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Sightmark Photon Digital Night Vision Riflescope
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(5 reviews)
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Most Helpful Positive Review The coming technology
Digital Technology is clearly the coming cutting edge approach to night vis...
Most Helpful Negative Review NV at a Reasonable Price
This is one of those inventions I've had floating in my head for a few year...
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Excellent value!!

by Woody, from United States, TX Written on September 8, 2014
Just installed the Photon Digital Night Vision Optic and have had excellent results.
Zeroing the rifle was easy and performance at night was better than I expected.I used this optic last night on a Hog hunt
and never needed to turn on the attached IR light in order to see clearly.( Full Moonlight )
Is this optic as good as the $1500 Digital Sights, no, but it is plenty good enough for my needs. I will buy another!...
Would recommend: Yes
1 of 1 found the following review helpful.
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Decent product for the $$

by relliott, from United States, TX Written on September 6, 2014
The scope works well in daylight with the included shade-cap. At nighttime the scope (as per its digital roots) will need some light, either a 3/4 to full moon, or you turn on the IR. The scope under both conditions will require some turning of the contrast control to get a clear picture.

As per the earlier reviewer, I also installed this on an AR and was getting 2" groups at 50 years with the red dot covering the 4" black circle on my paper target.

As a minor complaint, the unit can turn on relatively easily if the contrast control is rotated at all, which will then run the 2xAA batteries dry. My bigger issue with the scope is the shade-cap comes off far to easily, so that moving around with it on during the day is not advisable unless you run a strip of electrical tape around its edge to fully secure it to the scope. On one occasion I had to backtrack 200 yards down a path in the middle of the day trying to locate it, after it just dropped of the scope.

I also purchased the Sightmark CVR640 Digital Video Recorder which works with the Photon and Pulsar series of scopes. My review of this item for the high price that it costs, is not as glowing as the Photon scope. I would rate it 2 out of 5 stars, as its buttons are a bit finicky, build quality just seems cheap, a decent rain shower would likely destroy its internals (not waterproof), and its small LED's that indicate if its on and recording are just too small....
  • good quality video
  • good visibility
  • good battery life
  • shade cap falls off easily
  • unit can turn on by mistake
Best Used for:
  • Hog Hunting
  • Nighttime varmit hunting
Would recommend: Yes
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NV at a Reasonable Price

by Poguetx, from United States, TX Written on August 26, 2014
This is one of those inventions I've had floating in my head for a few years, and now someone else has done it. I'd been wanting a night vision scope for pig hunting for a long time, but was always scared by the price and the stories that inadvertent exposure to daylight would burn out the tube. My cell phone's digital camera has night vision capability that automatically switches between night and day without fear of frying the electronics. I always thought that this digital technology should be adapted for a rifle scope, and here it is!

Taking it outside at night, the illuminator easily works to 75 yds, with more reflective objects visible at twice that distance. I finally took it out to the range to sight in, and it seems to be holding it's zero quite well. I sighted in on a sunny day using the included sun filter. It's almost too dark, even with the contrast maxed out, but was able to see the target clearly enough to find the bullseye. Make sure your sight in target is black on white! Orange on white may not show up. I got about a 2" group with my AR15 at 50yds, which for a 3.5x scope and my aging eyes isn't too bad. Actually, the group size as almost identical to my optical scope at 4x, so I can't complain.

Have I seen better night vision scopes? Yes, for 3x the price! I'd say this is comparable to a Gen 2, but that's only because the digital screen takes some getting used to. Since you're basically looking at a monitor under a magnifying glass, you ca...
Would recommend: Yes
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Decent, but could be better

by Legacy Reviewer, Verified Owner Written on April 24, 2014
I just received the 3.5x version of this scope from Optics Planet.

The scope is basically a standard scope with an addon tube containing electronics, as you can see in the photos.
It looks great on a rifle, and the picture is decent.

The eye relief needs to be improved and it is okay, at best, in its current state.

There is a small LED on the back of the IR illuminator that tells you the display is turned on.
However, there is no indicator to tell you the illuminator is on. (why?)

The finish on the scope scratches easily, so you have to baby it a little bit if you want to avoid scratching it.

The focus adjustment is on the rear, and is smooth. However, nothing is ever in proper focus due to the low resolution of the LED screen. This is expected, but there is room for improvement.

The Reticle illuminator is cheaply made and lights up one side of the viewfinder (not properly sealed?), in addition to the dot in the middle of the cross-hairs. I believe this is due to quality control issues and only the dot is supposed to be illuminated.

There is what appears to be a picatinny rail on the side of the scope (this rail is plastic). However, you cannot mount anything on it because I believe it is a proprietary design only for Sightmark accessories. It really does look like a standard rail, but I could not get anything to mount on it.

It takes standard AA batteries for the LED screen and IR illuminator, which is nice! Thanks to Sightmark for this decision. Ho...
Would recommend: No
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The coming technology

by Legacy Reviewer, from United States, PA Written on March 19, 2014
Digital Technology is clearly the coming cutting edge approach to night vision. As the CCD cameras become more sophisticated quality images will follow. Additionally the cost of this technology will more than likely to be lower than traditional generation units. The photon is one of the first attempts to marry classic glass optics with digital technology and illustrates the point. The image quality at the price of this units cost is impressive and easily matches Generation 2 night visions units. There are two downsides: First: the unit is extremely well built but as a result it is quite heavy but not markedly different from classic night vision units. Second: For viewing distances of more than 100 yards an additional night infrared or laser illuminator will be necessary. Even with this added cost the photon is still about one forth the price of an equally performing classic night vision device.
Pros: Excellent performance versus cost
Cons: Heavy...
Would recommend: Yes
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