Sunglass-Fi, The Optics Info Thread

  1. Hutnicks
    Quite some time ago . I believe Luxxotica group bought them out along with just about everyone else. The old ones don't have the stylized S on the lens itself.
     
  2. Asaf Karas
    Thank you for this - just checked and unfortunately the Serengeti Rapallo I already own have that stylized S. Do you happen to know where can I find the older models?
     
  3. Hutnicks
    There is actually nothing wrong with the newer ones per se. Although I find the coatings quite variable and the lenses to be thinner and not up to the quality of the older ones.

    Ebay and thrifts shops can be helpful. Kijiji as well may have something locally.
     
  4. Tsujigiri
    I find Serengeti's to be well made and have competitive optics. Since they aren't owned by Luxottica, unfortunately you don't see too many stockists for them. Revo has some of the better optics in Luxottica's portfolio, but I wouldn't rate them as highly. I've only tried Smith's goggles, but I believe they are generally more sport-oriented than Serengeti.
     
  5. Asaf Karas
    So Serengeti aren't owned by Luxottica?
    While they don't appear on the list of brands in Luxottica's own website, I was told otherwise above in another comment.

    They usually are but I have the Smith Outlier TI Chromapop model and that's a classic avaitor model.
     
  6. Asaf Karas
    Also, it seems that Revo are no longer part of the Luxottica gorup and are now operating under another parent company.
     
  7. Tsujigiri
    No, they're associated with the Bushnell / Vista Outdoors group. I don't have a vintage Corning pair, but I did have a modern one and liked the optics and construction quite a bit. I had to get a spare part once and found their customer service to be responsive as well.

    Looks like you're right! I wasn't aware of that development. The pair I had was from the Luxottica era and I wasn't extremely impressed, but they may have improved lately.
     
  8. Hutnicks
    Odd, I may well be mistaken but I was informed Bushnell/ Bauch and Lomb sold off the Serengetti brand. I will look that up. I do however still stand by the statement that the original Serengetti "Drivers" are a cut above the current models, which in themselves are not lacking for optical quality. I was told that the reason for the sale was that Corning could not make money on the line without compromizing the quality of the optics and decided to sell it off rather than continue on.
     
  9. Asaf Karas
    Is there a brand that you feel stands above Serengeti in terms of lens quality?
     
  10. Hutnicks
    Some of the Uvex stuff is quite good but I would not necessarily say better.
     
  11. Tsujigiri
    Part of it depends on preference, as different brands have different features. Maui Jim competes in the same market and also makes very good lenses that are highly respected in the industry. Personally, I'm a big fan of Salt Optics and Leisure Society (for their frames, as well). Salt has a wide variety of tints that are all done well, with antireflective coatings and polarization standard. Leisure Society is very well done as well; I read an interview with the creator where he mentioned that the lenses they use cost more to make than Tom Ford's frames. Neither of these are sport sunglasses, so look elsewhere if you need impact protection.
     
  12. starfly
    What would you recommend as having the best lenses for non-polarized sunglasses? I personally find polarized lenses overrated as it can be irritating when looking at LCD screens, or when looking up at a clear sky and only tilting your head slightly will change the color of the sky.

    Have always had Oakley (currently using Black Iridium lenses, non-polarized), but wondering what else is out that there that has very good optics for non-polarized.
     
  13. Hutnicks
    Polarized lenses have a back and forth rep. Very good for fishermen on the water but have a notorious rep for eliminating depth perception everywhere else. pilots avoid them at all costs for that very reason. What you seem to be looking for may be solved by looking at a good shooters lens. Oakley makes a few and Wiley may be the solution you seek
     
  14. Tsujigiri
    Are you looking specifically for sport optics? The brands that compete in the impact protection niche vs the consumer niche are often different. For good optics that are also impact resistant (similar to Oakley), I would recommend Rudy Project. Their polycarbonate lenses seem to be a little clearer than Oakley to me (and their mirror coatings don't cause as many reflections as some of the Iridium tints). The Impactx lenses are even better, being made from a Trivex based material. Also, if your principle concern is polarization making LCD screens unreadable, Rudy Project has some kind of slightly different polarization filter that is meant to allow reading of electronics but still cut glare. It will darken LCD screens at certain angles from my experience, but not fully black them out.

    The only sport optic I've found that I like better than Rudy Project is Pilla, but they're very expensive and targeted towards particular sporting niches. Most of their designs aren't something most people would wear every day because they are strictly utilitarian, and the majority of the tints are for very narrow applications (such as muting green and boosting orange for clay shooting against trees). That being said, the frame quality is a notch above the typical injection molded plastic frames for those types of glasses, and the lenses are built with no expense spared. They also use Trivex, but they pour them into polished glass molds and let them cure for a day to ensure surfaces that have fewer defects and optics that aren't distorted by stresses in the materials. They also have antireflective coatings, which is a rarity for sport glasses.

    Randolph Engineering's metal frames in their Ranger series would also be worth a look, but I haven't owned anything from that particular line to comment in more detail. I did have a pair of their signature aviators and found the quality to be functionally impeccable, although obviously not as cosmetically perfect as a metal frame from a high end brand.
     
  15. Hutnicks
    I have to chime in here and add my two cents worth. I found the Rudy Project lenses to have the worst abrasion resistance of any glasses I have ever owned. I would in retrospect buy the Uvex or sister brand Mammoth before I bought Rudy's stuff again.
     

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