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Old 06-06-2001, 05:31 AM   #1
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Default Polycarbonate (Luxottica/LensCrafters 'FeatherWate') lenses -- fact or fiction?

I bought a couple of new pairs of glasses on Monday from Luxottica/LensCrafters. The first was a pair of prescription Ray-Bans, and they used traditional plastic lenses. They turned out fine.

However, I picked up another pair of lightweight frames using polycarbonate ('FeatherWate(tm)')lenses. They feel much better, and getting used to them was very easy because they were essentially the same shape and size (but not weight or thickness) as my old frames.

BUT...

The polycarbonate lenses, while clear at the tops and center, seem to provide refraction on the left and right edges, and at the bottom (where it's worst.) That is, there is a blue edge to the bottom of dark objects, and a red edge to the top of them. It's very slight and I believe most people would believe that the prescription was defective. I'm not sure if it's that or the material.

When I tried to describe what was occurring in scientific terms to one of the sales gimps at LensCrafters, she was thoroughly confused (she didn't know what 'refraction' meant) She claimed that it was the material and that I would 'get used to it.' However, I'm not really satisfied with the prospect of lenses that provide a lack of clarity, however minor.

As I said, it's only on the left and right edges, and at the bottom--that is, the peripheral areas of the lens (not to be confused with peripheral vision.) It's more noticable at the bottom.

Any comments?
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Old 06-06-2001, 05:41 AM   #2
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Default Did you have them check the lenses?

I've had a prescription done once, and they didn't bother to check.

In my case, the lens was defective with a very noticeable wave in it.

I have the Featherwate(sp?) lenses and I don't notice any such qualities in my glasses. Since
they have equipment to verify the quality and prescription of the lens...I'd have them check it.

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Old 06-06-2001, 05:44 AM   #3
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Default They checked them and supposedly they match my old glasses

My old glasses are made of plastic, but don't have any refraction problems. My prescription apparently hasn't changed.
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Old 06-06-2001, 06:18 AM   #4
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Default Text I sent to LensCrafters website

I sent this to their Customer Service group:

Hello,

I purchased two pairs of glasses from your Woodfield (Schaumburg, Illinois) store on Monday, June 4th, 2001.

The first pair was a pair of prescription sunglasses using plastic lenses. Those turned out to be fine.

The second pair were FeatherWate frames with the polycarbonate lenses.

I have noticed that on the edges and bottom of the polycarbonate lenses, there is a slight prism effect occurring. This is especially noticable for dark objects--at the bottom of the lens, the top of the object will have a red edge, and the bottom will have a blue edge. On the left part of the lens, the left side of the object will be blue, the right side will be red, and so on.

While the effect is slight, it is annoying, to say the least. It means that in order to view the object with absolute clarity, I must actually turn my head. It becomes exacerbated during reading--when one tends to keep their head in a uniform position and simply move their eyes to scan the page (or screen, since I use computers on a daily basis.)

Bear in mind that the optometrist at Woodfield (Dr. Robert E. Peachey) conducted my eye exam and compared it to my previous prescription (purchased at Pearle), and stated that there had been no change in 4 years. My old prescription, as well as the LensCrafters prescription sunglasses (manufactured at the same time) do not display this effect.

In any event, I went to the LensCrafters in Butterfield Plaza in Downers Grove, IL, yesterday. The sales lady compared my old lenses and the new polycarbonate lenses and pronounced them identical except for the material. She claimed that the difference was, indeed, due to the material and that I would adapt over time. She also stated that I could get the lenses re-milled in plastic if I desired.

However, it is my belief that there is no way to adapt to an optical effect of this nature (prisming,) and that it is either a problem with the material, or with the way the lenses were milled. I cannot fathom the reasoning that it is the material--would Luxottica SpA actually sell lenses where this effect occurred? Wouldn't more people be complaining?

Please respond.
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Old 06-06-2001, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Different lens materials have different refractive properties.

Glass is the best but even different types of glass have different properties from each other. Considering the markup on glasses, LensCrafters should exchange them for regular plastic if you want to.
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Old 06-06-2001, 06:52 AM   #6
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Default Yeah, but should I accept prisming? I'm really just trying to determine whether this is common...

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Old 06-06-2001, 08:12 AM   #7
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Default You should really run it by them.

Some people are more sensitive to such things than others. I once got a pair of prescription poly carb sunglasses. They got the optical center slightly off and they drove me nuts.

Ask them if this is common with polycarb. If it is or isn't, they should take them back if you don't like them. Alternatively, go to another place and say you're interested in a new pair of glasses and have heard about problems with polycarb. The lenses themselves may just be ground wrong.
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Old 06-06-2001, 09:15 AM   #8
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Default Same effect on my polycarb lenses - 10+yrs, different fabs, different docs

I think it's a combination of high power prescriptions and high index of refraction materials. My glasses are backups to contacts, so the color shift doesn't bother me much.
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Old 06-06-2001, 10:46 AM   #9
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Default Maybe, but my prescription isn't all that high powered

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Old 06-06-2001, 02:15 PM   #10
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Default Polycarbonate lenses have a very narrow field and...

...THEY SUCK. I got talked into polycarbonate lenses once, about 7 years ago. In two days I was back at Lenscrafters, and made them remake me a pair of normal materials. They had to eat the first pair.

They never told me that the focal field would be so narrow. I like larger lenses, so it was very apparent. Once I got 15 degrees off the optical centers of the lens, it got fuzzy and diffracted. I told them, politely, to stick'em where the sun don't shine.

I didn't get much of an argument. I wouldn't have accepted it, anyway. As they are dispensing a medical device. they're very dependant on licensing. A suggestion of a phone call to your State's medical regulatory agencies will move mountains, if it comes to that.
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Old 06-06-2001, 02:15 PM
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abberation, blurry, chromatic, exchange, featherwate, featherwates, glasses, high, index, kind, lenscrafters, lenses, making, marks, polycarbonate, store, suck, thick


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