Can wearing sunglasses improve your shooting?
Matt Kidd explains why he is now a firm believer in wearing sunglasses in the shooting field.
Until recently, I was on the fence as to whether sunglasses should be worn in the shooting field. Are they really necessary, I wondered. Obviously, there are times when safety glasses are a must – you wouldn't dream of shooting driven grouse or standing in the line on a simulated game day without them, would you? But sunglasses when shooting pheasants, partridges, pigeons and wildfowl, whatever the weather (except, perhaps, rain)...?
That's what I used to think. But I've since been converted, firm in the belief that the advantages of wearing top-quality sunglasses in the shooting field far outweigh any negatives. And really, what are the negatives anyway?
I came to this conclusion on one of my last driven day's shooting in December 2016. In the team of Guns was a good friend of mine who I had not shot with for a while. On each and every drive he would slip on his shooting glasses, despite the barrage of stick from several of his fellow Guns, adamant that they helped his shooting.
As we topped up our cartridge bags at the vehicles before the final drive of the day, the sun low in the sky, my sunglasses-wearing friend explained to me how his coach had advised him to wear them to help enhance definition of quarry and aid depth perception when game shooting. He urged me to give it a go, so I did.
As it happened, in the glove compartment of my car I had a pair of my trusty Costa sunglasses I often wear whilst fishing. Over the years I have worn Costa sunglasses with various lens types whilst fishing, and I have no doubt that I have reaped the rewards of my investment countless times on the riverbank. The lenses I had on this day – the Blackfin 580p Sunrise Silver P – are designed for activities in low light – perfect.
And you know what? They made a noticeable difference. The outlines of the birds crossing the line were far more defined, and far crisper when wearing the glasses than when not. I shot much better, too...
A fluke? I thought so at the time.
So to investigate further, I wore them on alternate drives on a further two game days in January. Each time I wore them I was able to pick out birds far sooner and, again, my shooting improved noticeably.
I have worn Costa sunglasses religiously when fishing any river or lake for many years, regardless of the weather or level of light. Not only do they protect the eyes from wayward flies, but they cut out more obscuring glare than any other brand I have tried, allowing the wearer to see deeper into water. What's more, clarity and definition of all subjects are enhanced noticeably – even for those with 20/20 vision.
So how does this benefit your shooting?
In certain conditions, the right lens choice will make birds easier to spot and track as the eye achieves better definition and depth perception when the pupil is constricted, and maximum constriction is achieved by using the brightest colour lenses you have, adjusted to the shooting situation.
As a rule, blue and green lenses should be worn when the sun is at its brightest and are excellent in high summer weather, whilst silver and copper lenses are well suited to moderate light, and yellow lenses are best for dull and overcast days.
So now I'm looking at different colours, too. And Costa offer a wide choice of lens shades.
If you are still on the fence as to whether you are in the market for a top-quality pair of sunglasses, just take a look at some pictures and articles of all of the top performers in our sport. You will soon spot a trend...
More from the maker...
Costa sunglasses were 'Born on the Water' almost 30 years ago and are still built by hand in Daytona Beach, Florida. That's how such high standards are maintained and why each pair is backed with a limited lifetime warranty.
Most polarised sunglasses eliminate glare by blocking reflected light. Costa’s patented 580 technology goes further, blocking the perfect amount of harsh yellow light and harmful blue light while enhancing reds, blues and greens. The result: Less haze, less blur, greater contrast and greater clarity. Available in 580 glass and a lightweight, impact-resistant 580 plastic, it's like seeing in high definition.
The combination of colour enhancing 580 technology with the most efficient polarization films and coating available make Costa 580 the clearest lens on the planet.
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