Lloyd Pattison meets Phil Pilla, the man behind shooting’s most coveted eyewear, and gets a look at his company’s gamechanging new lines
Pilla eyewear is certainly an extravagance, and as such is viewed by some in the shooting fraternity as only being for people with more money than sense. Yet there are others for whom these glasses are essential kit, which they would no more leave behind than their cartridges or ear defenders.
Having tried all manner of eyewear over the years, I am unapologetically in the latter camp. While interviewing Phil and researching this article, I gained some insight into why the Pilla product line-up is made to such an exacting standard.
Phil Pilla is a perfectionist, and after speaking with him for only a few minutes it becomes obvious that he is genuinely passionate about his product.
For 25 years this passion has driven constant evolution and innovation. Pilla’s lenses are made from a proprietary material by Zeiss and are as close to optically perfect as any lens I have ever worn. ‘Glasses like not wearing glasses’ was the design brief from multiple world champion George Digweed, and Pilla takes that seriously when designing their products.
The massive range of colour options in these lenses cover pretty much every target colour and background combination you can imagine. More colours are added to the line-up every year as the company finds new ways to use colour to enhance the vision of an ever more diverse base of users. I am often asked what an ideal three-lens setup is, and to be honest there is no right answer.
Everyone’s vision is different, and your perception of colour has a huge effect on which lenses are right for you. The only way to really know what you need is to try some at a clay ground or an event so that you can actually see the difference.
The new 2019 ‘Chromashift Solids’ range adds some vibrant new colours to Pilla’s palette. From talking to Phil, the standout lenses for him are the 28 CR (Raspberry), a really clear red-shifted lens for use in bright conditions, and the 64CB, a banana-yellow lens he says gets great results in low-light conditions.
The new 16 CRHC is a development of the 18RHC, adding chromashift to further enrich colour perception in bright conditions.
Special thanks to Starkey Headsets, who provided our review sample. They are the largest Pilla stockist in Europe, and will be at the World ICTSF, the World Fitasc and the British Open this year.