Spectacular problem.??
Posted: 4 April 2016 5:24 PM
Subject: Spectacular problem.??

Epic contributor

Posts: 1335
Location: Lincoln area

Just had an eye check up.
Ok if money were no object ( and bearing mind my prescription and discussion with the optician )then I'd probably go for a pair of varifocals with reactive lenses for day to day use; plus a pair with a graduated tint for driving the van in.
I'd also like the best lenses I could afford; and Hoyas have been recommended by a couple of people.
The High St optician that did the eye test sells glasses with an emphasis on how cool the frames will make me look, and the "independent" direct selling "Optical Lab" sells on quality, and is very dismissive of High St products.

I'm asking you folks because I'm sure there are factors I've not considered, there must be someone with a motorhome and poor eyesight out there, oh and £8-900 for two pairs of specs seems a lot !
alan b

p.s. I'm not overkeen on separating the prescription and product responsibilities, but that seems to be unavoidable.

Edited by snowie 2016-04-04 5:26 PM
Posted: 4 April 2016 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Pops in from time to time

Posts: 117
Location: Wildax Consellation3

Specsavers, my wife has glasses for driving she has them from Specsavers cost about £80, who wants designer frames or do they make you see better.
I get reading glasses from them, always find their service very good always give plenty of information when doing tests plus you see photos of your eyes which can be very interesting, especially inmy case having had a detached retina. I only pay around £80.
Posted: 4 April 2016 11:29 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Epic contributor

Posts: 1335
Location: Lincoln area

Hi David;
having moved to varifocals about 8-10 years ago I'm not going back to three or four pairs of different glasses for each situation, thanks
alan b
Posted: 5 April 2016 1:11 AM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Pillar of the forums

Posts: 688
Location: Sydney Australia 2020 ADRIA Coral XL 660SCS.

Hi Alan, have a look at zennioptical .com. You need to upload your prescription and they will make you glasses. You can even upload an image of your face and "try on" the specs to see how good you will look. The price is good also. Hope this helps. Cheers,
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 5 April 2016 12:00 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street

Carole and I both have varifocals, with one pair photocromatic and one pair clear. Hers are Nikon lenses, mine are Rodenstock, because of our different prescriptions and the ways we see, we find they are what suits each of us best.

We have had the benefit of excellent advice from a really good dispensing optician, who understands the technical differences between the ways the various lens makers formulate their lenses, and keeps himself fully up to date with developments as they are made. In both cases the lenses are matched to the frames and the distance from eyeball to the lens plane. Not bespoke, just the "standard" lens of its particular type from each manufacturer, all plastic.

My suggestion would be to visit as many opticians locally as you can, and audition the dispensing optician as to what lenses s/he would recommend, and then ask them why, and to explain the differences. I think you'll soon find out who really knows their onions, and who has learnt it parrot fashion.

Having said that, the prices you are quoting seem about right for decent lenses without frames. But, it does depend on your sensitivity to visual aberrations on the one hand, on your expectations, and to to complexity of your prescription.

Neither of us needed glasses until were were into our 50s, so we both expect to be able to see as well as we could unaided. OTOH, those unfortunate enough to have needed glasses from childhood seem to be grateful for any improvement in what they last experienced, and perhaps adapt unconsciously adapt to lower performance.

But be warned, once you get what really works for you, you'll become very reluctant to settle for less in future!
Posted: 5 April 2016 12:34 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Location: Wirral - 2013 Hymer BClass 504 130bhp

Apparently, my vari-focals are Essilor and I'm on my third pair in over 16 years. Seem OK to me. I don't have them tinted, preferring to squint, wear a golf cap or hat when the sun is out. I use an independent optician who tests and supplies.

My wife has used Specsavers and Boots but seems to have more problems with her glasses than me even though my natural eyesight is worse. She struggles with seeing when she wears her tinted, or whatever they are, glasses and moves out of the sun into the shade.

My optician adjusted my prescription last time to allow for better visibility when driving the motorhome in the dark.
Posted: 5 April 2016 2:51 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Forum master

Posts: 3758
Location: Vanless in Hampshire

My husband used to have varifocals , and spent a fortune on them. Since had cataract's done, now has normal glasses. 1 pair for reading and another for other use, and has them tinted . We get our specs from our local Tesco, and get BOGOF frames. I have just renewed mine , and got 2 pairs one as sunglasses ,
for less than £200.00 and get Tesco point as well
Posted: 5 April 2016 5:32 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Epic contributor

Posts: 1335
Location: Lincoln area

Thanks for the responses; I think I'm a bit clearer on the acceptable options, still not sure how to get the best deal with the least risk, but as long as I'm sorted before our next trip all will be well!
alan b
Posted: 7 April 2016 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Treasured contributor

Posts: 846
Location: Dunfermline Hobby Siesta

I don't know how people manage with expensive spectacles. At the moment, I only need reading glasses which I buy from various high street outlets and never pay more than £10. This is very fortunate as I need to buy a new pair just about every month, having lost or broken them - again.
Are you more careful with specs if they cost a lot?
usermalc d
Posted: 7 April 2016 5:57 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Legendary contributor

Posts: 8576

When considering where to buy my bi-focal specs I take into consideration the fact that I need to buy two pairs at a time ( because I drive a lot on continental holidays ) and have to " update " them every couple of years or so.

So far Specsavers seem the best option where I have two pairs for less than £130

Certainly wouldn't consider expensive specs every two or three years.

Posted: 7 April 2016 6:51 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Epic contributor

Posts: 1335
Location: Lincoln area

Nearly there........I think,
Well I'm going to an independent dispensing optician tomorrow, who tells me she's been doing the job for 25 years and sounds like the sort of person I'm looking for. I like experience, and I like people who make time to sell me the right product. I don't object to paying for service.

When you get to the point where you need glasses for reading and for distant use; you also get to the point where maybe some bifocals would be useful, and sunglasses, and in my case a reactive coating would be worthwhile.
The opportunity to have three, maybe four pairs of glasses becomes a real possibility; and I have enough trouble keeping track of the one pair I have at the moment!

Once you've had varifocals the "clat" of changing your glasses every time you move from near to distant vision, sun to shade etc, is near enough gone.
I know that they don't suit everyone, but maybe that's more the fault of the provider than the patient.

The last independent optician I used regularly suggested to me that varifocals could be seen as the Volvo of glasses, and if I wanted high performance glasses then single focus lenses might be more appropriate.
Well I think things have moved on since then; but my eyesight has too, but it hasn't improved! so having become used to the convenience of varifocals I don't see myself reverting to multiple pairs of glasses unless cataracts intervene!

It sounds as though Essilor and Rodenstock have quite generous discounts for second pair/sunglasses coming up to summer.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Thanks for all the experience and suggestions,
alan b

p.s I found Boots very thorough for the sight test etc
Posted: 7 April 2016 11:11 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Gets involved

Posts: 288
Location: Cheshire Bailey 740SE Approach

My only advice ( due to painful experience ) is do not use Vision Express ! I gave them my perfectly functional vari focals that I had scratched , under their Advantage scheme they replaced them with new lenses................................ THREE TIMES they have been sent back to the lab because I simply cannot read with them. , they are still away as we speak .
If the problem is not solved I will demand that ALL my monies are returned and I will most certainly be using an independent optician in future.
Posted: 31 July 2016 3:55 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Forum master

Posts: 2223
Location: Cheshire, 2003 VW T4 Crusader Campervan

Just picked up on this thread. How did you get on and what did you end up buying? I have recently replaced my lenses (Varifocal) in my current frames which I didn't want to change as they are very light, the cost of the lenses alone was £300 and that was with a £100 discount. It has always been the case, prior to moving to France in 2000, that the cost of varifocal lenses in various outlets was £300+ and in France they are extortionate, luckily enough we had a top-up Insurance that gave us an amount of money towards new frames and lenses.
userdavid lloyd
Posted: 31 July 2016 8:18 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Forum master

Posts: 2003
Location: Guisborough Cleveland - 2017 Autosleeper Bourton

Just had to change my lenses - not because my sight has changed since the last test (I have one every year due to certain risks) but because they were getting a bit scratched after five years continuous use and the reactions tint tends to diminish with age.

I have used the same dispensing optician for about fifteen years. She knows my eyesight problems and takes very good care but has never tried to sell me new specs unnecessarily. Even this time she just recommended I have the new lenses put into my existing frames - I have to have a spare pair for when we are driving in Europe so the ten days it took to get them back was not a problem.

I have varificals and have had photo chromatic (reactions) lenses for many years - since they first came in I think. So, the one pair do everything for my needs.

About twenty years ago I tried Specsavers and had serious problems with them. The examination was not nearly as extensive as those I receive now but, worse, when I received the new specs I walked out of the shop and couldn't see properly. My vision was blurred and restricted. Needless to say they went back, I got my money back and found a different optician.

Before trying varificals I did have two pairs but found it irritating to have to carry both around and changing them to read labels etc.

Posted: 7 August 2016 12:33 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Forum master

Posts: 4251
Location: NE Lincolnshire - M/H - 2012 Adria Sport S572SL

Another vote for the Essilor lenses. I have had their vari-focal, transitional lenses for at least 12years & prior to that had their bi-focal transitional lenses.
I quickly adapted to the vari-focal & find them much more practical than the bi-focal.

I have annual eye tests by an ophthalmic optician, who advised me that as we get older our eyesight does not change as much as when younger, (short sighted), so last time I only needed 1 pair as the older ones were still useable.
I tend to find that the frames show more signs of wear that the lenses & have been able to use existing lenses in new frames on one occasion, when a prescription change was not needed.
Posted: 7 August 2016 6:32 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Having a look around

Posts: 32
Location: Fiat Ducato X250: 2008:2009 conversion.

Hi Martin, sorry for delay in answering.
I got my new spec's before we went to Italy, about 2 weeks
before, and I was determined to use them on the trip. I found them "strong" but very crisp vision, and bright, not very technical description, but very much to my liking. However, at Mulhouse, I had to revert to my old specs as I had had a couple of migraines. I later narrowed this down to coffee and bright light (so far).
I was also finding them very hard to adjust to.
I was wondering if I should go back to the prescribing optician, or the dispensing "lab" separating prescription and lens provision was looking dumb.
I had no migraines with my old specs and had a great trip.
When I got back I tried my beautiful new Hoya I/d lenses, and they fitted like a glove, no feelings of strain or excessive strength, and I've been wearing them ever since.
I have no explanation. I also had a pair of Varifocals sunglasses, but not Hoyas. I had a graduated tint (for road and sat-nav) and they are also very good now.

I don't know if I would repeat the process, but as it's so difficult to choose a new optician/dentist/doctor/plumber/builder/hairdresser!! I'll think carefully next time.
I paid approx £525 for 2 pairs of Varifocals. Next time I'll haggle over 2 pairs of the Hoyas

Alan b
Posted: 8 August 2016 12:54 PM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??

Lord of the posts

Posts: 5852
Location: West Sussex: Hymer B678 Dynamic Line, 150hp Auto

Only really needed glasses for reading but mid range was starting to get a bit fuzzy when looking at speedo etc, so went for some varifocals. Bought Specsavers dearest lenses had a pair of photochromatic & a pair of sunglasses came out at £350 for the 2 (buy one get one free). also went back for a third pair of occupational varifocals great for working on the PC where I need mid range. Must admit a bit of a shock after £2 reading glasses.
One thing I would never buy the photochromatic again, get fed up when you go into a shop and can't see anything, they go dark quick but take about 10min to lighten also can't see the phone screen very well in bright sunlight due to glasses darkening. My mate has much more expensive ones about £600-700 a pair and they respond to light changes a lot quicker.
userstarvin marvin
Posted: 10 August 2016 10:09 AM
Subject: RE: Spectacular problem.??
Forum master

Posts: 2026

I have varifocal and reactive Nikon lenses, most recently in titanium frames for extra lightness and strength. They cost approx £350 and usually last for 3 years before a prescription change. As these are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night I think they are good value.

I once tried cheaper, but they where rubbish compared to my usual stuff. Buying cheaper is bit like wearing Cotton Traders or Regatta or cheap supermarket jeans rather than Levi's. You get what you pay for. Go on treat yourself there are no pockets in shrouds.