The importance of automated prism tracking is increasingly triggered by the rising automation of total station measurements in machine control, monitoring and one-person operation. In this article we summarize and explain the different techniques that are used to coarsely search a prism, to precisely aim at a prism, and to identify whether the correct prism is tracked. Along with the state-of-the-art review, we discuss and experimentally evaluate possible improvements based on the image data of an additional wide-angle camera which is available for many total stations today. In cases in which the total station’s fine aiming module loses the prism, the tracked object may still be visible to the wide-angle camera because of its larger field of view. The theodolite angles towards the target can then be derived from its image coordinates which facilitates a fast reacquisition of the prism. In experimental measurements we demonstrate that our image-based approach for the coarse target search is 4 to 10-times faster than conventional approaches.