Bushnell 2x40mm Equinox Z
By Gary Lewis
There is no question night vision is a good tool for the landowner or agent to protect property and livestock. But in many states it is illegal to hunt any wildlife with infrared or night vision sights.
There are places where IR-assisted night vision is legal, and instances when a hunter can make use of night vision: protect sheep against coyotes, cattle against wolves or crops from feral hogs. Watch for trespassers.
Bushnell's Equinox Z employs a single objective lens for light transmission. A focused image is projected onto a CMOS sensor with enhanced sensitivity to infrared light. A digital image is generated and sent to two color LCD displays - one for each eye. Display focus is adjustable for each eye for a more comfortable viewing experience than using a monocular with single display.
For a couple of months, the Bushnell 2x40mm Equinox Z went with me on various excursions. But I had to be careful not to use it from a vehicle when I had a rifle along as that would be a violation of Oregon law.
Out in the desert just a couple of nights past the new moon, the unit was able to help me see across the tops of the sage for hundreds of yards. A mile away, the horizon was clear against the night sky. Parked vehicles could be identified at a quarter of a mile.
Where the Bushnell Equinox really seems to shine is from 30 yards to 300 yards.
In Bynum, Montana, at the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, I went outside under a waning moon and photographed the life-size T. Rex then turned the optics on J.D.'s Bar, a couple of hundred yards away where two patrons emerged and climbed into a Ford Mustang. I was able to zoom in to make the vehicle ID.
If they had been poachers, I would have been able to assess vehicle color and describe the individuals to a degree.
With two hands on the binocular, the Brightness and IR (4 settings) buttons are under the left index finger, while the Camera and Zoom buttons + and - are on the right. The zoom goes to 3X on this model. The center focus knob is right where you expect it.
One of the most important things to get right is the inter-pupillary distance (eyepiece spacing). Push/pull or turn the small knob between the eyes.
The camera is switchable from movie to still and memory is stored on a mini SD card.
The binocular/camera can be used in daytime and is tripod-mountable.
An Internet search reveals the Bushnell Equinox Z 2x40 is available from $419 to over $600