Take your shooting performance to new heights with our ultimate clay shooting glasses lens colour guide. From understanding the different lens colours and their specific advantages to finding your perfect match, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make an educated choice and maximize your shooting potential.
The two categories of lenses
Lens colours can be broadly categorised into two main groups:
- Light management lenses: These lenses help manage weather and light conditions to enhance visibility.
- Contrast enhancement lenses: These lenses modify backgrounds and target colours to improve target visibility.
Many lens colours serve both purposes simultaneously by utilising colours and tints that manage light and enhance contrast.
When selecting a lens colour for your target presentation, the first consideration should be light management. Choose a lens that will optimise your vision based on the prevailing light conditions.
For instance, if you’re shooting with the sun directly behind the target, lacking a sufficiently dark lens colour might make the target very difficult to see, reducing your chances of hitting it.
Similarly, if you’re shooting in wooded areas and your lens is too dark, you’ll limit the amount of light and visual information needed to spot the target.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE LIGHTNESS OR DARKNESS OF A LENS?
The Light Transmission Value (LTV) provides insight into the transparency level of a lens, indicating how much light passes through it. The LTV is measured on a scale of 1-100%, with higher numbers indicating lighter lenses and lower numbers indicating darker lenses.
To simplify the process, lenses are categorised from 0 to 4, each representing a specific range of LTV values:
- Category 0: 80-100% LTV
- Category 1: 46-79% LTV
- Category 2: 18-45% LTV
- Category 3: 8-17% LTV
- Category 4: 3-8% LTV
At X Sight Sport, we offer a range of 22 lens colours with LTV values ranging from 5% to 100%.
Enhancing contrast to improve visibility
Choosing a lens colour to enhance contrast is the next step in selecting the right lens. Typically, lenses are chosen to alter the colour of the background, surroundings, or clay target to improve visibility. By changing the background colour, the target stands out more distinctly, making it easier to spot and track.
In the popular discipline of English Sporting clay shooting in the UK, backgrounds can vary from green tree lines and grass to brown banks, open fields, and the sky. The most common clay colours used are black and orange. Some lens colours, like purple, can suppress or mute green background colours, resulting in an amplifying effect on orange targets, making them more prominent.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LENS COLOuR AND QUANTITY
Having a lens for full sun, one for low-light conditions, and an intermediate option for overcast or cloudy days is generally sufficient. However, you can certainly opt for more lens colours based on personal preference. As a general rule, it’s recommended to select the lightest lens colour that still provides adequate visibility for the prevailing light conditions, ensuring your eyes remain wide open.
Most affordable multi-lens sets come with 3-5 lens colours, covering a range of conditions. These sets typically offer standard colour options that provide a moderate contrast enhancement effect. On the other hand, premium brands offer a wider selection of colours, tints, coatings, and exceptional performance, providing more choices for year-round usage.
Some shooters prefer to use a single colour but with three different tints to cater to varying light conditions. Others may opt for six different lens colours. Since everyone’s eyes are unique, individual preferences for lens colour may vary. By trying different lens colours yourself, you can determine what works best for you.
Shooting glasses lens colours – Understanding their Purposes
One of the most common questions we receive at shows and events is about the specific purposes of different lens colours. While personal perception of colours can vary, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of what each colour category of shooting glasses lens is typically used for. We all see differently, so trying out lenses yourself is the best way to determine which works best for you. Here’s a brief description of each lens colour category
Purple lenses offer a serene and soothing visual experience, making them an excellent choice for extended wear. They act as background neutralisers by selectively filtering out green light from the colour spectrum. This selective filtration helps suppress green and brown backgrounds, such as treelines and grass banks, which are commonly encountered during shooting activities in the UK.
By subduing the surrounding green hues, purple lenses create a contrasting effect that makes orange clays and targets stand out more prominently against the scenery. This enhanced contrast improves target visibility and enables shooters to track their targets with greater ease and precision.
Lenses in shades of pink, vermilion, red, and rose offer more than just green light filtration. They also filter out blue light, which can contribute to eye strain during prolonged shooting sessions. These lenses provide a moderate contrast boost, especially between orange clays and the sky or green and brown backgrounds. As a result, they have gained popularity among Trap shooters.
Suitable for a wide range of light conditions, these tints excel in mid to overcast lighting situations and when shooting away from direct sunlight. The contrast enhancement they provide helps targets stand out more prominently, enabling shooters to track them with greater clarity and precision.
Beyond their contrast-enhancing properties, vermilion and red lenses are known to assist individuals with red/green colour deficiencies in distinguishing targets more effectively. By optimising colour perception, these lenses can significantly improve target visibility for those with specific colour vision impairments.
Shooting in fields or open areas with bright sunlight or direct exposure to sunlight requires lenses that can effectively manage the intense light. Brown lenses have become a popular choice for such conditions. Unlike traditional brown sunglasses, shooting lens colours in brown often feature a tint of red or orange, offering specific advantages for shooters.
The primary purpose of brown lenses is to optimise light conditions rather than solely enhance contrast. By selecting a brown tint that incorporates shades of red, pink, or orange, the lens can indeed enhance contrast and offer some background suppression. This combination of optimising light and enhancing contrast makes these lenses well-suited for shooting in bright sunlight or direct sunlight scenarios.
One standout offering in our lineup is our HD Brown lens, one of the darkest brown lenses available on the market, with an LTV of only 5% (Category 4). This lens significantly enhances depth perception and contrast in bright, sunny conditions. Shooting high targets against direct sunlight becomes much more manageable, thanks to the increased clarity and visual acuity provided by this lens.
Orange lenses are renowned for their high-definition colour and are among the most popular lens choices for shooting activities. When individuals try an orange lens for the first time, they are often amazed by the sharpness and clarity it provides. The dark tint of orange creates an almost monochromatic view that easily distinguishes orange and black clays against various backgrounds.
One of the key advantages of orange lenses is their ability to block blue light, which can significantly enhance target visibility in hazy, foggy, or cloudy conditions. By filtering out blue light, these lenses optimise contrast and improve target recognition, allowing shooters to track their targets with greater ease.
Moreover, orange-coloured lens tints excel in providing depth perception and definition. This characteristic proves beneficial for distinguishing black targets against green backgrounds, enhancing overall target visibility and facilitating precise target acquisition.
Yellow lenses excel at increasing brightness in your ambient surroundings, enhancing definition, and boosting target colour contrast. When wearing yellow lenses, your surroundings appear brighter, allowing for improved visibility and heightened clarity. The vibrant nature of yellow lenses enhances the colour saturation of orange clays, making them more vivid and easily distinguishable. Additionally, black targets stand out more distinctly against green backdrops and grey skies, thanks to the heightened contrast and definition provided by yellow lenses.
These lenses are particularly useful in poor light conditions, low visibility scenarios, and during dark and cloudy weather. Whether you’re engaged in clay shooting or game shooting, yellow lenses can enhance your overall shooting experience.
While less commonly seen in the clay shooting circuit, blue lenses offer unique advantages that can improve visibility in specific shooting scenarios, primarily involving targets in the sky. Instead of making orange clays stand out, blue lenses filter out red light from the colour spectrum, resulting in a darker appearance of orange targets. This characteristic can be advantageous in particular shooting situations.
Initially introduced for archery, blue lenses were designed to highlight the yellow centre on a target by suppressing the contrast of the surrounding red ring. In the context of clay shooting, blue lenses can enhance target visibility in the sky, especially when the sun is shining directly on the clay, creating a washed-out effect that can hinder target perception.
Blue lenses can also contribute to better visibility of black clays against the sky, making them a suitable option for shooters engaged in disciplines where black targets are prevalent. By enhancing the perception of blackness, blue lenses aid in target distinction and improve target acquisition.
Clear lenses are an essential choice for shooters who prioritize eye protection and shielding from the elements without the need for colour enhancement. While other lens colours focus on enhancing visibility and contrast, clear lenses offer a neutral, colourless option for those who value pure optical clarity.
The primary purpose of clear lenses is to provide reliable eye protection during shooting activities. They act as a barrier against debris, dust, wind, and other potential hazards that shooters may encounter on the field. By wearing clear lenses, you can safeguard your eyes from any potential impact or environmental factors that could compromise your vision.
Moreover, clear lenses are ideal for shooting situations where colour enhancement is unnecessary or unwanted. Some shooters may prefer a natural view of their surroundings without any tint or alteration in colour perception. Clear lenses allow for unfiltered visual acuity, ensuring that you can observe your targets and surroundings without any colour distortion.
X Sight Sport lenses in this category include Clear
Mirror Coated Lenses
Mirror-coated lenses offer a unique solution for situations that require a reduction in overall brightness. These lenses not only feature a tint but also have a reflective coating that reflects light away from the eyes, providing additional protection for those who are sensitive to bright light. The various colour coatings available are primarily aesthetic and have little effect on the colours seen through the lens.
Grey lenses are a popular choice for shooters seeking enhanced visual comfort in bright light conditions. Similar to traditional sunglasses, grey lenses are designed to help you see better and keep your eyes relaxed when faced with intense sunlight. They reduce the overall brightness of all colours equally without significantly impacting the colour contrast of the background and targets.
While grey lenses may not be considered a specialist clay shooting lens colour, they offer effective light management and can be beneficial for shooters in bright outdoor environments. By reducing brightness and providing a neutral colour perception, grey lenses allow for a more comfortable shooting experience without compromising the visibility of your targets.
Conclusion – Finding Your Perfect Shooting Glasses Lens Colours
Choosing the ideal shooting glasses lens colour is a personal decision that varies for each shooter. It’s essential to consider your individual preferences, shooting conditions, and specific challenges you may encounter. By observing the lighting and landscape conditions at your shooting range, you can match these characteristics to the lens colours that would best suit your needs.
Take note of any difficulties you face in seeing specific clay colours against certain backgrounds. This observation can guide you in selecting lens colours that enhance target visibility and contrast in those specific scenarios. Additionally, pay attention to the lens colours that other shooters are wearing and don’t hesitate to ask if you can try them out.
We are pleased to announce that X Sight Sport now has several retailers stocking our display case. If you are located near any of these retailers, you have the opportunity to try the lenses in person. We encourage you to visit our stockist’s page to locate a retailer near you and experience the difference our shooting glasses lenses can make firsthand.
Remember, finding the perfect lens colours for your shooting needs may involve some trial and error. By experimenting with different lens colours and observing their effects on your shooting performance, you can determine which lens colours provide the optimal visual acuity and target distinction for you.
At X Sight Sport, we are dedicated to providing high-quality shooting glasses lenses designed to enhance your shooting experience. We offer a range of lens colours tailored to different shooting conditions, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your individual preferences.
Choose your lens colours wisely, experiment with different options, and discover the lens colours that unlock your shooting potential. Elevate your shooting performance with the right shooting glasses lens colours from X Sight Sport.