Where's the best place to get new glasses?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by HomeBrewTJ, Sep 21, 2008.


  1. HomeBrewTJ

    HomeBrewTJ

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    I'm in dire need of a new pair, and I've gone to LensCrafters, Target Optical, Eyeglass World, JC Penney Optical, and a few more.

    Most of them are doing a 50% off 'special' right now, so prices are comparable, just not sure of quality of the frames and of the lenses. I definitely need anti glare lenses, as I work in front of a computer 10 hours+ a day.

    Anyone have any favs? or should I look for a good private optometrist? My insurance is pretty much nil on the vision plan too.
  2. Skeletomania

    Skeletomania

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Location:
    hong kong
    Frames comes in all prices, but often you'll go for some nicer looking ones that goes at least a hundred bucks. Lens are where they'll bleed you dry. My lens cost around 300 bucks. With the eye exam, lens, and frames, it runs up to 460 dollars for a pair of glasses for me. With LensCrafter, they'll guarantee a full year warranty service. Once, my cousin's fat ass sat all my glasses, and they replaced it with a new one for free.
  3. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    I just had 3 pairs of glasses made with my new presciption and after shopping around decided to go to Costco. The service was excellent and I saved a lot of money compared to Lenscrafters. It costs $50. for an annual membership but I think it's well worth it.

    George
  4. HomeBrewTJ

    HomeBrewTJ

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    thanks guys. Looks like JC Penney has the best deal going on right now. Nice people too.
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  6. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USSA
    God, I'm glad I'm no longer in that business...

    I was an ABO-certified optician for many years, a lab manager for both EyeBastards and LensBastards. I was assigned a lab at LensBastards that was 5 years old and completely broken from the first day I stepped into it. None of the machines in the lab were maintained, most were non-functional, those that worked were so seriously out of calibration that new parts were needed to bring them within ANSI tolerance. I put in two solid months of 18-20 hour days, 7 days a week, had to fire the staff and start from scratch, got no support from either store or regional manglement, or corporate, and got nothing from them when I finally had a 100% working lab with 96% 1-hour service. Not even a "Good job!" out of them. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically after that, and left the job. Got on at an Essilor lab in Houston, worked that for a year or two, but wages were falling dramatically at the time, as was the level of knowledge among the industry. I couldn't take it any more, and quit to pursue computers, which I have been doing since 1998. Now I am thinking of becoming a bass player...;)

    Seriously, the JCP, Costco, independent optometrists, and small shops probably all use the same wholesale labs. The LensBastards and EyeBastards and the like that advertise 1-hour service have labs onsite. If you go with one of them, ask what their 1-hour percentage is for the last few months, and what their reject rate is for tolerance. That'll give you a clue. If it's less than 85% 1-hour, or more than 5-6% reject due to tolerance, they prolly don't have a decent lab- either worn-out equipment, poorly maintained, or some really inexperienced people in the lab.

    A blank for a Kodak progressive lens (line-free bifocal), was $18 in Hi-Index (thin plastic) back in the day (late 90s). Single-vision polycarb blanks were $4-6 a pop. Only advantage to poly is shatter-resistance and built-in UV protection. They are so soft that if you look through them too hard, they'll scratch! Be warned!

    If you want lenses that will last a while, get glass (unless you have an extreme Rx). CR-39 is regular plastic, and those with hard-coating, UV, and anti-reflective coating are OK, but thicker and slightly lighter than glass. They do make hi-index glass, though. Hi-index is lighter, thinner, and more suitable to higher Rx'es.

    Hope all this helps.
  7. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    This a little off topic, and directed to bassic83. My last set of glasses were a small shop in a mall, not one of the chains. I sent back to sets of lenses because (and I've never had this happen) when my eyes drifted or looked to off-center, or toward the sides of the lenses (let's say you keep you head still and look through your glasses off to one side or the other), the lenses would blur. Seemed like the only clear vision was straight ahead. I told the guy, the way they were ground, you'd have to turn your head everytime to just look at something off to the side. Even the lenses I settled on have some of that effect. Luckily, though I only wear glasses in the late evening after removing my contacts. Is this a problem with the way the lenses are made or is this, as they tried to tell me, "common" with modern lenses. I am considering to just pay more at my local clinic where I get my eyes examined and pay more.
  8. Linas

    Linas

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    I have gone to for eyes for my glasses. They have hooked it up for a good price. I think around $50 out the door for frames and lenses.
  9. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USSA
    It could be the base curve is too shallow. It could be also partly the way they are ground, if they were edged with the pd (pupillary distance) too narrow or wide, and dependent on your scrip, it could be inducing prism (bad for your eye muscles). What kind of lenses are they?
  10. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I wish I knew but I don't. Plastic, though and I'm badly nearsighted.
  11. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USSA
    Funny thing is, last pair of glasses I was dispensed was a LONG time ago. I'm now 43, and looking presbyopia in the face in the next year or two. If I do get glasses, I'm going to freak them out when I do my own QC on them. I still know how to calculate generator curves manually (now done entirely by computer program), and can figure most parameters by hand. Advanced lensometer technique was a specialty of mine, as the QC guy in a busy wholesale lab. I also remember my own tolerances chart, tighter than ANSI's, and will hold them to it.

    I was really good at what I did, and enjoyed helping people immensely. Too bad the industry turned to the lowest common denominator, preventing me from making a living.
  12. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USSA
    High minus. Do you have bad astigmatism? PM me your Rx, I can give you pointers on what to tell them to get them to either make it right, or adjust them right.
  13. thesteve

    thesteve

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've gone with Costco for years and been very happy.
  14. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I do have an astigmatism, but I don't know to what degree. My optician tells me I should be in astigmatic contacts, but they didn't help me much when I tried a pair and the difference is so subtle compared to the price difference, I just keep my normal contacts prescription.

    Prescription is
    R -400 sphere, +75 cylinder, 155 axis add +175
    L -375 sphere, ? same or "son"? (can't read), no value for axis
  15. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USSA
    Anything that was fuzzy off-center is the result of either chromatic abberration if they are polycarb lenses (another drawback to polys), or they were left on the polisher too long, essentially "burning" them. It's easy to tell if you hold them out at 18-24" length away from you against a patterned background- brick wall, for instance, and focus on a spot on the background. If you see "waves" as you move slowly, they're burnt. If the pattern stays largely intact, but shifts position as you move the glasses back and forth, it's prolly too flat of a base curve, or possibly there is a pd problem. Have the place you got them dot them up for you on the lensometer, then measure the far and near pd's for you. It's not that strong a scrip for there to be this many problems. Wish I could look at them for you, I'd sort it in an hour or less...what style of bifocal are they? They have an Add of 1.75, which would put you around your mid-late 40's, I'd guess...not that it's really that relevent. But if they are a progressive lens, they should have micro-engravings of some sort on them to mark them up. They may not have fit the frames before they took measurements, which are critical on a progressive lens. If they measured them, then cut the lenses, then adjusted the frames, they screwed up. The margin for error on most progressives is less than 2 mm vertical, and if it's too high, you'll feel like you're "swimming", especially if you look slightly down and to either side.

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