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Author Topic: Photochromic Eyeglasses Question  (Read 4162 times)
Jim-St
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« on: December 18, 2009, 01:43:05 PM »
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As a landscape photographer who needs to wear eyeglasses I find it useful to wear photochromics, but have had good and bad experiences with these over the years.

A few years back I had a pair where the photochromic tint was brown, but which gave white clouds on a sunny day a distinct and disagreeable pink tint.

My current pair are supposedly grey, but do have a slight blue tint. This is not so disagreeable: whites are not affected, and sometimes winter hues are  enhanced in a manner which I'm happy to re-present in post-processing as it seems beneficial and not too extreme.

However, I'd like to make sure my next pair of specs have a genuinely neutral grey tint (analogous to identical values in R G & B "channels"). I've discussed this with my opticians, but am told the brand they deal in (Essilor) have a photochromic system (Transitions VI) in which the hue is variable and unpredictable straight from the production line. So I might be very lucky and get what I want; be less lucky and get an acceptable blueish tint, or be downright unlucky and be back in the world where the summer clouds shine pink!

Does anyone here have experience of this problem, and/ or know a brand of photochromics that simulates a neutral, untinted, greyscale effect (and preferably available in the UK or EU)?


Thanks in advance

Jim
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chrisn
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 01:50:49 PM »
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I've generally been happy with gray lenses I've used, but I'm not so particular as to be worried about a slight tint that's noticeable in just some colors in specific light conditions. Not that I think you shouldn't be that particular, it's just not that important to me.

I do stay with neutral gray for the same reason you mention, but aside from that I'm only particular about using sunglasses with polarized lenses. I like getting the "streaming" preview of what the scene would look like if I were to use a polarizing filter.

If you find what you're looking for, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

All the best,
Chris
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TKTeo
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 02:25:46 AM »
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I wear Essilor's make of Transitions lenses too. Been thinking about trying Hoya's version: Suntech.

http://www.hoya.co.uk/index.php?SID=4b3080...p;page_id=19332

I don't know how consistent the Hoya manufacturing process is, though.

Corning also produces a lineup called SunSensors, but I could not find a UK website.

http://www.corning.com/ophthalmic/products...ions/index.aspx

nonetheless, hope this helps.
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Richard Morwood
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 08:47:31 AM »
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Hi Jim
I'm an optometrist here in Northern Ireland and although it's not a specific problem that my patients have faced, what you are wondering is certainly not new. Unfortunately there aren't too many producers of modern-day photochromic plastic lenses. The many manufacturers (Zeiss, Nikon, Essilor) all use Transitions material and the other one that I would frequently use is Rodenstock who have their own photochromic material.
The differences between these lenses are slight colour differences in the tint (a Zeiss grey does not look the same as a Rodenstock grey) and the transmissions of the photochromic lenses when faded. Indoors the Transitions with an AR coat would be clearer (more transparent) than Rodenstock's Colormatic lens with AR coat. Both would go to similar tint densities when fully darkened but they would have slightly different colours. Which offers a more neutral grey is hard to say, although I would probably opt for Transitions. Rodenstock's advantage is that it will react partially in the car (behind a windscreen) whereas Transitions really don't react at all without UV light.
All materials will 'age'. So a lens when faded (indoors) will be slightly darker when it is 6 months old compared to a new lens of the same material. No doubt there is a slight colour shift too but how marked this is I am unsure. I do think the recent generation of Transitions (VI) is very stable compared to older products. The solution for those who require critical colour perception is to use clear, non-photochromic, un-tinted, AR coated lenses.
I can put you in touch with some very knowledgeable dispensing opticians in Scotland (although not necessarily in your area) and you can pm me if interested.
Regards
Richard
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fike
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 08:56:04 AM »
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It is very interesting to hear an optometrist photographer's opinion on these matters.  I have "gray" lenses, but I was unable to verify how neutral they were.  They seem fine, but not perfectly neutral.  My complaint has always been with regards to polarization.  Under some conditions LCDs on cameras are impossible to see through the sunglasses.  In these conditions, I have no choice but to put on clear glasses.  I have thought about getting some cheap non-polarized clip-ons to use with my cameras, but it seems to be such a hassle.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
Jim-St
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2009, 11:20:28 AM »
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Hi and thanks very much to you all for your contributions on my question. Sorry to be so slow in responding, but Christmas, snow-scenes and some extraordinarily fine winter light got in the way.

I think I'll probably follow fike's example and try out some cheap (and therefore disposable) non-polarised clip-ons on my non-Transitions specs if it turns out the next pair of Transitions VI lenses have the tint, but Richard, I will take up your offer and send a PM.

Many thanks and season's greetings to you all

Jim
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