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A Thread for Sunglasses (High End and Rarities Welcome) - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

Sama makes sunglasses for both their main line and their Loree Rodkin line. Many of their frames feature decorations in leather and sterling silver, or detailed patterns etched into the frames. Sama also makes liberal use of titanium on their metal frames. The Loree Rodkin line takes some influence from medieval aesthetic, which produces some interesting designs. Sama's products are well-made down to the small details, even on the more complicated frames. Their optics are also better than average, although not top tier. Polarization is available on some models and antireflective coatings come on most if not all models. I think that their frames serve as a good middle ground for people who want some flamboyant decoration on quality frames but find brands like Chrome Hearts to be overly gaudy and trashy looking.


Below: Loree Rodkin Hunter (titanium frame with leather and sterling silver decoration):




post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'll take a quick detour and profile a few brands that specialize in sport sunglasses or safety glasses, that can be used to protect the eyes from impact. First up is Wiley-X, a brand that caters to the military but has branched out to market to a wider customer base. Wiley's protective lenses tend to be cut thicker than average, offering a stronger lens than the ANSI Z87.1 standard requires. Their product certainly does the job, but I've found that their construction is a little flimsy and they're not as high quality as some other options out there. They would not be my first pick, but they do offer a couple products that you are unlikely to find alternatives for. For an example, the SG-1 glasses feature interchangeable lenses with foam gaskets to block out wind or debris. The arms can be detached and replaced with an elastic band, making the frame changeable between a goggle and glasses configuration.


Below: PT-1 and SG-1:



post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

Next up is Revision, a newer company that is also geared towards military use. They offer frames in multiple sizes as well as ones designed to better fit the typical Asian facial structure, and their flagship glasses also feature adjustable length arms. Be careful which size you get, as some sellers don't clearly state this. Once you do get the right size, Revision's frames are very comfortable. They are made in the US and designed with excellent attention to detail. The silicon and hard plastic components of the nosepieces have been permanently fused together so they will not come apart unintentionally (this is a common problem that Oakleys develop with use). Most interesting is Revision's lens construction. They make their lenses thick and laminated. Since delaminating a material requires a great deal of kinetic energy, Revision's lenses can absorb large impacts without breaking. They have a few videos of tests in which they fired 12 gauge shotguns at their lenses and no pellets passed through. Revisions are made in the U.S. and can be used with prescription adapters the company makes. Their frames don't feel particularly refined and their optics are average in clarity, but for pure function I would say these offer the best value in sport sunglasses and the strongest protection I'm aware of.


Below: Sawfly and Desert Locust



post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

Oakley seems to generate a lot of vehement responses from both its fans and detractors. I live just a few minutes from their headquarters, and it seems like they're by far the most popular brand of sunglasses around here. I don't think their quality is very good for a normal pair of sunglasses, but for sport optics they do make a decent product. They have a distinctive appearance and usually have very good comfort. They also offer Asian fit on some of their models (while I'm half Asian, I ended up with a Caucasian facial structure and can't comment on how well the Asian fit works). I do find that Oakley makes some good integrated hinges compared to a lot of their competitors. The hinges on their frames are usually easily articulated and feel sturdy. The optics, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. This may be surprising to some people since Oakley makes a big deal about their optics, but I've found that their optics really aren't very good. I had one pair of their sunglasses that was tinted so unevenly that I would see colors change as I turned my head. I had another that had a great deal of distortion. None of the Oakley lenses I've tried seemed all that clear. That being said, I've found that Oakleys work well for eye protection. They aren't the best at anything, but they do have a high quality and refined feel to them compared to a lot of other sport sunglasses.


Below: M frame



post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

Last up for the sport sunglasses is Rudy Project. RP's main weakness is a higher price and limited availability due to an anemic distribution system. If you can get them, though, I believe that they make the best sport optics out there. Their frames are smooth and refined feeling, and usually have a good amount of adjustability built in to better accommodate the user. The rubber nose pads and temples usually have wire cores that can be bent to fit, for instance. Their lenses are better than any others I've tried for sport sunglasses. The basic polycarbonate ones are no slouch, but they also offer some lenses in Trivex (branded Impact-X), which offers better clarity and strength. Many of their models are also available with lenses that are polarized, photochromic, or both.


Below: Freeon



post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

Silhouette makes the lightest sunglasses in the world. They're best known for their beta titanium frames, which are hingeless and rely on the thin arms bending to provide tension. There's no risk of losing a screw with this system, but the glasses do not fold flat and can't be clipped into a shirt. Silhouette's glasses are the only ones allowed on NASA missions IIRC due to the low risk of them falling apart and creating floating debris. Their glasses are made in Austria and can be had with polarized lenses and antireflective coatings. Their optics are good in my experience. The main tradeoff to the light weight is that the frames are not very durable, and over time the mounting holes for the metal components can develop cracks. The beta titanium frame idea has since been used by companies like Serengeti and Maui Jim (although Serengeti seems to have discontinued theirs).



post #22 of 26
Tsujigiri, thanks for the tread, very informative. Do you have any experience with Lunor (another brand that seems highly regarded)?
post #23 of 26

Good info, great read, thanks for sharing.

post #24 of 26

What do you think of Matsuda eyewear? I have a vintage pair, and I just recently picked up a brand new pair from the relaunch collection. Personally I think the craftsmanship is excellent, great lenses on my new pair as well.

post #25 of 26

Waiting for new posts from Tsujigiri

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Haha I thought this thread had just become my own echo chamber. Nice to see a couple other people posting. I don't know anything about Lunor, unfortunately, and I don't have firsthand experience with Matsuda, but I've heard good things about them.


Here's a brand I hadn't discussed before: Retrosuperfuture. They make midrange sunglasses and are best known for their classic acetate styles, particularly their flat top and wayfarer. They are very low profile and don't exhibit flashy branding, but are high quality. What sets them apart compared to many others in their price range are the frames made of real wire-core acetate, rather than the injection molded stuff you see from mainstream brands. That means that their frames are light but sturdy, can be bent to shape, and have durable colors and patterns. They use Zeiss lenses, although these do not have the bronze antireflective coating the higher end sunglasses with Zeiss lenses do (understandable, since replacing Zeiss lenses from those higher end brands costs about as much as a complete pair of RSF's). The hinges are a durable 5-barrel type, and smooth too. I'd say that the quality of the product they put out is impressive for the price, and kudos to them for not plastering their name all over their frames, but rather keeping everything simple and quality.


Below: Wayfarer in sky blue




They have a neat video on their manufacturing process, too:

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