Cyclop-1 night vision
(Циклоп-1 ПНВ)

The Cyclop is a night vision series, which was produced for the civilian and export market only. It was made by Rostov optical-mechanical plant (Ростовский оптико-механический завод) or short ‘ROMZ’ in the 1980s. There is a great variety of different versions reaching from gen0 to gen1+ tubes.
The one in this review is one of the latest, with a gen1+ tube and Helios (Xeлиос) lens installed.

Here you can see two prior Cyclop versions and the one from this review, without the killflash and 22mm mount, on the top left.
All of them came originally with a button, which you had to keep pushed. I changed this to push=on/off on all of them, since I did not like that it handicapped you a lot.

The 9V battery compartment is hidden under a hatch. At first I had a bit annoying batteries wobble, but a bit of foam fixed that. It runs on one battery around 10 hours nonstop (depending on the temperature). On the left you can see the aperture, which allows you to adjust the brightness level and even use it at daytime. The objective is made by Helios and is definitively the highlight of this night vision. Many people bought this night vision just to mount this objective on their camera, since it costs around 500€ by itself.

The typical soviet ‘heavy and rugged’ feel definitely applies to this device.
The image quality is extremely good for a Gen1+ device. It easily outmatches the German Fero 51 night vision, which uses Gen1 tubes also.
You will also get a IR laser for illumination with this night vision, but I would honestly not recommend to use it. Coherent IR laser light is extremely dangerous, especially in the dark. Even scattered light is enough to cause permanent eye damage. You are better of using an IR LED illuminator anyway.

11.09.2012 – by netsplit for Gruppa L

42 thoughts on “Review:
Cyclop-1 night vision
(Циклоп-1 ПНВ)

  1. Hi!
    Im curious, i found one Cyclop-1 from my storage when we moved with my family and i´d like to know how much that thing is worth, cant find much info about it here in Finland…but i hope that someone here knows more.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Hello,

    I was wondering how you got the picatinny rail on the bottom of your Cyclops. Was it some adhesive or something else?

      • Thanks! One more question though. Are there any ways I can possibly modify something in order to mount this on my head? Unfortunately helmets are out of the question and I would like to keep the capability to hold it in use without the bands permanently attached.

        • You can find head-mounts for night visions on ebay rather cheap.
          But while its certainly possible to attach a Cyclops to them, I don’t think its worth it. The Cyclop is not suitable for this rule due to its magnification.
          For head mounted night visions you would want a high field of view.
          I got a review about the PNV-57E, which is slightly more expensive, but offers a higher FOV and a better light intensification. Plus it offers true stereo vision.

  3. I ordered this piece a little while ago and just wanted to know if resoldering the button from the point where you have to keep it pressed down for it to work to a push on/push off option is hard

  4. Thank you for the warning about the IR laser!
    I’m glad I only used it for a few seconds! :O
    Just got this in the mail, I bought it for its lens (the “cyclop” 85/1.5 lens version of the helios)

  5. Hi, in first place congrats for your blog, i find it really nice.
    Tell me about the killflash, please: did you buy it or it’s handmade?
    Also, is it hard to disassemble and put the device together again in order to change the on/off button?

    • Thanks! I bought the killflash from vector optics for around 10€. To be honest I just used it to protect the night vision form paintballs 😉
      To get to the button all you need is to unscrew the front. There is no need to fully disassemble it. So there is not much you can do wrong.

  6. Hello, I have a Cyclops 10B1. I was just looking to see if someone could tell me about this night vision monocular/scope and what it’s value is? Thanks!

    • It is hard to tell the value of these night visions. If it has the Helios lens (which is interesting for photography) it is worth around 100€.
      Other versions are per se not worth much, which does not mean that people won’t pay a good sum for it.
      Many night visions are currently sold way over their value.

  7. Hello , congratulations for the blog .
    I want to know it is possible to replace the intensifier tube gen1 with a 2gen tube on the cyclop 1?
    An upgrade!

    • Hi Max,
      A drop-in like replacement oft the tubes is unfortunately not possible.
      With some work it might be possible, but then again you can just build your own NVG form scratch based on gen2 tube with the same effort.

  8. hi cool info on ur blog. I have borrowed my brother inlaws cyclop-1b. I put in a new 9v battery the other day and it doesn’t work! I can see a slight green when I look down the eye piece but no images. What’s wrong with it?

  9. Hi,

    i recently bought one of these cyclops. Is it normal that it makes some kind of high-frequency sound while you push the button? It reminds me of this high-frequency, ascending-pitch sound coming from a camera’s flash unit when charging.

    If its normal … OK … but is there any way of doing a modification to the electronics that eliminates the sound?

    • Hi there.

      Yes that is perfectly normal. You can modulate the supply voltage in order to reduce/eliminate the sound.

      But to be honest, it is not worth the effort, the time and the money for a Cyclops.

  10. We bought a Cyclop-1 however it will not work, which we knew there was a possibility it would not work. My husband has taken it part, however he can get it to work. Is there someone we can sent it to that could work on it?

    • I assume you are from the US? You should check in your country then.
      Since we are based in Germany, the shipping back and forth and the customs fees would cost over 80€ alone. So that is not really an option.

  11. I need a DIY link to switch the on and off button to a switch and its parts to replace for instalation?
    Is there instructions in this modification .
    I am a learning experience professional!! and first time owner!

  12. Hi Netsplit

    Let me first say thank you for sharing all this information, quite useful!
    I recently got myself a Cyclop NV as well. I’d like to purchase an IR led illuminator (not laser) to improve the night vision performance. I checked a few IR illuminators and apparently their performance depends on what the NV device can pick up. This is expressed in nm. For example I found a IR illuminator which works with 850nm.

    Do you know which IR illuminator i need for the Cyclop NV?


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