level. If you want to go back to normal parallel 40º FOV you have to undo all the adjustments you just made.
Arc Panning Bridge: Panning Without Compromise
I met the creator/owner of Night Vision Plus at the East Coast Night Shoot. We happened to meet right before Alex and I were leaving. We discussed various night vision designs and he told me my FNL article sparked his interest into night vision. We have talked online ever since about his bridge and now here it is.
How does Night Vision Plus achieve a panoramic binocular bridge without compromise? He does not rely on the articulation of the arms or hinges to achieve panning. PD adjustment is kept separate and independent of the panning feature. As mentioned before, all other forms of panoramic binos cause the eyepieces to pigeon toe and it physically brings them closer together. Even the RPNVG has this same problem. Every time you pan the monoculars you need to slide the pods further out. The Code 4 Defense does not do this because the FOV is fixed.
So what is the ideal? Shift the rotation point so that the eyepieces do not move out of position and alter the pupillary distance set for your eyes. To do this Night Vision Plus designed his Arc Panning Bridge to have wings that slide inside curved channels.
You simply pull the pods out. If you want to go back to 40º FOV, you just squeeze the two wings together, with one hand, and they slide back in. The Arc Panning Bridge still has articulated arms so you can set your PD. No need to readjust unless you roll them up for storage.
In the front of the Arc Panning Bridge are thumbscrews. These are the arc angle adjustment screws. These act as stops for the wings’ travel. You can set how far the wings can spread.
There are screws on top of the bridge. These help act as a fail-safe so the wings cannot be pulled out from the bridge even if their angle adjustment screws are not installed.
The wings have a slotted track that the set screw interacts with. By changing the set screw position you can set the degree of panning on the Arc Panning Bridge.
The wings of the Arc Panning Bridge have a dovetail cross section. Night Vision Plus takes advantage of gravity. Gravity pulls the wings down into the channels of the bridge helping to stabilize the entire bridge.
Arc Panning Bridge Evolution
The Arc Panning Bridge above was Night Vision Plus’ pre-production version. He just sent me his latest iteration just before Christmas. There are a lot of changes with this latest version of the Arc Panning Bridge.
The wings have been skeletonized. You will notice a “+” shaped cut out in the wings. Might as well make it aesthetic and functional. Instead of one bottom screw per wing, there are now two screws per wing. These screws along with the two on top allow you to fine-tune the tension of the sliding wings. Tighten them to increase friction on the wings.
Originally there were 5 positions to move the dovetail but now there are only two. Since the Arc Panning Bridge is 3D printed in Multi-Jet Fusion, he can always add or remove design elements with every new print.
With this new version, he added his company name and model into the bridge as well as MADE IN USA.
Just like other pano bino bridges you can tighten the articulation screws to increase tension and friction.
Night Vision Plus also improved their arms. He chamfered the corners more and widened the part that interfaces with the PVS-14 and compatible monoculars. He also countersank the hole so you can use countersunk screws or thumb screws. He provides both.
The arms of the Arc Panning Bridge are modeled around the geometry of a PVS-14.
They do not fit as well on my pre-production Tanto monoculars. Jeff at Nocturn Industries has told Night Vision Plus that the latest Tanto design fits arms better however I have not seen one of these newer Tantos in person. Just know that the pictures below are of a pre-production sample so your experience may be different.
Final Thoughts On The Arc Panning Bridge
The Arc Panning Bridge is the ideal panoramic binocular bridge. There is no compromise. With other bridges and even the RPNVG, you have to re-adjust your PD. The Code 4 Defense bridge eliminated that problem but you have a fixed 58º FOV and if you want to change it, you need to disassemble your bridge to swap out the arms for 40º parallel usage.
Arc Panning Bridge is quick and easy. Just pull the wings out and push them back in. That’s it. Each movement can be done in less than a second. The weight of an Arc Panning Bridge is just 3 oz. It is only 0.1 oz heavier than the Code 4 Defense NVB-58. If you use two PVS-14s the total system weight is 25.7 oz. With Tantos using Carson glass, it is just 21.6 oz. It would be around 19.6 oz with RPO glass.
Right now the Arc Panning Bridge is on sale to celebrate its product release. It is $299 but the normal price is $399. For more information check out their website.