High Index lens material manufacturers

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by jklwood, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. jklwood

    jklwood Guest

    I need a new pair of glasses (progressives, need hi index material due
    to a strong prescription) and am shopping around. Lenscrafters says
    they use a Pentax material, Costco uses Essler (not sure about that
    spelling) Naturals.

    Should I be interested in one over the other?


    jklwood, Jul 25, 2006
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  2. jklwood

    Mark A Guest

    There are some distinctions that you should be aware of, especially with
    regard to progressive lenses.

    There are multiple lens Manufacturers such as Essilor, Pentax, Hoya, Zeiss,
    Rodenstock, Sola, etc.

    Each manufacturer usually has several different progressive lens Designs,
    which can vary in quality, sophistication of curves, custom ground versus
    ground from blanks, minimum fitting height (suitability to short frames),
    and other factors. In most cases, simply knowing the manufacturer is not
    enough to identify the lens design.

    The Natural is one of the specific lens designs sold by Essilor that is
    considered to be a mid-quality lens. Essilor also markets a premium brand
    called Varilux that includes the Comfort, Panamic, Liberty, etc lens

    Each lens design is usually sold in a variety of different lens materials,
    such as CR-39 (Regular Plastic), Polycarb (1.58), 1.60 index, 1.67 index,
    etc. Simply specifying "high index" is not sufficient information to make an
    intelligent decision on a lens or to comparison shop.

    As the lens index goes up, the lenses are thinner and lighter, but the
    optical quality goes down. Polycarb has especially poor optical quality,
    especially for strong lens powers, and I would avoid this material, which is
    heavily pushed by many retailers including LensCrafters..

    For the best possible advice on this forum, post your exact Rx, and your
    previous experience with progressives. You can also look at the Google
    Groups archive for previous posts in this forum on progressive

    You best bet is to find an experienced optician who is knowledgeable about
    progressive lenses to get some good lens advice and to ensure a proper
    fitting (which is extremely important for progressives, especially in high
    power Rx's).

    Personally, I have found little correlation between price and the quality of
    advice/service offered by optical retailers. Some OD's who have an in-office
    optical shop and charge premium prices are too busy to properly supervise
    their low paid and inexperienced opticians. I would try to find some other
    retailers besides LensCrafters and Costco that have access to a wider range
    of products to suit your needs.
    Mark A, Jul 26, 2006
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