OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)

Started Oct 15, 2007 | Discussions
Ziesmann
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OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
Oct 15, 2007

A simple question really. The time has come for me to buy new prescription lenses for my daily eyeglasses. I can go to the mall and buy whatever stock lenses there are in use at the local chain store, or I can buy from my optometrist and get Nikon or Zeiss branded lenses for a premium price.

Has anyone used both the standard "off-the-shelf" lenses and switched (or switched back) to a premium brand? Would you care to share you thoughts on the differences and whether they're worth the price?

Greg Erker
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ziesmann, Oct 15, 2007

My previous set of lenses were Nikon hi-index and held up well for almost 6 years. There were a few coating spots missing but most of it held up just fine.

My cleaning method is warm tap water and liquid hand soap every morning. I mix rub the soap together on my fingers with water to get some suds and disolve the soap. Then rub it on the lenses. Rinse the lenses under running water while rubbing with my clean fingers. Then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth (Essilor one). Wash the cloth about once a month.

My new lenses are also Nikon hi-index. I got them in February and about a month ago noticed problems. They had developed crazing (lots of tiny vertical cracks). The effect was to smear bright light sources into a horizontal line (traffic lights, car headlights). I just got them replaced for free (they have a 2 year warranty, at least in Canada).

So I'm pretty happy with them as long as the crazing was a one-time fluke, not something that is going to happen every six months.

You might also want to check into the Crizal lenses that are anti-smudge, which is normally a big problem for AR coated lenses. http://www.crizal.ca/en/lesverres.asp

Cheers - Greg

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dipics
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ziesmann, Oct 15, 2007

The lens blanks for the "standard" eyeglass lenses run about $2 to your optician. This is for typical CR-39 lenses. If you go with the Nikons, they run your optician about $3.50 (eyeglasses are made by opticians) and are still good old CR-39.

High index lenses come in two flavors. One is polycarbonate. These are very shatter resistant but are more scratch prone. They are also optically the worse (but still not bad) and are the lightest lenses.

The other are called high index lenses. They are optically almost as good as CR-39 but significantly thinner if you have a high prescription.

Anti-reflection coatings are a lot better now than they were just a few years back. They used to be very hydrophillic (absorbed water) which made them hard to keep clean. This has pretty much been fixed now though.

All in all, my recommendations are, if you have a prescription under about -2.5 I would go with regular, scratch coated CR-39 lenses (the cheap ones).

Over that I would go with High index lenses, again with scratch coating.

Name brands? Only if you enjoy paying too much. The largest supplier of regular, consumer grade CR-39 lenses? Zeiss.

DIPics

Ziesmann wrote:

A simple question really. The time has come for me to buy new
prescription lenses for my daily eyeglasses. I can go to the mall
and buy whatever stock lenses there are in use at the local chain
store, or I can buy from my optometrist and get Nikon or Zeiss
branded lenses for a premium price.

Has anyone used both the standard "off-the-shelf" lenses and switched
(or switched back) to a premium brand? Would you care to share you
thoughts on the differences and whether they're worth the price?

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kpschoedel
Regular MemberPosts: 138
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to dipics, Oct 15, 2007

The other are called high index lenses. They are optically almost as
good as CR-39 but significantly thinner if you have a high prescription.

But bear in mind, if you have a strong prescription, that the high-index materials generally have higher dispersion, i.e. chromatic aberration. This is particularly noticeable viewing a computer monitor because you're seeing three well-separated wavelengths and nothing in between. One of the two brands of 1.8 glass is especially bad -- I used to have a pair where I could see 3-pixel spread at the edges.

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Ed_arizona
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What's the best places to go?
In reply to dipics, Oct 15, 2007

I too need new glasses (very nearsighted) and can you or anyone tell me the best places to shop ???

I went to lenscrafter last time and I think they change A LOT!! I remember $750 for what I am wearing now, with insurance was still $350 for me...ouch

I would think there is better places out there

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Ziesmann
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to dipics, Oct 15, 2007

Well my left eye is only -1.25 and my right eye is -2.25. Given the weak to moderate prescription, I suppose it's not worth getting anything "special." Thanks very much for your advice.

PS. To the poster who commented about his $750 lenscrafters glasses:

I was just a local Lenscrafters on the weekend in Winnipeg Manitoba and they are having a "half price lenses" sale. The $340 anti-reflective, polycarb lenses for my prescription was therefore only $170. If you're shopping like I am, it seems like a good buy.

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Ed_arizona
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ziesmann, Oct 15, 2007

Its a scam if you ask me...so called "sales" get you in the door then they jack up everything else, I have progressive lens, edge polishing, thin glass, coating, etc. Least expense was the frames

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jswaite
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ziesmann, Oct 15, 2007

I have the Hoya Phoenix lenses. AR coating, anti-scratch coating and transitions. My prescription is -5 and -5.25 with astigmatism.

This is the third pair of glasses I have had with these lenses and have not had any problems with them (optically or otherwise). Except for once when the lab made one lens to the wrong prescription.

And being a network engineer, I get to spend 8 - 12 hours a day looking at computer screens and have no eye fatigue problems outside of work too long during the day.

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dipics
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ziesmann, Oct 15, 2007

Ziesmann wrote:

Well my left eye is only -1.25 and my right eye is -2.25. Given the
weak to moderate prescription, I suppose it's not worth getting
anything "special." Thanks very much for your advice.

PS. To the poster who commented about his $750 lenscrafters glasses:

I was just a local Lenscrafters on the weekend in Winnipeg Manitoba
and they are having a "half price lenses" sale. The $340
anti-reflective, polycarb lenses for my prescription was therefore
only $170. If you're shopping like I am, it seems like a good buy.

That's only about twice the going rate at most "budget optical" places for pretty much the same lenses.

DIPics

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dipics
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to kpschoedel, Oct 15, 2007

The better optical quality is on the "standard" high index lenses. Polycarbonate lenses have the lowest optical quality of all eyeglass lenses.

DIPics

kpschoedel wrote:

The other are called high index lenses. They are optically almost as
good as CR-39 but significantly thinner if you have a high prescription.

But bear in mind, if you have a strong prescription, that the
high-index materials generally have higher dispersion, i.e. chromatic
aberration. This is particularly noticeable viewing a computer
monitor because you're seeing three well-separated wavelengths and
nothing in between. One of the two brands of 1.8 glass is especially
bad -- I used to have a pair where I could see 3-pixel spread at the
edges.

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dipics
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ed_arizona, Oct 15, 2007

It IS pretty much a scam. For example, the vast majority of opticians don't even stock non-scratch coated lenses any more. They cost the same wholesale as scratch coated lenses. All you are buying is the warranty.

DIPics

Ed_arizona wrote:

Its a scam if you ask me...so called "sales" get you in the door then
they jack up everything else, I have progressive lens, edge
polishing, thin glass, coating, etc. Least expense was the frames

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Ed_arizona
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to dipics, Oct 15, 2007

ah yes "high index " is what I have, being very nearsighted I almost have too.

I have never heard of name brand lens (other than cameras)

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Ed_arizona
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to dipics, Oct 15, 2007

What company would you recommend for best deal? I need to get a pair soon

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kpschoedel
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ed_arizona, Oct 15, 2007

Ed, try buying from an optometrist or ophthalmologist; in most jurisdictions they charge a fixed dispensing fee above their cost, rather than a markup. But don't expect miracles; with your prescription your lenses are probably custom made.

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dipics
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Re: OT: Name brand eyeglass lenses (Nikon, Zeiss, etc.)
In reply to Ed_arizona, Oct 15, 2007

WalMart usually has an optical store there. They are contractors and make as good a pair of lenses as anyone.

Find a good eye doctor to get a prescription then go elsewhere for the glasses.

DIPics

Ed_arizona wrote:

What company would you recommend for best deal? I need to get a pair
soon

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