Want The Best Varifocals You Can Get?

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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.



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Read Our Reviews

The Spectacle Factory is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 20 review(s).


The Spectacle Factory was recommended to me by a friend and my experience from my initial eye test to taking delivery of my new glasses was first class throughout. The attention I received from James during my eye examination was both extremely thorough and professional. He worked patiently and diligently to fine tune my prescription. Robert's involvement in choosing my new frames and lenses was brilliant. At no time did I feel under pressure into making quick decisions regarding the choices made available to me. His expert knowledge and enthusiasm was very reassuring at all times. Having experienced several years of eye discomfort, I am now overjoyed with the difference that the team at The Spectacle Factory have made to my vision. Many Thanks.

- Mr Michael Mortimer


I brought my daughters in recently for their first eye tests and I was so impressed with how patient and thorough all the staff were with us. Trying to get a four year old to sit still enough for the scans was very difficult but Ben tried his best and didn’t seem to let it phase him. Claire was wonderful during the eye test itself, employing my 6 year old to be her assistant and making it fun for them both. Not being a glasses wearer myself, I was quite overwhelmed when I was told my 6 year old needed glasses, but Robert helped me to understand what her prescription meant and made sure that her beautiful new glasses fit her just right! Thank you so much to everyone at SF!

- Emma Venn


Picked my Reykjavik Eyes glasses up Thursday . Robert and his team are outstanding . I am a nervous customer due to bad experiences when I was young . They made the whole experience special and made me at ease throughout both visits . Robert is brilliant regarding frames to suit you no pressure just brilliant support and help . I would wholeheartedly recommend The Spectacle Factory to everyone. Thanks a million everyone.

- Alison Wood


Five stars without any hesitation. I immediately felt at ease and the atmosphere was very welcoming. The service was prompt and efficient. I felt the examination was very thorough and any questions I had were clearly answered. When it came to choosing my frames and what my prescription involved the options available to me were fully outlined. I didn’t feel under any pressure and I felt in charge of the transaction. From entering to leaving it was a lovely experience. I was a little hesitant in the current situation, but my fears were soon allayed as every precaution was taken to minimise the risks. Superior to any high street optician. Excellent all round! EH

- Elizabeth Horsfield


Living some 300 miles from The Spectacle Factory visiting was not an option for me, however, after checking all the reviews I decided not only to buy my J.F. Rey frames (seen on an online video by Robert) but also have my Zeiss smart life progressive lenses made by them. I had no worries. After taking advice from Robert the measurements required for the lenses were done locally at a nominal cost. I am now the proud owner of a pair of handmade 'wow' glasses and a very happy new customer. Use them with confidence. The customer service is truely outstanding.

- Alan Astin


Well they you pay for what you get. It’s definitely true of The Spectacle Factory. There customer service is the best I have experienced anywhere. I was not rushed with any decision and I was made to feel like I was there most important customer. What I paid was an eye watering amount but I got smartlife ziess lenses and frames that are very comfortable. I now also have very clear vision when reading. I thought it was not clear due to lighting in modern offices and homes. Wrong it was bad lenses and persecution not being quite right. Thank you for sorting it all out at the first attempt.

- Heath Christy


ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT I have been using the Spectacle Factory for a long time, but the latest visit was the best BY FAR..... I desperately needed an eye test, and was fitted in quickly. James, the optician, was excellent , as usual. 4 members of staff were outstanding in the service I received. Robert, Ben and Emma were absolutely perfect.....and Ruth, the manager was excellent, as she always is. The best visit by far...I cannot rate this place higher !!!

- K Rhys


Welcomed by and dealt with Robert during the whole process of choosing through to final fitting. Great service, great range of glasses, really helpful and informative. I would highly recommend

- Jenny T


After reading all the positive reviews I decided that a 40 minute drive would be worth it to try and get a new prescription and frames- I wear my glasses all day so need to get this right. I was so impressed with everyone’s desire to be helpful and make sure I was happy at every part of my visit. I wasn’t the quickest at choosing new frames but never felt rushed by Robert. He listened and gave helpful advice as we worked through choosing the frames and lenses I needed. They have a huge range of frames which meant I ended up with a pair I was really happy with. I actually chose a pair of prescription sunglasses as well, which I have been meaning to do for years. I loved the combination of cutting edge technology and personalised service. It’s so nice to see a team that places such a priority on customer satisfaction - they certainly deserve 5 stars.

- S McReynolds


Fantastic service! I attended the spectacle factory over a year ago for an eye test. They were amazing, and so patient with me! My Polaroid frame broke recently, so in desperate need called the spectacle factory to order a replacement frame. They were so efficient and helpful. Also my frames were covered under warranty and I didn’t have to pay a penny. AMAZING. Couldn’t recommend them anymore!

- Rebecca F


Friendly service, thanks to Robert who took the time and care to ensure that I was happy with my new glasses. I would definitely recommend.

- Paul Wellman


Visited the Spectacle Factory a couple of weeks ago for the first time. James did my eye test and was very thorough and informative. Chose a pair of glasses afterwards with the help of another member of staff. Great customer service. I have always gone to high street opticians before and never sure what glasses suit me. I was allowed to take my time and offered helpful advice. Love my new glasses which I picked up with the week. I will be returning to the Spectacle factory in the future. Far superior in terms of quality and customer service compared to other opticians I have been too.

- J B


My wife and I both have great glasses (and sunglasses) from The Spectacle Factory. Right from our very first visit we have been very impressed with the highest level of care and attention to detail, both with eye tests and the choice of lenses and frames. They seem to have a flair for helping you to choose the right glasses. Once your order is ready, nothing is too much trouble to ensure that the fit and the suitability of your glasses is perfect for your needs and that you are completely happy. Their ongoing service is second to none. We can highly recommend The Spectacle Factory..

- Geoff Gosling


Came in today for help with some frames, repaired no questions asked, there and then on the spot Brilliant service

- Alex


All the staff are so helpful and switched on to all your requirements I would recommend them all day what a good experience

- Roy gardiner


The Spectacle Factory offer me the kind of customer service and ability to customise my choice of spectacles that just is simply not available on the High Street. From Initial contact, to delivery of the finished product, you are treated like a loyal friend. Nothing is too much trouble. Unbiased advise, on choosing the correct spectacles for your particular application. A vast range of frames from the very cheapest to the latest designer frames. I choose the Spectacle Factory, because they can provide me with, customised glasses, to align with my particular needs and requirements. Most high street opticians have a 'one size fits all' attitude. The Spectacle Factory does not subscribe to this theory and treats every client as an individual. Their eye sight is very comprehensive and is 50% longer than the industry standard. If you value your eyesight, and want the very best care, this is the place to visit.

- Paul van de Rooy


Rob and the team were excellent help with the professionalism and advise . I will become a faithful member of the spectacle factory!! Thanks again team

- Dan Amin



- James


Excellent advice with a fantastic product range,

- Thomas Sayer


Highly recommend The Spectacle Factory - excellent service will definitely be using again.

- Hattie

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