Premium Lenses- What are they?
Back in 80’s, lenses were simple. They were single vision or bifocals without much of “premium” distinctions. Then competition and technology brought many premium brands and generic eyeglass lenses to the market.
Most of today’s lenses are much better quality then 20 years ago. But quality of lenses are not all the same as you might suspected. As a Canon pro series camera lens is much more expensive than a generic lens from a supermarket, same kind parallelism exist in eyeglass lenses. The brands such as Varilux, Zeiss and Hoya are the top tier brands in eyeglass field. Especially Varilux brand now owned by Essilor was the original brand that invented “No line bifocals” lens category in 80’s. The Varilux S 4D lenses are top dog in the field at this moment. Zeiss and Hoya are right behind in this horse race of lenses.
Why Premium Lens?
People who are in lens business knows there are no such thing as perfect lenses. Because of this limitation, there are better lenses and worse lenses. The diminishing return on investment curve exist in any lenses in the market. As a novice accidental photographer, I took equally bad pictures with my Canon or iPhone. But I know that with my Canon with expensive lenses, I will have better chance of taking higher quality pictures. With my top Varilux lenses , I will have better chances of seeing as nature intended.
But it Cost a lot..
Today’s top lenses are made based on each individuals prescription, facial and dynamic measurements. Generalization (Bell Curve-rization) in manufacturing process reduces cost of manufacturing and inventory. Top quality lenses are not premanufactured as lesser quality ones. Some lenses are completely made from a raw block of lens material. While some are half way premanufactured to just add prescription on unfinished bottom half. And some are completely premaufactured to trim into patients’ frames. As you can imagine, price of lenses are directly correlated with how much custom manufacturing has to be done to the lenses.
What Should I choose?
As old saying goes” you get what you pay for” and it applies to eyeglasses too. We recommend to all my patients the best lenses that industry can offer. We start with top Varilux S 4D lenses then new Varilux family of lenses for our patients. Most of people take our advice or closer to our top recommendations. As a result, we have very few complaint about lenses compare to the industry standard.