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Goggles - which lense color?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've seen at the same resort on the same day skiers with clear colorless goggle lenses and dark mirrored goggle lenses. I'd like your views and opinions on goggle lense color and darkness.

Please consider the utility, the pluses and minuses of each of the following:

rose/platinum mirrored transmitting 25% of light

gold/bronze transmitting 55% of light

yellow transmitting 85% of light

clear transmitting 98+5 of light

For each color, please state the "borderline" conditions under which it ceases to be advisable.

post #2 of 29
I've got some Oakley A Frame googles with 3 lenses:-

Persimmon (Orange)
Blue Iridium (appears to be orange base with Blue metallic coating)

I use the Persimmon lens most of the time, switching to the Blue Iridium for very sunny days (usually in late Feb). The colour produced by these lenses is very similar, just a reduction in brightness with the Blue Iridium. I find that the surface relief of the snow is easier to see when using this colour, even when the light levels are low, for example when skiing tree lined runs in shadow.

I suspect that people you have seen wearing clear goggles prefer the natural light during darker December/January months. Whilst the ones with mirror lenses either didn't buy a goggle that had interchangeable lenses or like to look "cool" at the expense of seeing the snow!

I bought the goggles with the Persimmon lens and then purchased the Blue Iridium later in the season. I bought this extra lens after looking through a few goggles and spare lenses at a shop at the bottom of the ski slope on a sunny day. I spent five minutes looking at the light graphs supplied with the spare lenses and gave up!

I've never used the clear lens for skiing, I bought it for mountain bike use.

Sorry I can't comment in detail on all of the colours you've mentioned.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Wheelie, thanks for the reply. Just how much trouble is it to change the lenses, and how frequently do you do that? Is it a chore to avoid touching the inside lense surface, which I understand can lose its fog proof characteristics if touched?
post #4 of 29
I like SPY goggles with a grey lense. I will use it until about 1:00 then (if its warm enough, over 25) I go to my Oakley M frames with the yellow lense, which is just super for flat light.
post #5 of 29
I have Arnettes with clear lenses and an extra amber lens. I had envisioned using the clear lenses in the morning shade and evening dusk or in overcast and fog and swapping in the amber lens for bright. Well, I found the swapping to be somewhat tedious, so I don't do it and I ended up wearing clear most of the time. I do patrolling on the weekends, so I find the clear lens necesary fo first and last runs in the low December/January light and I prefer clear on most non-sunny days. Also, I was told by another patroller that clear lenses allows an injured person, especially a child, to see your eyes and therefore allow a personal connection so you can reassure them and treat them more effectively. Made sense to me. Anyways, I bought some Bolles with "phototropic" lenses, thinking that would solve the problem of varying light conditions through the day, since the lens was supposed to somehow adjust. As it turns out, Bolle affixed a triangular peel-off label directly to the lens, and after I peeled it off, that area doesn't seem to phototrope like the rest of the lens, I see a ghostlike image of the stupid label. It's annoying, but I was too lazy to ship the goggles back, so I live with it. On bright, blue days, I put on the Bolles instead of the clear.
post #6 of 29
I too have A frames amd two lenses for them:
Black Iridium (looks like silver)
Persimmon (orange)

Changing them isn't too difficult, but the persimmon ones have developed a fault, so I will be sending them to Oakley for replacement.
The Black Iridium is only good in bright conditions.
I have the Oakley Fire lens in sunglasses, and it is amazing. I'm probably goign to buy a Fire lens for my A frames. Light transmission and definition/contrast are very good in it.

post #7 of 29
I wear the bolle phototropics. I think I'm on my third pair. The last pair I got was the first that didn't have the annoying sticker problem. I wear them all the time-day & night-no worrying about lens changes.
post #8 of 29
whoa, all these folks and their fancy goggles.

oboe, I suggest using the one that lacks the "e" (check yer spelling lawyer-man)

in all seriousness, I have found that any reddish tint (rose, persimmon, etc) is the absolute best all-round color.

my general feelings:

yellow is optimal in very very flat overcast light

rose is optimal 80% of the time

mirrored or darker tints (color base is your choice, based on contrast preferences) are optimal on very sunny days.

I have some Zeal goggles and use the "rose flash" (rose tint, mirrored surface) lens for all but the darkest days. On those days I use the yellow lens.

I have found that green tints reduce contrast, brown tints and grey tints keep colors true, and rose and "persimmon" tints enhance contrast.

The enhanced contrast is excellent for skiing, where flat light can obscure terrain variations. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #9 of 29
The gold/bronze would be the most versatile, giving you good visibility on overcast and snowy days, but still probably good enough to wear on cloudy bright days or sunny days in the winter. Not dark enough to wear on bright days in the spring though. The Rose mirrored lens would be the best on sunny bright days, although in the winter when there are a lot of shadow areas, it would probably be too dark to see well in those areas. The yellow would be the best for heavy overcast/snowy days, but would probably not be dark enough when it’s bright out.

I ended up getting the Scott Voltage goggle with the amplifier lens, I think I saw somebody on this board recommend it so I checked it out. It seems to be a great all purpose lens for the areas I ski in the Rockies where it can be flat and snowy then brighten up with the sun peeking through. Scott claims it increases clarity and contrast by a light transmission process that matches the optimum absorption wavelengths of the human eye’s three photoreceptor cones. Not sure if this is just marketing or not but on a recent trip to Utah I encountered about every condition from heavy snowstorm to bright sun and everything in between and it was perfect, it seems to cover just about all conditions. On really bright spring days it might not be quite dark enough, hard to say since I haven’t tried it yet, but I wear sunglasses then anyway, and on really dark heavy overcast days like they have in the Northwest, they make a light amplifier lens. The goggle really has great airflow, never even came close to fogging. The only minor quibble I had was when it was single digits with about a 30 mph wind my eyes got a little cold riding up the chair, it would have been nice to be able to close the vents.

I also have a Smith goggle with a gold/persimmon color lens, not sure if this is the same color as their current 55% gold lens, mine’s a few years old, could be a little lighter, it looks very similar to the Oakley persimmon though. It works great in flat light, easily as good as the amplifier, although I didn’t think it wasn’t dark enough when the sun came out and I had to squint quite a bit.
post #10 of 29

As Where the fox hat states the lenses are quite easy to change. The lens have a number of notches in them, which match up with protrusions in the rubber of the frame. To remove the lens you simply pull the edge of the frame away, to re-fit I fit one of the notches near the nose first and just ease the rest into place. You can do it in a couple of minutes with practice. The frame is very flexible.

I never have any problems with fogging, I presume this has something to do with the dual layers in the lens. If there are any finger marks I just wipe them off with the Oakley cloth. I have used the goggles in Canada at -25ºC and in the French Alps for summer skiing (where it was far too hot!) and mountain biking in the UK during the winter months, where they are useful to keep the rain away!

I have just got back from 2 weeks in Western Canada, I used the persimmon lens all the time. It was never really bright enough to change to the Blue Iridium. I'm going back for a week on Feb 15th, I'm hopeful that it will be brighter then ,I normally just carry the Blue Iridium lens in my inner pocket in case I need to change.
post #11 of 29
Aside from the "ambient" lighting, which way does your hill face? I have recently changed hills and now ski in a constant northern exposure. The light that is "around you" is often different than the light at "snow level" and I have changed over to clear for the most part during the normal overcast that seems to be dominating.

The rose and amber that had been sufficient now provide little definition when reading the snow.
post #12 of 29
I used to use a fairly dark yellow lens but now I use a clear lens morning, afternoon and night. I've never seen the hill so clearly.
post #13 of 29
I mashed my googles into my forehead a few years ago, and walked into the onhill skishop and bought the cheapest pair of googles they had.

It turns out that I bought a pair that had a dark blue lens on them. In 95% of the days here in the NorthWest I put them on and feel like I'm skiing by sparse moonlight in the dead of night. Its almost like sensory deprivation - I get a shock when I take them off and realize that its still daytime.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out what useful purpose they could serve ... and now that I think about it, I cannot figure out why the heck I still have 'em (except that they're the only goggle I've ever owned that never fog up - unless its too dark to see the fog and I can't even tell its happening....)
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, folks!

The reason for my asking: The Persimmon lens in my Oakley A-Frames has totally lost its fog proofing. I've cleaned it off and used Cat Crap on it - we'll see how well it works.

Meanwhile, I want to have goggles that work [and must be helmet compatible]. I've done the following: Bought Smith Triad Regulator Black frame/Rose Platinum lens transmitting 25% of light; bought a spare lens in Gold Bronze transmitting 55% of light; bought another of the same goggles with Rose lens transmitting 59% of light. I guess I'm ready now. I'll report back on my experiences with them - and with the Cat Crapped Oakley lens as well.

[ January 09, 2003, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #15 of 29
At the risk of sounding ambiguous, every person's eyes are different. Therefore, you must find the setup which works for you. Though everyone on this thread offered good advice, it is still up to you to decide how your eyes react to certain types of light.
Another aspect rarely addressed when selecting goggles- how accurate are you at interpreting what you see. Different lenses will affect how you percieve rolls, bumps, etc.

So I'll add my .02-. I prefer to go with the goggle which gives me the lightest color, but still makes it comfortable for my eyes at any given time. And of course, which offers the greatest degree of UVA/UVB protection.

post #16 of 29
I'll back vsp on the what works for you bit

I have the worlds foggingest eyes/face - I'll swear it!
Goggles that are fine on others fog on me FAST!

I have found some that work & I use them. The current edition is sort of clear - but it appears to get darker when very light out. They work well - so I use them.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Right you are, VSP! As much UVA/UVB locakge as possible and the lightest color that's comfortable is what I want. I've found that the rose or vermillion tint is helpful to me for contrast in flat light, so that's what I've ordered with 59% light transmission. I may or may not later add a clear or "near clear" for really darker conditions with no appreciable sunlight.

Be that is may, today I used the ones I have - gold/bronze mirror transmitting only 25% of light. Although the conditions were mixed sun and clouds, and then flat dusk light, it worked better than I thought it would. I still would have preferred more light transmission, and if my other goggles had arrived by now I'd have used them instead.

Thanks for all the input, folks.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Today seemed dark enough to try out my Oakley A-Frames with the Persimmon lens [55% light transmission, or there about]. They had been ruined as to fog proofing, but I tried that stuff called Cat Crap on the inside and the outside - it seems to have re-fogproofed them! I was delighted. Then the sun appeared, and in all candor, the Persimmon lenses did not afford much comfort. I switched to the new Smith Triad with rose/platinum lens transmitting 25% of light - and they were perfect.
post #19 of 29
Vailsnopro is definitely right, and there is yet another consideration- where are you skiing? I found that the goggles that I used in the Pacific Northwest, even on the sunny days (that occurred once or twice a decade )weren't nearly dark enough for me in Colorado at 12-13,000 feet. I ski in high altitude glacier glasses on sunny days here (transmit only 6-7% of visible light) because my eyes are too sensitive to the bright light, and switch in the afternoon.
post #20 of 29
Hi all

I've been in to a shop and so far the Oakley A-frames seem to fit me best, i'm getting a little confused with the discusions on lenses, i'm off to Austria at the end of Feb


and i'm wondering what lenses i should get, iridium blue sounds good but unless i go to a shop and pay the full £105 i'm finding i hard to get a pair on ebay. will i be okay with another lens, there seems to be a lot of fire and black iridium lens a-frames but i've seen that these are for bright days and i don't want to get plunged into darkness the first time i go out of direct bright sunlight.
post #21 of 29
anyone know anything about those goggles that changes colour with a botton?
i read it somewhere...i think skipress.com or something.
post #22 of 29

Oakley lens tint transmission profiles

I remeber when i bought my oakley straight jackets they came with a lens guide so here it is :-

tint, light transmission, protections index

Clear, 92% , 0
high intensity yellow, 88%, 0
Persimmon, 61%, 1
blue, 54%, 1
violet, 54% 1
vr50, 50%,1
vr50/gold iridium, 40%, 2
slate iridium, 30%, 2
g30, 30%, 2
vr28, 28%, 2
g26, 26%, 2
blue iridium, 25%, 2
grey, 24%, 2
fire, 22%, 3
gold polarized, 20%, 2
grey polarized, 18%, 2
red iridium, 15%, 2
oo blue iridium, 15%, 3
oo red iridium, 15%, 3
Gold iridium polarized, 14%, 2
vr28 black iridium, 14%, 2
leather gold iridium, 12%, 3
black iridium polarized, 12%, 3
gold iridium, 11%, 3
black iridium, 9%, 3
titanium iridium, 9%, 3
24k iridium, 9%, 3
ice, 9%, 3
post #23 of 29

Interchangeable Sport Shields

Unless it is really snowing out there (vertical driving snow) I like sport shield systems with interchangeable lenses (grey brown, yellow and clear). I have an Uvex system, but Oakley and Bolle also make similar systems. Usually these are fairly light, never seem to fog, and are easy to pack in a pocket. For me they work better than the photosensitive lenses which change color but never seem to change to the right shade for the conditions.

In heavy snow storms I prefer a gold bronze goggle (I have an old pair of Smith regulators) which, as others in this thread have noted, seem to offer the most flexibility, especially when the light is changing from run to run (clouds moving through).

I avoid anything mirrored since the reflected UV ends up on sensitive body parts like your cheeks and nose that are already getting lots of exposure due to the higher altitude. Unless you want a plastic surgeon shaving off layers of you in a Mohs proceedure when the melanoma finally catches up with you (not to mention the chemos) avoid the mirrored look.

So for me, the interchange shields and one pair of goggles does it all, they pack easily in one pocket, and leave room for my SPF 50 sun screen.
post #24 of 29
First, I would like to say that there is no "one best" lens out there...
Every persons eyes react to light a little bit differently. Some are more sensitive to bright light, some to glare, etc...

Combine that with a persons ability to interpret what the various shades mean (ie- terrain features), and you will get a different answer from every person who replies to your question.

There is only one way to figure out which lens is right for you. Get out and demo them! At least walk to the door of the shop and look out into the conditions you might be experiencing.

And for me, I have found that the less I swap goggles, the more my eyes get used to what they can see, and the better I can deal with various light conditions.

Good Luck!
post #25 of 29

Oakley A Frame Helmet Strap

Read an earlier message about the $10 Oakley Helmet strap. Bought one from the Oakley website and its great - lets the side edges of the goggles sit firmly on your face.
post #26 of 29
I'm a rose or orange lense guy.

I think for the Northeast you can't get a better all around setup.

It amazes me how many people buy the mirrored Oakleys and wear them on overcast, flat light days. They are made for sunny days and it's not like we get a ton of those in New England until the Spring.
post #27 of 29
Personally I would rather ski in my smith shades than any goggles. Of course that is not reality on many days so I wear goggles. I have actually two pair of goggles, my daughter basically took one but I have used both a bit. A pair of expensive oakleys with a yellow tint. A pair of less expensive scotts with a pinkish tint which I am guessing is the rose orange tint. To be fair the scotts pissed me off, the foam lining actually came off, but I crazy glued it back on which seemed work. Regardless of their shoddy craftmenship the rose lenses to me are far superior to the Oakleys yellow tint. I would take that color again in a heartbeat, I wear shades if it is sunny, and not 20 below.

post #28 of 29
I just got some Oakley A-frames with black iridium lenses and as a holiday skier i think they will be fine, i was concerned after reading some of the messages on this forum that they would be super dark but i'm really amazed at how clear they are.

I'll let you know how i get along with them in week or two when i get back from Austria.
post #29 of 29
Originally Posted by phindme
I just got some Oakley A-frames with black iridium lenses and as a holiday skier i think they will be fine, i was concerned after reading some of the messages on this forum that they would be super dark but i'm really amazed at how clear they are.

I'll let you know how i get along with them in week or two when i get back from Austria.
I've had the A frames with Blak Iridium since they first came out and have found them good in all conditions. I think you'll find them to be great.
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