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  1. kronin323

    kronin323 Font of Useless Knowledge Premium Member

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    As us Oakley lovers know, Oakley offers a wide range of lenses with different base tints, light trans %s, and iridium colors for any situation.

    I wouldn't describe it as a "hot topic", but every now and then the same debate sparks up - can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance?

    Ruby is one of them, with its blue-appearing base tint - some say the actual tint is blue, others say it's their standard neutral grey and the iridium makes it look blue. But why would Oakley make a base tint specific for one lens? That's just not efficient, logistically. Maybe it enhances the red in the iridium? And why would red make grey look blue?

    The greenish base tint in Fire, is that the actual tint or an effect of the iridium? G26 is more purplish than the rosey tint of the other "G" lenses; it is a different base or caused by the iridium? What is Chrome's actual base tint?

    After Ruby, the other big debate is around Violet - it obviously appears to be a contrast tint, but some say it's actually neutral and that's an effect of the iridium.

    Personally, I've believed the iridium has little to no effect on the base tint. I mean, look at Ice vs. Black Iridium - same base tint and light trans but quite different iridiums. But wearing them, it's almost impossible to tell the difference.

    However, I haven't publicly taken a side on this; the people saying the iridium does affect it could very well be right. The only way to definitively answer that is to test it.

    So, that's what I'm doing...

    I posted a WTB for trashed lenses to be used in a destructive test. The first one I received is Ruby, sourced from @7legion77.

    I have a set of 3M polishing cloths, like really really fine sandpaper, ranging in grit size from 30 microns down to 1 micron, with cloth backing for durability. They are used for polishing metals and plastics. For comparison, "very fine" sandpaper has a grit size ranging from 68 - 100 microns, and "coarse" sandpaper, from 336 - 425 microns.

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174259.jpg

    The proposal is to remove the iridium coating and compare the appearance of the base tint with vs. without. The fine grades of the polishing cloths allow this to be performed without scuffing the lens to the point where it appears opaque, which might influence the results.

    First, here's the "before" pics of the Ruby Batwolf lens. I apologize for the focus of some of these pics but you get the idea...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174008.jpg

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174026.jpg

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174032.jpg

    And as you see, they have Ruby's characteristic blue base tint appearance...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174057.jpg

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174106.jpg

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174112.jpg

    Next post, the results...
     
    Last edited: 9/7/15
    discostu and steveocubed like this.
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  2. kronin323

    kronin323 Font of Useless Knowledge Premium Member

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    Using the 30 micron grit cloth, I start removing the iridium from one side. Here's a pic partway through, with it removed from the center but not the edges...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174528.jpg

    And you can already see a difference - blue edges, but the center is grey...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174542.jpg

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_174542a.jpg

    And here is the finished product. After removing the iridium I worked it over a bit with the 3, 2, and 1 micron cloths; I didn't do it enough for a pristine polish, but good enough not to be opaque...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_175409.jpg

    And there you go - the iridium does affect the color, makes it look blue. The clean side is obviously grey base, while the iridium side still appears blue...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_175428.jpg Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_175454.jpg

    Iridium side...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_175437.jpg

    Clean side...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_175447.jpg

    And a shot using artificial light...

    Can the iridium coating affect the base tint appearance? - 20150904_214827.jpg

    Why this happens with Ruby and not +Red, IDK - must be something specific to the iridiums. But based on these results, I predict that Fire and G26 will prove to also be affected by their iridiums, if / when I source donors to test...

    But what about Violet? With the above tints, though the iridium affects the base color, neutral is still neutral and contrast is still contrast. But can iridium have such a large effect that it makes a neutral base appear contrast? Well, @Rusty M has generously volunteered to donate a set; when they get here we'll find out...

    If anybody else wants to contribute some trashed lenses for this, hit me up on my WTB thread here:

    Buying - Trashed Lenses | Oakley Forum

    Or, if you want to do the test yourself, you're welcome to post your results on this thread.
     
  3. Carrera1963

    Carrera1963 Lover of Juliet Premium Member

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    Yep, that's pretty conclusive on ruby, I hold my hands up for that one.
     
  4. OakleyFrankFMJ

    OakleyFrankFMJ The Legend - - Vlad the Impaler Premium Member Lifetime Member

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    Cool stuff there. Very very edumacational. :)
     
    kronin323 likes this.
  5. jdd32

    jdd32 X Metal Workshop

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    Oakley spent a whole lot of money on R&D with Iridium coatings and it's properties with filtering and tuning specific wavelengths. It shouldn't be a surprise that Iridium coatings would affect the light transmission and skew a neutral base tint to deliver a contrast result.

    Although most of the Iridium filters work in the fashion of blocking out colors of the Iridium color (eg. fire/ruby blocking reds & yellows or sapphire blocking blues), some are tuned as a tint filter allowing light to pass through with that color (eg. Ice, OO Blue).

    For example, the Fire & Ruby have very similar iridium coatings that blocks reds/yellows, but behave differently once the filtered light pass through a different base tint. Your ruby test demonstrates the coating is blocking red/yellow and allowing blues to pass through, thus a blue tinge when viewed through the grey base of a ruby lens. Whereas for fire, the blue is going through an amber base, which delivers a greenish hue of a fire lens.
     
    Chris A Hardaway likes this.
  6. NoFair

    NoFair Oakley Collector

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    Great work.
    I've always thought Ice iridium gives a warmer appearance than BI (more reds) when looking through them. Seems sensible since the iridium reflects blue and lets red pass through.
     
    Chris A Hardaway and kronin323 like this.
  7. kronin323

    kronin323 Font of Useless Knowledge Premium Member

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    I appreciate your input; well said. Further indisputable tests will prove or deny it, lens by lens, leaving no more of this debate, however minor...
     
  8. jdd32

    jdd32 X Metal Workshop

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    you should setup a display cab for all these lenses :p
     
    kronin323 likes this.
  9. NoFair

    NoFair Oakley Collector

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    Too bad the lenses don't fit well in the spectrophotometer at work.. Might experiment a bit with it sometime later..
     
  10. jdd32

    jdd32 X Metal Workshop

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    Just cut smaller samples out to stick them in