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Old 01-23-2018, 09:03 PM   #14
Outdoor Legacy
Ten Point
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Appleby, TX
Hunt In: Nacogdoches Co. & NW Oklahoma

Thanks guys. It was a crazy busy day. First I met with Pulsar/Sightmark (sister companies) and that was a really good meeting. I ran out of time and didn't get any hands on time with the new products because I had a scheduled meeting with FLIR. I'm going back to Pulsar tomorrow and I'll get some pics and maybe even a little video of the new stuff. I'll have more details, specs and pricing then.

From my meeting today, my initial take away is this.... We are looking at the first VERY small shipment of new Sightmark Photon RT's coming in around the first half of February. I expect it will be March/April before the bigger shipments are rolling in. I've already got a pre-order list for all the models and if you are interested, I'd definitely let me know soon to get spot in line.

The Photon RT's probably need their own thread but I'll go ahead and post some info on them here. They now include built in video recording, live streaming to your phone or tablet via a free app and they have a 2x digital zoom. There are 4 models:

Sightmark Photon RT 4.5x42S $549.97

Sightmark Photon RT 4.5x42 $599.97

Sightmark Photon RT 6.5x50S $649.97

Sightmark Photon RT 6.5x50 $699.97

There is a lot of confusion about the different models and I'm going to briefly try and explain it here. The S models have an 850nm wavelength IR illuminator. This is the industry standard illuminator IR wavelength, it's the same range as what all the previous Photons have had, what the Pulsar DigiSights have, same with the ATN X-Sights and most external IR illuminators like the UNV 20IR. The reason for this is that the 800nm wavelength range is the most usable IR "light" for these digital scopes. When you turn on the illuminator and you look directly into it, you can see a very soft red glow of the LED array. No visible glow or light is emitted or cast out from the illuminator but this glow is (barely) visible as close distances. In my opinion, in most all cases, this is a non-issue. The tens of thousands of guys killing hogs and coyotes with these digital scopes is proof of this.

The other two models (without the S) have a 940nm IR illuminator. The 940nm does not produce this soft red glow at the head of the light. It is truly "invisible" even when you look right in the head of it. The trade off is that the 940nm wavelength range is not suited nearly as well for the image sensors in these digital scopes. What that means practically speaking is, you can't see as far because you have less infrared illumination. This can be a very big trade off that isn't worth it for most guys. However, if you have highly educated coyotes or hogs, this is a good choice. But my experience in real world use and in talking to hundreds and hundreds of customers over the years, I just don't see this being a problem for many people.

So with all that said, my advice is to buy the S models. Save the $50, get better range. If I see something different when I'm able to finally get my hands on one of the 940nm RT's, I'll be glad to admit I'm wrong but even Sightmark's specs show the range is greatly diminished on the 940's.

Stay tuned for Part 2

- Jason
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