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sightmark photon rt

Sightmark Photon RT Night Vision Riflescope Review


If you’re looking for a budget-oriented night vision rifle scope, the Sightmark Photon RT Night Vision Riflescope is a great option.

This riflescope comes with all the essential features you need to upgrade your hunting game. It is built from metal and features a lightweight, compact design (2.5 pounds). The housing is also water-proof and shockproof to ensure durability.

The Photon RT comes with a CMOS sensor with a 768x576 pixels resolution that provides precise target details.

The magnification ranges from 4.5x to 9x, and a digital zoom of 2x helps view the target closely. This riflescope also boasts a large 42mm objective lens that allows enough light to enter the optic.

There are six reticle design options, each available in 4 colors. The riflescope also features a 640×480 pixels LCD display that offers clear and detailed images of the target and landscapes.

The field of view is 22.5 feet at 100 yards, and a 2.76-inch-long eye relief ensures a comfortable experience over extended use of the riflescope. It also features a soft rubberized removable eyecup.

This Sightmark night vision riflescope has a built-in 850nm IR illuminator that helps detect targets up to 220 yards. It also supports a 5V micro USB cable and stream vision app for convenient data transfer.

Lastly, the Sightmark RT comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros and Cons

sightmark photon rt


  • Long-lasting, high-quality build
  • Affordable and user-friendly
  • Good detection range of 220 yards even in darkness
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Built-in sensor with excellent resolution
  • LCD display provides good visibility
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof and weather-proof body
  • Micro USB connection for convenient data transfer
  • It comes with 6 reticles and 4 color options


  • It lacks an SD card slot
  • Battery life is merely average
  • Battery replacement can be a hassle, considering the location of the battery compartment

Unique Features

Sightmark riflescope comes with a number of great features that make it ideal for different hunting expeditions. 

Quality Build

sightmark photon rt

The Sightmark Photon RT riflescope boasts a durable metal construction. The high rigidity and mechanical strength ensure that the scope lasts for many years.

It is also shockproof and IP55 waterproof, so you can use it in different environmental conditions. You can use it even in the rain without risking the image quality and performance of the riflescope.

Compact Design

The RT riflescope is very compact, making it easy to handle. It is also very light, so it doesn’t add too much weight to your rifle.

It comes with a storage case so you can carry it around without any hassle.

Comfortable eyecup

At the back of the riflescope is a highly comfortable rubber eyecup. You won’t end up with pain around your eye sockets after extended use of the optic.

The eyecup is also removable, so you won’t find it hard to use the scope even if you wear glasses.

Variable Magnification

Another essential feature of this Sightmark riflescope is the 4.5 to 9x magnification. The scope also offers a digital zoom of 2x to provide a clear view of the target.

The high-power magnification makes this riflescope a good choice for hunting varmints.

Plus, the 42 mm objective lens transmits enough light to view precise details of the target, regardless of the lighting conditions.

You will also find focus and diopter adjustment rings on both sides. The diopter adjustment ranges from -4 to 4, making it suitable for versatile uses.

Sensor resolution

The maximum resolution of the CMOS sensor is 768×576, which is 40% better than the previous Photon generations.

It helps get the perfect images of the target as far as 200 yards. There’s no blurriness, so you are sure to hit the target.

IR illuminator

sightmark photon rt

The Photon RT has a built-in 850 nm LED IR illuminator that provides high-quality images of the target while ensuring sufficient brightness and clarity. You can easily distinguish clear details at 220 yards.

Long Eye Relief

With a 2.76-inch eye relief, the Photon RT riflescope provides enough room for recoils without you injuring your eye.

One-shot zero function capability

Sightmark RT riflescope is quite precise. It uses one-shot zero functionality to get you to zero quickly and align the shots. This feature comes in very handy while facing a longer range.


This riflescope comes with a 640×480 pixels resolution LCD display. It provides vivid and contrasting images. The brightness is also adjustable from 10% to 100%.

However, the maximum brightness drains out the battery quickly, so it’s better to set it somewhere in the middle.


One of the best things about this Sightmark riflescope is that it provides 6 different reticle designs in 4 different colors.

The preloaded reticles include two Duplex reticles, two Crossbow reticles, and one German and Mil-dot reticle each.

Built-in video and sound recording

You can make your hunting experience memorable by using video recording and sound recording.

The Photon RT allows you to record short video clips of your trip and store them on the 8 GB internal memory. You can later transfer the videos to your laptop using the micro USB cable.

Stream Vision

Another prominent feature of this riflescope is that it is compatible with the stream vision app, which is supported by both Android and iOS devices.

This allows you to transfer your videos to YouTube or any other device without a wired connection.


The Photon RT works on 4 AA batteries that last for 90 minutes when you use the IR illuminator.

But the batteries can last as long as 120 minutes with the IR illuminator on lower settings. 

Issues & Concerns

Some issues you are likely to come across with the Photon RT include:

No SD card support

The riflescope does not have an SD card slot. This means you can record and save only limited video clips on the internal 8 GB memory.

Short battery life

sightmark photon rt

Even with 4 AA batteries, this riflescope can only run for 90 minutes with the IR illuminator. Also, increasing the brightness drains out the battery really fast.

So, you will need to keep spare pairs of batteries for an all-day hunting adventure.

Care and Maintenance

You can maintain the accuracy and performance of this Sightmark riflescope with proper care and maintenance. Some tips to remember are:

  • Even though the Photon RT is IP55 waterproof, you should not submerge it in water
  • Clean the scope’s surface after every use to remove dust
  • Do not use abrasive chemicals for cleaning purposes
  • Clean the lens using the lens cloth provided in the package
  • Store the riflescope in a hard case in a well-ventilated space

Comparing With Sightmark Photon XT Rifle Scope

The Sightmark Photon RT is a great replacement for the XT riflescope. Both of them feature quite a similar design and are waterproof. However, there are some differences.

One of them includes the internal video recording option, available in the RT riflescope.

The RT riflescope has an 850 nm IR illuminator, while the XT has an 810 nm IR illuminator. Also, the RT has a 2x digital zoom while the XT has a fixed magnification of 4.6x.

The Photon RT scope supports USB connectivity, but the XT doesn’t.

You can also pair the RT riflescope with your device using the Stream Vision app to transfer data wirelessly.


The Sightmark Photon RT riflescope comes with a limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials and craftsmanship.

It covers technical defects in the digital imaging sensor for three years. The company is not liable for any damage caused by improper handling or use of the riflescope.


  • Brand: Sightmark
  • Color: Black
  • Style: 850 IR
  • Weight: 30.7 oz
  • Dimensions: 16.57 x 3.62 inches
  • Objective Lens size: 42 mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-9x
  • Sensor resolution: 768x576 Pixels
  • Display Type: LCD
  • LCD display: 640 x 480
  • IR illuminator: 850 nm
  • Sensor type: CMOS
  • Night vision: Yes
  • Reticles: 6
  • Color Palettes: 4
  • Detection range: 220 yards
  • Waterproofing: IP55
  • Power source: Battery operated
  • Battery type: AA battery
  • Number of batteries: 4
  • Internal memory: 8 GB
  • Field of view: 22.5 at 100 yards
  • Eye relief: 2.76 inches
  • Tube diameter: 1.18 inches
  • Video format: AVI format
  • Image format: JPEG format
  • WiFi connectivity: Yes
  • USB connectivity: Yes
  • Mounting brackets on the rifle: 30 mm rings

Where to Buy

 You can order the Sightmark Photon RT Night Vision Riflescope from Amazon.

About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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