I love shooting with my phone through my sunglasses, specially on sunny days of spring and summer. The green lenses on the Ray-ban glasses make a color adjustment that the camera's automatic white-balance can't compensate for and I can't really reproduce digitally in the post either.

I would like to know the name or reference number of the Ray-ban green, and whether it is possible to find a camera lens filter with that color. The glasses are definitely green, but it is a very greyish brown green as compared to all green lens filters I have seen.

If there is no such green filter, is it possible to make a DIY green filter from sunglass lenses? Of course the eyeglass lenses have this curvature, but what does it translate into in terms of distortions? And aren't there any flat optical glass sheets of that color on the market one can use for a DIY project? I have some empty filter holder rims left from my broken filters that I can put to good use!

I have done my homework looking up these stuff, but I think an optician/photographer is much better positioned to answer the questions. To be honest, I haven't found much in the publicly searchable resources.

Below an OOC photo, shot with my phone, through ordinary (non-polarized) Ray-ban green aviators. The glass makes greens much greener and the sky darker by blocking the blues. It also breaks the jolliness of the reds and makes them more poised, more controlled. And for some reason it consistently makes the cameras underexpose -- what I actually like on a sunny day.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with the Ray-ban group, and I am not testing the waters for a new product line. This is a real question!

Shot with Ray-ban!

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can find someone with a camera that shoots RAW, you could take a photo of something neutral gray and compare the average RGB values with and without the filter. \$\endgroup\$
    – rrauenza
    Jun 3, 2016 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's assuming that the filtering effects are linear across the dynamic range, which is not necessarily true. But I agree this is a good start for creating a digital filter. I will try it, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2016 at 20:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Pull your readings off a colour chek-R for the red, green, and blue purity before and after filtration. Use a dropper to get readings of each of the 6 patches and compare. That should give you some rough idea of filter hue linearity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jun 4, 2016 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


The Ray-Ban B-15 created for the US Air Force. These are brownish and block 100% of all UV rays and only 15% of the remaining visual rays.

The most popular for general use is the Ray-Ban G-15, a green + gray pigment. The Ray-Ban B15 XLT are also green + brown but with lower density.

The key fact for a filter to be distortion free is both surfaces are parallel. The fact that sunglasses have a curved figure is moot if they are high quality meaning parallel surfaces.

I know of no photographic filter that matches the Ray-Ban G-15. Nothing prevents you from buying a blank from a local optometrist and making a mount. Curved shape OK.

The key ingredient of the G-15 is UV absorption. Camera filters are HF-3, HF-4 and HF-5 made for aerial photography. The HF-3 is the primary UV for this work. It is often combined such as HF-3 + HF-5 depending on altitude and amount of haze. These were made by Kodak. The density of the G-15 to visible light is moot as the automation or the photographer will adjust the aperture of the camera to compensate.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Very useful info. There are G-15 lenses for sale on the big sales site for around 50 bucks (for size 63 -- there are also 67s). I may give it a go this summer if I find a complice optometrist in the neighbourhood! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2016 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do recall that film has inherent orthochromatic sensitivity (near UV, blue) while sensors have inherent panchromatic (near IR). It was necessary to use UV filtration over the lens with film especially high-accutance aerial stock and IR filtration bonded to the sensor for electronic devices such as phones and DSLRz. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jun 4, 2016 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ The density to visible light is NOT moot. Why? Because the density varies by chroma. Some wavelengths are attenuated more/less than others are. Density would only be moot if it were a true ND filter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 16, 2018 at 1:31

I would like to know the name or reference number of the Ray-ban green, and whether it is possible to find a camera lens filter with that color.

I suspect the color filters in sunglasses are similar to photographic color enhancing filters - a combination of them, enhancing different colors of the visible spectrum. An example of such filter is Green Enhancer. The glasses are also possibly polarized, which adds another effect to colors that is not possible to re-create in computer. You may be able to find photographic filter that combines color enhancers and a polarizer, but they are usually pretty expensive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The glasses are described as "non-polarized" in the question. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2016 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have seen that green enhancer, and that is definitely not the color. The glass is not polarized (although there is a polarized version) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2016 at 19:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ The G-15 is not polarized. It is no longer advisable for pilots to use polarizing glasses. The instruments and radar etc. are LCD's and polarizing glasses interfere as the LCD system adjusts pixel intensity by polarization. Check your computer or TV view if you mount polarized sunglasses. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2016 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, it is not the color - this is just an example of such a filter. There are also red and blue enhancers. The glasses may have a mix of them plus additional tint. \$\endgroup\$
    – MirekE
    Jun 3, 2016 at 20:21

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