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  #1  
Old 14-05-14
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Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Time marches on and at 53 my eyesight, although still pretty good, needs more help than ever! After my routine eye test today I am now considering varifocals but the cost quoted from my high street opticians is just not affordable for me. I have done some research and it seems that I can get them at half the price via online suppliers.

First of all - does anyone here get their prescription glasses from a reputable online supplier? Feedback gratefully received! Has anyone had a bad experience?

Secondly, how do any of you get on with varifocals especially with regard to using cameras? Of course I can see through a diopter corrected viewfinder absolutely find (my corrected vision is 20/20 in one eye and slightly better in the other eye). It's not an option for me to remove my glasses to see close because I have astigmatism in both eyes, which means even close up there is lateral blurriness regardless of focus (horizontal details can be sharp while vertical details are blurred).

Thanks in advance!

Ian
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  #2  
Old 15-05-14
John Perriment John Perriment is offline
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I'll talk to you about varifocals on Saturday, Ian.
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Old 15-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Ian,

I've never used and online optical supplier myself but there was a chap on another forum who used to post very encouraging reports of an online spectacles supplier.

I used to talk to him on a board that's now closed but I think I may be able to find him again elsewhere. I'll go off and look for him and if I have any joy I'll mail him and ask about it and see if he's willing to join us in here and offer any advice or suggestions.

He's not a photographer but that's not important. He's intelligent and reliable, a person I've respected for more than a decade, a person who always posted good, informed advice. I'll see what I can do to find 'Eric'.

Pol
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  #4  
Old 15-05-14
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Thumbs up Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Quote:
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Ian,

... I'll see what I can do to find 'Eric'.

Pol
I managed to find Eric and have sent him a message with a link to this thread and asked if he can help.

I suggested he may need to register as I'm not sure that 'guests' can still do so.

Pol
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  #5  
Old 15-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Hi Ian,
On this side of the pond we call them "progressive" lenses. I have used them for a few years, having got tired of changing distance for reading pairs. They have gotten better in the last two years and whatever the utimate quality you can get....it is worth it in terms of annoyance. I still have reading gasses, because I just can't scan a page without turning my head with progressives. I use the reading gasses on the PC's 27" screen for the same reason. Out in the world, driving is better with them as you can see the instruments and the road easily.
With cameras I have the diopters set for "no glasses" and like the progressives for using the LCD only. I did use the EVF on the V2 with the progressive glasses and it helped when changing setting.
Things changed in January for me with having a cataract in my right eye removed. The progressive lenses were covered for the vision change, but new readers were needed. We tried Sam's Club for them and got them for half what our usual source priced them. Shop around for sure. It is fun for an optic snob like me to be seeing the world through a plastic lens
Bob
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  #6  
Old 16-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Hi Ian. Welcome to the club of wasted eyes. Trues of life. I totally agree with Bob thinking. I have used mulifocal or progressive lenses for 30 years. Sometimes I go to bed or to the swimming pool and forget I have them on. You will get easily confortable with them in no time. Few weeks-month.
For Cameras, I use them in live view photography and take them off using the viewfinder with appropriate diopter correction of it.
I also has astigmatism in both eyes and that is no t a problem with the viewfinder I also recomend you to try the lens prescription in the optician house or any place during several minutes. Go to the street and have a long distance view, look the middle distance arround you and read some small fontsize paper. Sometimes, the prescriptions might have small innacuracies.
Life above 55 is possible and very rewarding also Regards.
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Old 16-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Where astigmatism becomes a problem is with coincident rangefnders as in Leica M cameras and can cause inaccuracies. This one will probably vary widely from prson to person. iopter correction lenses that include astigmatism correction are available.
I have a small amount and have never had any problem using the M Leicas without glasses.
Bob
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Old 17-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Hi Ian, Like you, I have an astigmatism but in one eye. I have been using varifocal glasses for many years and get on with them OK. However, they never seem to be quite right on the first try on. Last time the person who fits the glasses spent a long time heating and bending them to get the exact fit so that I could see the full range.

I heartily agree with Horatio. I walk outside to check how far I can see and I look at various object through all distances. Several times I have had to have my lenses made again.

I was very tempted to try the Online opticians but after this last time when so much time was given in the fitting, I decided it would not be for me. However, I nearly bought some just for the computer (single vision) but then found Specsavers were doing single vision for 25 so I stayed with them.

I think if one only has a mild vision impairment the Online Opticians would be OK.

Good Luck.
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  #9  
Old 17-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I have made the decision to go for another set of single vision glasses because I can't afford spending £400+ on varifocals if they are fitted by my opticians and although in theory I could get varifocals online for as little as £100 all the advice is that this would be very risky.

In the end the varifocals are a convenience solution. Single vision glasses will be better, optically - and also much cheaper. I will try an online supplier and should be able to get a couple of pairs of glasses in nice frames with scratch-resistant ant-reflective coatings and UV absorption for around £60. If business gets a lot better I will try varifocals but not this time.

Ian
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  #10  
Old 18-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

That is a good point that Audry made. Our daughter had that problem with her pair from a discount place. My opthomologist checked mine and they were in tolerance for him.
Theses things are not quite "there" so any waiting on your part should be rewarded.
Bob
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  #11  
Old 18-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I suppose comparing varifocal glasses with single vision glasses is much like comparing zoom lenses with prime lenses. - Zooms, like varifocals, have better flexibility, while single vision glasses and prime lenses are (unsually) better optically.

At my stage in life, I am starting to become both long-sighted and short-sighted. I used to carry two sets of glasses around with me. - One for distance work and one for near work (reading or playing around with a computer). That became a bit inconvenient, as I quite often used to forget to carry both sets of glasses along with me.

About four years ago, my optometrist suggested varifocals. I decided to give them a try. Initially, I hated them. But then tilting my head slightly forwards or backwards slightly to obtain the best focus became second nature.

Now I am perfectly at home and don't even notice that I am using varifocals. I don't even take them off when I am taking photographs.

Cheers

Larry
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  #12  
Old 18-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I forgot to say that had I followed the OnLine route, I would have used the prescription from a new eye sight test from my local Opticians. It's just the fitting that you have to get right because there is such a narrow margin between, reading, mid and long distance.
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  #13  
Old 18-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I like the analogy with primes and zooms It makes a lot of sense although bizarrely many prime lenses cost more than zoom lenses!

Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by griffljg View Post
I suppose comparing varifocal glasses with single vision glasses is much like comparing zoom lenses with prime lenses. - Zooms, like varifocals, have better flexibility, while single vision glasses and prime lenses are (unsually) better optically.

At my stage in life, I am starting to become both long-sighted and short-sighted. I used to carry two sets of glasses around with me. - One for distance work and one for near work (reading or playing around with a computer). That became a bit inconvenient, as I quite often used to forget to carry both sets of glasses along with me.

About four years ago, my optometrist suggested varifocals. I decided to give them a try. Initially, I hated them. But then tilting my head slightly forwards or backwards slightly to obtain the best focus became second nature.

Now I am perfectly at home and don't even notice that I am using varifocals. I don't even take them off when I am taking photographs.

Cheers

Larry
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Old 18-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I like the analogy with primes and zooms It makes a lot of sense although bizarrely many prime lenses cost more than zoom lenses!

Ian
My take on the pricey prime is that zoom are a barrel of compromises designed in a computer and there is usually no need to involve a human to tweek them after proper machine guided assembly. Primes on the other hand are usually assembled by well compensated techs who can tweak each element and even double check centering and such. Lucky us, we get to pay for that ...
Bob
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Old 21-05-14
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Re: Varifocal specs and online suppliers?

I decided against varifocals for now - basically because of cost and the perceived risk of buying these online. Instead I have ordered one pair of intermediate and one pair of distance vision glasses. The former cost £10 (basic metal frames) but have anti reflection and scratch-resistant coating standard lenses. I'll only be using these for computer work in the office. The second pair are similar to what I have now, a more stylish slim design lightweight half-rim rectangular lens frame. I went for polycarbonate lenses (which naturally filter out UV), AR and scratch-resistant coated. These were £52.50 and the overall cost for the two pairs was £64 including tracked and insured shipping and after a 10% discount code for a new customer (applies to the glasses, not the shipping). I used selectspecs.com. My order will probably be shipped from Hong Kong although some orders (mainly for more expensive designer brands) are made up and shipped from their UK facility.

I will let you know how it works out! I should receive them, with luck, by the end of next week.

Ian

PS Vision Express quoted me £30 alone for AR coating - for each pair of glasses.
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