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HomemifashionRx-able Eyewear for the Great Outdoors

Rx-able Eyewear for the Great Outdoors

With the optical industry ever-changing, it can be hard to keep up with all the products available for our consumers, especially coming into the warmer months in Australia.

In this article, Nicole Grasso refreshes and enriches your knowledge on lenses for outdoor use so you can make the best recommendations to your patients.

the colour of the tint that you select is going to favour those colours close to it on the spectrum and absorb more of the colours further away from it

Sun Tints

Sun tints can be an easy discussion to engage in if the customer knows what they want. Even if they don’t know what they’re missing out on, it doesn’t take much to introduce the concept of enhancing their vision for outdoor activities with a tailored solution.

But how do we know what lens coatings and coloured filters will optimise a patient’s vision?

We could consider the colours in the visible light spectrum and see how they have an influence over sunglass tints and protection from ultraviolet (UV) light. When selecting a grey solid tint, all UV radiation is absorbed up until 350nm.

Grey absorbs all colours on the spectrum equally, and so does not distort their appearance. This makes a grey tint ideal for someone who finds it important to maintain the integrity of natural colours in the environment, such as an outdoor photographer.

A green sunglass tint will absorb all UV radiation up until 365nm, slightly more than a solid grey lens. A green sunglass lens will also absorb more of the red end of the colour spectrum than the middle colours. This will have some effect on the relative appearance of colours. Reds, oranges, and browns will appear to be washed out and duller than yellows and greens.

A brown sunglass tint transmits more of the red end of the spectrum than the violet end. Like the green sunglass tint, it absorbs around 360nm of UV radiation. Colours from the violet end of the spectrum – green, blue, and violet – will appear to be duller in comparison to reds and browns.

In summary, the colour of the tint that you select is going to favour those colours close to it on the spectrum and absorb more of the colours further away from it.

Sport Tints

When considering specific outdoor sports tints, it is important to remember that different tints can have various benefits. However, there isn’t a specific ‘best’ tint for everyone, as personal preferences and individual needs can vary.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Grey or smoke-coloured lenses provide a neutral colour balance. This can maintain accurate colour perception while reducing brightness, making them a versatile choice.

• Copper or brown tints enhance contrast and depth perception. This can be beneficial in low-light conditions or when used for an activity such as golf with dense foliage around. These tints tend to enhance the visibility of the ball against the green background. They can also help cyclists distinguish road irregularities and potholes.

• Rose-coloured tints can improve contrast and can be useful in low-light or overcast conditions. They can also enhance visibility in shaded areas or under trees.

• Orange or yellow tints are known to enhance depth perception and increase visual clarity in low light or fog. They can be helpful for people spending time outdoors at dusk or early in the morning.

Ultimately, the best sunglass tint for enhancing outdoor sports vision is going to depend on the conditions they will be worn in, personal preference, and specific needs of the customer.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses contain unique molecules that react when exposed to UV light. When exposed to UV rays, these molecules undergo a chemical reaction that causes lenses to darken. When UV light is reduced or removed, the lenses gradually return to a clear state.

Photochromic lenses can adapt to changing light conditions within minutes. However, the speed of adaption varies depending on the specific lens technology and temperature. In colder temperatures, the molecules slow down and take longer to react.

Photochromic lenses offer protection against harmful UV rays from the sun as they shield the eyes from both UVA and UVB rays. This protection is beneficial in reducing the risk of eye conditions caused by long-term exposure to UV radiation.

The ideal target market for photochromic prescription lenses varies, however some key demographics and characteristics include people who frequently engage in outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, skiing, or golfing; professionals with variable lighting environments; and individuals with light sensitivity.

There are a variety of photochromic tints available, allowing patients to customise their eyewear. While the most common tint is grey, companies like Younger Optics have an extensive range of colours available including brown, graphite green, amber, emerald, sapphire, and amethyst.

The biggest downside to photochromic lenses has always been their inability to fully darken in the car due to UV protection on the windscreen, which generally filters out 98% of harmful UV rays. While that’s great news for our skin, it’s not so effective for protecting the eyes against glare.

Transitions XTRActive new generation is one of the only photochromic lenses to achieve a category 3 level darkness, and it can respond to visible light as well as UV light. This eliminates the issue of a photochromic lens not responding in the car. The lenses change to three different colours and lighten and darken to suit the conditions, using a combination of polarising and photochromic technology. It’s a great choice for people who spend a lot of time driving.

The lightest Transitions Drivewear colour is olive green, which assists in low-light and overcast situations. The olive-green tint, in combination with lens polarisation, provides higher contrast. The copper colour removes excess light and enhances traffic signal recognition by emphasising reds and greens. In bright sunlight, the lens transforms to dark brown and blocks 88% of bright light, allowing just 12% of light to pass through the lens.

Polarising Lenses

Polarised lenses are a fantastic option for people who enjoy spending time outside. Light becomes plane polarised when reflected at an angle off a surface, creating blinding glare. Polarising filters combat this by absorbing the light that is vibrating in the horizontal plane and transmitting light vibrating in the vertical plane.

Polarising filters in ophthalmic sunglasses enhance contrast and depth. An ideal recommendation for anyone around water, they take away blinding glare on top of the water’s surface, allowing the wearer to see in detail beneath the surface.

Polarising is also best for people doing daytime driving as the polarising filter cuts through reflected glare from asphalt, allowing the driver to notice potholes and abrasions sooner. However, polarising lenses should never be dispensed to pilots as the polarising filter will stop them from noticing the reflected light off other planes in the sky.

Polarised light is constantly incorporated in modern day technology. LCD screens use polarising filters to create black ‘light’, this can become an issue when wearing polarised sunglasses, as the combination of the two polarised planes will black out the screen, resulting in the wearer not being able to view the screen. Technology is always developing so this is not as prominent of an issue as it once was, but customers need to be aware that this may happen when viewing digital screens at train stations and when using other digital instruments.

Mirror Coating

Mirror-coated sunglasses significantly reduce glare. A mirror coating reflects intense light away from the eyes, preventing excessive brightness from reaching your vision. By reducing glare, mirror-coated sunglasses enhance visual comfort. This makes them ideal for outdoor activities such as a day at the beach, sports or driving.

It’s worth noting that mirror-coated sunglasses may have slightly reduced visible light transmission compared with non-mirror-coated lenses. So, if your patient requires a high level of clarity in low light, they might be better without the mirrored lens. However, for bright outdoor environments and overall eye protection with a unique look, mirrored lenses might be the solution they are looking for.

While mirror-coated lenses offer many benefits, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of:

• The mirror coating is typically applied to the outer surface of the lens, which means it can be more susceptible to scratches and damage,

• The reflective nature of the mirror coating can make smudges and coatings more apparent. This can mean they need to be cleaned more frequently,

• Care needs to be taken while cleaning, so patients should be cautioned against using abrasive materials that may damage the mirror coating.

• There are limited prescription options. Typically, mirror lenses are available in a 1.5 and 1.59 index, restricting suitability for many optical prescriptions.

Nicole Grasso is a trainer at the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing and has worked in the optical industry since 2015. A qualified optical dispenser (Certificate IV in 2017), she completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessing in 2021.

Wilson, D., Daras, S., Practical Optical Dispensing (Third Edition), 2014

Photochromic and Polarised Lens Options

ZEISS AdaptiveSun

ZEISS AdaptiveSun are sunglass lenses designed to automatically adjust their colour intensity depending on UV exposure due to photochromic properties in the lens material. From dark to darker, ZEISS AdaptiveSun provides full UV protection and convenience. ZEISS AdaptiveSun is available in grey, brown or pioneer, either with a full or gradient tint and polarised.

Contact: Zeiss Account Manager

PhotoFusion X by ZEISS

ZEISS PhotoFusion X is an all-in-one photochromic solution. The lens material uses faster dye compounds and a speed-optimised carrier matrix. ZEISS PhotoFusion X lenses darken up to 60% faster than the previous generation of ZEISS PhotoFusion and have up to 2.5 times faster fade-back indoors.1 Offering unique blue light protection that is embedded in the lens material, and the Zeiss promise of full UV protection both outside and indoors.

Contact: Zeiss Account Manager

Analysis by Technology and Innovation, Carl Zeiss Vision GmbH, DE 2021 in accordance with ISO 8980-3. Based on the average speed (%T/min) of activation from clear state to 30%T at 23°C in grey 1.60 index and polycarbonate in HC only form.

ColorMatic 3 by Rodenstock

With the latest advancements within photochromic lens technology, Rodenstock’s ColorMatic 3 lenses change from clear to dark and fade back to clear again 30% faster than the previous generation, making them the company’s
fastest photochromic lenses ever.

ColorMatic 3 reduces blue light by 35%, making it especially suitable for wearers who spend a lot of time in front of digital devices. Additionally, UV and glare protection in the lens means that ColorMatic provides excellent eye protection. By blocking UV rays and reducing glare, Rodenstock photochromic lenses may reduce eye strain.

Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) 02 9748 0988

Transitions Light Intelligent

Transitions Light Intelligent lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and provide blue-violet light filtration indoors and outdoors. With three technologies to choose from, patients can match a Transitions technology to their lifestyle and eye care needs.

Transitions Signature GEN 8 is the perfect lens for everyday life; wearers can choose their style with seven lens colour options.

Transitions XTRActive new generation delivers extra darkness and extra light protection, designed for wearers who are very light sensitive or frequently exposed to bright light.

Transitions XTRActive Polarized lenses reduce glare, providing wearers with sharper vision, a larger view, and vivid colours.

Visit: transitions.com/en-au

NuPolar Polarised by Younger

With a far-reaching reputation and consistent reliability, NuPolar’s polarised lenses are available in a wide range of colours, styles, and materials.

Trusted to deliver long-lasting quality and value for money, colours remain consistent and do not fade over time, excellent film adhesion eliminates delamination problems, and heat stability means the lenses will not fade or delaminate when left in hot cars.

Available in solid tint, gradient tint, mirror finish, and photochromic technology.

Visit: youngeroptics.com.au

Transitions Drivewear by Younger

One lens, three colours: Transitions Drivewear is the world’s only polarised lens with both lens colour and light adaptation technology. The polarised photochromic lens combines two global leading technologies: Transitions photochromics and Younger Optics’ NuPolar polarisation. The result is a groundbreaking polarised sun lens that
is optimised for driving, sport, and other outdoor activities.

The world’s only lens to change to three colours, it is olive in low light, copper when driving or in partially sunny conditions, and dark brown in bright sunlight.

Transitions Drivewear is always polarised and darkens and lightens according to the light conditions.

Visit: youngeroptics.com.au

SunSync Light-Reactive by VSP Optics

VSP Optics’ photochromic solutions include SunSync and SunSync Drive XT.

Original SunSync is a conventional ligh-treactive lens that gives your patients everything they need in a base lens that’s anything but basic: dark outdoor colour, excellent indoor clarity, fast reaction times, superior temperature stability, 100% UV protection, and outstanding durability in one stylish package.

SunSync Drive XT combines the benefits of in-car activation with all the advantages of SunSync lenses.

Both SunSync and SunSync Drive XT are backed by a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee, allowing you and your patients to try them risk free for 12 months.

Contact: VSP Optics (AUS) 1800 251 025

Shamir Rx

Shamir’s range of Rx lenses is available in sun and safety variations. Shamir offers a wide range of photochromatic, mirrored, and reflective coatings. More than just functional, they let patients create a unique statement without sacrificing performance.

Visit: shamir.com/au

NeoSun by OSA

NeoSun lenses give wearers broader flexibility with prescription sunglasses. NeoSun is designed to fit a variety of frames, including sports, fashion, and rimless. Whether your patient is looking for a specific sport lens or just wants a lens that can enhance their lifestyle, NeoSun comes in a variety of tints or polarised, plus the option to add a mirror finish.

NeoSun combines style and function in a highly customisable and adaptable prescription sun lens that matches the wearer’s look, protects their eyes, and ensures clarity of vision.

Contact: OSA Account Manager

Neochromes by CR Labs

Neochromes photochromic lenses, CR Labs’ latest photochromic option, incorporate advanced lens technologies and exceptional performance to provide users with an unequalled visual experience in varying light and climate conditions.

One of the standout features of Neochromes is the exceptional fade-back performance across a broad range of climates. Testing has shown that in hot temperatures (33°C) Neochromes photochromic lenses will reach a functional darkness of 83% tint density in roughly 32 seconds and in cooler temperatures, will fade back to clear in about three minutes.

Neochromes photochromic lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, Neochromes provide high-level protection against blue light, filtering 80% of 400nm–420nm when unactivated, and 91% when activated,

Available across all CR Labs grind lens designs in 1.50, 1.60, 1.67 indexes.

Contact: CR Labs (AUS) 1800 334 867

Flip-Ups by Optica Accessories

Optica Flip-Ups clip easily onto the frame at the bridge-bar and flip up out of the way when not required. With a variety of shapes to choose from, they are also able to be cut to suit frame shape. These polarised, scratch resistant, anti-glare Flip-Ups attach to prescription frames to block 100% UVA and UVB light to 400nms.

Lightweight and easy to use, they are available in smoke or brown and are supplied in a protective plastic storage case. They are made with long-lasting, quality metal parts with rubber covers and comply with the mandatory AS/NZS 1067.1:2016 standards for sunglasses and fashion spectacles.

Visit: opticaaccessories.com

Miyosmart Sun by Hoya

Hoya Vision Care’s Miyosmart sun range includes photochromic spectacle lenses, Miyosmart Chameleon; and polarised spectacle lenses, Miyosmart Sunbird.

Developed to slow down myopia progression in children using defocus incorporated multiple segments (DIMS) technology, they also provide protection from intense sunlight.1-4

These two new products, along with the Miyosmart clear spectacle lenses which launched in 2018, give children the freedom to comfortably take part in the activities they enjoy indoors and outdoors without compromising their eyesight.

DIMS technology was used in the award-winning5,6 Miyosmart clear spectacle lenses, which have been shown to slow
myopia progression by 60% in children aged eight to 13.7

With Hoya photochromic lens technology, Miyosmart Chameleon rapidly adapts to the level of sunlight and fades back to clear indoors quickly.3

Meanwhile, Miyosmart Sunbird is the ideal addition to Miyosmart clear spectacle lenses, for extra protection from intense sunlight and glare.1,8 It also offers vibrant colours and rich contrast in bright light, allowing children to
fully experience the beauty of outdoors.9

Contact: Hoya Vision Account Manager

Product Disclaimer: Miyosmart spectacle lenses have not been approved for use in the management of myopia in all countries and are not currently available for sale in all countries.

1. Hoya data on file. Transmission, traffic light recognition, and UV blocking test for Miyosmart clear and polarised lenses. 02/2023. Tests were conducted at room temperature (23°C).
2. Hoya data on file. PSF test on Miyosmart clear and sun spectacle lenses. 06/2022.
3. Hoya data on file. Lens performance validation test for Miyosmart photochromic lenses – activation and deactivation. 02/2023. Tests were conducted at room temperature (23°C).
4. Hoya data on file. Transmission, traffic light recognition, and UV blocking test for Miyosmart clear and photochromic lenses. 02/2023. Tests were conducted at room temperature (23°C).
5. Winners of the exhibition’s grand prix. Inventions Geneva. N.D. Available from: inventions-geneva.ch/en/winners/ (Last accessed 20/02/2023).
6. Winners 2020. Silmo Paris. 2020. en.silmoparis.com/SILMO-d-OR/SILMO-d-Or-Awards/2020-Winners# (Last accessed 20/02/2023).
7. Lam C.S.Y., Tang W.C., Tse D.Y., et al. Defocus incorporated multiple segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomised clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol. 2020;104(3):363-368.
8. WSPOS. Sunlight exposure and children’s eyes consensus statement. 2016. Available at: www.wspos.org/wspos-sunlight-exposure-childrens-eyes-consensus-statement/ (Last accessed 20/02/2023).
9. Quintana M.S., Langa A., del Moral-Martinez I., et al. Polarized filters enhance contrast sensitivity when glare is produced on a flat surface under photopic conditions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47(13):1225.

Essilor Stylistic

Stylistic is a lens design that caters to large and wrap frames, delivering style while retaining optimum visual performance for wearers. Stylistic lenses cater to the needs of both single vision and progressive lens wearers, offering not only excellent vision quality but also minimised peripheral distortion regardless of prescription.

100% protection from UV rays is assured with Crizal Sun XProtect, which cuts UV reflected from the back of the lenses for an E-SPF rating of 50.

Contact: Essilor Account Manager

Sunmatic II by Opticare

Sunmatic II embeds the latest photochromic technology into the lens. Ideal for patients who lead active lifestyles or have jobs that bring them from indoor to outdoor locations regularly, these value for money lenses offer fast activation and deactivation and have a true grey colour.

With a front surface spin coat, Sunmatic II lenses are available in all indexes.

Contact: Opticare (AUS) 1800 251 852

Rx-able Sunglasses

Henri Wills

Complementing the popular Henri Wills optical collection, the new Henri Wills Sun Collection delivers on lifestyle fashion, in line with the current European style trends.

Order these frames with polarised sunglass lenses, or as a chassis only – either can be supplied to the store or to a laboratory for immediate fitting.

Contact: Frames Etcetera (AUS) 1800 708 771


Mako’s Freeform Active RX polarised range offers over 13 lens variations, suiting any outdoor enthusiast.

Boasting the highest lens technology, Mako not only offers a product that is technically superior, but also extremely well priced.

With the Rx Mako program, your consumer gets to buy a second pair at half price (terms and conditions apply).

Contact: Mondottica (AUS) 02 8436 6666

Ugly Fish

The Ugly Fish Rx-able range is designed for harsh Aussie conditions. Choose to stock unbreakable TPEE flexi-frames, a great value polycarbonate range, premium sports metals, and ultra lightweight TR-90 frames.

With kids’, tweens’, women’s and men’s ranges, Ugly Fish has every customer covered. Ugly Fish frame and lens
packages are available to order through lab partners Rodenstock, Essilor, Hoya, and OSA.

Contact: Piranha Eyewear (AUS) 1300 369 574

Marchon Eyewear

Marchon Eyewear’s sunglass prescription program offers you and your patients a curated catalogue of specially selected sunglass frames from all your favourite Marchon brands, including Calvin Klein, Nike, Anne Klein, Bebe, Nautica, Nine West, and Coast. Pair your selected Marchon frame with high quality VSP Optics sun lenses for
a complete hassle-free package.

Presented as an attractive consumer offer, Sun Rx guarantees you have the latest frame trends to suit a wide range of scripts and budgets. Marchon Sun Rx stockists access a multitude of benefits, including attractive frame package
pricing, efficient turnaround, dispensing tools, and much more.

Contact: Marchon Eyewear (AUS) 1800 251 025 or (NZ) 0800 141 444

CR Labs x Smith

Just in time for summer, CR Labs in partnership with Smith introduce a sunglass prescription program like no other.
Positioned to provide unique service, quality, and clarity, the Smith Complete Rx program allows you to cross-sell the colour and clarity enhancing properties of the ChromaPop platform with prescription included.

ChromaPop lenses offer a proprietary combination of colour enhancement that creates impressive clarity.

CR Labs, as the exclusive Smith Optics partner in Australia, will manufacture the prescription lenses and supply the complete Smith ChromaPop prescription sunglasses directly to you, from its state-of-the-art Australian facility.

Contact: [email protected]

Maui Jim MauiPassport

MauiPassport prescription sunglasses help your patients see more of the world’s vibrant beauty.

Using digital lens design and cutting-edge direct surfacing technology, MauiPassport lenses deliver the widest possible field of view for incredible visual acuity across the entire lens. According to Maui Jim, this process also
produces prescriptions that are 10 times more accurate than those of conventional labs and maintains the highest optical and quality standards in the industry.

In every MauiPassport sunglass lens, PolarizedPlus2 technology shields eyes from harmful UV and 99.9% of glare while enhancing the world’s vibrant colours and intricate details.

Contact: Maui Jim (AUS) 02 9452 5575


As the global market leader in premium rimless eyewear, Silhouette stands for lightness and freedom.

Mimo offers an in-house prescription service for Silhouette sunglasses, including several luxury models in 23 carat gold plate.

Mimo’s Rx-program benefits include the latest freeform technology, 1.6 material fully Rx-able from +4.00 to -4.00; and Thintech for prescriptions beyond 3.00.

The Silhouette sunglass range has an impressive mix of minimalist design and maximalist details, with vintage styling and  modern materials, combined with a good measure of extravagance, style and comfort.

Contact: Mimo (AUS) 02 9970 1800

Shamir Driver Intelligence

When vision is essential, Shamir is in the driver’s seat. Shamir has partnered with the BWT Alpine F1 team, gathering insights from pro-drivers to create a performance driving lens package.

Shamir Driver Intelligence is a comprehensive solution to enhance your patients’ road performance. Sold as a
complete set consisting of two pairs of lenses – Sun for daylight driving and Moon for night and low light conditions – Shamir Driver Intelligence provides unprecedented performance in any frame.

Visit: shamir.com/au


Drawing on 40 years of innovation and technology to deliver vision benefits and all-day comfort, Oakley’s prescription solutions balance aesthetics, function, and technology for life beyond sport.

Give your customers the Oakley advantage by combining revolutionary Prizm lens technology with Oakley Authentic
prescription sun lenses.

Contact: Luxottica Account Manager