Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How contact lenses are made

Take a look at this YouTube clip I found and how contact lenses are made.

To lens or not to lens

Hey CC,

I was thinking of getting a pair of old vintages glasses at a shop. I don't need lenses because I don't have a prescription. The shop wants to charge me $50 to put in lenses with no prescription. I think it's a rip off, so I'm just going to keep the current lenses in the frame. Are the lenses that are in there bad? I think that it would be better than having no lenses or even playing $50 for new ones that I don't even need. What do you think I should do? Thanks.

Eric G.
Hi Eric,

You have brought up a few good points about the lenses. First off, I would suggest that you do not use the "demo lenses" (the lenses that are in the frame when you buy the frames). The quality of the lenses are generally terrible. There are a few companies that have good demo lenses in the frames like Kio Yamato, Paul Frank and Lindberg, to name a few, but for the most part, they are very low quality lenses that are not for optical use. Next, do not wear them without any lenses in it. It looks terribly silly. I have seem people do it and it just looks ridiculous. Finally, my suggestion is to get new lenses put in them. If $50 is too much for you, look around and find a better price. Don't hassle them about price if it's out of your price range, just look around for other stores that may be able to do it for less. There is no point of wearing them without any benefits. At least with lenses with anti reflection coating, it will ease your eyes when using the computer or even night driving. Look around and shop around, it will make the glasses that much more satisfying to wear.

Hope that helps,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interesting Articles on Lenses

I have been reading up on several different companies websites about their lenses and I wanted to share them with you guys. A lot of the manufacture websites describe their products and their advantages. Take a look at some of the following websites to educate yourselves about lenses. I could regurgitate all the info but it is probably better if it is from the source. Take a look at some of these good reads...

Salt Optics' Polarized Prism Free Lenses

Serengeti's selection of lenses and a little info on photochromatic

Maui Jim's colors and different materials as well as the benefits of polarized lenses

Oakley's site describes how they differentiate themselves from the pack

Ray Ban's site describes what colors are good for contrast and their G-15 lens

Adidas has many colors that are sport specific. It is a good guide to what colors work well with what sport.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How lenses are cut into your eyewear

Lenses come in all stages of "readiness". Which means, some already have a prescription ground into the lens whereas other come as a block of plastic. For simplicity, let's just assume that the lenses come finished and ready to cut. So how do we get this block of plastic into the frame?

1. Trace the shape of the frame in the "tracer".
2. Next dot the lenses for the focal points and the correct prescription in the "lensometer"

3. Put the dotted lenses into the "blocker" and put a chuck on it so that it will hold the lens

4. Next take the lens and put it into the "edger", which cuts the lens to the shape

5. Take out the lenses and voila, they are the shape of the frame. Now just insert them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to Find the Perfect Pair of Vintage Eyewear

To some finding a vintage pair is a hobby and to others it is a way of life. The satisfaction you get when you find that pair of vintage Dunhill with the perfect shape and size that you know your friends will never be able to duplicate. But to some, it is easy to identify a good bargain from a rip off and others can think that a rip off is actually a good deal.

So how do you find a great deal?
How do find a style you like?

Buying vintage eyewear is a lot like finding vintage clothing. BUT vintage eyewear is usually easier to find online. There are certain things to keep in mind when buying vintage eyewear.

1. Brand
-What brand is it?
-Is it a well known brand? Cazal, Dunhill, Silhouette, Carrera, Dior and so on, are well known brands that are known. Sticking with a name brand company will insure that the quality is good.

2. Country of Origin
-In the 80s the best frames were all made in Austria. They had the best machines and the highest of quality control. That is not to say that other countries did not make good frames. A simple comparison is to compare it to Italian Sports cars. Sports cars can be made anywhere and there may be better ones, but an Italian sports car is a staple and where a true sports can should be made.

3. Style and Design
-Obviously the style was different earlier on, but some styles have come back today. Of course there is a crowd that follows the vintage style but there are others that just like thst style regardless of it being a "vintage". The edges are generally sharper or very round. The shapes were over exaggerated without many of our more recents styles of being rounded squares.

4. Price
-Price is subjective. Because there is no longer a manufacture retail price, it seems like prices are all over the board. I have seen true vintages go for as little as $20 and up to $920. So what makes a price low and what makes it high? DEMAND. Have a style or brand that everyone knows, then the price increases. Have a brand that nobody knows about, and the price decreases. So how much should you pay? Depends on the style, brand and quality. Personally, I would say, if you like it and you have the money, drop it on something you like. If youre on a tight budget, but like a certain style, find something in your budget. If you have a certain style you like and dont mind paying, find something you like and buy it.

5. Quality
-Check the quality of a frame to make sure that even if you dont know the name, you know that it is well built.

Things to Check...
-The solder points to make sure there are no holes in it and smooth.
-The paint to make sure it is painted on parts that are not generally visible to the named eye. -The spring hinges should be smooth without any jerky movements
-The barrels should line up perfectly.
-Open and close the temples to make sure they are smooth

Some of the above can be easy quick fixes and others demonstrate problems. But until you can make the quick fixes I would suggest to stay away from anything with problems.

6. Material
-Until the 80s, plastic frames could not be produced cheap. They were all relatively expensive but also well made. Metal frames were made much better back then. They were made much more solid and had much more intricate designs.

Hopefully this will give a look into buying vintage frames. Let me know if there is anything that I missed.