Anybody who knows me, knows that I have always had a love/hate relationship with amber filters. While I definitely realized the merits of running amber filters(eg: reducing the green backsplash against my face; reducing eyestrain; increasing contrast), I was never pleased with the market’s offerings.
It all started with the Wilcox filters, which are not user-serviceable and if the amber filter itself became scratched, then you are simply SOL. I wasn’t huge on the way the Wilcox filters snapped onto the eyepiece assembly, so I moved on to the UNV amber filters which are screw-on. While those were a bit of an improvement in terms of profile and installation (threaded as opposed to press-fit like the Wilcox), I was extremely disappointed to find out they were simply rubber eye-cup retaining rings with a cast insert glued on top to retain the amber. Again, these were not user-serviceable and the amber scratched easily.
Both UNV and Wilcox filters put the NVG too far in front of my face due to the protective stand-off and while that works fairly OK if I want to tip my head up to view a particular scene without NV, it always gave me only 80% of the viewable area of the NV image – pretty much a “looking-through-a-straw” effect.
Until most recently, the only other solution was the AIB (Act-In-Black) amber filter which solves these functional problems, but at the price of ~$100 EUR EACH, well…
The beauty of AIB’s solution lies in the use of, what is essentially, a camera lens filter. This is the lowest-possible profile that still securely screws onto a PVS14/15 objective and ocular assemblies.
Enter the OPR8 filter assemblies.
Custom laser-cut in the USA and hand-assembled in Toronto, Canada, the OPR8 filter assemblies presents the current pinnacle of NV optic protection at a fraction of AIB’s cost. See the profile comparison here.
The filters screw onto any PVS6/7/14/15 or ANVIS ocular and objective assemblies for both front and back protection and are easily miles ahead of the backyard-special Butler Creek solution in terms of aesthetics. The amber filters provide a pleasing yellow-ish hue akin to wearing yellow high-contrast shooting glasses. Excuse the honeycombing and lack of clarity – photo taken at late dusk in extremely foggy conditions
Here they are installed front and back on a PVS-14 (left), compared to a bare PVS-14 (right)
These filters also have the added benefit of being completely user-serviceable via a camera filter spanner. ($14 on Amazon)
Purchasing information will be posted soon on OPR8.com