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"HD" glasses lenses?
July 19, 2011 4:23 PM   Subscribe

There is a relatively new fancy technology in eyeglass lenses: free form lenses for single vision, which some manufacturers are calling "like HDTV" for glasses. Really? Will I notice that much difference with MY prescription?

I've been lurking on optometry pro forums gathering info on the new Zeiss Individual SV or the Essilor 360 lenses, and opinions are somewhat mixed. On the one hand, they seem like a clear win for a complicated, strong prescription if you don't mind taking out a second mortgage for your glasses. They're supposed to make peripheral distortion much more minimal and reduce chromatic aberration. For me, I wonder if they will make $200 worth of difference, though; I am about -5 in each eye with no cylinder correction.

Questions:
1. Do you have one of these fancy new types of "HD" lenses and do you think they're worth it? What's your Rx? How do they compare to standard, spheric high index lenses?
2. Are you an optician/opthamologist or someone with technical knowledge about these things, and if so, what would you recommend for a customer like me?

I have not been happy with cheap lenses at all in the past and I usually shell out for high index with Crizal, which is noticeably worth it. Will I notice the HD lenses too, or will it be like the difference between a 192kps and a 320kps mp3; very very hard to impossible to actually hear in an everyday setting? Has the quality on lenses surpassed our ability to discern much difference?
posted by slow graffiti to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
A scientist glasses nerd told me that one of the most important things is accurate measurement of the location of the center of your eyes, and the distance from your eye that any particular glasses sit.

The product you mention is not a new material, but a more precise way of custom-carving the glass. It would seem that they could account for the exact location on the lens in regard to your eye.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:54 PM on July 19, 2011


If it is the stuff I am thinking about, they actually sandwich together two (or more?) different materials so as to counteract the distortion of a single material.

(OK, Essilor doesn't appear to be that. Since they have standard material choices, I'm guessing it is some kind of fancy anti-reflective coating. The Zeiss lens *might* be worth it...?)

I have polycarbonate lenses that are also ground "funny" so as to reduce peripheral distortion. I don't like them.

I don't believe they are any better (visually) than plain ol' crown glass. But that stuff is heavy.
posted by gjc at 7:16 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm guessing it is some kind of fancy anti-reflective coating.

It looks like it's the application of computer controlled Lasik cutters, used to carve custom lenses instead of corneas. The glasses have flat fronts, and the curve is only on the inside. Normal materials, it seems.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:23 PM on July 20, 2011


Well I got the fancy pants lenses, and I can't say I notice that they are significantly better than the standard aspheric high index lenses. However, they are SUPER crisp and clear so I feel like they were probably worth getting, even if the extra $75 for the "free form lens" technology may have been silly.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:17 AM on August 31, 2011


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