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Seeing Things

jhn.holgate

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Last time I went to the optometrists and had a change to my prescription, I forked out $150 each for a couple of pair of glasses.  And that was about as cheap as I could go.  No fancy anti reflective or hydrophobic coatings just plain Jane lenses.  I think the frames were $40 or $50 and the lenses were the rest.  It's real easy to double and quadruple those prices on glasses bought in-store.

Now I'm all for supporting local business and I feel bad when I don't, but there is a point where too much is too much.  The last few pairs I've bought I've ordered on-line from overseas and I can get reasonable frames but really nice lenses and all the anti reflection/hydrophobic coatings I want for around $70AU delivered to my po box.  The same glasses would cost me at least three times the price in store here.  One of those pairs was a pair of multifocals which I had always wanted to try but not willing to risk the $300 plus in case I hated them.   I had even gone into SpecSavers during one of their sales.....and then, of course they start saying stuff like, 'oh, you'll need to pay for the extra strength prescription ($50) and you'll need to go the better lenses and then you'll want to add on the coatings....the 'special' soon started looking more like $400.  So I payed the grand sum of $60 to Zenni and got some really nice lenses and ok frames - they're great for going out to eat or shopping when you need to read stuff as well as focus on everything around you, but turns out I can't work in them as when I rake stuff up, I'm looking at my feet, which through multifocals are all out of focus.  So had I forked out $400, I'd be feeling a bit ripped off.

Speaking of being ripped off, this is what cheeses me off about buying glasses from the store - part of my prescription is -3.5 cylinder in my right eye and this get's me the 'extra strength' penalty.  From the optometrist, that's $50 extra.  From Zenni (where I buy my online stuff from) it's $9.  Same sort of deal with coatings - Zenni's premium anti reflective, oleophobic (oil and fingerprint resistant) coatings are $14.  Tinting is $5 or thereabouts.  I can understand why optometrists charge more for their service and their frames etc to pay for staff, rent, equipment etc and I'm fine with that, but not when a coating or charge is 6X the price.  That's not what I consider 'fair'.

So for the last couple of years, my glasses have come from overseas.  I think Zenni has their office in California, but everything is made and sent from Hong Kong.  And they do a damn good job on my prescriptions - certainly better than OPSM ever did.  Coatings are great - for your next pair, go for the anti reflective and hydrophobic (or oleophobic) coating - they're the best lenses I have ever had.  Water just beads off them (wears off after a couple of years), super easy to clean and no reflections (the last two seem permanent on my 3 year old Zenni's.)  I will never go back to plain lenses again.  Online frame choice is a lot more hit 'n miss however.  The very first pair I ordered online from a store in Melbourne have the crappiest most awful frames ever.  Certainly most of that is my own fault for not understanding frame width, lens height, temple length and bridge spacing - stuff you need to know before you order anything along with your prescription and interpupillary distance.  The first you can get from measuring your current favorite pair of glasses, the last two you can get from your optometrist.  It's your prescription and it belongs to you - they cannot withhold it from you.

Another thing I like about Zenni is that they print your reviews - good and bad, so you can always get a general consensus feel for what people are saying about a particular model.  I should say that I did get one pair that was tinted a little more darker in one eye than the other and a couple pairs of frames I ended up not liking, so ordering online is not all beer and skittles and I'm not cheeky enough to go into my local optometrists and ask them to fix glasses I bought from overseas - that wouldn't be fair either.  But overall, it's been a big win for me with lots of money saved and I've been able to afford to try out different scripts and styles without fear of losing hundreds of bucks down the gurgler.

This is not me btw and I tend to steer clear of plastic frames now - if they're not quite right, I don't have the gear to bend 'em.  Steel/titanium frames seem more versatile in that regard...

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Fantastic John!!!!

I'm well down the path of needing glasses for welding, reading and general workshop duties. I use a prescription full lens and look over the top when walking round, or they are perched on top of my head till needed. I cant use bifocals as you cant weld overhead in them.

Yours seem the go, as I'm always replacing my hobby specs due to scratches and I dare not use my prescriptions for grinding/linishing work. (even though they have the coatings they still don't stand up to fibreglass sandings or cutting steel with friction discs. The sharp dust just kills them.)

 I had a $480 pair of Uvex prescription safety glasses that I had hanging on the cord round my neck and walked up and switched on my bench grinder that I'd just fitted a new wire wheel too and the wind generated from it sucked my week old specs straight into the wheel and destroyed them. No insurance for that I was told. BUGGER!!!

I look after my replacement ones much more carefully. When they do get the "sparkles" walking into the sunshine, I spend a bit of time rubbing the lenses with neat (straight from the tube) toothpaste between my fingers on each side of the lens. It takes the fine scratches out really well. Works for sunnies too.

I'm due for a eye check as I'm finding it harder in low light to see things. So I'll make sure I get the "recipe" from the optician. :good:

Plastic frames can be modified simply by rubbing really hard with thumb and forefinger on the spot to generate enough heat to make the arms flexible enough to shape as required.

 

 

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Thanks for the Reminder John,... I am in the same boat where I go to the local "Glasses in an Hour" shop and because my prescription is SO strong, they say oh it will take longer :mad:... 

I ordered from Zenni once a few years ago, and they were GREAT glasses, but the FIRST day I wore them I scratched the cr@p out of them and had to send them back... but I am in need of a new pair as I've been wearing my current pair for 2+ years and they are getting kinda ragged. Fortunately I have an appt. with my ophthalmologist in a few weeks so I will have my script updated too!

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 I had a $480 pair of Uvex prescription safety glasses that I had hanging on the cord round my neck and walked up and switched on my bench grinder that I'd just fitted a new wire wheel too and the wind generated from it sucked my week old specs straight into the wheel and destroyed them. No insurance for that I was told. BUGGER!!!

 

Ouch!!  For the grinding/sanding operations, order some clip on gradient sunny's at $5 a pair (which I think are available for most Zenni frames) and let 'em be the sacrificial surface.  

These ones look pretty good: #767512

Metal Alloy Half Rim Frame with Acetate Temples and Spring Hinges 767512

  
Men Half Rim Mixed Materials Eyeglasses #767512

 

And #318721 were my first pair from Zenni - very light and comfy

 

Bendable (Memory) Titanium Half-Rim Frame 318721

  
Men Half Rim Memory Titanium Eyeglasses #318721

I was going to go and look for some 'Neat' toothpaste, but then I realized what you meant.... :blush:  Will try that and the 'rubbing' trick to heat up the plastic.  Cheers. 

 

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Got my latest 'scripts' in the Bendable Titanium frames in the post today - spot on.  Nice to have both eyes sharp again.  Took two and a half weeks from order and cost $70AU - would have been more like $200 at the local place.  Put me order in for a couple of pairs of sunny's with the new script.

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Order online multifocals, hmm sounds like a potential for dissaster, correct me if I am wrong. I remember when I got my first multifocals, lots of tests and marking a fake pair of lenses with texture lines to ensure the lens would focus at the right location. Don't know how one can guess that online. It will still be SpecSavers for me plus medical insurance. Good luck to those that can get away with online orders.

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Order online multifocals, hmm sounds like a potential for dissaster, correct me if I am wrong. I remember when I got my first multifocals, lots of tests and marking a fake pair of lenses with texture lines to ensure the lens would focus at the right location. Don't know how one can guess that online. It will still be SpecSavers for me plus medical insurance. Good luck to those that can get away with online orders.

I went through the same thing when ordering bifocals from my local - they measured where the line would be and marked it on the lens.  I don't think Zenni give you the option of where you want the line or where the multi focals start.  Having said that, I prefer my online $60 multifocals to the $150 bifocals I got from my optometrists.  I think the trick is knowing the height of the lens you want and where it's going to sit on your nose.  If you don't mind paying extra, then it certainly is a safer bet to buy from your optometrist.

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Bah.....so much for global communications.  See if you can view this link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/luxottica-eyewear-why-are-glasses-expensive/

Basically almost all the glasses in world are made by ONE little known company, Luxxotica.  Tiffany,  Gucci, Ray-Ban are all made by one company. Most of the retail stores are also owned by Luxxotica.  

ATB,
Sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by indigo_wolf

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