Sunglass Lenses ?

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mcrae0104

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Ray Ban neutral-gray polarized.
Have you been satisfied with the quality/durability? I'm in need of something to replace my AOs but for anything in the range of $200, I might treat them with kid gloves and use them only for flying, making the purchase feel even a bit more gratuitous.
 

Topaz

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Have you been satisfied with the quality/durability? I'm in need of something to replace my AOs but for anything in the range of $200, I might treat them with kid gloves and use them only for flying, making the purchase feel even a bit more gratuitous.
Yes, they're good. I needed prescription, so I'm stuck with "good" glasses regardless.
 

rv7charlie

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I mentioned this in an earlier post; if they have frames you like, Zenni.com is worth a look. I've been using them for at least a decade. Varifocal lenses, astigmatism correction, antiglare coating, tinted instead of polarized for well under $100. edit: They've got polarized sunglasses, too, for about the same price.
 
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tallank

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Ray Ban neutral-gray polarized.

Sorry, I've heard all the arguments against polarized, and I don't agree. I don't fly glass cockpit, so that's not an issue for me and my personal experience has been the exact opposite to the "conventional wisdom" - I see other traffic much easier with polarized lenses than non-polarized. And, since cloud details are a bigger deal to me as a soaring pilot, polarized are better for me there, too.

Maybe if I were flying LCD-screen-equipped airplanes, I'd feel differently, but I don't. My hand-held radio and my cell phone are the only screens I use when flying, and my polarized lenses don't "black out" or otherwise interfere with either of those.
Quite often you see other traffic when it creates a glare. You will not see this with polarized lenses.
 

Topaz

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Quite often you see other traffic when it creates a glare. You will not see this with polarized lenses.
In my personal experience, the higher contrast from the polarized lenses is the more-important factor, instead of the rare case where the angle between me, the other aircraft, and the sun will create a glint.

I'm not saying, "everyone run out and get polarized lenses!" I'm saying what works best for me.
 

cluttonfred

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I’ve also been very pleased with Zenni.com and have used them for several years. Perfectly good, stylish eyeglasses for a third of the price of the retail store monopolies.

One thing I have found that I like are the glasses with little magnets to allow clip-on sunglasses to the exact shape of the frame so no one knows they are clip-ons until you take them off. The clip-ons themselves are very cheap ($10?) so it’s easy to have extras or try different colors.
 

Martin W

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How about getting your windshield ground to your prescription?
.

It has happened (inadvertently) ... my wife had a new windshield installed in her car and there was an anomaly in the glass .... an area about the size of a dinner plate ... and when you looked through it it magnified and enlarged everything so the dealer replaced it.

The surprising thing was the clarity ... nothing blurry ... worked like a high quality lens would.

.
 

Doran Jaffas

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I'm of neither preference. I usually use non polarized but if using polarized I can just look over the top of them to see my cell phone GPS or ADSB in.
 

misterpeter

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When flying 10 years ago in Australia it was impossible to fly without sunglasses… I am short-sighted, so have to wear glasses all of the time and when wearing a headset, it is impossible to take glasses off, put on sunglasses, swap them again and again, when looking inside the plane or outside without taking your hand(s) off the stick or wheel, a real PITA. The only thing that worked for me were flip-ups, which I got from Sheyden - paid mucho Dollaros (more than $200 back then!) but I still use them now! Superb quality materials and workmanship with magnets to hold the spring-loaded, non-Polaroid, coloured lens when it is ‘down’. No idea what they cost now and the ‘El Capitan’ are no longer available, unfortunately, but they do still offer a flip-up for sale. For regular wearers of spectacles flying GA and headset, it’s the way to go :) , there must be cheaper options out there along the same lines…
 

Rhino

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Quite often you see other traffic when it creates a glare. You will not see this with polarized lenses.
It should be noted that polarized glasses don't eliminate glare. They just reduce it. They also don't prevent you from seeing direct light reflection off another aircraft. So, while I realize what you are getting at, the claim that you won't see any glare, and by inference reflection, isn't strictly true. And let's face it. We too often never see other aircraft whether we use sunglasses at all, whether they're polarized or not.
 

PTAirco

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I used to make eyeglasses for a living and I have to tell you, you don't always get what you pay for. In fact, almost never. Anything with a fashion name is likely cheap stuff, just as 99% of everything out there. $300+ dollar sunglasses are rarely worth it. Bolle, Oakley etc - all made in China, usually. Doesn't always mean bad quality, but price no longer guarantees quality. German, French and Japanese frames tend to be of much higher quality than anything else, but very pricy. I have bought cheap glasses from Zenni online and been fine with them. When you get your $300 lenses from your local optometrist; he makes about 260 bucks from you. Plus the 1000% percent profit on the frame he's selling you. (We used to buy some frames at $12 and retail was $149.) Especially since lens surfacing went digital over a decade ago. Our wholesale price for vari-focal lens blanks went from $70 a pair to $8. Did you notice the drop in price a decade ago? No? Well, of course not!

I still think getting properly surfaced prescription lenses for sunglasses or even general flying is worth it. Almost everyone eyes benefit from tweaking. My right eye is at 20/20 but I can still see better with the mild prescription I have in my sunglasses. Get the fancy anti-reflection coatings, UV protection and scratch resistant coating; they are not just up-selling you, they work. And when you go for an eye test and you can afford it, get a second one and compare. When you get your shiny new glasses or sunglasses ask the other shop to check them against the prescription and make sure they are accurately made. There are tolerances but these tolerances are sometimes very flexible. Especially on a Friday afternoon when the lab guy really wants to go home...

As for frames, if you find a good quality pair of sunglasses that you like, you can always get proper lenses fitted to them. Just don't bring some crappy dollar store frame in, the lab guy will throw curses upon you. They should never refuse to fit lenses to a decent frame, if they do, go elsewhere.

As for color, I love amber tints; it really seems to increase contrast. Also makes the world look nicer all-round, unlike grey or green (yuk) tints. I would not go use mirrored lenses, way too much light absorption. But beyond that it's personal preference.
 

Bille Floyd

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I used to make eyeglasses for a living
...
Get the fancy anti-reflection coatings, UV protection and scratch resistant coating; they are not just up-selling you, they work.
...
As for frames, if you find a good quality pair of sunglasses that you like, you can always get proper lenses fitted to them.
...

I Really like my Serengeti Wanamaker frames, because they block
excess light and UV from my peripheral vision ; can you recommend an
honest company, that will do a good job of making a set of amber
prescription lenses for them please ?
If they do a good job ; then I would have the same amber prescription
made in polarized, for when i am sailing on my Hobie 21se.

Thanks : Bille
 

PTAirco

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I assume you like the more curved, wraparound style of these glasses. The front curve is called the base curve and goes from 0 (totally flat) to a very curvy 8 or so. There should be no difficulty to get your local optometrist to make lenses for yours, which appear around 6 base, nothing drastic. Just ask them to match the base curve on what you have. Your prescription will have limits on this though; if you're very short sighted (myopic, meaning you prescription has a minus value) you need flatter front curves. Mild minus values work fine on 6 base lenses. and on most plus values. If you're prescription reads plus, higher base curves work fine.

Almost all optometrists send out their jobs to wholesale labs and the quality is hit or miss, though generally with digital technology it's gotten much better all round. Many small local shop can make lenses on premises (if the prescription falls into a narrow range; any extremes would get sent out to a wholesale lab) and if they have a good lab guy, they can be very accurate. Or not! So I can't make personal recommendations, but if you're not happy, don't be afraid to complain and any decent shop will remake them, should you have a legitimate complaint. Going to a local shop is really your only option since the bigger online retailers don't really do custom jobs.
 

Lynette

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I used to make eyeglasses for a living and I have to tell you, you don't always get what you pay for. In fact, almost never. Anything with a fashion name is likely cheap stuff, just as 99% of everything out there. $300+ dollar sunglasses are rarely worth it. Bolle, Oakley etc - all made in China, usually. Doesn't always mean bad quality, but price no longer guarantees quality. German, French and Japanese frames tend to be of much higher quality than anything else, but very pricy. I have bought cheap glasses from Zenni online and been fine with them. When you get your $300 lenses from your local optometrist; he makes about 260 bucks from you. Plus the 1000% percent profit on the frame he's selling you. (We used to buy some frames at $12 and retail was $149.) Especially since lens surfacing went digital over a decade ago. Our wholesale price for vari-focal lens blanks went from $70 a pair to $8. Did you notice the drop in price a decade ago? No? Well, of course not!

I still think getting properly surfaced prescription lenses for sunglasses or even general flying is worth it. Almost everyone eyes benefit from tweaking. My right eye is at 20/20 but I can still see better with the mild prescription I have in my sunglasses. Get the fancy anti-reflection coatings, UV protection and scratch resistant coating; they are not just up-selling you, they work. And when you go for an eye test and you can afford it, get a second one and compare. When you get your shiny new glasses or sunglasses ask the other shop to check them against the prescription and make sure they are accurately made. There are tolerances but these tolerances are sometimes very flexible. Especially on a Friday afternoon when the lab guy really wants to go home...

As for frames, if you find a good quality pair of sunglasses that you like, you can always get proper lenses fitted to them. Just don't bring some crappy dollar store frame in, the lab guy will throw curses upon you. They should never refuse to fit lenses to a decent frame, if they do, go elsewhere.

As for color, I love amber tints; it really seems to increase contrast. Also makes the world look nicer all-round, unlike grey or green (yuk) tints. I would not go use mirrored lenses, way too much light absorption. But beyond that it's personal preference.
Thank you most valuable information.
 
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