The Best Varifocals On The Market.
Later in this blog, you’ll get to hear from lens guru Mark Culshaw (pictured) of Hoya lenses to find out more about one of the best varifocal lens designs on the market.
A quick word from me first, to clarify a couple of questions you may have…
Aren’t all varifocals the same?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that the varifocal you choose can affect everything from the comfort of your reading vision, to the amount of peripheral vision you get, to the quality of your night vision. I could list 100 things that are affected by your choice of varifocal lenses (and maybe someday I will). Here’s a comparison of the same image viewed through 2 different varifocal lens types:
What are the best varifocals available?
I get asked this question a lot. Which is good, because it shows that most people out there want what we offer; the best vision possible. And they recognise that the lenses are an integral part of that. At The Spectacle Factory, we use a unique 3-step process (outlined here) to help you achieve better vision, and the 2nd step is lens choice. But the reality is that one lens type is not the best for everybody. We listen to our clients, get to know them, and then recommend a lens based on what they do most in their glasses.
However, the lens type that we recommend the most often is called the ID Lifestyle V+, manufactured by a Japanese company called Hoya.
(‘ID’ is short for ‘integrated double surface’ – because Hoya are one of the only manufacturers with the capability to make corrections for your vision on the front and the back of the lens. ‘Lifestyle’ represents the fact that they are tailored to your lifestyle. ‘V+’ is Hoya’s notation for its newest lens designs)
Why is the ID Lifestyle V+ our most recommended lens type? On a recent trip to Hoya’s facility in Wrexham (pictured above), I managed to get Mark to explain:
(Robert Sands): “What is someone getting when they order a pair of ID Lifestyle V+ lenses?”
(Mark Culshaw): “Your customer will be getting state of the art varifocal lens design combined with the hardest coating technology available today.
“Hoya’s unique and patented integrated double surface lens design allows natural vision in a varifocal lens like never before, the lens is then further optimised to the wearers visual preferences by adding an extra enhancement to either the long distance or close distance vision zones.
“Also within the lens design is Hoya’s patented Binocular Harmonisation Technology. This ensures that the lenses are designed so that both eyes are able to work together properly rather than simply the correction of each eye individually.”
(RS): “How many processes does it take to produce a pair of ID Lifestyle V+ lenses for someone?”
(MC): “This is a tricky one to answer as the main production processes can be broken down into smaller individual processes.
“This is very much a bespoke product where the main production processes include the initial casting of the optical quality plastic, CNC pixel precision surface forming, soft sponge polishing (this is a very special polishing process which ensures that the microscopic detail applied to the lens surface is not altered), hard and anti-reflection thin-film application which is built up in several layers under vacuum, along with tightly controlled curing processes to ensure perfect adhesion and longevity.
“There are actually many, many more steps along the way including specialised cleaning and preparation processes. Finally, within each lens batch, a number of test lenses are also produced. These lenses are tested to breaking point so that we can ensure ultimate quality for your customer. If a test lens was to fail we would recall your customers lenses and replace them.”
(RS): “How does the ID Lifestyle V+ technology compare to older varifocal designs?”
(MC): “We are talking space age versus stone age! Older varifocals, in simple terms, have a channel of increasing power to allow focussing of near and far objects. These work to a point but with poor wearer satisfaction. These older varifocals are a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
“With ID Lifestyle each lens is tailored to the wearers prescription, visual preferences and respects how both eyes work together. This results in expanded fields of vision, faster adaption and a more natural feel to one’s vision. We can now even adjust the optical calculations in the lens design to optimise the optics to the wearers chosen frame.”
For a quick overview on the life of a Hoya lens, check out this video:
Many thanks to Mark for sharing his knowledge with us. If you want to experience the difference between varifocal lenses, to see how much your vision could be improved, try out our VisuReal software on our in-store iPads. This amazing technology allows you to see how your vision will be looking through many types of lenses.
I hope you found this interesting! If you’ve any questions, feel free to tweet me @specfactory or call me on 01772 312213 and ask to speak to Robert.