Spot the difference – one of these frames is from 1969 and the other 2013, can you tell which is which?
OK, it’s not that hard, the top one is a 1969 frame that we finally got to replacing for one of our loyal contact lens wearers. However, it goes to show that if you keep anything long enough, it comes back into style.
Who would have though heavy plastic frames with upswept sides would be all the rage in 2013!? I could have taken any one of about 20 frames from our range that match this antique beauty except that is was 40 years ahead of its time in 1969. In fact it’s still in quite good nick so I might pop the lenses out, stick it on display and see if anyone will buy it…
It’s actually even better than the title suggests as boffins at Harvard have created a ultrathin lens that focusses light without creating any image distortion of any kind at all.
Without going into too much of the detail, lenses focus light but altering the direction and speed of light rays passing through the material. The amount of material a light ray passes through and the curvature of the 2 surfaces of the lens affect the direction light. Varying the thickness and curvature of lenses in different parts of the lens bend rays differently, focussing them or spreading them out as required.
All this bending of light rays causes lots of aberrations which are the names of unwanted optical distortions. Some of these you will have heard of eg defocus (such as in long and short sight) and astigmatism; but there are lots of others you probably won’t have eg coma, Petzval field curvature and so on. All these aberrations degrade the quality of the final image. We design your glasses lenses with special combinations of thickness and curvature to minimise these aberrations but you can eliminate them entirely.
If you are wearing glasses, look out through the edge rather than the centre of your lens at something white like your ceiling. You might see some coloured fringes, look through the other edge and you might see the fringes are now a different colour. This is a type of aberration called ‘chromatic aberration’.
If you’re quaffing a glass of vino, hold up the empty glass to something square behind it like a picture frame. The frame is all distorted and mishapen, this is an aberration called ‘distortion’.
This new Harvard lens has only one surface and is effectively 2 dimensional (60 nanometres thick) and not very like a lens as you would think of it. It uses tiny little V shaped ‘antennas’ made of a layer of gold on a silicone wafer. The little Vs alter the speed of light waves instantly and they don’t require passage through a material to change direction. Altering the size and position of these ‘V’s across the surface alters the lens properties.
It’s quite obvious how a such a thin lens would be helpful in any optical system (including glasses) from a physical point of view, but the lack of aberrations is also very exciting. Super vision lenses are within our grasp!
It’s not easy for me to verify this story but more reputable sources than this blog have picked it up: street vendors are selling stick on glasses patches to blur the vision of jews concerned about their wandering eyes.
The patches apparently blur things beyond a few metres but leave close vision unaffected. Optically, I’m not exactly sure how they can achieve this, reading glasses would achive this but you can’t stick them on on top of your regular prescription.
If you’re visiting Israel on holiday I’d be interested to see these things so see if you can pick up a set. They seem to be selling for about £5 but if you’re from Scotland you’ll know that’s only the price to start haggling from.
Sony have shown off a new type of coating which virtually eliminates glare from touchscreens.
Now I don’t want to be a pedant about things but it’s not strictly speaking ‘glare’ and also there is no such thing as ‘anti-glare’ coatings. I can bore you with the details if you like but they are better described as ‘anti-reflection’.
Commonly used in glasses lenses these coatings minimise the unsightly reflections people see when you’re wearing your glasses letting them actually see your eyes. They really look much much better and at CamOpt we always recommend these coatings.
They are also used in touchscreen devices to help the screen be more visible in bright light or sunshine (not often an issue in Edinburgh…). Traditional coatings use microscopic layers of a material that cause the reflections to cancel each other as they pass through the layers meaning almost nothing is reflected from the lens.
Sony’s new approach uses lots of tiny ‘lenslets’ (they say like a moth’s eye) which take the oncoming light and scatter it in all directions. Reflections require smooth surfaces so this microscopically rough surface doesn’t reflect but scatters light. Their demo is quite impressive and hopefully it can come to optics one day as long as the optical qualities of the surfaces are maintained.
Hot on the heels of the bizarre looking A-Frame comes the Ron Arad ‘Corbs’.
Apparently taking inspiration from a vertebrates spine, the sunglasses are designed without hinges to give a snugger fit that should never come loose.
Again appealing to a very small market, the idea is certainly novel and another example of how eventually we discover that mother nature had it right all along.
Some brave souls in America have suggested that the reason women need reading glasses before men is due to the their smaller stature and therefore shorter arms.
Many studies have demonstrated women require reading glasses sooner than men even though they have the same focussing ability (or lack of) – a condition that comes to us all called presbyopia. The researchers suggested that this is because women tend to hold things closer than men and went on to pin the blame shorter female arms.
It’s one of those rare occasions where common sense and science actually meet but I’m not really sure this research really tells us anything useful. However the lead scientist sought to ramp up the importance by saying “These findings could impact global vision care in multiple ways”.
Err, steady on.
These frankly quite awful looking glasses are actually quite innovative and may be coming to a shelf near you.
Ron Arad’s A-frame series are so adjustable they can fit almost any face. The nose piece hides a clever hinge which you can use to move the lenses up or down or in and out freely. The hinges on the sides (legs) are similarly adjustable.
Most frames we stock come in multiples sizes and the dispensing team are experts in choosing the right shape and size and then adjusting frames so we rarely have a problem, but it will be interesting to see how this concept develops in future frame designs.
My feeling is that these are unlikely to grace the stands of Cameron Optometry and I doubt many in Edinburgh would embrace their quirkiness so it might be some time till we are stocking them at CamOpt.
Surprise surprise, online spectacles are pretty rubbish. So rubbish that much of the time they don’t even meet the basic British Standards and are potentially dangerous for your eyes says consumer watchdog Which.
36 pairs of glasses were purchased from 13 online retailers. 15 pairs were below par and 10 failed to meet the British Standards all glasses must conform to.
Read the report here
Certain things can be bought online but specialist custom made appliances for correcting vision are best bought from a specialist where careful measurements and correct fitting ensures the health and well being of your entire visual system.
If you’re not happy with your glasses from online or elsewhere, come and see us. Vast experience, expertise and a cast-iron no-quibble guarantee means the best possible glasses for you.
Innovative use of colour and quality of materials. It was these features that initially enticed us towards Bevel, but It wasn’t until we had them in our hands in Milan, or in fact, until Heather had them on her face that we realised we had to have them in the practice.
Founded in New York in 1999, Bevel was started to fill a niche in the eyewear industry with a modern, minimalist design style and outstanding workmanship. The look is understated and timeless, free of distracting logos and ornamentation and yet right on-trend. Pick up a pair of Bevel glasses and immediately feel their quality. Put them on and appreciate the precise fit, making them incredibly comfortable and flattering.
All frames are manufactured in Titanium (incredibly strong, very light and hypo allergenic) or Japanese acetate plastic (the highest quality acetate available) or a combination and come in a huge range of understated but interesting colours. Bevel frames stand out without looking wacky.
We are stocking a large range of ladies and a smaller number of gents frames, so come in and take a look or check out bevelspecs.com
Australian scientists hope to have a prototype bionic eye built and ready to test on humans within the next year.
The bionic eye which we’ve highlighted before gives hope to people suffering from various types of retinal degeneration and works by implanting 98 electrodes (pictured below) into the retina to replace the damaged cells. An image from a tiny spec mounted camera is then relayed onto the electrodes in the retina. The signal is then passed through the optic nerve to the brain to all the person wearing to see the image from the camera.
Such complex work needs high-tech equipment and the lab in New South Wales has just spent $2.5mill upgrading their equipment to carry out the delicate research.