Are high-index 1.67 lenses worth the extra money?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by dave191, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. dave191

    dave191 Guest

    I'm trying to decide if getting $70 high-index 1.67 lenses are worth
    the extra money.

    My prescription:

    sphere: -3.250
    cylinder: -0.750
    axis: 172

    sphere: -1.500
    cylinder: -0.250
    axis: 180

    I went to Costco today to get some eyeglasses. The guy selling the
    glasses was pushing for the $70 1.67 lenses. He said that the right
    lens will look REALLY thick if I get the $20 regular plastic lenses. He
    said that since the frames I brought in were kind of big lengthwise,
    the thickness of the right lens would really stand out. Going on his
    advice, I got the 1.67 lenses.

    After a couple of hours, I started having second thoughts about getting
    the more expensive lens. I wasn't too sure if the 1.67 lenses were
    worth the extra $50. I postponed my order for now on the phone so that
    I could make a more intelligent decision. Now I'm trying to decide
    between regular plastic lenses (CR-39, I think) and high-index 1.67

    I was doing some searches on Google Groups, and I read that CR-39
    lenses have better visual clarity than the thinner lenses. If that's
    true, then CR-39 lenses seem like the better option.

    I plan on getting lenses for the following glasses. The size of the
    frame is 50-18-140

    I don't know how thick the right lens will look. I plan on getting the
    lenses rolled & polished, so that should reduce the thickness a bit.
    Based on the prescription above, will the right lens look like a coke
    bottle in the frame I brought in?
    dave191, Jun 27, 2005
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  2. dave191

    Mark A Guest

    The higher the index, the worse the optical quality of the lens. CR-39 is
    1.50 index. The only exception is polycarb 1.59 which is worse than even
    1.67 index.

    For your Rx, you definitely do not need, and do not want, 1.67 index lenses.
    You could use 1.60 but no higher than that, and a mid-index like 1.54
    Spectralite (only on Sola lenses) would be fine. CR-39 would be acceptable,
    but would be a bit heavier and thicker.

    If Costco does not have what you need, try Wal-Mart Optical. I believe they
    carry Sola Spectralite.

    To review, here most of your options:

    1.50 regular plastic CR-39
    1.53 Trivex (safety lenses, excellent optics) from Hoya or Younger
    1.54 Sola Spectralite (excellent choice) from Sola only
    1.56 mid index from certain other companies
    1.59 polycarb (safety lenses - crappy optical quality)
    1.60 Sola Finalite (better than most other 1.60 lenses) from Sola only
    1.60 High index lenses from many companies
    1.66/1.67 Very high index from many companies.
    Mark A, Jun 27, 2005
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  3. I tend to agree. I think for his Rx a Trivex or 1.56 would be about
    right, and anything over 1.6 is ridiculous.

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Jun 27, 2005
  4. dave191

    Dave Guest

    Sola Spectralite seems like a good compromise between optical quality and
    thickness. I'll call my nearest Wal-Mart tomorrow and check if they carry
    them and how much they cost. Hopefully, they're not too expensive.
    Otherwise, I'd have to go with the plastic lenses. I can handle a little
    thickness, as long as it isn't very noticable from a distance.
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  5. dave191

    Dave Guest

    If the Costco people get a bigger commission from selling higher-priced
    options, that would explain a lot. When I postponed the order, the guy was
    really urging me to stick with the thinner 1.67 lenses before he gave in.

    As for the frames I brought in, they're rather thin-rimmed, so I don't know
    if the thicker lens would go by unnoticed.
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  6. dave191

    Dave Guest

    I have another question; this one concerns polished edges. Will polished
    edges affect optical quality in any way? I read in another newsgroup that
    this isn't recommended sometimes, but no specific reason was given.
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  7. dave191

    Mark A Guest

    If you have rimless frames, polished edges can sometimes allow light to
    enter the edge of the lens, which can be a distraction. I guess the same
    thing could happen to a lesser degree on frames with very thin edges, but I
    am not an expert on this subject.
    Mark A, Jun 27, 2005
  8. dave191

    Dave Guest

    Is the reduction in thickness compared to CR-39 significant enough to
    justify the extra cost of Trivex or Spectralite lenses? Would the
    difference be like night & day for my prescription?

    I never knew there were so many lens options. Before today, I only thought
    there was thick plastic, thin, and extra thin. :)
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  9. dave191

    Dave Guest

    I didn't think about the weight of the lens that way before. It should've
    been obvious to me. I'll ask Wal-Mart if they carry Spectralite lenses. I
    don't think Costco had Spectralite as an option. If Wal-Mart doesn't have
    it, I'll have to go with CR-39 lenses from Costco. From what I've
    learned so far, CR-39 and Spectralite seem like the two best options when
    considering optical quality and price.
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  10. dave191

    Mark A Guest

    Just so that you ask for the right thing, the lens manufacturer is Sola, and
    the lens material is Spectralite 1.54 index.
    Mark A, Jun 27, 2005
  11. dave191

    Dave Guest

    Got it, thanks.
    Dave, Jun 27, 2005
  12. dave191

    Sherry Guest

    I had polished edges once and never again! Of course, I have a very
    high minus (-9.5 and -10.5) and with the polished edges there was so
    much light bouncing around and it looked like a deep tunnel in my

    With my Rx before the high-index lenses came out, the bottom edge of
    the lens was always resting on my cheek. My son, who has a high minus
    also (but not as high as mine - I think he's about a -6) was told he
    didn't want a high-index lens because the quality wasn't as good, so he
    got the one with the lower index and was *not* happy since he couldn't
    keep his lenses on his face.

    My husband, who's a -1 and -2, doesn't have a high-index lens and is
    quite happy (it was a struggle to get him to switch from glass to
    plastic, though, and he's really pleased with the lighter weight of the
    plastic over the glass)

    Sherry, Jun 27, 2005
  13. dave191

    S Akky Guest

    Mark A put fingers to keyboard and typed...
    If the 'white ring effect' is not desired, polishing edges can improve the
    look of the lenses, but ONLY if the anti-reflection coating is applied
    AFTER polishing.
    S Akky, Jun 27, 2005
  14. dave191

    Brian Guest

    Actually the optician at Costco gave you excellent advice. The
    regular plastic (CR-39) is 28.00, and the High Index 1.67 is the Seiko
    lens at 74.95. Costco opticians are among the most experienced and
    dedicated in the industry. Costco is one of the few companies that DO
    NOT pay any incentives or commissions to their employees.
    Although your RX is not abnormally thick, a frame with a large
    effective diameter will yield a thicker edge, and further pronounce
    the thickness difference between your 2 lenses, however a 50 eyesize
    frame doesn't seem very large. The Seiko 1.67 is also an aspheric
    designed lens.
    Brian, Jun 28, 2005
  15. dave191

    Brian Guest

    Costco does not carry Trivex any longer, and while Spectralite is
    an excellent choice they don't carry that either. The Seiko 1.67 may
    be overkill, but at 74.99 it's priced less than most opticians charge
    for mid index lenses. Costco does offer an aspheric poly-c lens for
    49.99, but I would avoid that material. Your optician offered you the
    best product he had to offer. I can guarantee you that he receives NO
    incentives for up-selling products. I wear the Seiko 1.67, I don't
    notice any loss of clarity or chromatic abberation. My Rx is only a
    -2.75, I like the way the aspheric lenses mesh with the eyewire of my
    very thin frames.
    Brian, Jun 28, 2005
  16. dave191

    Dave Guest

    I called Wal-Mart today, and the Spectralite lenses were somewhere around
    $115. I just went with the $20 CR-39 at Costco. If I don't like the way the
    lenses look, the salesperson said that I could have them replaced with
    their thinner $70 1.67 lenses. Of course, I'd have to pay the difference in
    price between both lenses. Hopefully, my lenses won't look too thick.
    Dave, Jun 28, 2005
  17. dave191

    Dave Guest

    Yeah, I was concerned about the optical quality and price of the high index
    lenses, so I ended up going with CR-39. True, the 1.67 lenses are a bargain
    at $70, but I was looking to save as much money as possible, and 1.67
    seemed like overkill for my Rx. If the $20 CR-39 lenses end up looking too
    thick, I guess I can justify spending the extra $50 for the thinner lenses
    as long as the optical quality is as you said.
    Dave, Jun 28, 2005
  18. dave191

    Mark A Guest

    You forgot to mention that the abbe value (and hence optical quality) of
    1.67 is much lower than mid-index or CR-39 lenses.
    Mark A, Jun 28, 2005
  19. dave191

    The Real Bev Guest

    Just curious -- appearance seems almost more important to you than improved
    vision and I wonder why. I find I look lots better in glasses, but contacts
    offer a lot of convenience that glasses lack, even if the vision is better.

    They also provide protection against flying objects, tree branches, etc. Us
    clumsies appreciate things like that :)

    It is just a bicycle. It is not dedication and bugs
    in your teeth and dust and rain and mud. It is not
    madness and harmony and glory and rhythm. It is not
    muscle and flesh and sweat and lycra and wind.
    It is just a bicycle. -- Bianchi
    The Real Bev, Jun 28, 2005
  20. dave191

    Dave Guest

    For me, optical quality is #1, cost is #2, and appearance is #3. CR-39
    seems to have the best optical quality from what I've read, and it's the
    cheapest, so that's what I ended up purchasing. However, they're thicker
    than all the other options available.

    Yeah, I guess I'm a bit preoccupied with how thick my right lens will look.
    I didn't think much of it at first, but those salespeople at Costco kept
    saying that the plastic lenses, particularly the right lens, won't look
    good in the frame I brought in. I think I look good in those frames, and
    I'm hoping that the plastic lenses will look decent enough in those frames.

    There I go again rambling on about lens thickness. Maybe you have a point
    about the importance I'm placing on appearance. :)
    Dave, Jun 28, 2005
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