Transitions Graphite Green

Monday, 13 July 2015  |  Direct Specs

Essilor, one of the world's largest optical manufacturers has announced the release of Transitions Graphite Green lenses and they are already available in most lens forms, for example, single vision and varifocal.

So what's the beef? Well, to mix metaphors, I'll quote directly from the horse's mouth...

"Transitions Signature Graphite Green give you natural vision and enhanced colour perception.

Graphite green perfectly complements many frame styles and colours. From classic to cutting-edge, find a striking look of your own."

So, you get very little colour distortion and a cool retro Ray-Ban style look!

More details here...

Digital varifocals and buying a suit

Wednesday, 8 July 2015  |  Direct Specs

Let's compress fifty odd years of the history of varifocal optics in a few paragraphs and use buying a suit as an analogy to help us understand where varifocals are at today.

It might not be immediately obvious, but there's an almost infinite number of permutations when it comes to specifying the power and fitting positions for varifocals and to all intents and purposes, every pair of varifocal glasses is unique.

The One Size Fits All Suit

For many years, varifocals were only available in an 'off the shelf' form; lens manufacturers would make 'semi-finished' lenses to a fixed design and the optician's lab would finish the lens with the customer's prescription. Although the lens power would be precisely what was required, the overall design of the lens and the quality of the image produced was less than perfect. For the majority of wearers that system worked well enough, even though people weren't getting the optimal solution for their particular prescription - sometimes very far from it.


Different Chest and Trouser Sizes

A couple of decades ago, some manufacturers introduced 'modular designs', where the most suitable  lens form could be selected from a few different designs. Choosing this type of lens meant customers would get a lens that was much closer to the ideal but still a 'halfway house' to the perfect pair.


Suits You Sir

'Digital varifocals', where every pair is made to an optimal design for each individual customer, have been available for a few years. Although commonly called 'digital varifocals', this is short-hand for 'digitally surfaced varifocals' - i.e. the machinery that creates the final lens surfaces is computer controlled. Essentially this is the equivalent of the tailor-made suit where every aspect of the product is customised to the individual concerned. You might even see these lenses described as 'tailor made' or 'custom made'.

Bizarrely these lenses do have a downside for some people - those who have been wearing varifocals for years may have become so used to the distortion and limitations of their lenses that they find having a totally personalised design can really throw them, at least to begin with. However, once someone gets used to digitally surfaced lenses, they really won't want to go back to the older 'boilerplate' designs.



What are these gadgets doing to our eyes?

Thursday, 4 June 2015  |  Direct Specs

No, we're not suggesting you give up using your treasured smart-phone or tablet, but we do recommend trying to reduce the downside such devices have on your eyes.

Certain wavelengths of the natural spectrum of light emitted by the sun are beneficial in helping to regulate our body clock. Unfortunately, particular wavelengths of blue light have also been found to be detrimental to health and vision when not controlled.

With the ever-growing use of LED and LCD devices which emit blue light, users are at risk of higher than natural levels of exposure. Research has shown that too much blue light can cause eye-strain, eye fatigue and even disturbed sleep. This is in addition to the general fatigue caused by concentrating on often very small text, on an unnaturally illuminated surface.

To counter these risks, optical scientists have developed a new type of lens filter to reduce the amount of blue light transmitted to the eyes. OptiBlue filters selected wavelengths of blue light, giving enhanced comfort when using any digital device that has an LCD or LED screen. Our own tests on phone and computer screens, while purely subjective, do seem to bear out the manufacturer's claims of a more comfortable viewing experience when using devices for a few hours per day. We suspect phone or computer use is only likely to affect sleep patterns if used extensively for a prolonged period - something that is not easy to test!

OptiBlue lenses are also equipped with the latest anti-reflection, ant-scratch and water and grease repellent features, offering superior clarity for the lifetime of the lenses.


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