Okay... Here is my quick review comparing the VisionKing 5x25 with the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25. Note: Yes. I did say VisionKing. Even though I ordered the NEEWER 5x25, I received a VisionKing 5x25.
The Bushnell is quite a few years older while the VisionKing is fairly new. So that should give an edge to the VisionKing, especially regarding coatings. The designs, of course, are completely different. The Bushnell is a reverse porro, while the VisionKing is a roof.
I've been enjoying my Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 for some time now. I also own the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 7x32, which has a much larger AFOV, but also can suffer from significant image distortions. The 5x25 offers a much nicer image at the expense of a smaller AFOV. By way of calculation, the 5x25 has a 65° AFOV, and the 7x32 has a 93° AFOV. Pretty significant difference, as the real FOV is actually greater in the 7x32, even with the greater power. But again, it comes with a price. The 5x25 is clearly a more comfortable view.
The VisionKing 5x25 is a roof prism design, and while it does boast some nice features, it clearly is not a precision glass. Nevertheless, with a 79° AFOV, the view is outstanding. I do find myself playing with the focus more than I should, and I think there are good reasons for this. First, it's pretty clear that the prisms are not phase coated. Second, there are also no eyecups to speak of, so there is no way to block the light from around your eyes. And with the eye lenses just a few mm below the surface, the eye relief (fair, but not good) has me holding the binocular just out in front of my eyes. And third, to top that off, to correct my right eye vision, I have the right diopter all the way to the end of the negative side adjustment, and it seems that I need to go just a bit further. But, at 5x, I think it's probably close enough.
To just look at the VisionKing, it appears to be closer to 5x38 instead of 5x25. The reason is the 38mm flat optical lenses (or shields, or Optical Windows if you like...) that hide the 25mm objectives underneath. They do appear to be multi-coated, but I'm still wondering why... I learned to like the concept on my old Astroscan, and it seems to work very well on my Canon IS binoculars... But I'm left to wonder about the quality of these 38mm glass discs, and if this has anything to do with these images that I continuously want to fiddle with in order to focus sharply?
Anyway, I'm being quite fussy here because overall I find using this low power, wide angle glass a real blast. Yes, I can look past the weak spots and just take in the nice, wide views. Overall though, the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 offers sharper images. But as a lover of wide angle views, the VisionKing is clearly a keeper.
For daytime viewing, I go back and forth between the the Bushnell and the VisionKing in my preference, depending on what I'm looking at. Under the night sky, however, my preference is more clear. The VisionKing is significantly LESS bright than the Bushnell. It's quite obvious at night. And now that I have seen it at night, I can also see it during the day. But last night, with the Beehive Cluster straight above me, I decided to compare these two binoculars. The Bushnell offered some distinct individual stars with direct vision, and many distinct individual stars with averted vision. The VisionKing offered a rather dark mottled view that seemed to occasionally offer a star or two with direct view, or maybe it was my wishful thinking. Averted vision presented just as few individual stars and just a larger mottled image.
So I expect the VisionKing to be mostly a daytime binocular. I think it might find a very good home in the car. I will be more likely to use it when the less bright image is a good thing. And I have to say that this little binocular really does meet my expectations. After all, it was only $54 shipped from China, and I found it in my mailbox only 8 days from when I ordered it.
One more thing I should mention regarding the RFOV... I have previously made rough star measurements and feel confident that my Bushnell 5x25 lives up to it's 13° claim. I have seen others who have posted about lesser results, but just call it sample variance or whatever. The VisionKing has a huge AFOV, yet the RFOV was only about a degree to a degree and a half larger than the Bushnell. I then tested for image scale and the VisionKing does have a slightly larger image scale. And my Bushnell seems to be even a bit less than 5x. So it seems likely here that one is a bit less than 5x and the other is a bit more than 5x. But who really wants to get bogged down in all these details anyway...
Yes, sample variance happens. Especially at this price level.
Edited by SMark, 21 April 2015 - 11:59 PM.