What do the world’s best cameras, binoculars, and sunglasses all have in common? They all use glass lenses to achieve the sharpest image.

The legendary Carl Zeiss Jena Deltrintem 8×30 binoculars featured glass lenses and were considered some of the finest in the world for a period of 70 years

 

Nowadays, virtually all new spectacles come with plastic lenses. But it wasn’t always that way. Originally, the only material used to make prescription lenses was glass.

Over the years, as frame styles became more varied, plastic – a lighter and more versatile material – gradually became the standard choice for opticians all over the world.

Rimless glasses are considerably more difficult to manufacture, and more likely to break, with glass lenses compared to plastic.

 

However, there are times where glass is still the ideal material… for the right frames on the right person. In this blog I’m going to run the pros and cons of glass lenses.

3 Reasons to choose Glass lenses

#1 The world’s thinnest lenses

As it stands, glass lenses can still be make considerably thinner than the plastic equivalent.


#2 Durability

Glass lenses are virtually impossible to scratch, so usually last far longer.


#3 Superior Optics

If you want the sharpest, purest image, glass lenses still deliver this.

Zeiss has been manufacturing glass lenses in Germany for spectacles, microscopes, binoculars, cameras and more since 1846. The ‘Z’ symbol in the corner is the ‘hallmark’ of a Zeiss lens.

If you wear glasses, you should make sure yours have high quality lenses, as the lenses you choose can make a huge impact on your vision. We use Zeiss as our supplier for glass lenses. They are internationally recognised as the best and most experienced manufacturer of glass lenses across multiple industries.

Similarly with sunglasses, it’s something to look out for. If your sunglasses have glass lenses, it can make a big difference to their clarity.

These Maui Jim Stillwater sunglasses feature glass lenses to deliver the best vision under the sun.

Why shouldn’t I choose glass lenses?

There are 2 very simple reasons. Glass lenses are heavier and more brittle than plastic ones. If you drop a pair of spectacles with glass lenses in, the chances are they won’t survive. And due to their weight, if your frames aren’t fitting well, they can be very uncomfortable.

However, if you work with an experienced optician, and you look after your glasses. The benefits could very well outweigh the negatives.

What frames are suited to glass lenses?

Glass lenses require a strong, solid frame to support them. Aluminium frames such as these from Face a Face are perfect, as they are study but lightweight to counterbalance the added weight of the lenses:

Alternatively, retro frames like Anglo American compliment glass lenses really well; Anglo American have been making frames for over 100 years and were designed at a time when glass lenses were the norm:

Our expert advisors can help you find frames which not only suit you perfectly, but also suit your prescription and the lenses you choose, so you have a pair of glasses you love to wear.

For more information on glass lenses, you can tweet me @specfactory, email me on rob@thespectaclefactory.com or call us on 01772 312213.