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Posted: 11/22/2013 7:25:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/23/2013 12:52:03 PM EST by Bennybone]


Written review is below the video - for this review I cover different points in each so you might want to check them both out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIgxvu1LSdI

Sightmark Photon 5x42mm Laser IR riflescope Model # SM18003

Date: November 22, 2013

Location: Dallas/Ft Worth TX metro area

Objective: The objective of this field test review is to determine if the feature set is practical for night hunting in no moonlight conditions with various IR illuminators. The goal is to broaden the consumer knowledge base through a written and video review so that a well informed purchase decision can be made.

Product: This model is a first generation product run for Sightmark in the dedicated riflescope line, it will be produced in a 5x and 3.5x fixed magnification configuration, this review is of the 5x version. Sightmark utilized a daytime scope and removed the front objective and integrated a digital front attachment. The manufactuer selected a 150 mW laser IR illuminator in the 780nm wavelength. The scope features a Dot-Duplex reticle and has an onboard weaver rail for attachment of peripheral equipment.

Type of Review: Field Test

The scope ships without scope mount rings, I tried a one-piece two ring style (as shown in the photo) and noted that there was no adjustment able to be made in where the scope sat within the rings therefore it caused issued both in my eye relief and access to the charging handle of my AR15. I opted then to use separate 30mm scope rings to allow for more adjustment.

Zeroing the scope is accomplished by adjusting mechanical windage and elevation knobs, their movement is firm and precise, and I experienced no issues with tracking or adjustment. Looking into the Photon for the first time provides viewing of an unorthodox rectangle image through a round objective. This did not detract from using the scope in any way but should you run out the elevation to its limits you will begin to lose video display real estate therefore shimming the scope base is an option to keep the video display as centered as possible. I zeroed the scope on 5 different centerfire rifles at 100 yards with no issue and 1 rimfire rifle, at close distance (40 yard zero) - it is with the rimfire rifle is when I experienced not having enough elevation adjustment.

I noted that the eye relief of the Photon is significant (3.22 inches) relative to other night vision scopes and monoculars that I have used. Rather than snugging up into an eyecup the Photon will have you place your eye at a consistent distance inorder to view from the sweet spot. As the scope is designed you are looking through a magnified scope tube body directly at a video display screen. Based on your eyesight and the lighting conditions you will experience a wide variety of image renderings, specifically clarity, from the scope. As an example daytime images are sharp and clear because you have alot of IR light and the video screens refresh rate and pixels flow smoothly through the magnified scope tube to your eye. In 1/4 moon or less dependent on type of IR being used you will enjoy the challenge of identifying small targets (cat/raccoon / skunk) at distances beyond 100 yards as the video display's refresh rate and contrast/brightness factors render the image to your eye. So proper amounts of IR light and focus will be paramount in making your Photon experience a good one.

I experienced more eye burn from extended viewing with the Photon unlike with other night vision scopes I have used because the video display screen is inherently bright. The Photon does come with adjustable brightness control (rotary knob on left side) however as you turn down the brightness you also lose sight picture visibility in the process so it is a darned if you do and darned if you don't situation. I did eventually become accustomed to the brightness of the image however you might consider using a colored lens filter on the rear objective to lessen the brightness to your eye.

Unfortunately the hogs and coyotes did not participate with my review so the good ole decoys were used to demonstrate the video image quality to you. There are times when the video output resolution (which is fixed at near 640x480 res) looks better than the image being rendered to the user's eye through the rear objective of the scope therefore be advised that this is not necessarily a "what you see is what you get" representation of the Photons capabilities. Capture of the video was performed via the onboard video output jack on the Photon, there is no way to transmit the reticle image with the video output signal because the reticle is a mechanical fixture within the scope tube body.

Night 1: Overlooking a hay pasture I set out decoys at 50 / 150 / 230 yards. I attempted to demonstrate use of the Photon with readily available external IR units so that you can garner how the image is effected (both good and bad) when using IR. There was no moon at the time of the video therefore with no IR you get a black screen - this is digital's achilles heel in that it must have IR to render an image. The onboard laser IR is very powerful, it will serve the hunter well out to about 150 yards, beyond that because it is fixed in place the IR light throw is too low to illuminate a target and the background while maintaining a correct point of aim. I also observed that within 50 yards the onboard illuminator washes out the targets based on IR reflectivity. The TNVC Torch Pro LED IR unit allows for adjustable focus of the IR beam and based on what mount you select for the IR you may be able to direct the IR light to tune the image. The Streamlight TAC IR pumps out a generous amount of IR light however it is not focusable / defocusable so aiming the IR light will be critical to deter washout. With the Torch Pro / Photon combination I had confidence in detecting and identifying medium to large bodied targets out to 250 yards and felt that I could make a safe and ethical shot. With the Onboard IR I would reduce that range to a maximum of 150 yards.

Night 2: I decided to waver from conventional practice and experiment a bit with other equipment onhand. The previous night's experiences with the onboard IR got me to thinking "What if".... What if I could adjust the power output of the built in IR, would that translate into a clearer image? What if I could direct the laser IR light pattern to where I wanted it? I had a Pulsar Digisight n750 onhand and set it to a power output setting of 1 out of 3 (low) and observed that the washout was less. You will notice that eye shine is represented with an abundant blooming effect, I was unable to tune the Photon's video display to negate the bloom and I attribute this to the highly sensitive CMOS system used in the Photon design. Lastly I experimented with my Bosch AEGIS IR system, it runs off of 24 volts and has 18 Osram LED bulbs - overkill? Yeah!!! but what the heck why not!

Conclusion: I truly believe the night vision market needed a sub $ 1k night vision option for the cash strapped hunter that performed at higher than Gen 1 performance standards. You don't have to be a tactical savvy person to operate the system, and you can see in complete darkness out to 150 yards with the base configuration (retail package).

I believe there are some tweaks that can be made by Sightmark on future versions to make the scope's image more refined which will only serve to extend the useable range and therefore enhance the user's experience.

The Photon is a foundation for a bevy of possible aftermarket options to design and tune the system to each users desire. There will be optical doublers made which will increase magnification and clarity of the image. There will be IR cut filters and rear objective filters made to augment the system. As these products come to market I will attempt to demonstrate through future reviews if they are worth additional money.

Ultimately, the Photon will be judged against a wide array of other scopes on the market and I have to say that consumers should bear in mind the cost of the unit when making comparisons.

Thanks for checking this review out and Happy Hunting !

BB
Link Posted: 11/23/2013 10:13:09 AM EST
Nice review BB. I am interested to look thru one of these first hand, have not had the opportunity yet.
Link Posted: 11/23/2013 11:34:38 AM EST
Thanks for the review Benny, it looks like a lot of scope for the money. I bet the lower priced 3X model with flood type IR will be an even better seller and a good performer.
Link Posted: 12/16/2013 4:35:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2013 4:35:50 PM EST by Bennybone]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spitfire2626:
Thanks for the review Benny, it looks like a lot of scope for the money. I bet the lower priced 3X model with flood type IR will be an even better seller and a good performer.
View Quote


I believe you might be on the money on that 3.5x model, here is a recent press release for that version.

http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/138632255054qps0htpu1

BB
Link Posted: 1/6/2014 1:57:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/6/2014 6:00:53 PM EST by Bennybone]
Continued field testing with the Sightmark Photon - here is an IR illuminator shootout for your viewing enjoyment !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D2iC6NKC5c

Also I was provided a sample unit to demo which is an optical doubler kit taking the Photon from 5x to 8.5x magnification, here is a photo of the targets placed at 100 yards



Now here is a quick video thrown together to show best focus of a 5x (base configured Photon) versus a doubled (8-10x) Photon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxDSS1HBN34

So hope this helps - it has been alot of work thus far to bring the vids but hopefully they assist in getting information out to consumers so they can make a wise purchase decision.

Happy Hunting

BB
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 4:01:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2014 4:02:24 AM EST by ducme]
I bought one of these at the last gun show to stick on
my 22. Nothing compared to my PVS's .
Over all I'm happy with it.

Thanx BB
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 4:52:48 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ducme:
I bought one of these at the last gun show to stick on
my 22. Nothing compared to my PVS's .
Over all I'm happy with it.

Thanx BB
View Quote


Very true, both in price and performance.

Thanks for the comment and feedback, hopefully others get a chance to try out this scope and add their feedback here. I prefer multiple feedback sources for these types of items and not to be the lone opinion giver

BB
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 7:37:29 AM EST
.243 would probably destroy a pvs-14 mounted to it , same case as a .308 just necked down.

Glad you used a .243 I have one laying around that this would be great for, long range gun for yotes 55gr at 3900fps
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 8:25:41 AM EST
Where are these for sale? They are not even listed on the Sightmark web site.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 8:40:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Where are these for sale? They are not even listed on the Sightmark web site.
View Quote


I got lucky and found mine at a gun show. I haven't found
any online. Out of 1000 tables it was the only one there.
Pm me and I'll send you the information on who
I purchased it from. Maybe they can get you one.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 8:47:30 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Where are these for sale? They are not even listed on the Sightmark web site.
View Quote


I believe the goal from Sightmark is to have them available at all retailers by April 2014 - but as DUCME states there are some to be found by calling Sightmark dealers and asking them.

BB
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 2:11:02 PM EST
I called the business that I purchased my Photon from at the gun show. I was told they would be getting
a shipment in a few days. Not sure if I can post the link in here. Just pm me and Ill send you the info.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 3:19:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ducme:
I called the business that I purchased my Photon from at the gun show. I was told they would be getting
a shipment in a few days. Not sure if I can post the link in here. Just pm me and Ill send you the info.
View Quote


PMs are best as the intent of this thread is to inform the consumer on the product features and use and not as an advertisement for dealers and such.

Thanks for running down the seller and assisting others.

BB
Link Posted: 1/8/2014 2:50:37 PM EST
Here is some daytime footage of the Photon 5x42mm scope with and without an optical doubler kit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKXEEfG73bQ

BB
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 11:18:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 11:42:04 AM EST by Bennybone]
The Photon has a new friend "6.5 Grendel"

This is also the 3.5x version, I will upload a 5x vs 3.5x comparison video sometime next month.

BB


Took in a factory Alexander Arms M4 upper, here is the "before" photo



Performed the following waredrobe changes:

    Rifle Length DoubleStar handguard, smooth varmint style contour

    Yankee Hill low profile gas block to allow for the handguard to slide over and conceal

    Installed 2 picatinney rails into the available slots on the front of the handguard

    Pulled the barrel and polished the feed ramps

    Used a 1/2x28 TPI Kaw Valley muzzle brake, rethreaded to 9.16x24, honed out a crush washer

    Custom laser etched dustcover, outside and inside

    BCM Mod3 Large Latch charging handle

    Used a Yankee Hill beauty ring, it was too large so I milled it down and press fitted with locking agent

    Reassembled - it can wear either an LW15 polymer M4 lower or A2 lower.


"After" photos:









Sightmark Photon 3.5x Digital NV riflescope - Night and Daytime capable
pictured with a UNV20IR - IR illuminator




Field testing this Spring.....
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 1:19:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/3/2014 9:17:01 AM EST by Bennybone]
Disclaimer: I used a couple of accessories in this latest field test review, you can google UNV20IR and UNV Photon Doubler Adapter to order. I am not affiliated with the company, I am not a dealer of NV or materials - I simply use what the market bears at the time for my reviews.

Okay so with that out of the way - The Sightmark Photon continues to impress and one of the most asked questions on the I-net is: What are the differences between the 3.5x and 5x versions.

Well before you spend your hard earned money check out this review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S24H4jFE8vY

Conclusion: The scopes were tested under the hardest condition for NV, new moon lunar phase which equates to total darkness, add to that a complete overcast evening (no starlight) and you will see that this review represents the lowest level of performance possible out of the system.

I caution you with the Photon, with it's fixed video output resolution and brightness it continues to challenge reviewers in translating to others what the scope's viewfinder is rendering to the operator's eye. Be not decieved, while this video review may have you sitting in your stool thinking the 5x definitely looks clearer - this is NOT the case....


I try to avoid narrating my review videos but in the case of the Photon it was my only way to "keep it real"

What is very real about these scopes is they completely TROMP Generation 1 night vision and with appropriately outfitted add-ons and the right environmental conditions (low grass / open fields / etc) you can actually start to equivocate digital technology to some Gen 2 devices.

I know I know, don't go getting all soppy over a digital scope - but hey it is only 5 - 6 hundred bucks....


Anyhow this review was a good amount of work, I don't ask for much other than your feedback and comments (good or bad) - Enjoy!

BB
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 6:59:20 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 7:15:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:


What I find most striking is the sensitivity to IR on the present day Digi's. This was not the case 3-4 years ago. 100-150 yards max on most high power IR LED illuminators.

Thanks for the write up.

Vic
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:
Originally Posted By Bennybone:
Continued field testing with the Sightmark Photon - here is an IR illuminator shootout for your viewing enjoyment !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D2iC6NKC5c

Also I was provided a sample unit to demo which is an optical doubler kit taking the Photon from 5x to 8.5x magnification, here is a photo of the targets placed at 100 yards

<a href="http://s932.photobucket.com/user/hunttxhogs/media/BreckenridgeNorth-20131215-01206_zps76b03f09.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i932.photobucket.com/albums/ad162/hunttxhogs/BreckenridgeNorth-20131215-01206_zps76b03f09.jpg</a>

Now here is a quick video thrown together to show best focus of a 5x (base configured Photon) versus a doubled (8-10x) Photon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxDSS1HBN34

So hope this helps - it has been alot of work thus far to bring the vids but hopefully they assist in getting information out to consumers so they can make a wise purchase decision.

Happy Hunting

BB


What I find most striking is the sensitivity to IR on the present day Digi's. This was not the case 3-4 years ago. 100-150 yards max on most high power IR LED illuminators.

Thanks for the write up.

Vic


I agree, this past year was the first time I have used a digital that could make a usable image with illuminators in the 900nm range. Im sure they were out there before, but I'm a little digitally challenged. Remington made little digital night vision "grenades" that we were issued in 07" It was a softball sized ball with a digital night vision camera that you could throw into a room. The irony of it is that the illuminator was a bright red series of about 20 lights. They were not close to near IR. The never got used because they were bright enough to see without the night vision. That was only 7 years ago, I'm a little excited to see how far digi advances in the next seven years.
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 9:21:42 AM EST
...That'll teach me to post a message at 0500 hrs....

I fixed my post a couple up, but here is more work with IR (onboard/UNV20IR)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S24H4jFE8vY

You're so right that the sensitivity of the cameras are increasing by the year - I'm yearning for more display and recording line output resolution in the sub 1k market...

Then you may never hear from me again because I will be hunting all the time

BB
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 8:21:05 PM EST
Bennybone

If you don't mind answering? What setup would you go with this scope? 3.5 with the Double and the Pulsar Illuminator?

Thanks
Link Posted: 2/4/2014 4:35:49 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By saltymule:
Bennybone

If you don't mind answering? What setup would you go with this scope? 3.5 with the Double and the Pulsar Illuminator?

Thanks
View Quote


I would buy the 3.5x version of the scope.

If budget allows the next option I would add to it would be an external illuminator: I prefer either of the three below -

The Torch Pro is focusable (spot) and defocusable (wide beam), has plenty of light output, and is backed by an established and well respected company. The spot focus is nice and tight and well rounded. Being that the market is full of these you can sometimes catch a good deal on a used one. Battery life is good and uses a readily available battery.

The UNV20IR has by far the most light output I have seen in a compact and light housing, focusable as well The light is also programmed for various modes (dimmable) which has a slight learning curve to it but is an option not available on other illuminators. Battery life is around 2 hours using a battery that you won't find at your local depot (18650 battery type)

The Streamlight TAC IR - the set it and forget it option. An extreme blast of IR at the push of a button. TAC IR doesn't focus, doesn't dim, is a battery hog BUT is effective and the cheapest of the three IRs and uses a common battery.


If budget allows for more - I would then round out the setup with an optical doubler, there aren't many offerings available right now for this so google UNV Photon Doubler Kit for a link to the one that I used in this review.

NOTE - I didn't use a Pulsar Illuminator for this review, I used a Pulsar 1.7x lens converter that attachs to the doubler adapter.

Hope this helps,

Ben
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 12:36:49 PM EST
Everyone likes something different. There is no right/wrong answer to some questions.

Having spent a fair amount of time working with both scopes, I can offer this. On our first session which lasted an hour or so, we walked away with the term “inconclusive” being the thought. That thought only changed ever so slightly over time.

The difference in the two scopes is extremely slight. The 3.5 does have a tad better resolution which evidences itself at shorter ranges. But that advantage slowly disappears with distance as the lesser magnification comes into play. By the time you hit 150 yards it doesn’t matter because the target is so small on the 3.5 that you’ll want a 5 or the doubler or both. Even with the doubler, the 3.5 would not be preferred at 200 yards. So, maybe the choice is more about ones use. In my opinion, somewhere between 100 and 150 yards the 5 starts to match and then exceed the 3.5. If you are the guy that makes ALL his shots from 100 in, the 3.5 is your scope. Beyond that, the choice begins to blur and for those that shoot longer range the choice becomes the 5. If you are the scattershooting guy that prefers multiple shots on a sounder with a wider FOV, the 3.5 is your choice. If you are the guy that prefers accurate shot placement and one shot, one kill while being magged up on a target, the 5 is your choice. Yes, I think it is more about personal use and choice than anything else.

Illuminators…. I would repeat that neither of the onboard illuminators is sufficient. In some situations, I struggled to see well even at 85 yards. An aftermarket illuminator is a must. Having actually OWNED all three illuminators that HuntTXHogs mentioned and having used them in real hunting situations, I would offer the following:

The Torch Pro is a great light. It was my main go to for quite awhile. The focus is excellent. However, there are issues. The light costs $240 bucks and comes with a tailcap that is momentary push (not good for hunting) or twist for on. I lost one tailcap because I loosened it to turn it off and as I walked along it worked itself loose and fell off (found it about one month later). If you want a tailcap to simply turn it on (push button) and leave it on for a shot you will need to purchase an aftermarket tailcap to the tune of ~$40 bucks. Now you are at $280.00 plus shipping and taxes. Pretty pricey. I also found that for me, the Photon sensors just weren’t quite as sensitive to its 805 nm wavelength compared to an 850 nm light. The batteries, CR 123’s. My experience has been that 123’s never last well and are pricey. TNVC recommends against the use of rechargables, so you are stuck with toting around pricey batteries that you only get one use out of. Trust me, it goes through batteries. Dimming….it has no dimming option… I like to be able to dim the light. You just don’t need the same amount of light at 50 yards that you need at 100, 150 or 200….and focus can only help so much.. Just the same, I still have it and I still like it.

The Streamlight TAC IR… Great little light for the money. Turn it on, the world lights up. However… No focus. No dimming. Washout abounds at 50, 75 yards… So, you turn it on and it is full blast, eating batteries. It uses two CR123’s and will chew through them. Mounting… If you want to mount the light you have to buy Streamlights special mount that runs about 50 bucks. The barrel of the light is small and will not work with conventional rings. Still, as a backup, not a bad light at all.

The UNV 20 IR… it has it all. Focusable, 5 modes with various dimming options and rechargeable batteries. For dimming you have 0 – 100 – 0, low – medium – high, medium – high, etc. 8 quick soft taps takes you from mode to mode. Yes, it has a bit of a learning curve, took me about 10 minutes to be comfortable with it. The point is this light allows you all the options to adjust to any light in the sky because you can control both the focus and brightness. It has a 1,050 mw LED, the strongest on the market, while the Torch Pro has a 100 mw LED. Yes, it uses the 18650 battery that is not sold at the corner drug store. But they are cheap and readily available thru the internet (Amazon). They are also rechargeable. You can use them over and over instead of paying and paying for the one time use of CR 123’s. The light runs 175 bucks thru Ultimate Night Vision. That’s a steal when you compare its performance and cost to what had been recognized as the industry leader.
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 12:55:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DFWRoadkill:
Everyone likes something different. There is no right/wrong answer to some questions.

Having spent a fair amount of time working with both scopes, I can offer this. On our first session which lasted an hour or so, we walked away with the term “inconclusive” being the thought. That thought only changed ever so slightly over time.

The difference in the two scopes is extremely slight. The 3.5 does have a tad better resolution which evidences itself at shorter ranges. But that advantage slowly disappears with distance as the lesser magnification comes into play. By the time you hit 150 yards it doesn’t matter because the target is so small on the 3.5 that you’ll want a 5 or the doubler or both. Even with the doubler, the 3.5 would not be preferred at 200 yards. So, maybe the choice is more about ones use. In my opinion, somewhere between 100 and 150 yards the 5 starts to match and then exceed the 3.5. If you are the guy that makes ALL his shots from 100 in, the 3.5 is your scope. Beyond that, the choice begins to blur and for those that shoot longer range the choice becomes the 5. If you are the scattershooting guy that prefers multiple shots on a sounder with a wider FOV, the 3.5 is your choice. If you are the guy that prefers accurate shot placement and one shot, one kill while being magged up on a target, the 5 is your choice. Yes, I think it is more about personal use and choice than anything else.

Illuminators…. I would repeat that neither of the onboard illuminators is sufficient. In some situations, I struggled to see well even at 85 yards. An aftermarket illuminator is a must. Having actually OWNED all three illuminators that HuntTXHogs mentioned and having used them in real hunting situations, I would offer the following:

The Torch Pro is a great light. It was my main go to for quite awhile. The focus is excellent. However, there are issues. The light costs $240 bucks and comes with a tailcap that is momentary push (not good for hunting) or twist for on. I lost one tailcap because I loosened it to turn it off and as I walked along it worked itself loose and fell off (found it about one month later). If you want a tailcap to simply turn it on (push button) and leave it on for a shot you will need to purchase an aftermarket tailcap to the tune of ~$40 bucks. Now you are at $280.00 plus shipping and taxes. Pretty pricey. I also found that for me, the Photon sensors just weren’t quite as sensitive to its 805 nm wavelength compared to an 850 nm light. The batteries, CR 123’s. My experience has been that 123’s never last well and are pricey. TNVC recommends against the use of rechargables, so you are stuck with toting around pricey batteries that you only get one use out of. Trust me, it goes through batteries. Dimming….it has no dimming option… I like to be able to dim the light. You just don’t need the same amount of light at 50 yards that you need at 100, 150 or 200….and focus can only help so much.. Just the same, I still have it and I still like it.

The Streamlight TAC IR… Great little light for the money. Turn it on, the world lights up. However… No focus. No dimming. Washout abounds at 50, 75 yards… So, you turn it on and it is full blast, eating batteries. It uses two CR123’s and will chew through them. Mounting… If you want to mount the light you have to buy Streamlights special mount that runs about 50 bucks. The barrel of the light is small and will not work with conventional rings. Still, as a backup, not a bad light at all.

The UNV 20 IR… it has it all. Focusable, 5 modes with various dimming options and rechargeable batteries. For dimming you have 0 – 100 – 0, low – medium – high, medium – high, etc. 8 quick soft taps takes you from mode to mode. Yes, it has a bit of a learning curve, took me about 10 minutes to be comfortable with it. The point is this light allows you all the options to adjust to any light in the sky because you can control both the focus and brightness. It has a 1,050 mw LED, the strongest on the market, while the Torch Pro has a 100 mw LED. Yes, it uses the 18650 battery that is not sold at the corner drug store. But they are cheap and readily available thru the internet (Amazon). They are also rechargeable. You can use them over and over instead of paying and paying for the one time use of CR 123’s. The light runs 175 bucks thru Ultimate Night Vision. That’s a steal when you compare its performance and cost to what had been recognized as the industry leader.
View Quote


But, the guys buying a $500 NV unit are not going to spend half that on lum, most likely. With the SuperTac you can get a cheap 1" mount and put a little electrical tape on the body and you have a light that fits in the mount with not extra cost. You can also make a simple flip-up cap to dim it down. I completely agree with your synopsis of the first two, but haven't used the third. I machined two aluminum half shells for my SuperTac's so that they can fit into 1" 45* offset mounts. It costs less than a dollar. I also cut the collar down on a BC flip up scope cap and heated it to fit the bezel of the supertac. I then put a half inch hole in the center. It lets you tame the beast a little.
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 2:16:21 PM EST
Well, the reality is that they are spending the bucks for the illuminator because they need it with these scopes. Just because they buy an inexpensive NV scope doesn't mean they won't or can't buy the accessories.

I tried the electrical tape rig on the Streamlight. It works OK in a pinch, but I prefer a more solid, stable, long term mounting option. Not everyone out there has the ways and means to machine the parts you made, but I certainly applaud DIY work anytime I see it. Kuudo's to you for doing it.

In the end, this wasn't about what could be rigged to work. It is about what folks can buy and use today.

Not trying to step on anyones ego over the little Streamlight. It goes as a backup on every trip I make, along with the Torch Pro....and I still like both...but my main carry is now the UNV 20 IR...
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 2:34:49 PM EST
One of these with a 1 inch hole would be nice windage and elevation adjustable

Link Posted: 2/6/2014 2:57:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DFWRoadkill:
Well, the reality is that they are spending the bucks for the illuminator because they need it with these scopes. Just because they buy an inexpensive NV scope doesn't mean they won't or can't buy the accessories.

I tried the electrical tape rig on the Streamlight. It works OK in a pinch, but I prefer a more solid, stable, long term mounting option. Not everyone out there has the ways and means to machine the parts you made, but I certainly applaud DIY work anytime I see it. Kuudo's to you for doing it.

In the end, this wasn't about what could be rigged to work. It is about what folks can buy and use today.

Not trying to step on anyones ego over the little Streamlight. It goes as a backup on every trip I make, along with the Torch Pro....and I still like both...but my main carry is now the UNV 20 IR...
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Roger that, I definitely see where you are coming from. The UNV 20 is one of the few illuminators I don't have. I will have to pick one up. Where is a good place to get one?
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 4:58:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Delta4-3:

Roger that, I definitely see where you are coming from. The UNV 20 is one of the few illuminators I don't have. I will have to pick one up. Where is a good place to get one?
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Originally Posted By Delta4-3:
Originally Posted By DFWRoadkill:
Well, the reality is that they are spending the bucks for the illuminator because they need it with these scopes. Just because they buy an inexpensive NV scope doesn't mean they won't or can't buy the accessories.

I tried the electrical tape rig on the Streamlight. It works OK in a pinch, but I prefer a more solid, stable, long term mounting option. Not everyone out there has the ways and means to machine the parts you made, but I certainly applaud DIY work anytime I see it. Kuudo's to you for doing it.

In the end, this wasn't about what could be rigged to work. It is about what folks can buy and use today.

Not trying to step on anyones ego over the little Streamlight. It goes as a backup on every trip I make, along with the Torch Pro....and I still like both...but my main carry is now the UNV 20 IR...

Roger that, I definitely see where you are coming from. The UNV 20 is one of the few illuminators I don't have. I will have to pick one up. Where is a good place to get one?


The UNV in the name stands for Ultimate Night Vision. Add a .com to that and I think you will find him. He's a good man to do bidness with...
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 5:01:44 PM EST
Hard_ware... That doesn't come in 1"? Windage and elevation adjust is direly needed for illuminators...
Link Posted: 2/6/2014 5:30:30 PM EST
No I have not found one yet.

But it would sell, They would work for a bullet cam digital night vision scope.

Sony exview bullet cam, small dvr, with cross hairs marked on screen and a t20 with the 2x zoom lens.
under 300.00 diy night vision.

I will order a couple and see what can be done to make them 1"

I think grind off ring and screw on a picatinny rail should be easy.
Link Posted: 2/7/2014 5:20:56 AM EST
I see the elevation adjustment on that device. Maybe the windage is on the other side? I like the ring designed in that it allows you to titghten as much as you want. What we discovered with the UNV 20 IR is that by twisting the illuminator in the mount you can obtain the very best light by using just the corner of the square or an edge. I do have an idea on this that I have just begun work on. Aligning the illuminator to your scope is crucial and most of what is out there doesn't work very well.
Link Posted: 2/7/2014 5:57:55 AM EST
two offset rings that can be rotated within a ring mount would allow infinite adjustments one for X other for Y.

But mounting the picatinny rail on the mount I listed should work for anything that mounts to the picatinny rail.
Link Posted: 2/7/2014 6:34:59 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Hard_ware:
No I have not found one yet.

But it would sell, They would work for a bullet cam digital night vision scope.

Sony exview bullet cam, small dvr, with cross hairs marked on screen and a t20 with the 2x zoom lens.
under 300.00 diy night vision.

I will order a couple and see what can be done to make them 1"

I think grind off ring and screw on a picatinny rail should be easy.
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It's pretty easy to make a clam shell adaptor. There is probably tubing already the right size available, but here is what I do.
I turn our a section of tube the same length as the as the bearing surface of the mount, and the OD of said tube should a couple thousandths bigger than the ID of the mount. The inside of the tube you are making should be the same diameter as the OD of the illuminator. Then split it length wise and clean up the burrs. It is just a simple little clam-shell that works pretty well.
Link Posted: 2/8/2014 5:48:14 PM EST
Yeah, I bought a couple of those. Didn't like them. Still like my plan X.
Link Posted: 2/10/2014 4:06:50 AM EST
Just bought a 5x and a UNV20ir form UNV. Guy was great to order from. Should be here Friday. Hope it's all i expect it to be. Nice review Bennybone.
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