NPZ Night Vision Monoculars
Both of these are generation 2+ / 3 monoculars
primarily intended to be used on a headmount similar
to PVS14 NODs, however due to the design they can also
be used on Picatinny mounts as well.
Both of these optics are light, silent and have excellent resolution and light gathering technology. I'm not a night vision expert but I've used a variety of NV devices ranging from optics like 1PN34/1PN58, the aforementioned PVS14's and all the way up to thermal imaging sights on the M1 Abrams tank. I'm not really technical enough to get into the nitty gritty on any of these devices but like most of us I know what looks good at night and these PN monoculars are pretty impressive. As expected I found them to be significantly better than the gen 1 NPSU I compared them to.
Though they have no reticule themselves, they are easily paired with low mounted optics like Rakurs-PM which worked very well in combination with the high quality NPZ universal AK mount shown in the pics. I'm guessing it's probably not an accident these all go together as well as they do and now I think maybe I understand a bit better why the NPZ mount has so much rail-estate. Resolution was impressive but I did find that the diopter on both needed to be adjusted depending on how far or close the object being viewed was. Indoor performance was really nice in both day and night time conditions.
Both optics can be zeroed during the day by using the daylight filter but I found that in really bright sunlight neither optic would work because the glare was too bright. I believe they will work decently if it's not a super bright day, and they see fantastically at night without the filter. They do have an automatic cutoff for image overload but I didn't test it specifically since these are not my optics.
1PN16K-3 With Gorod style camo bag and headmount. The K-3 designates a 3x optical magnifier, which is the large objective lense attached. Shown also with the NPZ universal mount and Rakurs-PM picatinny base.
On the NDM86
In this configuration with NPZ mount and Rakurs
weight is at 52 ounces. (NSPU is about 63 ounces)
With adjustable base that allows you to slide the optic forward or backwards a bit, you can see the nut in front of the front edge of the NPZ mount.
In this configuration with NPZ mount and Rakurs weight is at 37.6 ounces
PN21K also uses AA batteries and just like PN16 has an adjustable base to slide the monocular body slightly forward or backward. Useful for getting a tight fit to the Rakurs PM.
Battery cap and daylight filter / diopter sticking out front of the optic. You can see here the nut that allows the optic to move forward or backward.
PN21K can fit the stormwerks picatinny mount for
the Bulgarian AKSU but just barely. I didn't get any
pics but if you took off the rubber eye piece of the
PN21 and the sunshade off the Kobra it might be
possible to use them together. The side rail version
of Rakurs will definitely work but you'd have to
dremel the metal shroud off the Rakurs for it to fit.
PN21K at 300 yards
Night photography is not my strong point so let me apologize in advance for the quality of the photos. I can say that the ones I took really do not show the true quality of the night vision capability. Rakurs PM German post reticule is often blurry in the photos as I tried to focus on the night vision view, but in real life the reticule is crisp and easy to acquire against the green background of either PN version.
I didn't have access to anything long range so I decided instead to test the night vision camo properties of some of my Russian uniforms.
Uniforms for testing, left to right:
SURPAT, Jeger Partizan (Finish M/05), Digital Flora, Gorka-E Summer, Gorka-E Autumn, Partizan-M
How the PN16K3 at 3x saw the uniforms from about 60 yards
How the PN21K saw them from the same distance
PN21K Reticule View
As far as camo goes my subjective impression was that Jeger seemed to do the best under night vision because the digital pattern was generally larger and the dark spots showed up more distinctly in all 3 night vision optics. (We also tested against NPSU but the pics were impossible to get focused, but both PN sights did much better)
Second best would probably be SURPAT and the rest of the uniforms generally appeared to be light colored overall with Partizan-M having a distinct shadow to it that made it look almost black under most viewing conditions. At close range I think Jeger might suffer a bit but at longer ranges my impression is that it will blend in better to a varied background, but that could be a relative statement depending on how light and uniform the terrain appears in the night vision optic. Gorka did really well IMO, better than I thought it would considering my understanding is that digital is supposed to be designed for night vision.
All in all these are extremely neat optics and
perform very well, I was impressed particularly
compared to my NPSU. It goes without saying that a gen
2/3 will be better than a gen 1, but when you see it
you really appreciate it.
Also the pics appear to give the advantage to
PN16K-3 but that's primarily because I found it easier
to focus for the camera, not necessarily because it
was remarkably clearer than PN21K. The two are very
close but PN16 has the edge due to the magnifier more
than anything else IMO.