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Revision I-Vis: Compelling Contrast and Color Accuracy [Updated]

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Sometimes a capability or technology comes along that seems like it should be easy to explain, but really isn’t — at least not without providing an in-person, first-person experience. It was difficult before when comparing polarized vs non-polarized eye pro, and it’s more so the the case now with Revision Military’s “I-Vis” technology for shooting glasses. I-Vis glasses might look like just the latest tactical sunglasses du jour, but there’s a lot of high-tech stuff going on in those lenses. It’s a lens technology that provides significantly increased contrast without losing detail.

That’s a much bigger deal than you might think.

Higher contrast with detail retention is something that even the higher end eye-pro (including Revision’s own) has previously been unable to do. Increasing contrast (or polarizing) a lens has previously by necessity meant blocking some of the light allowed through a lens. This results in a degradation of Gamut Expansion, which is the number of colors an individual can see.

That is no longer the case.

I-Vis Lens Technology

David Reeder

Revision I-Vis ballistic glasses

This article originally ran in October, 2022. It has been updated with additional information and imagery and republished.

We’ll have to get a little bit into color science to explain Gamut Expansion and how it affects your shooting and perception, but the BLUF is this:

It is now possible to injection mold a ballistic lens that delivers markedly (measurably) superior contrast without the previously-necessary reduction in detail.

As Revision explains it, I-Vis will “…expand chroma and enhance the number of colors the user can see.”

The tech is in the dye formulation process.

It is much easier to see it through the lenses than to grasp it based on a few hundred words, but here’s a basic rundown.

There are three types of vision: Photopic, Scotopic, and Mesoptic. Photopic (which uses cones) =color, daylight, and detail. Scotopic (which uses rods) = nighttime, black & white, lack of detail. Traditional tinted shooting lenses increase contrast by moving color reception from photopic toward scotopic, with a corresponding loss of detail.

Color Neutral Lens Tech

The first things to understand are, 1) light is information to the brain, and 2) contrast = differentiation.

I-Vis improves both of those things. It does so by increasing ocular resolution by an estimated 130% or more. It does this with just a marginal reduction in sharpness when compared to a good clear lens and without the significant degradation of true color caused by traditional tinted lenses. Although we haven’t (yet) seen independent testing to confirm that exact number, an initial field expedient trial by media members, some competitive shooters, and (unofficially) some specialized military personnel does seem to corroborate the claim. The eyes of every individual are different, but most people will see a marked difference in contrast and detail using I-Vis vs. traditional tinted contrast eye protection.

Traditional shooting/ballistic glasses typically use a monochromatic lens tint that enhances contrast, often significantly so. However, this reduces the Gamut of Expansion and color accuracy and also increases eye fatigue. To combat this, users engaging in “color critical” tasks use something like a basic smoke-tinted lens that offers no performance benefit other than light reduction.

Dr. Richard Colo, OD, explains in part:

In terms of performance, all shooting glasses have been predicated on what I like to call the wow factor. For decades, people selling glasses for shooting would increase contrast so that we wound having the tint of the month…increase contrast, increase contrast, increase contrast. That became a kind of benchmark in terms of how good a shooting glass lens was. The problem with that is, as you increase the contrast, you reduce the amount of light coming in. As you reduce the amount of light coming in, you’re shifting from photopic detail toward scotopic black and white.

I-Vis glasses are color neutral. This enhances color accuracy, reduces eye fatigue, increases depth perception, and provides greater visual detail.

Eyes make only two movements. One is a “smooth pursuit” movement. The other is “saccadic” movement. Smooth pursuit, which uses cones, is how we pull the trigger. Saccadic, which uses rods, is how we go from one spot to the other – and it’s a thousand times as fast as smooth pursuit. I-Vis lens technology improves contrast (i.e. differentiation) without negatively impacting either. This increases visual performance.

Filtering light

Let’s break it down substantially more Barney-style: I-Vis lenses add more colors to your crayon box.

With more crayons you can draw (i.e. see) with better resolution and depth perception. It’s not that the red object you see becomes “more redder”, it’s that it becomes more of that object’s actual, specific red hue. This effectively reveals things — admittedly sometimes smaller, seemingly inconsequential things — you would otherwise not have seen. Think digital photograph vs. posterized clip art, albeit not always as immediately drastic.

From a performance perspective, particularly in a tactical or other life-or-limb situation, little inconsequential details are often anything but.

Increased contrast without loss of detail allows for accurate recognition of colors. Accurate recognition of colors ensures depth performance and promotes visual comfort.

Image comparison courtesy of Revision Military.

Confident Perspective

In addition to the obvious benefit of improved perception, target acquisition, and the like, increased contrast without corresponding loss of detail improves confidence. Dr. Colo, who also has a degree in psychology, makes a particular point of this in the context of shotgun sports.

“Take for example an average individual in the field wearing a clear lens. That person is out shooting clays. The pupil constricts and depth of field increases. The constricted pupil restricts the blur circle at the back of the eye, increasing the depth of field, and everything is clear.  Going on down a few stations, though, now your pupil dilates. This puts a bit of a fuzzy edge around the target. It’s not the fuzzy edge that might be a problem problem, it’s the potential effect of that fuzzy edge on the shooter’s confidence-doubt that could become the problem.”

“Contrast sells glasses. Detail hits (or breaks) targets.” Dr. Richard Colo

This sort of increased confidence is obviously just as applicable (and potentially far more significant) to someone trying to pick up and identify a moving target through a scope, or notice minute changes in the soil that might indicate an IED, or the presence of a camouflaged threat.

Sid Mitchell of Revision Military

Sid Mitchell of Revision Military (who wears prescription glasses) explaining how I-Vis works, and how it might work to make Rx versions of the lenses.

Environmentally Specific.

Well, ~ish.

There are six tints of I-Vis available, each developed after an extensive theater-specific study of potential AO color palettes using global data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This provides for five individual tints designed to increase contrast and elevate color recognition in the prevalent terrain of different geographic regions, plus a “general purpose” tint that functions extremely well across the board (if not to the extent of the more specialized lenses).

I-Vis Verso Lenses Eye Protection

It’s hard to adequately and accurately demonstrate how I-Vis impacts color perception, but here’s a crude attempt. This gif begins with Verso lenses in front of the camera, then shows what it looks like without them (and back).

The I-Vis lens line includes:

• Verso 

The most technically complex I-Vis lens, Verso designed for the widest range of environments and settings. This is the general purpose lens one would want if only able to buy one pair. (Visible Light Transmittance/VLT: 19%*)

• Aros

Aros is intended to enhance colors found in typical desert environments. It brings out differences between similar shades of brown, tan, yellow, and orange colors while making man-made structures and objects stand out. (VLT: 12%*)

• Cano

Cano was developed to provide color definition environments dominated by greens, browns, and grays (typified in lush foliage). Cano lenses maximize visual light transmission because they’re designed for densely forested areas with a canopy and shaded terrain. Man-made structures will stand out, as will differences (or changes) in the foreground landscape. (VLT: 37%*)

Revision I-Vis Cano lenses with and without.

This is a look at the same ravine as above, this time using Cano lenses. With, then without, then with again. Use of an animated gif on an electronic screen is necessarily crude – apologies for that.

• Alto

Alto lenses are suited to dry, high-altitude environments dominated by grays, tans, and blues (such as the terrain found in northern Afghanistan).  (VLT: 12%*)

• Clara

Clara lenses were modeled for use in northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Baltics, and Poland. They’re designed to bring out color definition and contrast in brightly lit areas of white, gray, and blue. Think snowy wooded areas, rocks, mountains, and areas with undulating snowpack. (VLT: 12%*)

• Umbra

Much like Clara, the Umbra dye formulation is intended to improve color contrast in overcast, snow-prominent areas dominated by whites and greys (snowy, rocky areas and mountains).  (VLT: 48%*)

Polarized vs non-polarized is no longer the main choice; now it's a matter of appropriately selecting the correct environmental lens from the Revision Eyewear i-Vis line.

Polarized vs non-polarized is no longer the main choice; now it’s a matter of appropriately selecting the correct environmental lens from the Revision Eyewear i-Vis line.

*VLT may vary +/- 5% based upon eyewear form factor, lens thickness and coatings.

Polarized vs Non-Polarized

To better grasp why i-Vis lens tech is significant, it might be helpful to understand just a little about how polarized vs non-polarized lenses work. Polarized sunglasses provide a sharper image than non-polarized sunglasses. A polarized lens seems to call out better detail than non-polarized lenses while simultaneously doing their main job – cutting the glare of bright light, increasing visual clarity, and reducing eye strain.

Reflected light (light waves bounced off a horizontal surface like water, sand, snow, and pavement) is often worse than bright sunlight, even when direct. That reflective surface glare is where you wring the most advantage from polarized glasses (whether corrective, ballistic, and/or safety glasses) vs. regular sunglasses.

Polarized lenses are great. Many people (myself included) prefer them to non-polarized ones, particularly when on the range, driving, or doing something else outdoors. Unfortunately, the anti-reflective coating used on a polarized sunglass lens to achieve glare mitigation does so by filtering out certain light waves. I won’t pretend to understand all the science, but as I understand it, that anti-glare lens coating is designed to block horizontal light (i.e., shimmer, dazzle, etc.) in particular.  In simplest terms, this means it acts like slats on a window blind, blocking out horizontal rays in particular.

Because some light is blocked, however, some information is lost. That’s why polarized shades aren’t always the best choice for wear on an overcast day, driving in potentially icy conditions, or just looking at digital screens (LCD screen, phone or tablet, etc.). A non-polarized lens doesn’t block glare as well but does a better job of allowing you to see your environment more how it really is. Non-polarized glasses can also provide UV protection, of course, and that’s all anyone needs many times.

Revision’s i-Vis glasses provide many of the advantages of polarized options, vis-a-vis horizontal light waves, contrast, etc., without the reduction of information that comes from polarized light. My Speed Demons (the metal frame i-Vis option) do a great job blocking reflection and providing contrast, but I don’t know how (or if) they protect UV light/UV rays. I’ll have to find that out.

I-Vis EyePro Features

Prior to i-Vis, the most common eye pro comparisons boiled down to ballistic vs impact protective, and polarized vs non-polarized. This lens technology has greatly changed those limitations.

Prior to i-Vis, the most common eye pro comparisons boiled down to ballistic vs impact protective, and polarized vs non-polarized. This lens technology has greatly changed those limitations.

Options Available

Initial styles of I-Vis will include Stingerhawk spectacles and Snowhawk goggles. There will be other styles and models in the future however, all focusing on what Revision’s Sid Mitchell views as the necessary trifecta of modern eye protection: protection, performance, and style.*

The Stingerhawk spectacle system will be available in I-Vis.

So will Snowhawk goggles.

*Style might seem trivial in the context of form vs. function, but it’s not. Not when style and aesthetics directly impact the use of eye pro off the battlefield – which it does. This was true before, when debating the relative merits of polarized vs non-polarized lenses, and it remains true now that i-Vis has entered the chat.

Learn more at


Rampart Range Day 24 – Mission Control Packing Organizers from Mystery Ranch

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

Offered in three sizes, MR’s Mission Control Packing Organizers are a great way to keep your gear organized.

They are fully padded to protect sensitive equipment and features a zipper around three sides for easy access to the contents. Additionally, there is an internal mesh pocket.

Offered in Wood Waxed, Shadow, and Black colors.

This and other products shown at Rampart Range Day are available for unit and agency orders in Canada and the US through Rampart.

The Mystery Ranch Honor Pack Is Key To Healing For Station Foundation Participants

Sunday, May 28th, 2023

There are times when we can use what we do best to create impact, to create meaning, and to create something bigger than a backpack. This was one of those times. We are incredibly proud to support the Station Foundation and recently completed these special HONOR PACKS for their program participants.

In their programs, they honor their Fallen Warriors with a sacred ritual. Each night, they gather on the edge of the wilderness while carrying a large river rock in their MR packs. These rocks are hand-picked along the Gallatin River. Some are plain, others are adorned to honor those they hike for.

Together, they hike in silence to a memorial built stone by stone, standing as a symbol of the weight they all carry inside and the courage it takes to leave it behind.

“For the past ten years, the sons and daughters of our fallen Special Operations Warriors have come to The Station Foundation to heal and grow beyond tragic loss. It’s here, in the beautiful backcountry of Montana, where we come together to honor the Fallen, celebrate their legacies, and guide their children into the lives they are destined to live. These are special kids who answer their calling and discover authentic healing in a community that chooses never to forget.

Throughout this powerful journey, one special partner shows up every year: MYSTERY RANCH. The MYSTERY RANCH family has quietly supported our Gold Star Students for over a decade and continues to find special ways to say ‘we care’ in the Special Operations Community.

This ‘HONOR PACK’ elevates the lives of those quiet professionals who left us too early, and who are missed dearly. It reminds us of the costs of war and the things we carry home. Most of all, the HONOR PACK carries the weight through our wilderness until we are ready to put it down.

MYSTERY RANCH has always been there when we needed them. We’ve relied on their packs in combat and now depend upon their love on our journey home. This pack is a symbol of strength, hope, and of life beyond war. It is a testament to great people showing up to make a difference. We may Never Forget– MYSTERY RANCH has our backs.”

– Kevin Stacy, Station Foundation Founder & Executive Director

Warrior East 2023

Friday, May 26th, 2023

Warrior East is June 21-22 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. You’ll have access to check out the latest gear from over 350 suppliers, network with colleagues both old and new, learn during seminar sessions, and work with your ADS sales representative to fulfill your unit and agency’s requirements.

Although Warrior Expo is free for attendees, it is not open to the public.

Qualified attendees include active duty military, federal/state/local government agencies, law enforcement and first responders. Military and government attendees must present official government-issued identification. Foreign nationals must pre-register in advance to attend Warrior Expo. ADS conducts background checks on all foreign nationals and may deny entry based on results. Foreign nationals are not permitted to register on site at this event. Registration is not open to retired military.

Register today here.

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Memorial Day 2023

Friday, May 26th, 2023

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance, it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation…”

— President Ronald Reagan

Introducing S.O.Tech’ s Modular Organizer Panels

Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Organizer Panels Using Adjustable Elastic Cords

S.O.Tech has been doing a lot of organizer panels over these past couple of years, our original design involved a cloth covered panel, loops, and in general too much labor. Therefore, introducing our latest development, S.O.Tech’s Modular Panel Organizers or also known as our “Org Boards.” Using Tegris sheets, which is a composite material with high impact resistance we are able to laser cut each of our three sized organizers and guarantee quality. We have three sizes available: regular, micro, and clamshell.

The regular modular panel organizer has a dimension of 9″ x 6″. The panel comes with an adjustable elastic shock cord and a series of laser cut holes that allow you to loop the elastic cord. This panel allows for attachments of tools of all shapes. The cord can be routed through multiple possible configurations. The panel is backed with male hook for attachment to female loop fields inside a medical pack. This organizer comes standard with our Micro Mission Medical Packs and our Cobra Packs.

Our micro modular panel organizer has a dimension of 7.87″ x 3″. This panel also includes a male hook backing for attachment and elastic shock cord to be looped through laser cut holes to hold your items. These organizers come standard with our Cobra Micro Pack.

Last in line is our Clamshell Panel Organizer, this is smallest of the organizer panels coming in at 7″ x 2.55″. The sizing of the organizer works well with pouch storage. The empty magazine pouches and pockets are wasted space so why not drop an organizer tray into them? The Clamshell is a pair of laser cut Tegris trays with elastic shock cord and slot and holes to arrange to open like a book or top to bottom like a note pad. Long cutouts can accept one wrap. The clamshell pairs well with S.O.Tech’ s new Delta Omega Pouch which helps you organizes all your ordnance.

Product Codes
Regular: MPO-CB
Micro: MPO-M-MCB
Clamshell: CPO-T

ADS Federal Range Day

Thursday, May 25th, 2023

ADS Federal Range is next week, June 2nd at The Crucible located near Fredericksburg, VA, a short drive from the National Capital Region.

Featuring five live-fire ranges to try your hand at the latest technologies, Federal Range Day assembles over 150 of the best suppliers in industry for a hands on experience.

Additionally, network with representatives from other units and agencies and meet with ADS sales reps to discuss fulfilling your equipping requirements.

ADS Federal Range Day 2023 is not open to the general public.

Qualified attendees include active duty military, federal, state and local government agencies, law enforcement, and first responders.Military and government attendees must present official government-issued identification.

Register now here.

Kitanica – Kit Organizer Bag

Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Made from 500D Cordura, the new KOB from Kitanica is a versatile bag which can be used for a variety of applications. It incorporates a G-hook for hands-free access with internal mesh pockets and a PALS field.