Costa Blackfin in Realtree Sunglasses Review
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One of Costa’s promotional taglines reads “the clearest lenses on the planet” and after wearing the Costa Blackfin in Realtree Xtra camo 580G model for the past two months I am squarely on board with that statement. As someone who takes the care of their eyes extremely important I have spent thousands of dollars on quality sunglasses over the years so I have a lot of experience with some of the best optics brands out there. I can say with confidence that the Costa Blackfin in Realtree sunglasses are some of the best I’ve ever come across.
It’s all about the lenses
I was fortunate enough to test both the Costa Blackfin in Realtree 580G and the 580P models both in the Blue Mirror lens option. The initials G and P being shorthand for glass and polycarbonate respectively. I can honestly report that I did not notice any difference in the quality of the lenses.
However, I will say that the glass lenses were a bit heavier than the polycarbonate. When I had two different friends try on the 580Gs their first comment was identical, “wow, these are heavy”. That is easy to understand because of the lens size for the Blackfin, which are recommended for larger faces. (Costa offers the Del Mar Fathom for smaller faces.) It should be noted that the second person to comment on the weight of the glasses also proceeded to wear them for the next hour and a half with no complaints so it obviously wasn’t a huge issue. I wore the glasses over several weeks for an extended period of time and did not have any issues with their weight. I also appreciated the larger coverage area of the lens and did not notice any distortion around the edges which is common in lower quality lenses. The field of vision was excellent.
It’s obvious that Costa has spent a lot of R&D on the development of the 580 lens. Whether it is in glass or polycarbonate that effort shows with the Costa Blackfin in Realtree. All of their offerings are 100% polarized and provide 100% UV A/B/C protection. The 580 in the name refers to a specific area on the visible light region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The visible light spectrum runs from roughly 400 nanometers (violet) all the way up to over 700 nanometers (red). The area around 580nm is the yellow light spectrum which is responsible for causing the most eye fatigue. The goal is to filter out most of the yellow light to reduce fatigue while boosting the other colors on the spectrum and reduce blur and haze. In this respect the 580s deliver as advertised.
I spent a total of about 10 hours on the water over a period of 3 days, all in the brilliant bright light of the Colorado high country and the lenses performed exceptionally well. My eyes were not fatigued by the end of the day and the clarity and glare reduction on the water was brilliant. The 580s are offered in a wide variety of colors; Gray, Copper, Blue Mirror, Green Mirror, Silver Mirror, Amber and Sunrise. It should be noted that all are available in both glass and polycarbonate except Amber and Sunrise which are only available in poly. I think the lenses can summed up best by the one word a friend uttered when he tried them on…”Wow”. Yep, sounds about right.
The Costa Blackfin in Realtree Styling
Living and working in the city of Denver I will probably never be described as the true “outdoorsman” Costa envisions for their Costa Blackfin in Realtree frames. Hence, the graphics are probably a little lost on me. However, I actually do think these shades are quite attractive. Costa’s included literature says the camouflage pattern has lifelike depth, unmatched realism with subtle shadows with just the right amount of contrast, and is a “must-have” for your next trip into the woods. I would just say that they look pretty cool! A sentiment shared by my fly-fishing guide, the one with whom I spent all those hours on the water. Being a hunter and a fisherman he assured me that sunglasses with a camo pattern are very much in style with the hunter-gatherer scene, and that the Costa Blackfin in Realtree is one of the best models he’s seen.
Being a skier and a cyclist myself, the pattern probably doesn’t go very well with my usual athletic attire, but their other designs would suit me very well. Speaking of other designs, according to the Costa web site the Blackfin comes in several different frame options including classics such as matte black, gunmetal (grey), and tortoise. It is also available in several other more unique options including another camo design called Realtree AP Camo, two different wood grain looks; Gunstock (which looks exactly how it sounds) and Ashwood, and two semi-clear versions; Crystal Bronze and Matte Crystal w/Blue Trim. Almost all of the frames are available in any of the lens styles mentioned earlier so you can truly create a custom set of shades to suit your personal style.
- Comfortable larger fit.
- Integral hinge.
- Heavy-duty TR 90 nylon frame.
- Built by hand and backed for life. Every pair of Costas include a lifetime warranty.
- Plastic lenses are lightweight, impact – and scratch-resistant.
- Glass lenses have the greatest clarity and are scratch resistant.
- Prescription ready.
The Costa Blackfin in Realtree Verdict
Without a doubt the biggest selling point for Costa Blackfin in Realtree sunglasses is the unmatched lens quality. Costa’s are designed for those who take their eyewear seriously and their prices reflect that with the Costa Blackfin in Realtree coming in at $259 for the glass version and $199 for the polycarbonate. If that describes you, then you can’t go wrong with Costa.
Note: Many of Costa’s models can be customized prescription sunglasses. Check out their website for information. Also each pair of sunglasses come with a high quality hard case and additional information on the lenses and frames.
For more information on the Blackfin and other Costa eyewear visit: www.amazon.com/realtree.