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How to match new UV lenses with vintage sunglasses


What's the most awesome thing about buying your vintage eyewear from Ed and Sarna Vintage? Simple, we allow you to create a frame style and look that is completely unique to you. Adding some fresh lenses to your new vintage frame can transform it right back to its glory years or make it look like their modern-day lovechild. With over 50 different lensing options available for you to choose from we want to help you in making the right decision on your custom project, so we have dedicated this post to all things UV400 so you can get your head around all the custom vintage lensing options at Ed and Sarna Vintage.


First off it's important to remember why we humans even wear sunglasses at all. It's not just to look super stylish it is also to prevent some pretty nasty medical conditions such as photokeratitis, pingueculae and permanent retinal damage. When it gets scorchio outside people might rightly rush to lather on the sunscreen (alright rush might be an overstatement!) But it is just as important to make sure you grab your vintage sunglasses and put them on too. So here's the science bit for all you lovers of Jennifer Aniston shampoo adverts out there, the sun emits UV rays in three forms. UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA and UVB rays are both harmful to both the skin and eyes when they are exposed for prolonged periods, UVC rays are absorbed by the earth's atmosphere so when buying sunglasses we need to worry about the UVA and UVB rays in particular. 

So as you can see (pardon the pun) the safest thing to do when looking at lenses is to assess their levels of UV protection. Thankfully at Ed and Sarna, we have made this easy for you, all of our vintage custom lensing options are made of CR39 UV400 lenses, so you can wear them safe in the knowledge your retinas are thanking you. The UV400 claim is only given to lenses that can filter out all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers which cover all UVA and UVB rays. Even our clear fashion lenses and photochromatic lenses will provide you with 100% protection, so when it comes to lens safety on your vintage frames the lens colour or darkness is not a factor.


When we have been out and about at markets and pop up events we realised one of the main misconceptions people have with sunglass protection is that the darker the tint the better UV protection the frame will have. In fact, the reverse can actually be true when your lenses are not UV400 certified as the darker lenses will cause your pupils to dilate letting in more harmful UVA and UVB rays. The real thing to consider when picking out your new tints for your vintage glasses is what environment will you be wearing them in most. For example, if you will be wearing them often in bright sunlight then flash mirroring may be the way forward. The flash mirror reflective properties not only look great on the gram but also reduce the amount of light entering the eye.


All Ed and Sarna Vintage lensing options have details of their visible light transmission percentage in their product description and this is displayed as a percentage to help you pick the best custom lenses. The higher the visible light transmission percentage the lighter the lens tint will be. Conversely, lenses with a lower visible light transmission percentage will block more light from coming into the eye. Take a look at the below guide to give you an idea of which VLT category will be right for you and your vintage frames

Visible Light Transmission % Category Lens Tint Suitable for...
3-8% 4 Very Dark Tint Very strong sunlight in most cases these are not suitable for use whilst driving.
8-18% 3 Dark Tint Strong sunlight and also in environments such as snow and water.
18-43% 2 Medium Tint Average levels of sunlight.
43-80% 1 Very Light Low levels of sunlight
80-100% 0
None or Very Light
For aesthetic purposes or for use at night time.



For the lens aficionados out there you might be wondering why we haven't even mentioned polarised lenses yet. The truth is that polarised lenses don't actually provide any extra protection from UV rays than standard lenses; where they do come into their own is in their image clarity which is far higher and great in high glare situations. Which explains why they are so popular with skiers and lovers of water sports. 


So you've had the full down-low on eyewear safety but you still need to pick colours and gradients for your vintage frames right? Well, this is your opportunity to display your personality and get as funky fresh as you want. If you are looking for a lens that will limit colour distortion then stick to classic grey and brown tints. If you want something which will improve contrasts then have a browse of our yellow tinting options as these reduce haze and work well in low light. Getting your new vintage sunnies to wear whilst driving? We would advise going for a gradient lens as these will aid in shielding your eyes from the sunlight above whilst allowing you to have a clear view of your dashboard and the road ahead. Are you a golfer? Get some brown tints to help with the contrast when you make the green, just don't come whining to us when you still miss that putt!


We want you to truly fall in love with your custom-fitted vintage sunglasses so if you have any questions about this article or any of our lensing options then just get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible.   

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