The Ultimate Ray Ban Lens Guide

Here in this article, you will learn more about the different Ray Ban lenses and tints. There are many differences and possible applications.

Most Ray Ban tints provide you with a consistent darkening and therefore consistent glare protection everywhere in the lens. However, there are tints that are darker at the top and get lighter towards the bottom.

It is also possible to use self-tinting lenses that automatically darken as more UV light is around you. If the sun shines less, the lens becomes lighter. This type of tinting is called evolve at Ray Ban and provides you with adequate glare protection in many situations.

However, dazzling reflective surfaces are only darkened here as well. So you might still be blinded now and then. If you want your Ray Ban lenses to block disturbing light directly, then polarized lenses are just the thing for you. Because these not only make the image darker but block the light that reflects on certain surfaces and could blind you. That was a small overview. Let’s dive deeper into Ray Ban tints and lenses.

This photo shows me with three different Ray Ban lenses. On the left you can see sunglasses with a gradient. In the middle you can see the famous G15 tint with polarization. On the right you can see a Ray Ban with a mirror on the lenses.

Classic Lenses With Normal Tints

Conventional tints protect you from the sun and have an even tint all over the lens. The tints come in lighter or darker. However, these are invariable and a light tint provides less glare protection. Likewise, the eyes are more visible to others with a less dark tint.

Even less dark Ray Ban lenses give you between 99% and 100% protection from UV light. The most popular conventional tints are:

  • G15
  • B15

These shades are quite dark and someone looking at them from the front can barely make out their eyes. It is also possible to make the lenses a touch darker in combination with a mirror coating. With such a coating, the eyes are then no longer visible at all.

The photo here demonstrate the different tints in the Ray Ban lenses better. As you can see with the gradient on tthe left side there is barely a tint left in the lower half of the lens. In the middle the classic G15 polarized lens has the most evenly distributed tint while the Ray Ban lens on the left has a circular gradient which was not intended by the manufacturer. Because as wear this lens and perform eye movements to the side I can see the tint getting darker.

Lenses with Gradients

Lenses with a gradient have a darker tint in the upper part of your sunglasses and a lighter tint in the lower part. The advantage of this is that the incoming sun rays from above are reduced and, for example, a book you want to read is not so darkened. In most cases, sunglasses with a gradient also look more harmonious on women’s faces.

There are gradient lenses with polarization and without.

Ray Ban Evolve Lenses

Evolve lenses use light-sensitive technology that changes from clear to dark depending on whether you’re indoors or outdoors. The intensity of the tint depends on the amount of UV light that surrounds you. Thus, even outside, the Ray Ban will get a little darker or lighter depending on how strong the sun shines.

Evolve lenses will also darken in cloudy weather because the UV light also shines through the clouds. The Evolve lenses darken in about 30 seconds in strong sunshine and become almost as dark as the classic conventional tinted sun lenses B15 or G15.

However, it takes up to a few minutes for the lenses to lighten. If the lenses were worn outside and the sun shines strongly, it takes a few minutes until the lenses have adjusted to the lighting in the room again. In addition, the Ray Ban Evolve lenses can not only darken but also change color during the darkening.

As always, my recommendation is therefore to test the sunglasses lenses outside before buying.

Ray Ban Evolve lenses are available in the following styles, among others:

  • photo green
  • photo brown
  • photo grey
  • photo pink
  • photo yellow
  • photo evolve yellow/light red
  • photo evolve brown/grey
  • photo evolve gray/dark purple
  • photo gray/blue light filter
  • photo evolve pink/purple
  • photo evolve green/blue

Polarized Lenses

Ray Ban polarized sunglass lenses filter out light from reflective surfaces like water or windshields. This is great if you are very sensitive to glare.

However, polarization also comes with some disadvantages. Dashboard displays might show up black. In most cases, this is not a problem nowadays, but it could happen. Also, with the rear windows of vehicles, you may see patterns or colors that are not visible without polarization.

My recommendation is therefore that you always try polarized sunglasses in your own car before buying. If you are not used to them yet. In most cases, the advantages of polarized lenses outweigh the disadvantages. Ray Ban polarized lenses are available in the following colors, among others:

  • Gray
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Purple

There is polarization in Ray Ban most often with a consistent tint that is the same darkness at the top and bottom of the lens. However, some models also offer polarization in combination with a gradient. This means that the lens becomes lighter towards the bottom. Many drivers like this because the interior is less darkened while you enjoy full glare protection when looking outside.

Ray Ban Chromance Lenses [Higher Contrast in Combination with Polarization]

Ray Ban Chromance lens technology combines polarization with amazing contrast enhancement. Chromance lenses filter the light at shorter wavelengths more than other lenses. This reduces the blue component a bit more. As a result, certain colors such as red and green appear particularly bright and clear.

In addition to the great color perception, you have effective glare protection. This is because the lenses prevent 99% of the dazzling light from impairing the vision of the spectacle wearer. This applies to light that is reflected from horizontally lying surfaces.

So if the road dazzles after the rain or other windshields of oncoming vehicles, then these glare is not simply made darker and is still visible. As with conventional glasses but the glare is gone.

What Are the Darkest Ray-Ban Lenses?

The darkest ray Ban lenses are dark grey mirror (color code W3) when it comes to polarized lenses with a transmission value of 9.54%. The grey mirror lenses (color code 40) are even slightly darker with a transmission value of 9%. The smaller the transmission value the less light enters your eye and the darker the lenses appear.

Crystal (Glass) Lenses vs Plastic Lenses

Ray Ban lenses are available in glass or plastic. Glass and plastic each have their own advantages and disadvantages. While glass is extremely resistant to scratches, it is more prone to breakage when dropped on the floor. Real glass can also shatter. The disadvantage is also that glass is heavier than plastic. However, with Ray Ban sunglasses we are talking about very thin lenses and most wearers do not mind 5 grams more weight.

In comparison, the plastic lenses of Ray Ban are much more resistant to impact or breakage and do not shatter. However, the surface wears out much faster if you are not very careful with what the sunglasses should handle.

I have for several decades both variants in use and can say that the surface in most cases after three to four years scratches in the plastic lenses. Not only because I have been careless with it but also simply by cleaning. On the other hand, the glass lenses or “crystal” as they are called at Ray Ban still look like new from the surface.

Can You Actually See a Difference Between Glass and Plastic Lenses From Ray Ban

Very few people can see the difference. In fact, glass lenses have better optical properties, which are related to the Abbe value. In this case, lenses made of plastic have a greater splitting of a white light beam at a prism into a colored spectrum compared to glass lenses.

Customers of mine who have seen this difference have described the image as a touch clearer with glass lenses. My recommendation is to test both outdoors. Look for contours that are farther away and look for contrasts to see if you can see better with one type of glass than the other.

The following tables will show the variety of lenses when it comes to Ray Bans. But not every of those mentioned tints is available with every Ray Ban. Some models only have a hand full of options while others like the Aviator have over 60 options when it comes to the different tints.

Table With Ray Ban Lenses and Their Transmission Values

The table mentions most colors of the polarized Ray Ban sunglasses in combination with their color codes and their transmission values.

Color CodeLens propertiesLens colorTransmission of the lens in %
57polarizedbrown polarized 11.9 
58polarizedgreen polarized11.0
M2polarizedbrown gradient 15
59polarizedgrey mirror silver 12
78polarizedblue gradient grey14
W3polarizeddark grey mirror 9.54
1Qpolarizedbrown mirror fucsia 25
4Dpolarizedbrown mirror red 12.4
4Lpolarizedblue mirror 15.6
P9polarizedgreen mirror 10.3
1Rpolarizedgrey mirror lilac11.35
9196AFpolarizedpurple 14.3
60175Jpolarizedgrey mirror silver 16 
601SA1polarizedgreen mirror blue 12.5

The table mentions most colors of the Ray Ban sunglasses in combination with their color codes and their transmission values.

Color CodeLens propertiesLens colorTransmission of the lens in %
non-polarizedG-15 green13.2
33non-polarizedb-15 brown14.6
3Enon-polarizedpink mirror gradient grey 27.8
3Fnon-polarizedclear gradient blue29.9
3Knon-polarizedbrown mirror gradient grey 21
51non-polarizedclear gradient brown 30.5
5Fnon-polarizedphoto grey 34.53
4Onon-polarizedbrown gradient mirror blue 14.4
32non-polarizedclear gradient grey 33.3
3Fnon-polarizedclear gradient blue 29.9
40non-polarizedgrey mirror 9
51non-polarizedclear gradient brown 30.5
Z2non-polarizedlight brown mirror pink 18.5
30non-polarizedlight green mirror silver 10.27
17non-polarizedgrey mirror blue 9.57
19non-polarizedgrey mirror green 9.55
4Tnon-polarizedgreen mirror fuxia 23
69non-polarizedbrown mirror red21.2
85non-polarizedbrown gradient dark brown15
1Mnon-polarizedgrey mirror purple 14.6
4Knon-polarizedlilac mirror11.8
71non-polarizedpink gradient brown15.5
9156AJnon-polarizedblue bi-mirror grey38
90644Cphotochromicphoto green15.9
90644Iphotochromicphoto brown14
9064V8photochromicphoto grey12.8
9065V7photochromicphoto pink16.1
90664Aphotochromicphoto yellow40.7
9220T4photochromicphoto evolve yellow/light red 38.04
9221T2photochromicphoto evolve brown /grey 32.1
9222T3photochromicphoto evolve grey/dark violet 33.98
9223BLphotochromicphoto grey/blue light filter 31.45
9224T5photochromicphoto evolve pink/violet 31
9225T1photochromicphoto evolve green/blue 31.7
9154AHnon-polarizedgrey bi-mirror grey21.2

What Are the Best Ray Ban Lenses?

Most people find the Ray Ban green lenses the best. These offer a very balanced filtered color spectrum which most people find more comfortable. The special tint here is called G15 and is available polarized as well as non-polarized.

However, there are also people who want more contrast more dominant shades. In such a case, the extremely high contrast Ray Ban Chromance lenses are very suitable.

However, it must be said here that these are general statements and each tint filters the light differently. Here below you can see the light spectrum that a person can perceive in daylight.

The image shows a spectrum that describes the intensity of the light depending on the wavelength. Outdoors the light spectrum changes with the movement of the sun.

This light is reduced by putting on sunglasses. Different tints in the blue range or in the red spectrum reduce more or less. Here in the picture below you can see how the light spectrum changes when a Ray Ban with gray polarized lenses is put on.

This image shows you the filtered version of the light outdoors. The filter in this case is Ray Ban sunglasses with a grey polarized lens.

This creates a unique filter. The brown or green polarized lenses but again different. So I can’t make an individual recommendation for you here over the Internet. What I want to say is, go to the local optician who has Ray Ban sunglasses in stock and test out different ones. Only then will you find out which Ray Ban sunglasses lenses will be the best for you individually.

Anti Reflective Coatings on Your Ray Ban Sunglasses

Anti-reflective coatings are unfortunately often not mentioned in the advice around sunglasses. However, these also provide a better view and reduce glare. Just from the light that falls from the side or from behind and is reflected on the back of the lenses. From experience I can say that especially with sunglasses that are larger and less wrapped around style an antireflection coating can make a big difference.

The image shows an uncoated ray ban lens from behind. In the right side of the picture a ray ban lens with an antireflective coating is shown.

Here in the picture above you can see how much mirror like effects you have on the left side where the uncoated backside of a Ray Ban is shown. On the right you can see a great anti reflective coating with less reflections on it. On the left you can clearly see my face but on the right you can just see my silhouette. The more mirrorlike effects you can see the more glare you will have witth your sunglasses.

To be fair in the past Ray Ban had anti reflective coatings with a purple glare which were really bad. But these days they have improved their coatings a lot and I can recommend them.

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