In popular folklore, a person looking through rose-colored glasses tends to see the world or a particular situation in a positive light, maybe even better than circumstances dictate.
In the shooting world, it turns out that glasses with this tint can actually improve performance, especially under overcast skies or when targets are viewed against anything other than a barren sky. Still, even with the advantages they offer, some people – mainly guys – have a hang-up about wearing rosy or pink glasses. So, how about we just call them vermillion?
That’s exactly what the Howard Leight™ by Honeywell folks did with some of their popular Uvex™ shooting sports eyewear models.
Mark Mclear is a national sales manager for Honeywell’s Specialty Eyewear Division. He knows safety glasses, having been in the business for 32 years. And as a point of interest for shooters, while Howard Leight has been firmly established in the shooting sports business for over 25 years now, it’s their background in industrial safety that has allowed them to make such high-quality safety eyewear available to shooting enthusiasts.
Mclear explains that vermillion-tinted lenses are part of Honeywell’s SCT Spectrum Control TechnologyTM family. “Basically, we are controlling the light spectrum, minimizing some wavelengths, which in turn enhances others,” he said. “Our vermillion-tinted lenses really make certain colors pop. They make scenes appear brighter, while also making everything appear clearer and crisper. They also dull the color green. This is very important, as your eye during the day is most sensitive to green light. By minimizing this hue, you reduce eye strain.”Like many shooters, I have always been a fan of amber-tinted lenses—lenses that appear yellowish—particularly when wingshooting in late afternoon. Flying birds—especially smaller, faster birds like doves—appear sharper, and it’s easier to pick them up through amber lenses, even in waning light.
Howard Leight Vermillion (Rose)
Mclear says amber lenses are a wonderful all-around choice for wingshooting or busting clay pigeons, helping improve contrast and depth perception. They’re also great for use at a rifle or handgun range, especially when the sky is overcast. Next to clear, amber lenses have the best visible light transmission at about 90 percent, which is why they perform so well in low-light conditions.
Vermillion, though, just might be your best choice for shooting trap or skeet. The tint accentuates colors such as orange, helping the eyes lock in on fast-flying clay targets. This attribute shines when the targets are flying against a busy backdrop, such as trees or other vegetation. Visible light transmission with these lenses is about 55 percent, but visual acuity is exceptional.
Howard Leight Espresso (Tinted)
Another favored lens tint in the Howard Leight by Honeywell Uvex lineup is “espresso,” with visible light transmittance at about 15 percent. Mclear said the espresso lens differs from a standard gray lens in that the tint tends to make colors pop, though not as much as vermillion. “Overall, espresso gives a shooter better color recognition and contrast in sunshine or other bright light, as opposed to simply darkening the scene like most gray lenses do,” he said. For these reasons, espresso lenses can be a great option for wingshooting or range work on bright, sunny days. Howard Leight by Honeywell also offers Red Mirror and Blue Mirror lenses on select shooting sports eyewear models to combat extreme glare.
All Howard Leight by Honeywell Uvex shooting sports lenses absorb 99.9 percent of ultraviolet radiation. I bring this up because many shooters simply wear their everyday sunglasses to protect their eyes while shooting. This is not a good idea. While they may protect from UV radiation, most sunglasses don’t offer wraparound protection or have suitable impact or shatterproof ratings.
Available Lens Tints on Howard Leight Shooting Sports Eyewear Models
Uvex Genesis® – Clear, Amber, Espresso, Vermillion
Uvex Hypershock™ – Clear, Amber, Gray, Red Mirror, Blue Mirror
Uvex Acadia™ – Clear, Amber, Gray, Red Mirror, Blue Mirror
Uvex A1500 – Clear, Gray, Amber
Uvex Mercury™ – Clear, Amber, Espresso, Blue Mirror
Vapor® II – Clear, Amber, Orange
Uvex HL100 – Clear, Amber
UvexA700 Sharp-Shooter® – Clear
Uvex HL804 Sharp-Shooter® – Gray
Howard Leight Set
Howard Leight offers a Combo Kit, which packages their Military Ballistic-Rated Genesis eyewear with interchangeable clear, amber and vermillion anti-fog lenses to cover a variety of shooting applications.
All of the models listed above are, at minimum, high-impact and shatterproof-rated. Additionally, the Uvextreme Plus® anti-fog lens coating delivers superior, long-lasting fog-free vision and provides better scratch resistance than many competitive anti-fog coated products. Shooter-favorite Genesis models also come with a Lifetime Frame Guarantee. If the frame breaks, Howard Leight by Honeywell will replace it at no cost. To see the full lineup of Howard Leight shooting sports eyewear, visit howardleightshootingsports.com.