The Science Behind Revision I-Vis Lenses, Simplified

Other brands are cool, Revision is my tool

Revision is a well-known name in the United States Military. They have been providing our service men and women with quality, NSN-approved ballistic eyewear for many years. Revision recently released its latest line, I-Vis with six different lenses. A complete 180 from the clear and smoke lenses first provided by Revision, these lenses stimulate our eyes within the specific environment that they are in.

I-Vis lenses from Revision are created based on the environment being operated in, which is not a one-size-fits-all color. Instead, using complicated color science the I-Vis lenses are designed to stimulate the eye to find colors in the environment that we may have never even known existed before.

Below is that science simplified and some practical applications from professionals across multiple industries.

Getting the Environment Right

Most of the time, when we think of colors, we think of a color wheel with a few main block colors with several shades, hues, and colors in between. When Revision was making the six lenses used, they didn’t go to the color wheel as tactical environments often have millions of colors. Instead, they used NASA Satellites. These satellite pictures showed different environments in incredible detail. Within those images and details, Revision developed a precise color science to identify what colors within the lens would allow the eye to pick up the details lost in any given environment.

Gamut Expansion

Gamut Expansion is basically the potential of all light. Mathematicians would say that the Gamut is a subset within the perceivable color space. Gamut Expansion, in the simplest of terms, is finding the point within color where you can stimulate a display to see millions of colors and hues. In this case, the display would be the Revision lenses.

Revision used Gamut Expansion to find what colors stimulated the eye to start seeing moreNotice each lens color in the Revision photos below. These cutouts are almost oval in shape. Within those ovals are the colors that Revision found to allow the eye to pick up actual colors in the environment, not just perceivable colors.

There are six different lenses for six different environments from I-Vis. These lenses enhance the colors within the environment to a “noticeable difference”. (Photo: Revision)

Eye Science

Eyes are made of rods and cones. To stimulate these rods and cones, certain things within colors need to be enhanced. One is example is Chroma, which is the intensity of any given color. Gamut also needs to be increased, which as we previously discussed, is the expansion of colors.

According to the designer of I-Vis, this is how they used color to stimulate the eye: “Our dyes work with the receptors in the eye to increase the Chroma, stimulating the rods and cones inside the eye. Reds, Oranges, and Yellows stimulate cones, and increasing Gama within blues and greens stimulates the rods within the eye. This all leads to a just noticeable difference.” -Revision I-Vis Designer

That “noticeable difference” is what allows our eyes to see a shade of red within a leaf that we never saw before due to our eyes not being stimulated.

The Purkinje Effect

The Revision lenses also do something very cool that is in line with the Purkinje Effect. The Purkinje Effect is basically how the eye perceives red objects fading faster than blues or greens as light decreases or night falls. This is the brain gravitating to the blue end of the spectrum when illumination fades.

For instance, the Designer of I-Vis said, “While wearing the Umbra lens at night I could see more in the woods than I could see with a clear lens.”

The fact that this occurs is pretty wild considering that the Umbra lens has a 48% Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rating.  That means that these lenses only let in half the light that a clear lens could, yet he could still see more with the Umbra. Again, eye stimulation and science. Wild. 

Expansion of colors from 4 colors to 256 with Revision I-Vis lens
This is what the expansion of colors looks like. Revision uses Gamut Expansion to find more colors within the environment and stimulate your eyes to pick up those colors. (Photo: Revision)

Brain Exhaustion

Now, one would think that the stimulation of the eyes that Revision does is tiresome to our eyes. Actually, it is entirely the opposite. Think about the yellow shooting lenses on the market today. Almost like blue-light-blocking lenses, they tend to change the environment entirely. For instance, after putting these glasses on and looking at a tennis ball, instead of a yellow tennis ball, you may see a pink. Now your brain is saying “wait, isn’t that supposed to be yellow?” All of this subconscious work your brain does, trying to figure it out, is actually very tiresome.

The Revision lenses do not add light or introduce other colors into your eyes and brain. Instead, they filter light and stimulate your eyes to see the light/colors that are already naturally there within the environment.

Revision Lens Clarity

Revision also has a very high standard when it comes to lens clarity.

Resolution Factor

When it comes to good resolution within eye protection, the mold that the resin is going into matters.  Molds need to be taken care of and maintained to the highest standard. Imperfections in the mold will interfere with the clarity of the lens. Every time that a lens goes into a mold, molecules of the mold will be removed. Three million lenses a year means three million molecules are removed from that mold each year. Upkeep of molds is expensive and many companies cut corners. Revision’s resolution factor has shown that they do not cut those corners.

Right now, Revision has stated that their lines of resolution in their eyewear are at 37. Other companies have shown resolution at 20+. At 40+ the eyes cannot see the imperfections, thus putting Revision at the top of the list for resolution.

Optical Design/Frame

No matter how good a lens is, if it goes into a frame that it doesn’t belong to, the lens will be drastically affected. For instance, “putting a 6.8 based curve lens inside a 7 frame can stress and twist the lens which affects how the light refracts,” says Revision. Each I-Vis lens has been designed and placed into Revision’s current STINGERHAWK design and frame, which is the only OEM frame for the I-Vis lens.

All of this matters, especially when your eye is looking into a scope with a reticle three inches from your eye. You need an optically perfect lens to clearly perceive the glass, the reticle, and the environment 900 yards away.

wearing the AROS lens at a gas gun match
All I-Vis lenses are ballistic rated. This is the AROS lens at a recent gas gun match. Any lens can be switched out between STINGERHAWK frames.

Practical Application

Below are a few TRUE stories of the I-Vis lenses at work.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD): During tactical operations, an EOD Technician stated that when using the Smoke Lens (currently the Military uses clear and smoke) there was a red piece of trash that he could not see. Upon dawning the Cano lens which operates in dense and shaded foliage, the red trash stood out. The Cano lens is meant to allow foreign objects to stand out and differences within the landscape, especially in the shade due to the 37% Visible Light Transmission. In this case, it definitely did that.

Shooting Sporting Clays w/ a Professional Eye Doctor: Dr. Richard Colo, an eye Doctor that has a specialty in diagnosing shooters’ eye health and function took shooters through Clay Pigeon shooting. His main tip was to, “find a detail within the clay to focus on, not the entire clay.” As shooters dawned different lenses such as the Yellow, shooters were not able to see detail within the clay. However, with the Aros that is meant to bring out differences in similar shades of brown and yellows, details were found and shooters were breaking clays.

Pro Precision Rifle Shooter Caylen Wojcik: Using the I-Vis lenses while hunting, Caylen has stated that he was able to see different shades of green within the grass. Being able to see this amount of detail also allowed him to see movement with the wind and make better calls.

Arboriculturist/Tree Doc: An arboriculturist stated that using the I-Vis lenses allowed him to see fungus on a leaf 50m away. Imagine that, looking at an already orange-colored leaf and seeing a small red-colored spot 50m away. The I-Vis lens doesn’t change the color of the leaf but instead heightens the colors already there.

showing the difference in naked eye and AROS lens with a snowy mountain
Recently at a match, I chose to wear the AROS lens due to it being in Vegas in a high desert environment. The lens allowed me to see steel targets and objects much better than with my naked eye. As you can see, the snow-topped mountain in the distance is barely visible, but with the AROS lens, it pops.

Ballistic and Anti-Fog

Fun Fact, the two injuries that have the highest odds of leading to death by suicide for males are injuries to male genitals and injuries to your eyes.

So, wear ballistic Eye Pro.

All lenses from Revision are ballistic and anti-fog, including their Winter Operation Goggles and the I-Vis Lenses.

the ballistic rating from revision
Above are the ballistic testing and ratings from Revision for the I-Vis lenses. Each lens is military ballistic rating approved. (Photo: Revision)
anti fog testing from Revision
All I-Vis lenses are anti-fog. This anti-fog and anti-scratch coating does not take away from any clarity. (Photo: Revision)
Anne Smith is a Veteran of the full time MNARNG force as a Small Arms Repairer and worked to bolster their marksmanship team. Mainly a technical writer and gunsmith within the Federal world she comes with many armorer classes under her belt such as KAC, Glock, every FN weapon in the book, and Small Arms Weapons Expert (SAWE). So, sorry to bore you with the knowledge that actually make firearms shoot. Currently heavily into the long range world she competes in National Rifle League Hunter and various Gas Gun Precision Series.

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