The persimmon lens is a quintessential Oakley product. It is meant for low light or inclimate weather and not for everyday use. Still, in the right conditions and environment the Persimmon lens is extremely handy to have. I went from accidentally acquiring one to having several copies - one for my M-Frame, one for each Split Jacket, and I received one more for my NRJV. I may have gone a bit overboard, but this is just how useful I find this otherwise odd and unassuming lens choice.
The persimmon is considered an "intensity" lens, meant to heighten or brighten the wearer's vision in less than ideal lighting conditions. In reality it doesn't actually increase brightness - actually it removes about 40% of variable light. Rather it tricks the mind into believing things are brighter (by perception) and a heightened state of visual awareness occurs. The Persimmon comes in at 60% VLT, making it somewhat darker than its Yellow counterpart (at 89%). Yet, the Persimmon outperforms Yellow because it has a greater range of performance. Yellow is much lighter so it doesn't take much added light to tap out. Persimmon on the other hand can handle increased brightness up to a certain point, therefore it can be worn longer and thus more reliable.
There is nothing visually striking about Persimmon - it is just a bright orange lens. The wearer's eyes are very visible, even if the lens fogs up. It doesn't add any real aesthetic to a frame unless the frame happens to be a Team Yellow or Atomic orange, so the look of Persimmon won't get anyone really excited. That doesn't really matter though, when the lens is applied. It is meant for low light conditions, inclimate weather conditions (like overcast or stormy, rainy weather), or can be used to enhance vision where tall trees or mountains block direct sunlight and cause lots of shadows. It's not "night vision" and doesn't make things glow in the dark, so don't expect that. Persimmon gives the appearance of brightening vison, so the wearer's eyes are fooled into believing vision is actually brighter. This lets the eyes spend energy focusing more on details rather than spending it fighting through greys and shadow.
The most ideal conditions for Persimmon is cycling, driving, running, or hiking. Any condition where one might be susceptible to overcast, stormy weather or loss of direct sunlight. Don't bother wearing this lens in the sun, though - since it arguable is the opposite of a sun lens like Black Iridium any direct sunlight will also be enhanced and might cause some actual "retina burn"! But it really depends on personal preference, personal or professional activity, or if the wearer even cares about enhanced vision in stormy weather (as opposed to simply removing the eyewear for the time being). While deployed to Iraq & Afghanistan, lenses like Persimmon were mainstays on patrol. A perfect "transition" lens to deal with the near constant sandstorms, extremely muggy rain, and to help with the transition into sunset. Naturally, leaders didn't really like seeing troops with orange and yellow tinted lenses, as they are not APEL approved because they are not "True Color" lenses. But it was hard to make them disappear, at least while in country, due to the obvious benefits of such a lens.
Of course Persimmon isn't for everyone; actually it's pretty niche. It really only performs well in certain conditions, but provides an outstanding performance in those conditions should they become present. I wouldn't recommend getting several sets as I have, especially if you don't think you would find something like this useful. But it would be beneficial to have at least one on stand-by just to give it a test drive. Persimmon is also one if the lowest priced Oakley accessory lenses so, if you find you don't like it, then you aren't out very much. Or maybe you like it so much that you add a persimmon all your sunglasses; who knows ... O-bsession is a funny thing.
Overall: 3 - Recommended - Get One If You See One
Persimmon is a wonderful tint. As other reviewers have mentioned, it is a fantastic lens for overcast or low-light conditions.
The tint is subtle. It makes everything feel just a bit "warmer", but after a short while you don't even notice the tinting at all. It feels like a neutral base until you take it off and notice everything looks harsher.
I wear M Frames, and this is my favorite lens for style. I love how it enhances contrast while being such a comfortable hue you can forget you're wearing it. It's too light a tint to wear in really sunny conditions, otherwise I'd be tempted to wear just this lens all the time!
An excellent lens when used in the right conditions. Living in a sunny area I felt I'd never need this lens but when I could a use for them I'd find any excuse to wear it, if you are looking for a low light lens you can't go wrong with persimmon.
Just got my "Whisker 6B" with prescription(Oakley true digital) persimmon lenses last Saturday. These glasses will mostly be used for driving my motorcycle and car use (not much because i ride my bike daily).
I am impressed by the contrast in low light. In the dark at night there is some better contrast, but most important the glare of the cars towards me is less without really darkening!
Good lens whithc is going to give me a lot of fun.
These are niche lens, their use is limited to dark-overcast days and sunset-night.
I run after sunset and often ride my bicycle at night, these are just perfect for those conditions, they boost the contrast making it easier to judge distances (when you boost the contrast, the 3D effect of the objects around you becomes more noticeable).
Very satisfiying lens. YOU ROCK DUDE