We want to share the story of a customer of ours, Gary, and the recent set of glasses we made for him. He’s photo’d above with his friends and their take of 16 geese from a weekend hunt earlier in January. They’re up in Oregon, and from the photo you can see the light is variable/overcast. Knowing what we did of his use and conditions, we put together a high-contrast custom tint for the Smith Optics frame he already had. We know a lot of folks in the NW have to be particularly aware of the Canadian dusky geese and make quick decisions based on the coloring, so it was important for us to create a tint that maintained an authentic color perspective, while still enhancing the view in low-light situations. They certainly bagged some birds, so he must have been seeing pretty good.
Hunting eyewear is one of the most precise and challenging types of eyewear we make. Conditions often vary between the extremes, yet lens tones and functionality needs to be sharp and precise. Obviously, there are a lot of variables in the equation: location, what you’re hunting, what you’re shooting (or in the case of the duskies, what you’re not shooting), all the prescription variables, personal preference as far as fit and style, fogging issues, etc. This is a lot to take in to ultimately shape into a set of prescription hunting lenses, and while hunting is a very general term that takes many different forms, it can be an extremely demanding activity and eyewear has to meet those demands.
Gary was cool enough to pass along a fun photo from the weekend, and we’ll also point you towards his friendly post on the ifish forum, which is Oregon-centric but for the rest of us it’s still a place for some good discussions about prescription hunting eyewear and about broader hunting and fishing topics.
Junior Shooters is a cool magazine out of Idaho that does something that no other shooting or outdoor magazine does: publish articles written by kids. If you flip through the pages you’ll see little parenthesis in the by-lines: (12) (14) (15). Those are the ages of the writers. In a media industry with a strong respect for tradition in which many journalists dedicate their lives to developing the skills, experience and readership to be able to make a career out of their writing, and where experts generally are, with all due respect, pretty old guys, it’s refreshing to read the sincere words of a 13-year old reviewer telling us about his or her new product. It also seems like a great way to build confidence and develop engagement in the sport, and build some writing skills while they’re at it. It’s a great magazine that you really get the sense is more of a community than a magazine, and we wish it all the best.
Tactical Rx recently had our glasses reviewed by a junior shooter who shall remain nameless (for the sake of the privacy of our youth), however his photo and our Mt. Falcon frames with custom yellow shooting lenses are right there on page 64. The review was stellar, and we’re certainly glad he liked his glasses. Highlight quote was probably, “…they are by far the best shooting glasses I have ever seen.” Solid quote.I also liked, “MSRP is $109, which is a little much for me..”. Yes, when I was in eighth grade $109 for glasses would’ve been a little much for me as well. Which is where parents come into play..
Parents: If your child is shooting, help him or her protect their eyes by explaining the importance of eyewear and giving them something that will protect their eyes. Prescription or non, our eyewear or someone elses. We’ve all heard stories of a childhood accident shaping someone’s life, and certainly, things happen. But when it comes to shooting and eye protection, nothing has to happen. Junior Shooters, as a magazine, does an excellent job of teaching safety and showing their shooters (and authors) wearing eye-pro where it should be worn.
Junior Shooters. Making a Mark.
One of our most popular lenses is our Almost Lens, an inverted shooting bifocal intended to help crisp up your front sights if you’re no longer seeing them as clearly as you’d like. On one hand this lens is a very simple premise and not something that we really invented. On the other hand, we’ve found a way to innovate and customize a stagnant, existing idea. Genius, we say! In any case, here are a few answers to the questions we receive most frequently regarding the Almost Lens:
– It’s a custom placement, so we’d send you a frame (or a few if you want to try some on for fit and style) and you’d mark it and send it back to us. We’d include a marking kit for you to use, which is a piece of cake.
– It’s a lined bifocal, and the general placement is above your eye, both of which help make sight/target acquisition quick and easy. There’s no more tilting your head back to access the lower portion of your lens, and the lined bifocal gives a large field of view for your near vision so you no longer have to seek out the sweet spot in your progressive.
– We take your given reading prescription and adjust it for the distance from your eye to your front sights. We’ll ask you for this distance measurement, in inches, and we’ll make the accommodation on our end. If you have multiple barrel lengths/sight distances, either take the average or prioritize one of your guns. There’s a few inch margin here so two inches won’t make a difference.
– What else…Most folks go with it only in their dominant eye, but some people put it in both eyes and others do one eye with the shooting bifocal above their eye and in the other eye they put a traditional lined bifocal.
– To order, the best way is to give us a call with your prescription handy. We can talk you through some frame options and get some choices sent out to you for marking.
Almost Lens inverted shooting bifocal in the Numa Point Ballistic frame.
(Above: Yes, we took lens sample photos on a golf course because, well, some of us enjoy golf.)
We have a few polarized lens options to choose from. Lenses, polarized or otherwise, are largely a point of personal preference and there isn’t a wrong or right answer. If you have any questions about your specific light conditions or needs, write us through our comment box or call us. As always, we’re glad to send you out some lens samples to demo and look through, but this guide should help give you an idea of the tones we’re talking about and what they’ll look like:
Polarized Grey: This looks like a grey lens. It has 80% light blockage and provides excellent blockage in bright conditions. From the outside, it’ll look like this:
Numa Chuck ANSI z87 shooting and safety frame with super dark grey polarized prescription lenses.
Polarized Brown: The brown has the same 80% light blockage as the grey, but because of the tone it offers a higher contrast view with yellow hues mixed in. We’ve received a lot of feedback that the brown helps targets stand-out, so if you want a dark lens but prefer a little more “pop”, the brown is a good choice. From the outside, it’ll look like this:
Rudy Project Rydon in Demi-Turtle, with Polarized Brown lenses. Demi-Turtle is a classy tone that works well for hunting.
Polarized Rose-Copper: (NOTE: This lens style is not available with the Almost Lens or lined bifocals.) The polarized Rose-Copper lens is our lightest polarized lens option, at 75% blockage, and also our most versatile. The rose hues provide sharp definition in everything from bright conditions to cloudy, overcast days and shade. From the outside, it’ll look like this:
Joseph von Benedikt of Shooting Times magazine in the Smith Elite Hudson prescription shooting sunglass.
Photo Credit: Shooting Times magazine.
There is a strong, growing trend of the EDC (EveryDayCarry) movement and whatever you think of the acronym and even the movement (What’s new about carrying things around everyday?) the concept is legit: There are certain items that are crucial to your lifestyle and when they are they often take on significant, highly-highly personal meaning to your life.
Usually the list includes things like wallets, knives, pens. A firearm if you conceal carry. Some candy if you’re diabetic. We all have different needs, and yet there’s a lot of overlap on EDC gear. For anyone who requires corrective vision, prescription eyewear is an easy one. What’s more crucial than sight? What’s more necessary to finding all the other things in your bag than a pair of glasses? What’s more elemental to your job and your recreation than seeing it clearly? What’s more…I’ll stop, but you get the point. If you can’t see without your glasses, prescription eyewear needs to be on your EDC list.
If it’s on yours, is it a point of style? Of durability? Of performance? Eyewear needs to function and perform, but along the way it also expresses who you are and what your needs are.
The New Artemis, a cool website focusing on gear, design and EDC, was cool enough to run an article on Tactical Rx eyewear as an Every Day Carry item, check it out: The New Artemis article.
Guess how excited we were this afternoon when the friendly folks over at American Shooting Journal pointed out that they’d given us a sweet product review in the September 2015 issue. We’d made some glasses for a staff member up there hoping that they’d be able to get a feel for our work and feel comfortable spreading the word about who we are and what we do. Turns out, they liked them! And wrote about them! In September. And we just didn’t know:)
Two nice highlights from the American Shooting Journal article were:
– “Our goal is simple: provide law enforcement officers, security personnel and civilian shooters with prescription eyewear that meets the rigorous demands of both protection and performance.” Yes, that’s our goal.
– Bret’s “proprietary optical formulas and adaptations are highly refined and provide cleaner optical perspectives.” If you can see clearly, both your target and your surroundings, you can shoot clearly and make clearer decisions.
Here’s the text:
Lenses are prone to fogging. It’s a reaction based on the heat produced by your face, the humidity of the environment and the temperature, as well. There are certain things that can be done to alleviate fogging:
– Get the right frame. If you know that you produce a lot of heat and sweat, don’t get a frame that creates a tight seal around your face. It’s going to fog. Open-bottom frames naturally allow for more ventilation and airflow, but full-frame options can be just as good if they fit properly.
– If you give us a heads up, we can treat a lens with an Anti-Fog coating for you at no charge. This coating does a pretty good job of reducing fogging issues and it’s easy to notice the difference between a lens that has been coated and one that hasn’t. If you breathe on one and breathe on the other, the untreated lens fogs up.
Other sports eyewear companies literally charge upwards of $60 for this coating. We’ll do it for free, and if you want a full bottle of the concentrate we use it’s an additional $10. We’ve demo-ed and tested dozens of anti-fogs, and it turns out the $10 one works as well as the $100 one.
– CUSTOM VENTING. This is what’s so cool about making custom lenses and doing all your lenscrafting in-house. We can custom vent the heck out of a lens. You want a few vent-holes? No prob. You want twenty vent-holes? Sure thing. By venting the lenses the moisture has a route to escape and it makes a substantial difference to the fogging properties of a piece of eyewear. This is, naturally, the third step in the process to prevent fogging. We drill into the lens and there’s no going back, so if you request custom venting, please be sure. It takes a little bit of time and handiwork, so we charge $30 for the service.