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Thread: Need advice Varilux v. Shamir

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional SailorEd's Avatar
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    Question Need advice Varilux v. Shamir

    We currently dispense only four progressive lenses - Varilux Physio and Ellipse and their 360 counterparts. We do this for a couple of reasons:

    • We've found that they are good lenses and people generally like them. and ...
    • The "chains" and other opticals with surfacing capabilities that are all around us either can't get them or can't stock and surface them. This gives us a level playing field and we can compete with "the big boys" (being a small independent like we are).
    Lately, I've been taking a look at the Autograph II series of progressives from Shamir. Need some information from those who have had experience with the Autograph lenses.

    First, I like the fact that I can get the Autograph II lenses without AR coat (I'm currently just above 50% AR sales). This lowers the price somewhat and makes the Freeform lens a little more affordable. But, I have some questions:

    1. How does the Autograph II compare with a lens like the Physio 360?
    2. With the 360's, I tended to give those to people with a +/- of 2.50 or above because it was my experience that below that, people just didn't notice that much difference. Has anyone found that offering the Autograph II series of lenses was perceived by patients who have an Rx below that 2.50 mark as a NOTICABLE improvement over their "regular" lenses?
    3. The Autograph II Variable lens - Is it a better choice to make rather than the "fixed" Minimum Fitting Height lenses?
    If I could get some opinions from those who have had experience dispensing the Autograph II lenses I would certainly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    I can't talk from the dispensing side, but I have a pair of Auto IIs. I LOVE THEM !!!! Mine have an 11mm corridor mounted in a deep frame.
    Proud Member of the ABE Club!
    Don't feed the Beast...

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    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Just wondering-

    Why on earth would ANY self-respecting dispenser EVER design a free-form lens of ANY make and then promptly remove 10-20% of it's benefit from the patient by NOT ordering an A/R lens as well??? (To say nothing of the greatly enhanced scratch resistance and warranty, and improved cosmetics)

    Are you trying to compete based on PRICE, or are you truly trying to set yourselves apart by being the best you can be, and offering the absolute best visual solutions for your patients?

    Just makes no sense to me to NOT design A/R lenses in any of these cases.

    :cheers::cheers::cheers:

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional SailorEd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Just wondering-

    Why on earth would ANY self-respecting dispenser EVER design a free-form lens of ANY make and then promptly remove 10-20% of it's benefit from the patient by NOT ordering an A/R lens as well??? (To say nothing of the greatly enhanced scratch resistance and warranty, and improved cosmetics)

    Are you trying to compete based on PRICE, or are you truly trying to set yourselves apart by being the best you can be, and offering the absolute best visual solutions for your patients?

    Just makes no sense to me to NOT design A/R lenses in any of these cases.

    :cheers::cheers::cheers:
    Yeah, I totally, completely, and absolutely agree with you. Except for one thing (and you knew there would be that "one thing").

    That "thing" being that Erie is in the "Rust Belt". Unemployment is high here and GE, the city's largest employer has recently announced a permanent layoff of 1,400 workers (they make an average of about $20 per hour). In 1972, GE employed 15,000 and now they are down to 4,000 after this cut. We lost Hammermill (a huge employer) just a few years back along with International Paper and a myraid of smaller machine shops and plastic shops. So, we're hurting. My doctor wants to offer the best lenses he can possibly offer and keep the price as low as possible. (We raise the price just very slightly over regular because he DOES want the best for his patients and he takes much, much, less profit in doing so). But that's the way he is .. Nobody in Erie can beat his prices for what he offers. His exams take 30 to 45 minutes each. And no extra charge for the time he takes to every patient ... whether they be cash, insurance or even access ... they all get the same care.

    So, that's why I'm looking at the Autograph II. The lab that we deal with has lowered prices significantly on the Autograph line and we want to pass that on to our patients.

    But, thanks for your concern.

    Ed

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    For value you may want to consider the Seiko Freeform line... their Surpass ECP AR coating is one of the best but at a value price.

    Shamir Element is their base price freeform, pretty good but less than the Auto II.

    Getting your feet wet in other optical products besides Essilor is a wonderful idea.
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Jubilee's Avatar
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    I have several patients who seem to love the Auto II even more than the 360's.

    I myself wear an Auto II, and while I have never tried a 360, I can attest that these lenses have been the best I have experienced in all of my eyewear experience. I do have some ansio and low add.. so take it for what its worth :)


    The corridor is up to the patient needs. You can choose a variable corridor with the POW measurements to give the patient the maximum amount of intermediate, while still maintaining a minimum amount of reading (11mm?)

    In my most recent pair for the office, I actually have a deeper frame, but as Jacqui did, went with the 11mm fixed to give me a bigger near area to work in. With the low add, I am using the near for my computer work more so than distance.. so wanted to have a bigger area there for this purpose.

    I appreciate the flexibility that having both designs provide..

    Cassandra
    "Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate. But I believe that happiness is something we create."-Something More by Sugarland

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    Always learning OptiBoard Bronze Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorEd View Post
    We currently dispense only four progressive lenses - Varilux Physio and Ellipse and their 360 counterparts.
    I think you'll find it helpful to have PAL in your toolbox that has a corridor length between Physio's long (to full power) corridor, and Ellipse's very short corridor. I just tried the Physio Short (not 360)- I haven't completed the evaluation of this lens yet, but the on-axis distance seems to be good, with less chin lift compared to the regular Physio when performing near tasks at various reading angles.

    Lately, I've been taking a look at the Autograph II series of progressives from Shamir. Need some information from those who have had experience with the Autograph lenses.

    First, I like the fact that I can get the Autograph II lenses without AR coat (I'm currently just above 50% AR sales). This lowers the price somewhat and makes the Freeform lens a little more affordable. But, I have some questions:

    1. How does the Autograph II compare with a lens like the Physio 360?
    For my eyes and Rx (bigger pupils -4.50 +1.25 x 90 Add +2.25), I see better near vision at a 15mm reading depth. Keep in mind that the 360 lenses are not as optimized compared to some of the designs from Shamir, Zeiss, etc.


    With the 360's, I tended to give those to people with a +/- of 2.50 or above because it was my experience that below that, people just didn't notice that much difference.
    IMO twice that power, more for minus lenses, depending on the material and BC availability.

    Has anyone found that offering the Autograph II series of lenses was perceived by patients who have an Rx below that 2.50 mark as a NOTICABLE improvement over their "regular" lenses?
    Probably not, although there may be some benefit if the Add is over +2.00D. For my eyes it had the best near (w/o chin lift), combined with very good on and off-axis distance vision of any lens I've tried. I wear it (fixed 18mm at 20 high). Can this good near performance be attributed to Rx and POW optimizations or is it just from good fundamental PAL design? I think both, considering my Rx. I just don't know if someone with a +1.00DS Add +2.25 script will see much benefit. Looks like we need a guinea pig.

    The Autograph II Variable lens - Is it a better choice to make rather than the "fixed" Minimum Fitting Height lenses?
    If you know what you're doing use the fixed. Read Laurie's posts in this thread-

    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...ight=autograph

    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Just makes no sense to me to NOT design A/R lenses in any of these cases.
    IMO most folks will get better visual performance/comfort with an AR coated premium semi-finished PAL compared to any brand of uncoated highly optimized PAL, especially the myopes.
    Robert Martellaro
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    www.roberts-optical.com
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  8. #8
    OptiBoard Apprentice fagin's Avatar
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    Can't fault anything in that post.:cheers:

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter rdcoach5's Avatar
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    Autograph 2 is stateof the art

    Quote Originally Posted by SailorEd View Post
    We currently dispense only four progressive lenses - Varilux Physio and Ellipse and their 360 counterparts. We do this for a couple of reasons:

    • We've found that they are good lenses and people generally like them. and ...
    • The "chains" and other opticals with surfacing capabilities that are all around us either can't get them or can't stock and surface them. This gives us a level playing field and we can compete with "the big boys" (being a small independent like we are).
    Lately, I've been taking a look at the Autograph II series of progressives from Shamir. Need some information from those who have had experience with the Autograph lenses.

    First, I like the fact that I can get the Autograph II lenses without AR coat (I'm currently just above 50% AR sales). This lowers the price somewhat and makes the Freeform lens a little more affordable. But, I have some questions:

    1. How does the Autograph II compare with a lens like the Physio 360?
    2. With the 360's, I tended to give those to people with a +/- of 2.50 or above because it was my experience that below that, people just didn't notice that much difference. Has anyone found that offering the Autograph II series of lenses was perceived by patients who have an Rx below that 2.50 mark as a NOTICABLE improvement over their "regular" lenses?
    3. The Autograph II Variable lens - Is it a better choice to make rather than the "fixed" Minimum Fitting Height lenses?
    If I could get some opinions from those who have had experience dispensing the Autograph II lenses I would certainly appreciate it.

    Autograoh 2 Fixed is my lens of choice. If you have a seg ht of 19, a fixed height of 15 works better than the variable of whatever. Trust me , i tried to put a very satisfied 19 high Autograph 2 15 mm fixed wearer into a same seg height autograph 2 variable and she complained about the reading too low. Switching to the fixed 15 mm solved the probllem.

  10. #10
    OptiWizard
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    Auto II

    I 've been wearing the Auto II for a month now and is by far the best progressive I've tried. 1.67 Trans gray AR. The transition is smooth from DV to IV to NV and peripheral vision is square iand not skewed. I am a rep for a lab in E Syracuse NY so take it with my baggage.
    Money carefully refunded

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorEd View Post
    We currently dispense only four progressive lenses - Varilux Physio and Ellipse and their 360 counterparts. We do this for a couple of reasons:

    • The "chains" and other opticals with surfacing capabilities that are all around us either can't get them or can't stock and surface them. This gives us a level playing field and we can compete with "the big boys" (being a small independent like we are).
    IMO, this puts you on a downhill slope. You need to source acceptable designs for less wholesale cost. Buying overpriced Varilux lenses actually puts you at a disadvantage to those who can surface other brands. Do your patients care that it is a Varilux lens, or do they just want good performance? Once you wipe the marks off, do they know what kind of lens they are getting? Do the same thing to your patients that Varilux has done to you. Create the perception that whatever lens you are giving them is the best. If you choose a good design, and there are many, you will be successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorEd View Post

    First, I like the fact that I can get the Autograph II lenses without AR coat (I'm currently just above 50% AR sales). This lowers the price somewhat and makes the Freeform lens a little more affordable. But, I have some questions:.
    I think this is hitting another point, with the AR. With all the Varilux and Zeiss choices, you are forced into either Crizal or Teflon when you order a personalised lens. At least with what it looks like here, you can order the lab's AR, which might be good (or not), and still get a great lens with a great AR. My lab has a great hydrophobic AR, and turn around is much quicker.

    hmmmm...

  13. #13
    OptiBoard Professional SailorEd's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who took their time to offer their opinions. We've made our decision to go with the Autograph II freeform lens as our premium lens offering it both with and without AR coat and letting the Physio and Ellipse 360's go. We've also decided to use the "fixed" seg ht instead of the variable based on some of your comments.

    Again, thanks to everyone ... we certainly do appreciate the advice.

    Ed

  14. #14
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorEd View Post
    Yeah, I totally, completely, and absolutely agree with you. Except for one thing (and you knew there would be that "one thing").

    That "thing" being that Erie is in the "Rust Belt". Unemployment is high here and GE, the city's largest employer has recently announced a permanent layoff of 1,400 workers (they make an average of about $20 per hour). In 1972, GE employed 15,000 and now they are down to 4,000 after this cut. We lost Hammermill (a huge employer) just a few years back along with International Paper and a myraid of smaller machine shops and plastic shops. So, we're hurting. My doctor wants to offer the best lenses he can possibly offer and keep the price as low as possible. (We raise the price just very slightly over regular because he DOES want the best for his patients and he takes much, much, less profit in doing so). But that's the way he is .. Nobody in Erie can beat his prices for what he offers. His exams take 30 to 45 minutes each. And no extra charge for the time he takes to every patient ... whether they be cash, insurance or even access ... they all get the same care.

    So, that's why I'm looking at the Autograph II. The lab that we deal with has lowered prices significantly on the Autograph line and we want to pass that on to our patients.

    But, thanks for your concern.

    Ed
    I find that mindset very interesting - and to each their own as far as their personal business model goes. We've seen a lot of loss of employment here as well - but our doctors decided to take a very different approach. They've made the decision to supply the very best visual option in regards to lens design - and therefore A/R lenses for every single patient, period. There are very few exceptions to that in our office now. We have sourced several A/R lens options for our patients that allow us to offer these lenses - even to patients that would otherwise not choose it based solely on cost.

    With the immense quality of the digital lenses you're choosing to dispense, I just don't see how you're doing anyone any sort of favor without A/R 100% of the time. Regardless of my own feelings about that...I do very sincerely wish you and your practice the very best of luck!! :cheers::cheers:

    Brian~

  15. #15
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    Varilux Vs. Shamir

    Also wanted to remind you that you always get the full add power with Shamir......Varilux you never do. Even if your Dr. wants your patients to get the best vision, you could sacrifice " high definition vision " and put them in a Shamir Creation or Piccolo and get excellent vision and add some kind of decent AR, which will help with clarity and get both benefits without sacrificing either.

  16. #16
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Autumneyes,

    Can you please provide the independent test results, conclusively backing up this claim? Thanks!

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter optical24/7's Avatar
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    Here's something you may be interested in Uilleann. (from the horses mouth)

    The link below will let you know why Essilor feels 85% is the majic number.

    http://www.variluxusa.com/varilux/pd...te%20Paper.pdf

    This link will show you a graph of the add progression on a Physio; 85% at 12mm, 100% at 14. So, if you fit this lens at the min. fit hgt. they recommend (17), you end up with a 3mm area (vertical) w/full add.
    http://www.essilor.ie/productinfo/pd...sdesigns13.pdf


    Shamir lenses are designed with at min. 5mm vertical 100% add.


    fwiw.

  18. #18
    Always learning OptiBoard Bronze Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by autumneyes View Post
    Also wanted to remind you that you always get the full add power with Shamir......Varilux you never do.
    If you got that from...

    Progressive addition lenses—
    matching the specific lens to patient needs
    James E. Sheedy, O.D., Ph.D.
    Optometry 2004;75:83-102.

    It's true that the Shamir lenses reached the full Add power (all were +2.00), and that Varilux did not, it was noted that Varilux came very close, and was probably (my words) clinically insignificant. Lenses from other manufacturers including Zeiss, Rodenstock, Younger, etc. also failed to reach the full power. Average power of all lenses tested was +1.996 D.

    Robert Martellaro
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    www.roberts-optical.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Autumneyes,

    Can you please provide the independent test results, conclusively backing up this claim? Thanks!
    From an essilor document.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  20. #20
    ATO Member OptiBoard Bronze Supporter HarryChiling's Avatar
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    The ANSI for power in the distance is , the tolerance for add power is combined in the minus end of things a power up to -0.25D off on the near could be an acceptable job. So if we were to use 1.75 for a 2.00 add the comfort reaches this power at 10.1mm below PRP or 14.1mm seg height and the Creation reaches this power at 10.5 or 14.5 seg hgt, insignificant to me.

    Proof provided below.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by HarryChiling; 10-26-2009 at 12:24 AM.

  21. #21
    Rising Star
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    I like the Autograph II and have used it since it came out...my issues are with the compensations with the Auto II Attitude...not enough minus on minus jobs and too much plus on the plus jobs...and overall are always way too thick. gary

  22. #22
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    Panorameter

    Quote Originally Posted by gmanlook View Post
    I like the Autograph II and have used it since it came out...my issues are with the compensations with the Auto II Attitude...not enough minus on minus jobs and too much plus on the plus jobs...and overall are always way too thick. gary
    Hi Gary,

    I've seen this power problem with some Attitude lenses and usually the problem is a wrong faceform angle. Most centration system out there calculate the faceform angle at the temporal side of the lens and that is often to much.
    Shamir has a very simple device called "Panorameter" with this device you can measure the faceform angle at PD, esspecially with small pd's it can be a differance of 5 degrees!

    John


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