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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/29/2014 5:14:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2014 5:18:34 AM EDT by RGIFFOUR]
Did a post in the AR15 forums under optics.. but this seems to be the proper spot..

So I got one in last Tuesday...

Does not come with the AA batteries (x2) or the CR2032.

Its SightMark Photon 5x42 Digital NightVision Rifle Scope #SM18003.. Normal pricing so far is like $599..

Says made in Belarus Russia..

They recommend (for obvious reasons) HIGH 30mm diameter rings.. (I am waiting on mine)..

The digital part has jacks for external battery pack to power the unit.. and a RCA video out jack to record or view what you see..

The IR on the 5x42 is listed as a 780nm laser.. There 3x42 model says IR LED is 805nm..

OAL is 13 1/2"

Ring distance is only 4 1/2"

The adjustments is 1/4 MOA.. and are finger adj. turrets under the caps..

The Illuminated DOT in the middle of the black cross hair has a total of 11 settings..

Day Time picture with my crappy phone..

Some guy over in the UK did a video review at night.. this is screenshot from his review at night..

I will be checking this tonight and will report back with my findings.
Ok.. initial testing.. (still waiting on my HIGH rings..)

No moon present @ 9pm.. just stars.. used the built-in IR illuminator..

+ able to see my 16x32 plywood ground level targets at 170 yds.
(daytime pic of targets)

+ able to see my 10x12 pink paper target at 100 yards.
(daytime pic of the pink target on my hill)

- screen is bright.. but adjustable..
- built in IR gives off slight red glow
- pic rail on right side of scope does not have clearance for my flashlight mount to go on.. (gap between rail and case is too narrow).
(this could be my mount is too thick as well)..

I do not have a good camera that I can hook to the 'feed' this unit offers.. I cannot hold the scope steady enough either to get a good shot at night with my crappy cell phone..

Stay tuned however for RINGS and LIVE FIRE testing report..


The unit is all one piece.. Pulsar makes a Dig NV device for scopes but its WAY out there in pricing..

There is 4 screws on a ring on the back of the digital part.. but I am not the one to want to play and void my warranty..

Here is a picture on my BCM Middy with Magpul.. This balances pretty well I might ad...

Note the scope is almost centered on the FSB post.. but no worries the FSB post doesn't show up in the picture..

Shooting on Saturday night with local LEO.. stay tuned..


Link Posted: 1/29/2014 5:16:51 AM EDT
We had no moon last night.. so that was great for testing..

Here is a terrible cell pic thru the scope with the built-in IR on.. granted the closeness of the brush 20 yards away made it brighter..

Day shots with the D @ 100 yards or so.. 3 shots at night on this target..

Circled is Day.. the other holes are night shooting last night.. 4 night shots.. (approx 3 1/2" goup..)

Metal hanging setup my buddy made me yesterday.. was fun..

I think this for the price point is WAY better than a Gen 1.. I can see out to 200 yards and engage out to 160-170 at 16x32 with 6-8" targets..

Going to try and sight in a little tighter today.. was shooting while kneeling and no bag to get it dialed in..

Also a great excuse to shoot more later tonight..


Pic mounted on a local BP agents personal semi-auto AR..

Well after sighting in at 100 yards and getting my L/R and U/D backwards

I was 1" high at 100 yards during the day.. laying prone.. (lots of dust as well..ughh)

And at night at 140 yards off the bench freehand (aka no bag)..

I tagged the lower right on the reduced FBI Q

And 4 shots (of 5) on the 10x14 steel plate hanging..

I shot over 200 rounds total of 5.56 Fed/PMC and .223 (Wolf MC) (with some friends).. and it held zero and didn't 'flicker' at night..

Overall zombies @ 175-200 would still be DOA..

Great value for the $$ and it held up thus far.. and you can use it DAY or NIGHT..
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:40:50 AM EDT
Cool scope
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 11:24:10 AM EDT
it looks like the 3.5x model has more resolution, im assuming its just the same digital device and because its more magnified on the 5x version the res. goes down.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 3:31:31 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HBPredhunter:
it looks like the 3.5x model has more resolution, im assuming its just the same digital device and because its more magnified on the 5x version the res. goes down.
View Quote

We covered this in another thread on another forum, I sought out the company that makes the scope and posted this information regarding the 3.5x vs 5x Photons.

Source: Sightmark/Sellmark

The 3.5x uses 1/3” CMOS (768x576) and the 5x uses a 1/4" CMOS (500x582). Yes the bigger the sensor the better the image so the 3.5x does have a better image. Also it has a wider field of view which is also perceived as more comfortable for viewing.

Both models use a 300x225 display. To the trained eye the 3.5x would still have the better image.

The 3.5x Photon is cheaper because it uses an LED IR illuminator, has a smaller magnification, and shorter range of detection. The 5x uses a Laser IR illuminator, has a larger magnification, and longer range of detection. The laser IR illuminators cost more and can reach farther than an LED illuminator. In order to utilize the same tooling and molding for lenses, housing, etc. the objective lens, eyepiece and display are the same in both models. In this case, the only way to increase magnification is by decreasing the size of the sensor.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:09:15 PM EDT
I have the 3.5x Photon and did a full review/comparison versus Gen 2+ on one of the other forums. The synopsis is that if you can live with the really small FoV (roughly 4 degrees horizontal and 3.5 degrees vertical) then it is a fantastic scope for the money. Not nearly as clear as my Gen 2+ but at 1/3 the price (roughly $550 to your door) you really can't complain. The built-in LED IR is surprisingly bright and good to probably 150 yards or so. It was actually brighter than my Surefire Vampire but not as much flood. Within about 20 yards it is so bright you really have to turn down the gain or it blows everything out. On a half-moon night with the gain turned all the way up the image is very usable out to 100+ yards with no IR. The gain (no IR) is much better than any Gen 1 I have seen and is probably comparable to lower-end Gen 2.

For anyone looking for inexpensive night vision to hunt hogs between about 30 and 130 yards, the Photon is perfect. For 130 to 200 yards you may want an external IR but even with that you you are still way below the price of Gen 2 (and now you own a nifty IR light to play with ).
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 6:16:45 PM EDT
What is the weight on this, I have the n550 only complaint is it feels like you added a cinderblock to your rifle.
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 11:07:54 PM EDT
Box says 31.7 oz.. it balances nice on my AR..
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