Sightmark Photon RT Review: Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

The amount of product Sightmark has under the name photon is astonishing. But we are not here to judge Sightmark on their naming scheme. I mean we are here to judge the scopes they made. But anyway let me stop the blabbering & Let me introduce the two models of Sightmark Photon RT –

We had gathered information from other users, and some of them dropped the scope on purpose while others had accidents. None of them seem to dent or break from a sudden chest-height fall. 

Sightmark Photon RT 6.5X50S: Outlooks

Sightmark Photon RT 6.5X50S

Specifications | Magnification: 6.5x; Objective Lens: 50 mm; Eye Relief: 60 mm; Peak Weblength: 810 nm; Linear FOV @100 yds: 22.5 ft; Length: 15.7 Inches; Weight: 23.6 Oz.

Body Quality

Like all the other scopes in the Photon series, this one also has a metal body. The material is called glass-nylon composite/metal. It is pretty durable. On top of that, the scope is shockproof. 

Designed for both day and night use the housing of Sightmark photon RT 6.5x50S is built rather durable. The durable housing makes the scope weatherproof and shockproof. 

Sensors & Optics

As the scope is a digital night vision one, it mainly works through a sensor. The sensor is called CMOS. The max resolution of this particular sensor is rather low. With just 656 x 492 pixels you might not expect that good of a picture from the scope.

But as the scope is made for both day and night use they paid extra attention to the objective lens and made sure it blocks the maximum reflection and lets light transmission through. 

Thanks to that the scope produces some excellent daytime pictures. As for nighttime, the scope uses an 810 nm IR illuminator.

IR Illuminator

You get two options regarding this matter. You can purchase it as a default 810 nm IR illuminator. It performs greatly within 100 yards. It lacks behind in the long-range department but the rather cheap price of this makes it up for it. 

Do you want long-range vision (more than 100 yards)? then you might want to switch to the 940 IR illuminator. 

If you want to increase the range of the IR illuminator then, you should check if your rifle supports the Weaver rail. & If it does then buy a third-party IR illuminator. With the help of that you can increase the range as much as you want. 


There are 6 available reticles on the scope and they are available in 4 different colors. The perks of having a digital scope. The LCD can display that reticle excellently. 

It may not be an etched reticle but from accidental drop, the reticle won’t move on its own. 

Battery Life

You need 4 AA batteries to use this scope. The battery life is rather generous. With the IR enabled you can expect around 4 hours of battery life. 

But with the IR disabled you can expect it to increase by more than an hour. Somewhere between 5-6hours.

You can turn off the IR flashlight to save battery during daytime use. We recommend you do that. You need to turn off the IR illuminator if you are planning on using a 3rd party IR flashlight.


  • Affordable digital night vision scope.
  • Takes pretty good pictures.
  • Great build quality.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • One-shot zero.
  • Weatherproof and shockproof.
  • Extended sunshade and generous eye relief.


  • Not nitrogen purged.
  • Fixed zoom.
  • The default model has a small-range IR illuminator.

Sightmark Photon RT 6.5X50S Review Summary

The Photon RT 6.5x50S is an excellent digital night vision riflescope for the price. The 810 nm might be lacking in the range department but let’s be honest, the scope has a fixed zoom why do you need more range in your IR illuminator? If you do anyway then, you have the opportunity to increase it by using a third-party IR illuminator. Take advantage of that. 


SIghtmark Photon RT 6-12×50 riflescope. Another interesting product from Sightmark. This scope comes in 2 variants. While both of them are the same but come with different IR illuminators. We will talk about the differences but for review purposes, we are using the Sightmark Photon RT 6-12×50 850 IR version. 

Sightmark Photon RT 6-12X50: Outlooks

Sightmark Photon RT 6-12X50

Specifications | Magnification: 6 – 12x; Objective Lens: 50 mm; Eye Relief: 2.76 Inches; Tube Diameter: 30 mm; Linear FOV @100 yds: 18 ft; Length: 18 Inches; Weight: 32.8 Oz.

Body Quality

The body quality is impressive like the other ones. This one is also made out of metal. Stainless steel type of metal. The whole housing is rustproof. The housing is coated with a black matte finish which looks beautiful.

The main tube is 30nm and the objective lens of the scope is 50nm. We know you can read those in the specifications part but many people ignore that chart. 

The thing is it has been tested by many durability checkers that breaking the Photon RT 6×12-50 will be a tough job unless you decide to break it on purpose. 


The main sensor of the scope is called a CMOS sensor. It can capture pictures up to 1280×960 pixels. While the sensor is a 768×576 pixels one. 

The objective lens is 50nm and it has a built-in sunshade. So, the lens only captures light directly transmitted onto it from the target.

Which eliminates the chance of having a reflection. This means you get crisp and clear pictures. The scope is also made for daytime uses. 

You can turn off the IR illuminator during the day and use the scope to its full glory. 

IR Illuminator

Here you get two options to choose from. The default is an 850 nm one or a 940 nm one. There is some difference between the two. As the name suggests one is more powerful than the other. Both of them come with a 2x digital zoom. 

The range on the 940 nm one is higher than the 850 nm. It’s also pricier. If you want more range you can always opt for an extra third-party IR illuminator. 


Like all the other Photon this one also has 6 reticles with 4 colors. You can choose any of the options at any time. As long as you have battery life left that is. 

The reticle is in the second focal plane. When you apply 2x zoom the 6x zoom will change to 12x zoom. But the reticle will stay at the same size. 

We know the zooming system is kind of weird. But you will be able to master it within a couple of days of use. 

Battery Life

The Photon Rt 6-12×50 needs 4 AA batteries to operate. It can last for up to 4 hours with IR turned off. But with turned on for around 2.3 hours. Which is still a lot. 


  • Two different models.
  • Decent battery life.
  • Strong body built.
  • One-shot zero
  • 2x digital zoom.
  • Shockproof and waterproof.


  • No external SD card support.
  • The video quality is not good enough

Sightmark Photon RT 6-12X50 Review Summary

Overall it’s an excellent product for the price. If you are looking for a compact and lightweight digital night vision rifle scope you can’t go wrong with this one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *