2014 SHOT – The Sightmark Photon 5×42 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

By Dave Dolbee published on in Firearms, General, Gun Gear

We have all heard it before. The promise of all the features you want in one package. Occasionally the manufacturer actually comes through with the claim, but the sticker shock is nausea inducing to say the least. When setting up a new varmint rifle, I want a decent quality optic with plenty of adjustability. I would love to have night vision and the capability to video my shot or the hunt. These features are not new, but I do not have $10K to $15K to drop on a piece of glass, regardless of the features and quality.

Sightmark Photon Digital Night vision riflescope

Though around the same price point as Generation 1 night vision products, the Sightmark Photon 5×42 delivers twice the range of observation compared to Gen 1

Fortunately, I am not alone in my thinking. While reviewing products at the 2014 Shot Show, I made a beeline to Sightmark’s booth. Of particular interest was Sightmark’s new hybrid scope.

Upon arriving, I learned Sightmark has a host of new products—at prices shooters can afford and you need to check out. Cheaper Than Dirt! will be covering several new Sightmark products in the coming weeks, but for my dollar the new Photon 5×42 Digital Night Vision Riflescope was a top contender for best of show—and yes, it is affordable!

The easiest way to describe the Photon would be to take a 5x riflescope and cut it in half. Then, split a night vision scope in half and marry up the best of both. That sounds a little crude but trust me, the Sightmark go it right and produced a great looking product that performs.

Here is how Sightmark describes the Photon. By taking a daytime riflescope, removing the objective lens, and replacing it with a cutting-edge night vision attachment complete with a CCD sensor and built-in infrared illuminator, Sightmark has created a unique product capable of vivid daytime and nighttime viewing.

Sightmark Photon riflescope

The Photon 5×42 Digital Night Vision Riflescope utilizes a Dot-Duplex reticle for quick target acquisition and 5x magnification for vivid detail.

“Though around the same price point as Generation 1 night vision products, the Sightmark Photon 5×42 delivers twice the range of observation compared to Gen 1,” said Sightmark President James Sellers. “The Photon also features the best of digital technology and a unique design, allowing shooters to enhance their nighttime shooting experience considerably.”

The Photon also features a high-powered 150mW laser IR illuminator to increase the overall detection range for a clear focus on any size long-distance target in low-ambient light conditions or pitch-black darkness. The Photon 5×42 Digital Night Vision Riflescope utilizes a Dot-Duplex reticle for quick target acquisition and 5x magnification for vivid detail.

Whether hunting hogs, varmints or any other legal game, the Photon 5×42 is the ideal optic for your rifle. The Photon 5×42 Digital Night Vision Riflescope has an added bonus too. Users have the ability to capture everything seen, day or night, with the unit’s video output feature. Now you can share the thrill of the hunt with friends or relive the moment.

A few details of the Photon are still up for grabs. As of this writing, the expected MSRP is expected to be under $700.

Do you have a yearning for a top quality riflescope that works as well at night as it does during the day? How much would you be willing to spend?

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  • KMS

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    See for yourself. Manufacturer spec for detection distance is 170M. That’s with the built in IR. Testing seems to show better range and clarity with higher end more expensive add on Laser IR’s.

    Reply

  • David Carter

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    Signing up for follow-up comments and new posts by e-mail.

    My instinctive reaction to “vendor claims” kicks in when I see something like “the Sightmark Photon 5×42 delivers twice the range of observation compared to Gen 1,” said Sightmark President James Sellers.” Where are the numbers (other than “twice”)?

    Reply

  • Cort

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    So, when is it going to be available! I’ve been waiting years for someone to come up with this design. My first night scope cost me over $4K, and was like looking thru green mud! Also wasted hundreds in ammo to keep it sighted in.

    Reply

  • Richard from AZ

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    I WANT this day/night scope. I linked to this blog, and I hope that when it actually becomes available on the CheaperThanDirt website, someone will reply here to notify all of us who are interested.

    Thank You!

    Reply

  • AG

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    I’m waiting for the inevitable trolling comments about how Sightmark is garbage, EOTech and Trijicon are the only real brands for this kind of thing, USA, USA, blah blah blah.

    I happen to own a few Sightmark products and am quite happy with their quality.

    Reply

  • Pete in Alaska

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    I’m just guessing but I’d bet there will be a fair amount or LE interest in this product at this cost as well. I’d bet that this will show up a lot in the near future in US Border LE organizations an likly in the LE Tactical community too. Pretty impressive for the cost with the added plus of vidio evidence. Oh, and varmite hunters will like it too!

    Reply

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