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Visionary Lenses - In Depth Review Part 2

Batwolf

Double Team
Premium Member
6,329
1,893
Portland, OR
This is an addition to the part 1 thread, found here: http://www.oakleyforum.com/oakley-sunglasses-discussion/2431-visionary-lenses-depth-review.html

In part 2 I am reviewing 2 more lenses. First is VL's "X7 Black" lenses for the Holbrook and second will be "Plasma Purple" for the Flak Jacket. Since this is a continuation from the last thread, there are a few things I will skip (packaging, etc).

X7 Black
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I asked for this lens because I wanted a non-mirrored, grey based lens to put into my woodgrain Holbrook that I'll be getting back from water transferring soon. Based on their default product pictures, the lens just appeared to be pure black with no mirror coating which was perfect for what I was looking for.

First impressions
I opened the box up and found a lens that appeared to be Warm Grey. I sighed with a little bit of disappointment because I am not a fan of Warm Grey at all, however I was pleasantly surprised upon further inspection. The lens is actually VERY similar to Dark Grey (not commonly found anymore but still on a couple current models), which is a nice base.

Fitment
This was something I failed to cover in the other thread so I wanted to put this in here for those that were curious. The lenses are the exact same shape as Oakley's Holbrook lenses and I had no issues getting them to fit. They snapped into place just like Oakley's proprietary lenses do. One difference that I know some were concerned about, is that these lenses are thinner than Oakley's lenses, I would guess 10-20% difference so I would guess that the impact protection might not be up to the same standards as Oakley's. However being that this is a polycarbonate lens I know it DOES offer protection but maybe not up to the ANSI Z87.1 impact testing.

UV Protection
According to VL, their lenses give 100% UVA and UVB protection. Unfortunately I have no way to test this myself.

Testing in the field
Today was a perfectly Texas sunny day which was perfect for testing these out. The first thing I noticed is that there was no contrast increase. As opposed to Warm Grey which offers a slight contrast increase, this X7 Black offers no contrast increase which is what I prefer in a grey lens. The lens itself is darker than Warm Grey, I would say 12-14%. Like I mentioned in my other VL review, the clarity is great and.

Polarization
The polarization of these lenses was something of a grey area in the last thread because I was a bit uneducated with polarized lenses. I have done a good bit of research now and after thorough testing, these are indeed polarized and I have to say that they are done very well. The best test (if you don't have actual testing equipment) is to tilt the glasses facing the computer screen and at a 45* angle the glasses should black out. These lenses completely blacked out the screen. During actual outside testing, these worked very well at eliminating glare off the road, my car dash, and reflections from other cars on the road. Being that they're polarized you will get a few drawbacks such as rainbow windows, blacked out displays and other little things. Overall though I'm very happy with them, even though I'm not somebody that prefers polarized.

Overall impressions

I have to say that I am extremely happy with these lenses. If you want a lens that doesn't have an Iridium coating, and isn't the standard Warm Grey I would definitely consider these.

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Plasma Purple
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Out of all the lenses VL makes, the Plasma Purple intrigued me the most and I thought it would look fantastic on a Flak Jacket.

First impressions
This lens out of the 2 I received was the one that had me the most excited. I opened it up to see a lens with a brilliant purple shine. Looks purple from straight on, just almost turns to black from the side. Almost like a "midnight purple." Compared to Oakley's Violet Iridium that fades from purple to almost an aqua, this lens goes from purple to a darker purple so for those wondering about it, there is no shade of blue in this lens.

Fitment
Knowing right off the bat that VL's lenses are slightly thinner than Oakley's, I was a little worried about installing these in a Flak Jacket since they can be tricky. Installing the first lens, I could definitely tell that the lens thickness could be an issue if you're don't know what you're doing because with enough pressure it started to slightly bend. However I managed to get them in there with no issues but if you are a n00b or have trouble changing Flak/Half Jacket lenses be warned. I also installed these into a brand new frame though so I'm sure that didn't help either.

Testing in the field
Yet another sunny day today. Upon first inspection I realized that this lens uses the exact same base as the X7 Black above, which has the familiar look of Dark Grey. I would say that the light transmission is between 12-13%, not as dark as I'd prefer for a lens like this but overall I'm sure most people would like it. Not really much to comment on beyond that since this has the same base as the previously reviewed lens but with slightly darker light transmission.

Overall impressions
Plasma Purple is a fantastic looking lens with a nice grey base that will probably suit most people who don't want the darkest lens out there. The color will definitely get you looks, and the polarization is an added bonus for those that prefer that.

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I hope you guys found these reviews useful. I will be posting about VL's lenses once I get some more colors to test. My plan is to test every color they make so stay tuned!
 

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I imagine they are still at or above ANSI standard. Oakley advertises that they are well above, so it would still make sense if they were slightly thinner and still be ANSI Z87.1.
 
I have a pair of these coming for some Hijinx i have purchased.

love the look of those purple ones too Bat

Do you mind taking pictures and posting them!? interested in buying the gold lens for my juliet, but wonder how the yellow gold lens will look in real life! Thanks in advance!!
 
Personally i prefer t stay with oakley authentic lenses, but in my opinion, VL is thebest alternative and i do have a set in one if my pairs of sunglasses.
 
Personally i prefer t stay with oakley authentic lenses, but in my opinion, VL is thebest alternative and i do have a set in one if my pairs of sunglasses.
Same here. I'd only consider aftermarket parts if there's absolutely no way of getting official Oakley replacements.
 

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