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A VisionKing 5x25 "2-cents" review

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#1 Vincent33

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 08:26 AM

Hi all, these binoculars found some interest time ago on BirdForum for their declared field of view and the low magnification. Binoculars of this kind are not common; I just know of a Russian Foton 5x25 and the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25. That's the page of the producer - or vendor. I've bought them, and I want to make a very simple review of them.

 

First, I compare them to my latest acquisition on a "not-top-of-all" binoculars, the Nikon Prostaff 8x30, about their exteriour appearance; they don't show any difference. The body seems to me of the sale quality level. The case is on a par.

What I don't understand is that claiming a 15mm eye relief they do not have what Nikon calls "Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click facilitate easy positioning of eyes at the correct eyepoint" or Pentax calls "Eyepiece Ring: Helicoid type".

 

They have a front flat element. Focusing is achieved by moving the objectives, so I can think that it could really be "Waterproof, Fogproof and Nitrogen filled".

 

Apart from aestethic considerations, I can compare them (I'll call them VK) "side-by-side" to the Foton 5x25 (I'll call them FO) and the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 (I'll call them BU) that I already own.

 

About magnification: they seem equal.
About fiel of view: the VK has clearly a larger FOV. The others are about the same.

About minimal focusing distance: the BU wins, but VK is very close. FO is the looser.

 

About the quality of the image, I don't think I'm a good judge. For me, they are on a par. Maybe the VK offer a sligtly clearer view.

 

These are my two cents (maybe one?).  :-)



#2 TomCorbett

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 09:41 AM

Nice review

 

...Bob

.



#3 SMark

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 12:01 PM

Interesting review. Thank you!

 

I recall the Vision King being reviewed previously and the reviewer had indicated, as I recall, that the FOV seemed closer to 10°, which certainly seemed more appropriate for a roof. I had attempted to explain the error as a typo in the FOV stated as 277 meters to be, rather, 177 meters. But you are saying that it appears to be, in fact, larger than the 12° to 13° FOV of the other 5x25s. If this really is the case, then this may actually put it in that rather small group of roofs that can claim the traditional wide angle title of ~65° AFOV or greater. And your review seems to indicate that it may even be greater than this, which I would probably classify as a breakthrough of sorts in inexpensive roof prism design.


Edited by SMark, 11 April 2015 - 12:03 PM.


#4 Vincent33

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 05:30 AM

Thanks for the replies.

 

I forgot to put a link of an image that shows the back of the binoculars , where is written that the field of view is 15.8° degrees, that is EQUAL to say 277 m / 1000 m. If they are lying, they are making it twice but in a coherent way.

 

I've made another comparison with the Foton; at a close distance, the VK showed 3.5 bricks on the wall, and the FO 2.5. It's (APPROXIMATELY!!) a 1.4 factor.

 

I found also on eBay a "NEEWER VS5X25" that seems equal to the VK, even cheaper.

 

I repeat that for a more in depth and reliable review you should wait for someone more skilled than me.



#5 Swedpat

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:12 AM

I am very interested in this binocular. I have a Bushnell X-wide 5x25 which I damaged when I would clean the lens under running water. I thought it should work but water entered the objectives and reached the prisms.

I would describe the optical quality of it as low, not very sharp on-axis and very distorted image towards the edges. Still I liked it because of the stable image, wide FOV and it worked pretty well with eyeglasses on. 



#6 SMark

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 10:53 AM

Thanks for the replies.

 

I forgot to put a link of an image that shows the back of the binoculars , where is written that the field of view is 15.8° degrees, that is EQUAL to say 277 m / 1000 m. If they are lying, they are making it twice but in a coherent way.

 

I've made another comparison with the Foton; at a close distance, the VK showed 3.5 bricks on the wall, and the FO 2.5. It's (APPROXIMATELY!!) a 1.4 factor.

 

I found also on eBay a "NEEWER VS5X25" that seems equal to the VK, even cheaper.

 

I repeat that for a more in depth and reliable review you should wait for someone more skilled than me.

 

 

Very cool, it's going back on my list! I also have the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 and have enjoyed it a lot.



#7 aa5te

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:39 AM

I received my very own Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 yesterday, and had been looking into this VK 5x25 prior to it. The Bushnell seems pretty sharp to me over 60% or so of the FOV, and I've measured the TFOV at 12.65° (just a bit under the advertised 13°, but not bad at all). It close focuses to about 8', but eye placement & IPD seems VERY (almost overly) critical over any focusing distance. I may end up trying the VK/Neewer soon because I have an addiction...


Edited by aa5te, 12 April 2015 - 06:35 PM.


#8 SMark

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:17 PM

I received my very own Bushnell Xtra-Wide 5x25 yesterday, and had been looking into this VK 5x25 prior to it. The Bushnell seems pretty sharp to me over 60% or so of the FOV, and I've measured the TFOV at 12.65° (just a bit under the advertised 13°, but not bad at all). It close focuses to about 8', but eye placement & IPD seems VERY (almost overly) critical. I may end up trying the VK/Neewer soon because I have an addiction...

 

One other excellent feature of the Xtra-Wide 5x25 is the eye relief. I can actually see the entire FOV with my glasses on. Push the eyecups all the way in for this, and then pull them all the way out for "glasses-off" viewing.



#9 SMark

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 07:47 PM

I just purchased the NEEWER VS5X25 and the eBay ad says that there is now just one left. Of course, it will be shipping from China, so I won't be holding my breath waiting for it. I'm also waiting for a used Russian Owl Eyes that is coming to me from the UK, thanx to a tip from Grimnir.



#10 aa5te

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 08:38 PM

I'm also waiting for a used Russian Owl Eyes that is coming to me from the UK, thanx to a tip from Grimnir.

I just purchased one from Poland! Hopefully it'll be here soonish.



#11 SMark

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:03 AM

 

I'm also waiting for a used Russian Owl Eyes that is coming to me from the UK, thanx to a tip from Grimnir.

I just purchased one from Poland! Hopefully it'll be here soonish.

 

 

So do you have it yet? I just got word from Grimnir, and he's received his Owl Eyes, so I'm hoping to see mine before the weekend.

 

Also note that the "lowest price" eBay listing on that NEEWER 5x25 is now ended. And I have received notice that mine has shipped (from China), so hopefully in a week or so I'll be seeing it.

 

So... Did anyone here nab the last one from that listing? I'm looking forward to comparing the Neewer 5x25 to the Bushnell 5x25, and the Owl Eyes 2.3x40.



#12 aa5te

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:23 AM

So do you have it yet?

 

So... Did anyone here nab the last one from that listing? I'm looking forward to comparing the Neewer 5x25 to the Bushnell 5x25, and the Owl Eyes 2.3x40.

 

Nope, not yet. It left Poland yesterday.

 

And maybe I know a little something about lack of impulse control and hitting that "Buy It Now" button... It was me. I have a problem.



#13 SMark

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:26 PM

 

So do you have it yet?

 

So... Did anyone here nab the last one from that listing? I'm looking forward to comparing the Neewer 5x25 to the Bushnell 5x25, and the Owl Eyes 2.3x40.

 

Nope, not yet. It left Poland yesterday.

 

And maybe I know a little something about lack of impulse control and hitting that "Buy It Now" button... It was me. I have a problem.

 

 

Problem??

 

What can I say... I'm so PROUD of you!! :whee:



#14 Grimnir

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:44 AM

I'll be very interested in reading a detailed review of these when you receive them.

 

Graham



#15 SMark

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:22 PM

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.  :fingertap:

 

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.


#16 aa5te

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:38 PM

Thanks, Mark!

 

My VisionKing/NEEWER/Mystery prize will be here tomorrow, and my Owl Eyes who knows when, as they're in limbo somewhere between here and Poland. 



#17 SMark

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 12:09 AM

I was really hoping my Owl Eyes would have shown-up by now, but not to be. Anyway, I have plenty of new glass to enjoy. In fact, I have a brand new Audubon that I haven't even taken outside yet...  :gaah:



#18 Swedpat

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 09:54 AM

Thanks SMark for your review and comparison!

 

I have a Bushnell X-wide 5x25, unfortunately damaged by water intrusion. I find this kind of binocular definitely a valuable instrument and would likely by another if the model was not discontinued. 

 

But the dream would be a high end 5x25 with long eye relief, at least 13deg FOV and field flattener. Imagine a Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski 5x25 with these properties! I would buy it whatever the price.


Edited by Swedpat, 22 April 2015 - 09:55 AM.


#19 aa5te

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 06:32 PM

I received my VisionKing (not NEEWER, as SMark has noted above) today. I've noticed all of the same issues that he points out, with the exception of it seeming that I didn't have to focus as much.

 

A few things, noted only from daytime viewing thus far (using 3 radio towers about 3/4 mile away, the trees in between, and some other local items):

1. My Bushnell 5x25 XTRA-WIDE TFOV measures 12.65°. The VisionKing (VK) is clearly larger, by about what I'd guesstimate to be 1°.

2. Contrast - Bushnell WINS! The VK's contrast on trees, cell phone towers, clouds is clearly lower/more washed out. The Bushnell makes it feel like much less glass is between you and your target.

3. Vividity/color rendition - The Bushnell view is more natural, and colors are clearly more vivid (and the trees look more lush) in it. The VK has an ever so slight bluish hue to the view, but is less vivid and colorful, but it's not bad.

4. There are a few black specks around the edges of the eyepieces in the VK. They're somewhat noticeable (but not really distracting) on most things viewed, but I'm sure that they wouldn't be an issue on the night sky unless you were viewing the moon at the edges of the FOV.

5. The VK seems a little brighter compared to the Bushnell, but I'm not sure if this is some optical trick due to the bluish hue and lower contrast.

6. Effective aperture via flashlight test: VK = 23.5mm; Bushnell = 24.5mm

7. Lack of eyecups SUCKS.

8. I typically stay away from roof prisms, as they typically seem to have a smaller FOV amongst other things when compared to porros, thus they steal your soul and are inherently evil.

 

I'll report back on the nighttime views once I have clear skies.



#20 aa5te

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 10:13 PM

Okay, nighttime info...

 

1. VK measures 14.75° TFOV, fitting 17 Leo and 31 Leo right at the very edges.

2. The VK is slightly dimmer than the Bushnell. There are a few stars that could be easily detected with averted vision in the Bushnell that were either a struggle or nonexistent in the VK. The sky background in the Bushnell is also a tad brighter, but stars stand out slightly better.

3. Again, lack of eyecups SUCKS.

4. Don't look at the moon in the VK. There are about 847* ghosts and reflections, which are VERY distracting. The Bushnell, on the other hand, only has 1 noticeable ghost, and an odd ring of light that appears when the moon is about 1/3 of the way out of center, then it goes away. The moon looks more natural in the Bushnell. But, if you get the Bushnell within about 3 FOVs from the moon, you'll notice it reflecting a bit. The VK doesn't have that problem.

5. As I've noted before, eye placement and IPD adjustment for the Bushnell seem to be very, almost overly critical; not so much for the VK.

6. I still can't bring myself to "love" the 5x25 config. For me, the VK has a better feel to it than the Bushnell due to the wider AFOV. But they're both disappointing (to me; this doesn't apply to others) with respect to the views thru ultra wide 7x35s. Personal preferences at play here... It'll really take a night under ultra dark skies in the summer to figure out my fave lower power config.

 

*may be a slight exaggeration



#21 Shneor

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:15 PM

Got one of these for scanning the Milky Way under dark skies. I have not compared the VK to other binos, and I don't have anything for direct comparison. I took them out last night under skies with high clouds, maybe 20-30 stars visible naked eye in my back yard. The moon was crisp and sharp, craters sere visible at the teminator. The bright limb was sharp and the old moon was clearly visible. Stars were pinpoint and Jupiter showed a tiny disk. Venus was low in the sky and was not as crisp; I could not detect the phase. I'm pretty sure these will serve my purpose.

There is some pincushion near the edges of the field and a noticeable dropoff of brightness at the edge.

Edited by Shneor, 23 April 2015 - 02:18 PM.


#22 SMark

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 04:55 PM

I really wonder if performance would improve noticeably if those "optical windows" were removed... I'm seeing a good number of internal reflections during the day here.

 

But I am much happier now since I decided to use the "Glenn LeDrew approach" on that right diopter. I just gripped it hard and cranked it more to the negative side until something just gave way. Works great! Perfectly focuses for me now.   :)


Edited by SMark, 23 April 2015 - 04:56 PM.


#23 Shneor

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 12:50 AM

I also wonder why the optical windows exist. They did not cause problems, but it is an extra layer of glass. Is it possible that the outer coatings of the objectives are easily scratched or need protection from air or moisture? That does not make sense to me. Also, I noticed purple, green and faint blue reflections off the coatings under a standard fluororescent light. The case is functional and adequate, the build is solid. No problems with the dioper adjustment on mine. I wonder if there are QC issues with these. They are selling at a $40 discount according to the Ebay page.

#24 SMark

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 01:58 AM

I also wonder why the optical windows exist. They did not cause problems, but it is an extra layer of glass. Is it possible that the outer coatings of the objectives are easily scratched or need protection from air or moisture? That does not make sense to me. Also, I noticed purple, green and faint blue reflections off the coatings under a standard fluororescent light. The case is functional and adequate, the build is solid. No problems with the dioper adjustment on mine. I wonder if there are QC issues with these. They are selling at a $40 discount according to the Ebay page.

 

Yeah, there almost has to be quality issues from sample to sample at this price level. Overall though, this is a great little binocular. In spite of the optical windows.I really do get that feel you can only get from a wide AFOV. The Bushnell 5x25 is a great little binocular, with a sharper view, but it's not quite the same with the smaller AFOV. Still, I will find use for both. I remember saying once that I would never have a use for anything less than 7x. Then I got my 6x42 and I quickly changed my mind about that. And now I have these two 5x25s and I find I am really diggin' the 5x view. And I'm getting psyched for my 2.3x40 to show-up in my mailbox very soon. Yep, it's a whole different world all of a sudden...



#25 Vincent33

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 12:41 PM

I really wonder if performance would improve noticeably if those "optical windows" were removed...

 

I - as I have already wrote in my first post - think that these "optical windows" works as a sealant for the binoculars.

Remember that focusing in the VK is achieved by moving the objectives.

So I thought that, for this reason, they could be really be "Waterproof, Fogproof and Nitrogen filled".

Remove the optical windows could give a vantage, but in spite of the "waterproofing" and leaving dirt and dust to enter freely inside.


Edited by Vincent33, 24 April 2015 - 12:44 PM.



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