The optics industry has witnessed remarkable advancements in recent years, propelled by the integration of cutting-edge technology. Among the most revolutionary innovations is the development of night vision scopes and Thermal scopes, which have forever transformed the way we observe and engage with our surroundings in low-light conditions.
The ATN X Sight 2 HD is one of those sights that represent a significant leap forward in the realm of optical devices, boasting an array of features that combine traditional optic functionality with state-of-the-art technology. This versatile scope provides a high-definition view and also incorporates smart technology for enhanced shooting experiences.
Throughout this discussion, we will look at the key features that set the ATN X Sight 2 HD apart, from its image quality to its integrated ballistic calculator, smart range finder, and video camera recording; this scope offers a comprehensive package that caters to the needs of hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and tactical professionals. However, as with any product, it is crucial to consider both its advantages and limitations. Therefore, we will also examine most of the potential drawbacks of the ATN X, such as battery life, weight considerations, compatibility issues, and more. So, let us get on with the discussion of features offered by ATN X Sight.
ATN X Sight 2 HD Review
Upon first encountering the ATN X-Sight II HD optic, several aspects caught my attention. The first thing you’ll notice when you open the package is a green soft bag in which the entire optic was packaged. This packaging choice was intended to provide protection and portability for the optic. However, my initial impression changed when I got my hands on the instruction manual. The manual appeared to be overwhelming due to the extensive instructions it contained. From enabling the GPS to setting the compass, and recording video, the optic seemed to have an excessive number of features and functions. The instruction manual provided too much information to absorb and follow easily.
The complexity of the manual may have stemmed from the optic’s multitude of features and functions. However, I think the manual could have been better organized or streamlined to make it more user-friendly and less overwhelming. For many shooters, especially the newbies, this might be a great feat, but the overwhelming nature of the manual can be seen as a drawback for users who seek clear and concise instructions to operate the optic. When confronted with a manual that is difficult to navigate or comprehend, users may struggle to fully utilize the optic’s capabilities.
One aspect that I think is a potential drawback of the ATN X Sight is its weight. Due to the incorporation of advanced technology, the scope may have a relatively heavier build compared to traditional scopes. The weight of the device can affect the overall comfort and maneuverability, particularly during prolonged use or when attached to a firearm for hunting or tactical purposes. However, it is important to note that the weight issue may vary depending on individual preferences and the specific application of the scope. Some users who prioritize the scope’s advanced features and exceptional performance find the weight to be a reasonable trade-off.
The optic weighs about 4.5 Pounds. Despite the weight consideration, many users still appreciate the overall functionality and performance offered by the scope, which outweighs the slight inconvenience caused by its weight. Aside from the advanced technology and features that make it heavy, another part of the sight that adds bulk is the battery and IR illuminator. Although the specific weight of the optic with batteries was not provided, it can be inferred that the inclusion of batteries would increase the overall weight. This additional weight must be considered when planning for extended usage.
The weight of the optic, when equipped with the IR illuminator, was not also provided. However, the IR illuminator would add some weight to the overall package. The IR illuminator is a crucial component for low-light and night vision applications, and its presence can contribute to the overall functionality of the optic.
Battery Requirements and Battery Life
Another aspect of the sight that users have expressed concerns about is the battery life and power consumption. Given its advanced technology and features, the scope requires power to operate effectively. However, this can lead to a relatively higher power consumption compared to a traditional optic. The battery life of the scope may vary depending on usage patterns, settings, and environmental factors. Some users have reported that the battery life may not be sufficient for extended periods of use, particularly in situations where continuous recording or streaming is required. This can be a limitation, especially during long hunting trips or surveillance operations.
The sight uses 4 AA batteries, and the batteries are said to last between 2 to 4 hours. From my experience, the batteries did not last up to 2 hours, and I had to get more batteries to keep using the sight while testing it. It is worth noting that ATN has made efforts to address this concern by offering options for external power sources, such as an external battery pack. These additional power options can help extend the operational time of the device to about 22 hours and mitigate battery life limitations to some extent. In my opinion, the external battery pack is another added weight to your setup.
Aside from the four batteries needed to power the scope, you will also need two additional AA batteries to power the IR illuminator. Despite the potential limitations associated with battery life and power consumption, the ATN X Sight continues to receive positive reviews for its feature set. Some users appreciate the advanced technology and functionality offered by the scope, which compensates for the relatively higher power demands.
Use of the Camera Screen for Viewing
One significant departure from traditional riflescopes is the use of a camera screen for viewing. Unlike conventional riflescopes and red dot sights that allow you to directly see through the sight without the need for battery power, the ATN X Sight relies on its built-in camera and electronic display for visual feedback.
While the camera screen provides several advantages, such as high-definition imagery and the ability to record or stream footage, it does introduce a dependency on battery power. Without a functioning battery, the scope becomes completely useless as the camera screen cannot operate.
The dependency on battery power raises concerns regarding the optic’s usability in scenarios where power supply is limited or unavailable. In emergency situations or extended outdoor activities, users may face challenges if they cannot access a reliable power source to keep the optic functioning. It is essential for users to factor in the limited battery life mentioned earlier and make necessary preparations to ensure uninterrupted usage.
Despite the reliance on battery power, many users find the camera screen to be a valuable feature that enhances their shooting experience. The ability to view the target, zoom in, and utilize the scope’s advanced features, such as the ballistic calculator and smart range finder makes many comfortable with the scope.
Control of the Video Screen Distance
The ATN X night vision optic incorporates a control knob that allows users to adjust the HD video screen distance, providing flexibility and customization for comfortable viewing. This feature sets it apart from traditional scopes, where the focus is typically fixed. The control knob enables users to fine-tune the distance of the video screen to match their individual eye preferences. By rotating the knob, the user can achieve optimal focus and clarity, ensuring a sharp and crisp image on the screen.
The ability to control the HD video screen distance also contributes to enhanced shooting accuracy. By precisely aligning the focus to suit one’s vision, users can more effectively identify targets, gauge distances, and make precise adjustments for improved shot placement.
Eye Relief Measurement and Positioning
The X-Sight II night vision scope has an eye relief measurement of 2.5 inches from the housing. Eye relief is an important specification in optics that determines the optimal distance at which the user’s eye should be positioned from the eyepiece to achieve a clear and unobstructed view. It is particularly crucial for individuals who wear glasses or have varying visual needs.
Given the eye relief measurement of 2.5 inches from the housing, users must ensure that their eye is positioned at this specific distance to fully benefit from the optic’s intended viewing experience. Proper eye positioning ensures that the user’s eye is aligned with the optic’s optical elements, allowing for a clear and undistorted image. When I mounted the scope on my rifle, I noticed that I needed to place my eyes almost inside the rubber eye cup because it is exactly 2.5 inches from the housing.
The ATN X Sight is available in two models or types of magnification: 5-20x and 3-14x. These magnification ranges offer users the ability to zoom in and view their targets at different levels of detail and distance.
When using the digital zoom feature of the ATN X night vision optic, it’s important to note that the image can become increasingly blurry as you zoom in. This blurriness is a result of the digital image zoom, where the sight digitally enlarges the captured image to provide additional magnification beyond the optical limits.
Unlike optical magnification, which utilizes the physical lens system to increase the size of the image, digital zoom relies on digitally manipulating the captured image. As the image is digitally zoomed in, the sight interpolates the pixels and enlarges them to create the illusion of increased magnification. However, this process can lead to a loss of image quality and clarity. The extent of blurriness or loss of image quality when using digital zoom will depend on factors like specific sight models, the level of digital zoom applied, and the quality of the image sensor and digital processing technology.
It’s important to manage expectations when using digital zoom on any device, as the image degradation and blurriness are inherent limitations of the digital enlargement process. Users should be aware that the image may not retain the same level of crispness and clarity when using higher levels of digital zoom compared to the native optical magnification. To mitigate the blurriness and optimize the image quality when using digital zoom, I recommended using the lowest effective level of zoom required for the specific shooting or observation task. This approach helped me to minimize the impact on image quality and ensured a sharper and more detailed view of the target.
The ATN X Sight features a focus knob that allows users to adjust the focus of the optic, ensuring the sharpness and clarity of the image. The location of the focus knob on top of the sight. While some users find the placement ergonomic and easily accessible, others have expressed concerns about its positioning, which may require adjusting hand placement or grip to reach and operate the knob comfortably.
In terms of stiffness and difficulty, I think the focus knob on the ATN Sight is stiff and requires a significant amount of force to turn. This stiffness makes it challenging to achieve smooth and precise adjustments, particularly when trying to fine-tune the focus for optimal clarity. The stiffness of the knob can have an impact on minute control.
It is important to note that the experience with the knob can vary among users. While some may find it manageable, others may find it more challenging. Personal preferences, hand strength, and familiarity with the scope’s operation can also play a role in the overall perception of the focus knob.
The ATN night vision scope incorporates a smart rangefinder feature, which allows users to estimate the distance to their target. The rangefinder function is a valuable addition that helps enhance shooting accuracy and precision.
There are different types of rangefinders available in the market, including scopes with range-finding reticles, laser range finders, and other advanced technologies. Scopes with range finding reticles use a calibrated reticle pattern to estimate the distance to the target based on its size or known dimensions. Laser range finders, on the other hand, emit a laser beam toward the target and calculate the time it takes for the beam to bounce back, providing an accurate distance measurement.
The ATN X Sight 2 HD typically employs a built-in laser rangefinder to estimate target distance. This feature allows users to quickly and conveniently determine the range of their intended target, enhancing shot placement and overall shooting accuracy. However, I noticed some issues with the smart rangefinder, specifically when it comes to calculating distances accurately. This limitation can potentially affect the precision of shots, particularly in scenarios where the target’s height varies or is not known.
Additionally, adjusting the target height in the sight can pose challenges due to the menu navigation required to make such adjustments. I found it cumbersome and time-consuming to navigate through the menu and make the necessary changes to account for variations in target height. This can be a drawback in situations where quick adjustments are crucial for accurate distance estimation and shot placement.
Input lag refers to the delay between an action taken by the user and the corresponding response on the device. In the context of the ATN X Sight, input lag can have an impact on the overall user experience and performance. Night vision functionality relies on real-time image processing and display to provide clear and enhanced visibility in low-light or dark conditions. Any significant input lag can disrupt the seamless flow of images, affecting the effectiveness of the night vision capabilities.
If there is noticeable input lag, it can cause a delay between the user’s movements or actions and the corresponding adjustments in the displayed image. This delay can be disorienting and may hinder target acquisition or tracking, especially in dynamic situations where swift reactions are required.
Input lag can have a particularly noticeable impact during activities such as hunting, surveillance, or tactical operations conducted in low-light environments. In these scenarios, the ability to quickly and accurately respond to changes in the environment is crucial for success and safety. Any delay caused by input lag can compromise the user’s ability to make timely decisions and effectively engage with their surroundings.
Aside from the input lag, another downside is that the scope takes some time to power on. The ATN X optic has been reported by users to have a time-consuming process for turning on, which can be particularly disadvantageous in emergency situations where quick response times are crucial. Turning on the device may involve multiple steps, such as pressing buttons, navigating through menus, and waiting for the system to initialize. This process can take valuable seconds, which can be a significant drawback during urgent or time-sensitive scenarios.
In emergency situations, users often require immediate access to their night vision device to assess the situation, gather information, and make informed decisions. Any delay in turning on the device can hinder their ability to respond swiftly and effectively.
The ATN X Sight offers a reticle that serves as a visual aid for aiming and target acquisition. However, there are two notable limitations related to the reticle and adjustability.
Lack of MIL or MOA measurements on the reticle
Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the reticle on the ATN X Sight due to the absence of MIL (milliradian) or MOA (minute of angle) measurements. MIL and MOA are common angular measurements used for precise adjustments and ranging. The lack of these measurements on the reticle can make it challenging for users who prefer or are accustomed to working with MIL or MOA systems. Without these measurements, users may need to rely on estimation or alternative methods for range estimation and adjustments, which can potentially impact shooting accuracy and precision.
Inability to adjust optic based on spotter calls
Another limitation is the inability to adjust the optic based on spotter calls. In shooting scenarios where a spotter provides instructions or corrections to the shooter, the ability to quickly and accurately adjust the optic’s settings is crucial. However, some users have found that the ATN X Sight may lack the necessary adjustability options or may have limitations in making precise adjustments on the fly. This can hinder the shooter’s ability to make immediate and precise corrections based on spotter calls, potentially affecting shot placement and overall performance.
It is worth noting that the reticle and adjustability limitations of the ATN X Sight may vary based on individual user preferences, shooting styles, and specific shooting requirements. While some users may find the reticle and adjustability sufficient for their needs, others who prioritize MIL or MOA measurements or require quick and precise adjustments based on spotter calls may find these limitations to be drawbacks.
Having a ballistic calculator integrated into the ATN Sight offers several benefits that can greatly enhance shooting accuracy and precision. Firstly, the ballistics calculator takes into account various factors such as bullet trajectory, environmental conditions (such as wind and temperature), and the shooter’s specific ammunition and rifle characteristics. By inputting this data into the calculator, users can receive precise aiming adjustments, ensuring their shots are accurately placed on the target.
Secondly, the sight takes away the challenge of performing complex ballistics calculations manually. With a built-in ballistics calculator, the ATN X automates the calculation process, saving time and providing accurate adjustments instantly. This simplification allows shooters to focus more on the target and their shooting technique. The ballistic calculator also provides real-time data and adjustments, allowing shooters to engage targets at varying distances quickly. By inputting the distance to the target, the calculator can determine the necessary holdover for an accurate shot.
The ballistic calculator can be tailored to specific firearms and ammunition, taking into account their unique ballistics. This customization ensures that the calculated adjustments are highly accurate and specific to the user’s setup, resulting in improved shot placement and greater confidence in the equipment being used.
Mike Hardesty is a published freelance gun writer. He also possesses specialized expertise in rifle scopes With dozens of articles and reviews published in Pew Pew Tactical, Snipercountry.com, and TTAG (The Truth About Guns), Mike is considered a firearms expert. His special area of expertise is handguns.
Mike is a long-time shooter. He has been punching paper targets, taking deer and other game and shooting at competitions since about 1975. Other related pursuits include reloading and bullet casting. He currently reloads for over 10 calibers, both handgun and rifle. His reloads, particularly for 9mm, were in great demand during the height of the ammo shortage among family and friends. He donated hundreds of rounds to informal shooting sessions. He was quoted as saying “I do not sell my reloads but I sure will help my guys shoot ’em for free!”. He has a few cherished firearms that he has inherited or otherwise procured — those are his favorites.
He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Indiana State University in 1974-1975.
He’s a firearm experts and is the founder of mhardesty.com.