Interesting Progressive Lens Info

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Greg Beaulieu, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Thought I'd post a bit of interesting info I've found recently.

    Recently my first set of PALs, Varilux Comforts with rimless Movado
    frames, were lost (a long story). Fortunately I had another set bought a
    few months ago as a backup. These had AO Easy lenses and are pretty good,
    but I never liked them as much as the Variluxes. So I began shopping

    Since I now am reasonably conversant with the isues around progressives I
    felt comfortable looking at other providers than my usual optician to see
    if I could get a better price. I went to a couple of discount/mass market
    optical shops and checked them out. I found a few interesting things.

    The frame selection in these places was very disappointing. They had a lot
    of choices, but generally they were very pedestrian in style and many felt
    cheap. This even with frames with well-known names on them (although not
    necessarily well-known in the optical world - names like Timberland,
    Dockers, etc). The prices on these frames were generally cheaper than what
    my optician shows though, by $100-$150. However, I've found he will cut
    you a deal if you ask, so from that viewpoint there wasn't much

    The other interesting thing was the lenses. Around here most of these
    optical shops seem to go with Essilor/Varilux progressives if you don't
    ask - indeed, my optician did this last year with my first set. Since I
    knew what I wanted (Varilux Comfort) I asked for it by name, which
    immediately caused them to reach for their price book. One was nice enough
    to show it to me. Around here the lab dispenses 4 grades of product (all
    prices in Cdn $ for the combo I wanted):

    Varilux Panamic $340
    Varilux Comfort $300
    Essilor Ovation $150
    Essilor xxx $90 (unknown basic model that she says she never

    The Essilor Ovation is the bread and butter model most opticians try to
    sell here. I had that lens initially last year and found it very poor. I
    complained and after some time it was remade using a set of Comforts and
    the difference was incredible. How much of that was due to the design and
    how much due to proper fitting I cannot say. But I know I would never
    accept another set of Ovations.

    (Interestingly, my brother got a new set of glasses a couple of weeks ago.
    Old ones were Varilux, new ones, Ovations. He hates them, although I
    suspect he may have a fitting problem too. They are going back
    regardless. He was not happy when I told him of the pricing above as he
    suspects he was overcharged.)

    When I added up everything at the discount places, I was looking at
    between $550-$600 for what I wanted (there were no special sales of the
    like at the time) - although none of the frames thrilled me. I went back
    to my optician. He had a selection of Oga frames that I just loved, and
    picked a pair of those that suited me. His price with the Comforts,
    Crizal, and a sympathetic good customer discount: $640. Sold.

    I know I am getting a frame of very good quality (these Ogas just feel
    substantial) and that the lenses will be fit properly. I think a discount
    place would (for me at least) be a false economy. And I get to support a
    local small business to boot.
    Greg Beaulieu, Dec 26, 2004
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  2. Greg Beaulieu

    Dom Guest

    Greg Beaulieu wrote:

    If only more optical consumers thought like you Greg!


    Dom, Dec 28, 2004
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