Binoculars and Night Vision Goggles for Surveillance

Binoculars and Night Vision Goggles
Learn about binoculars and night vision goggles used for surveillance.

This article provides an overview of binoculars and night vision goggles that can be used by private investigators for surveillance purposes.

What are Binoculars?

Binoculars, also known as field glasses or binocular telescopes, are a pair of identical or mirror-symmetrical telescopes that are mounted side-by-side and aligned to point accurately in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) to view distant objects.

How Are Binoculars Used?

Most binoculars are sized to be held using both hands. The device is then held up close to the eyes and positioned so both eyes can see clearly without any outside interference or light. Some binocular sizes vary widely, ranging from opera glasses to large pedestal-mounted military equipment. Many different abbreviations are used for the devices, including glasses, binos and bins.

Who Uses Binoculars?

Since binoculars are used both for recreational use and for business, just about anyone might have a need to buy a pair. Sports fans use them to watch sporting events at a distance. Hunters use them to view their prey from afar.

Private investigators, security professionals, and law enforcement use binoculars during surveillance missions and stakeout projects to view subjects and their activity from a distance.

Detectives use them to get an idea of what is going on with and around the subject, while remaining at a safe distance away. The devices are considered to be a standard tool in a private investigators surveillance tool kit.

Night Vision Goggles and Binoculars

Night vision binoculars (also called night vision goggles), scopes and weapon sights provide a person with the ability to see in a dark environment. Night vision is made possible by a combination of two approaches, which involve sufficient spectral range, and sufficient intensity range.

Who Needs Night Vision Binoculars?

Private investigators and police officers may use night vision binoculars, goggles, scopes and weapons sights while conducting night time surveillance investigations to view the activity of their subject. Many secret relationships and marital infidelity takes place at night, so this equipment is critical to catching subjects while they are active.

Using these devices, private investigators and police officers can remain far away at a safe distance and still keep a close eye on their subject.

The goal of using such a device is to see clearly in the dark while others have trouble seeing. The physical device consists of an infrared image intensifier tube in a rigid casing, commonly used by military forces.

How Are Night Vision Devices Used?

Example of ways the device can be used include: Distance observation, surveillance missions, subject tracking, hiking, camping, cave exploration, commercial and sport fishing, law enforcement search and rescue

The night vision goggle is a night vision device with dual eyepieces; the device can utilize either one intensifier tube with the same image sent to both eyes, or a separate image intensifier tube for each eye. Other types of binoculars include monocular night vision devices with only one eyepiece which may be mounted to firearms as night sights. Note, these are sometimes referred to as infrared binoculars.

Typical Product Features

Following are some of the features that can be found on various devices:

  • Dual eye diopter adjustment
  • High resolution intensifiers which help improve clarify
  • Central focusing
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Modern ergonomic design for easy use
  • Rubber armor protection improves durability and protects against accidental drops
  • Water and fog resistant for extreme outdoor use
  • Significant viewing range distance for nighttime surveillance missions
  • Magnification doubler (increases the viewing range), great for viewing subjects at a distance
  • Compact body with premium rubberized finish for optimum protection and durability
  • Precise Diopter Adjustment
  • Built-in Infrared Illuminators for viewing in complete darkness, helping to keep you out of sight
  • Steel stringer system for additional precision and control
  • Objective Lens
  • Ocular Lens

Typical accessories that are included with the purchase of a device are: Batteries, which are usually lithium, a neck strap, protective storage and carrying case.

Want to get a better view? Try a surveillance drone to get an aerial view of the entire area. Also, you’ll find more digital electronics and other spy gear in our Spy Gear Store.


If you have any questions about binoculars and night vision goggles, scopes or optics, please leave a comment below.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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