The Yukon Photon RT is a very interesting night vision riflescope that offers a simple and elegant solution to hunters that cannot use standard Picatinny-only equipped optics because their favorite hunting firearms offers proprietary mounting solutions - e.g. Blaser or Sako.
Night vision riflescope Yukon Photon RT
As a matter of fact, the overwhelming majority of night vision riflescopes, whatever technology they’re based on (digital, IIT or Thermal) all come stock with a Picatinny mount.
In some cases, the mounts are replaceable with other types; however, the Photon RT is one of the few that allows the hunter to simply mount this digital riflescope on any firearm compatible with 30mm optics rings.
The body of the Photon RT includes a standard 30mm diameter mounting tube between the main housing and eyepiece, a solution already used by the previous Yukon Photon XT; the length of the tube is enough to accommodate both sets of two rings and most single-piece 30mm mounts.
The mounting solution obviously is only a part of the interesting features that the Photon RT line of optics offers.
The line includes two models, the 4.5х42 and 6x50, and two options for the IR illumination module integrated in the device, identified by the “S” suffix, for a total of four models.
“S” models use an 850nm LED as IR light source, instead of the 940nm LED of the standard version. It’s a tradeoff: the “S” version illuminator is stronger, with an extended range (up to 200m), but is visible as a dark red glow, while the non-S illuminator uses a totally invisible light that however gives a slightly reduced range (up to 140m).
Riflescope Photon RT 4.5x42S: technical specs
We tested the Photon RT 4.5x42S riflescope.
The 4 AA batteries are contained in an easy to replace cartridge, two are included with the scope, and offer up to 3.5 hours of use. The housing is built of a tough high impact polymer, with an aluminum 30mm tube.
An electronic reticle, with user selectable pattern and color, can be zeroed easily using the integrated “one shot” routine. The sensor used is a 768x576 resolution monochromatic CMOS, that has impressive low light sensibility figures, coupled to a 640x480 LCD microdisplay in the eyepiece.
The sensor cannot be damaged by bright light unlike IIT tubes are; the Photon RT can be operated in full daytime without any fear of immediate or long-term damage. In any case, in front of the objective there’s a flip-up pinhole cover to improve image quality during daytime.
The Photon RT integrates a video recorder capable of capturing video and still images up to VGA resolution. Video can be downloaded to a PC using the MicroUSB port (also used to power up the device form external battery packs) or streamed thru a WiFi connection with the iOS and Android compatible Stream Vision app to YouTube and other video platforms. The Stream Vision app can also be used to remotely control the Yukon Photon RT from a smartphone or tablet, since a dedicated remote is not included.
Controls are extremely easy to use and learning curve is not too bad. Only three controls are present on the Photon RT: an encoding knob with a confirmation button on top, an on/off button and a small button to snap pictures or videos. The variable power IR illuminator is focusable and is controlled via software (like basically everything on the device) using the menu system.
Test: Photon RT 4.5x42S digital riflescope.
The Photon RT has favorably impressed us, both with good performance (in daylight too), ease of use and excellent price to quality ratio. The 30mm mounting interface, although it does increase the size of the device, pays off double fold for the advantage of using proprietary mounts not compatible with most of the competitive NVD scopes on the market.