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  1. ShadedChimera

    ShadedChimera Oakley Beginner

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    Preface:

    I have never owned anything with transition or photochromic lenses before. I’m hoping that this hands-on (or face-on) post will help out others who are on the fence about photochromic lenses or Radarlock Paths.

    I got the polished black and clear black iridium photochromic model. I wanted a pair that I could wear in lower light conditions, like around the evening, dusk and nighttime, and my other Oakleys are all black iridium or slate iridium. I also wanted a pair that could help provide some better wind protection for my eyes and not fog up the lenses (case in point: Eyepatch). The fact that I got a coupon that would give a 40% discount for almost all types of Radarlock lenses (anything but photochromic and polarized and possibly Prizm) was the icing.

    I bought this after doing my own extensive research, so I wasn’t going in with lofty, unrealistic expectations. I read every post on this forum that had the term “photochromic” in it, so I had a good idea of what advantages and shortcomings to expect. Moreover, the vendor who sold me this pair also advised me that here in Korea, I shouldn’t expect very dark lens shades.

    Benefits and shortcomings

    One thing that I’ve noticed as I began wearing these shades as my daily driver is that there are many small benefits and shortcomings, some of them very much unexpected.

    One benefit that I noticed right off is that I don’t have to take my shades off when I’m checking my phone or tablet. I don’t drive on my own, so I always take public transportation wherever I go. This means that I’m often reading or doing some kind of work in the bus or subway every day, and when I wore my older pairs, I almost always had to take them off. So the nature of photochromic lenses helped eliminate that annoyance, and helped boost my devices’ battery life just a bit more since I don’t have to jack up the brightness. Yes, I do that much reading and surfing on the go.

    Another benefit is that the photochromic lenses make for an excellent low-light pair of glasses when I’m running. I run in the evenings on the weekends, and it was always annoying as to whether I should wear my Zeros and then perch them on my head and pray it doesn’t fall off after dark, or not wear anything and deal with wind, random dirt and debris and what have you getting in my eyes, not to mention the glare of the sun for the first half-hour or so. Now, I don’t have any other lenses to make comparisons with - I remember reading somewhere in the forums that high-intensity yellow was good for low-light usage, but for now, photochromic is good enough for my uses.

    Yet a third benefit is that I don’t have to take this pair off the whole day if I can help it. Probably the only times I've taken these off while I'm out and about were when I ate steamy dishes and didn't want my shades to fog up or when I talked to people and wanted to give them an unobstructed view of my eyes for the sake of courtesy. While it's better now, I've an occasional tendency to leave things behind. Not taking my glasses off helps with that.

    This one can be a benefit or a shortcoming at the same time. Coming from wearing black iridium or slate iridium for many years, it took me a few days of wearing photochromic lenses to adjust to the much brighter sight. Even so, there still was a lot of glare reduction, and I’m quite sure I didn’t have to squint much, if at all. And once again, it helps that I don’t have to take off my glasses when I want to check my phone or tablet.

    One shortcoming that I ran into, and was already made aware of prior to picking this pair up, is that the photochromic doesn’t work in cars because of UV filters. This is probably my biggest bummer since I take a lot of public transportation, but it’s a decent trade-off for being able to read better in buses.

    Another shortcoming is that compared to my Oakley Zeros, the lenses are taller, so even grinning would result in my cheeks touching the bottom edges of the lens. I’ve swapped out the nosepieces, but I’m starting to wonder whether I should do some kind of DIY modding to raise the shades just a little bit more. I will say, though, I don’t notice this when I’m busy running or getting from one place to another.

    Overall conclusion

    Overall, I’m enjoying my first-ever pair of photochromic lenses, as well as my first-ever Radarlocks. I was very surprised to see the numerous small conveniences throughout day-to-day activities rather than the benefits while working out. I’m not returning this pair anytime soon. I’m hoping to build up a collection of Radarlock lenses over the next few years.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. If you’re a prospective customer, feel free to ask any questions.
     
    #1 Stunna!, kronin323, Di245 and 2 others like this.
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  2. Nortika

    Nortika Oakley Expert Premium Member

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    Thanks for the information, the photochromic is a great lens, I'm glad your enjoying it, RadarLocks are a great frame, I own a few myself.
     
  3. ShadedChimera

    ShadedChimera Oakley Beginner

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    How long can I expect Oakley to manufacture lenses for the Radarlocks?
     
  4. Nortika

    Nortika Oakley Expert Premium Member

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    That's a good question especially after they just came out with the new line, I think they will continue to Make them for a while considering they still have a big market for them
     
  5. NoFair

    NoFair Oakley Collector

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    Nice review. I use my photochromic Radars when cycling and I hardly notice any change, but they always seem dark/light enough. They suck for driving, but I always use polarized lenses when driving anyway
     
  6. Dieseltech

    Dieseltech Oakley Expert Premium Member

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    Nice review. I'm glad you like em. Radarlocks are a great frame!
     
  7. ShadedChimera

    ShadedChimera Oakley Beginner

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    That's my experience as well. I first found it somewhat unsettling because there wasn't a clear dark difference like wearing black or gray iridium lenses, but at the same time, I was definitely not squinting and feeling like the sun was beating my eyes down.
     
  8. TRNO

    TRNO Oakley Beginner

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    These are great glasses