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Thread: Transitions Vantage first impressions: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Transitions Vantage first impressions: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    We just got our first set of Transitions Vantage lenses in the office today! SV poly set in a Rudy Project Spyllo frame, so it's my first experience with both frame and lens product. (The Spyllo is fabulous, by the way. Fab. U. Lous.) My observations on Vantage fall into three categories:

    The Good: I've never seen a photochromic lens darken so swiftly. Wow. Twice as fast as the Transitions VI lenses I was wearing outside while checking out the Vantage. And it is legitimately cool to look at car windshields through the lens as it darkens, watching the lens get dark and the reflections on the windows fade.

    The Bad: Dang, this is an expensive lens. We charge $95 for standard Transitions and XTRActive, and the lab cost for Vantage is so high that we're going to have to charge $150 for it. The only lens add-ons of comparable price for me are hyper-high-index lenses and Crizal Saphire. This is definitely a luxury item.

    The Ugly: I've also never seen a photochromic lens lighten so slowly. Ugh. 1980s-era PGX was faster. 10 minutes after coming back inside, it's still showing about a 30% tint. This is going to be the dealbreaker for many potential buyers, and pretty much eliminates everyday-wear as an option for this lens, in my opinion. For an athletic frame, and for people with multiple pairs, yes. As a one-and-only pair, the slow lightening is a potentially major inconvenience.

    I'll be getting myself a pair when my lab can get it in 1.67 SV next month (in a Rudy Project Maya Sport Utility Frame, so for a primarily outdoor athletic function), and I'm sure my opinion will be refined by personal use. But my previous enthusiasm for this product has been seriously tempered by the slow lightening factor. I hope the eventual Transitions Vantage II will show some improvement in that area, as well as in the cost. Lower the price and speed up the lightening and this product will become a game-changer. Right now, it's not quite there yet.

    I'm very interested in hearing other opinions.
    Last edited by AngeHamm; 05-17-2012 at 10:02 AM.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    $55 more tha Reg Trans, and that's alot for am pair of eyewear used every day for 2-3 years.

    RECALIBRATE>>>>>>!

    B

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    Master OptiBoarder EyeManFla's Avatar
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    $55.00 more for a polarized transition???? I want to see a pair in action first. The sample don't cut it. Like all new photocromatic technology...I want to see what id does six months out.
    "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde"

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    The $55 addition is commensurate with the correspondingly higher lab cost. If I could sell them for less, I would.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    I figure to price it a bit less than drivewear as it is a polarized photocromatic. We sell Transitions VI and photofusion for $95. I was thinking $200 but I haven't seen a cost yet since I cant get my hands on them. Unfortunately Zeiss doesn't have it available yet. This makes me sad since I am DYING to get a pair for myself. I never thought to put them in my Rudy's though... Thanks for that idea!

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter SharonB's Avatar
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    I have my first pair on order - Comfort DRx with a Crizal AR - Hubby and I want them for fishing and kayaking - it would be nice to have something lighten up at the end of the day, and maybe have a little bit of polarization. We know they won't be fully polarized, but we're hoping they'll be better than having two pairs fall in the drink ( which will send us into 3 drinks back home). Trout & Walleye seasons are open here, so we're hoping for a fast turn-around on these. I'll do a review after we get them.

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    OptiBoard Professional shannon's Avatar
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    We are just getting around to offering this lens. I almost choked on my lunch when I compared our two labs price lists...pricey but one lab was literally over a 100.00 more on the exact same PAL & material than the other...crazy. Guess I know who I will be ordering it from...(unless it's a VSP order) :(


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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter optilady1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonB View Post
    I have my first pair on order - Comfort DRx with a Crizal AR - Hubby and I want them for fishing and kayaking - it would be nice to have something lighten up at the end of the day, and maybe have a little bit of polarization. We know they won't be fully polarized, but we're hoping they'll be better than having two pairs fall in the drink ( which will send us into 3 drinks back home). Trout & Walleye seasons are open here, so we're hoping for a fast turn-around on these. I'll do a review after we get them.
    I've considered this for myself as well, the problem is that I wear hat's most of the time, so they won't work for that application. I guess it'll just be good for camping in general.
    annie

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    Master OptiBoarder mdeimler's Avatar
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    Pricing here seems to be about 60% more than regular transitions.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    The $150 upcharge for Vantage is a bit less than our extant $160 for DriveWear. I can at least tell my patients, "It's photochromic and polarized, and costs more than either but less than both."

    But this is a little off-topic. I threw in the cost for context; the main purpose of the thread was to get people's impressions of the lens's FUNCTION, not its cost. Can I maybe get some feedback from others who have seen it?
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    I have not seen it yet. I am a lot less eager to try it now.

    I am very upset to hear that the fading time is so long. I think that you are right is saying that it will be the deal breaker.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorbait View Post
    I figure to price it a bit less than drivewear as it is a polarized photocromatic. We sell Transitions VI and photofusion for $95. I was thinking $200 but I haven't seen a cost yet since I cant get my hands on them. Unfortunately Zeiss doesn't have it available yet. This makes me sad since I am DYING to get a pair for myself. I never thought to put them in my Rudy's though... Thanks for that idea!
    It's going to be available in a TON of Zeiss designs in a month or so.

    Also somewhat disappointing is the fact that it's only available in the DRx Varilux lenses, again raising the cost.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    There should be a LOT of concern about the lenses lightenening so slowly and staying dark. Consumer research has shown that a primary concern of wearers is that photochromic lenses need to lighten quickly (this actually was a larger concern than the lenses darkening quickly). There is a safety factor, particularly with older wearers, of coming from outside into a room with less than ideal lighting conditions and possibly mis-stepping or tripping. I know that these are supposed to be positioned for outdoor wear, but we all know that people that hear "they get darker outside" are going to be thinking they can be used indoors as well. Plus, do these change behind the windshield of a car?

    I'm still struggling to see the advantage over a regular polarized lens. Considering the cost factor and the fact there are still a ton of Rx wearers not wearing polarized, shouldn't we be trying to get people into a good pair of polarized, which not only are awesome lenses outside (99% or better polarizing efficiency) and that also work behind a windshield, instead of something that seems to me to be a small niche-type lens? I'm not at retail so perhaps I'm missing something and can be enlightened?

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    While lightening in a room may be of some importance, lightening when driving into a tunnel (This is why cars don't have auto darkening windscreens) can be of a much greater concern.

    Of course full time shades, polarized or not don't lighten here either.

    Just a thought, we don't have many if any tunnels in Mississippi.

    Chip

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    Also somewhat disappointing is the fact that it's only available in the DRx Varilux lenses, again raising the cost.
    Vantage is primarily available in digital progressive designs. You should check out the house digital lenses if you are looking for lower cost. We have it available in our house branded Legacy lenses. It is also available in the Shamir Autograph II and Spectrum, and Essilor Ideal designs. As for traditional molded designs, it is currently available in the Essilor Accolade in Polycarbonate, as well as the Hoya Summit ECP and Hoya Summit CD in Trivex.
    Icarelabs
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    (877) 422-7352
    www.icarelabs.com
    Independent Wholesale Laboratory

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    The lenses don't change behind the windshield, so unless you're driving a convertible this is a negligible issue.

    Having just been to a seminar launching the product last week, I can tell you that Transitions is not specifically marketing this as an outdoor-specialty lens. They are positioning it in much the same way as the Transitions VI, as a clear-to-tinted lens for all-purpose use, but with the added performance of variable polarization. I, however, will definitely be talking it up to my patients as a primarily outdoor-use lens if further samples prove to lighten as slowly.

    As for the digital designs, my practice prefers to use the Comfort 2, Comfort 2 DRx, and Comfort 2 Enhanced for most patients. I'm less annoyed that it isn't available in the less-expensive Comfort 2 than I am that it isn't available in the top-of-the-line Enhanced. Many patients willing to pay the premium for a more advanced photochromic lens would also be willing to embrace the more advanced technology of the Enhanced. I just find it baffling that it would only be available in the mid-grade of the 3 Varilux designs, and with no apparent timetable to expand.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Oh, and of course a pair of dedicated polarized sunglasses is superior to this product. Transitions insists as much, and I tell all of my patients the same.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    It's going to be available in a TON of Zeiss designs in a month or so.

    Also somewhat disappointing is the fact that it's only available in the DRx Varilux lenses, again raising the cost.
    It's available in Accolade and Accolade Freedom as well. (cr and poly only).

    My 1st impressions (simular to Andy's)

    * Very slow fade rate. ( Gray #1 still at 8-10 mins in.)

    * I would estimate it's polarizing effect at about 80-85% ( When cross polarizing with a dedicated gray 3 polar sunlens)

    * I did not get the swift darkening stage as Andy did. At best, the same as Trans VI.

    I've already dispensed 2 pair, but will be cautious in future recommendations.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    I took the Vantage lens outside and held it in one hand, my own Trans VI in the other. Vantage darkened twice as quickly.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Thanks for the great feedback! Prices will drop quickly as availbility expands, and its available in finished SV in a few months. Companies are price gouging because its new, limited and in high demand.

    All Seiko progressives will be available June 1st.
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    Optician Extraordinaire
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    The slow fade time is a huge concern.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpstick777 View Post
    Thanks for the great feedback! Prices will drop quickly as availbility expands, and its available in finished SV in a few months. Companies are price gouging because its new, limited and in high demand.
    That is great to hear. I do like this product a lot in theory; the slow fade limits my ability to dispense it as an everyday lens. I'm looking forward to trying it in a few weeks.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeHamm View Post
    I took the Vantage lens outside and held it in one hand, my own Trans VI in the other. Vantage darkened twice as quickly.
    \

    Maybe the Va. sun isn't as bright as Texas'.

    Andy, how old are your personal Trans? Anyway, the above comment sent me back outside with brand new Trans VI, Trans Extra Active and Trans Vantage. All were placed on a white piece of paper. Full Sun, 88 degrees.

    Trans VI darkened WAY faster and got way darker than the vantage.

    Extra Active got darkest, but not much darker than the VI (though the Extra was a more true gray color.)

    The Vantage was the lightest of all. ( and had the same blue/gray color of the VI.)

    7 mins. inside, there was little difference in the colors between the VI and Vantage ( I was surprised!)

    The Extra was the darkest still at 7 mins.

    Now 15 mins after being inside the VI and vantage apear the same light gray with the Extra having some more residual color.

    Your mileage may vary depending on location and UV exposure.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happylady View Post
    The slow fade time is a huge concern.
    For us all Happylady, for us all.
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    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    \

    Maybe the Va. sun isn't as bright as Texas'.

    Andy, how old are your personal Trans? Anyway, the above comment sent me back outside with brand new Trans VI, Trans Extra Active and Trans Vantage. All were placed on a white piece of paper. Full Sun, 88 degrees.

    Trans VI darkened WAY faster and got way darker than the vantage.

    Extra Active got darkest, but not much darker than the VI (though the Extra was a more true gray color.)

    The Vantage was the lightest of all. ( and had the same blue/gray color of the VI.)

    7 mins. inside, there was little difference in the colors between the VI and Vantage ( I was surprised!)

    The Extra was the darkest still at 7 mins.

    Now 15 mins after being inside the VI and vantage apear the same light gray with the Extra having some more residual color.

    Your mileage may vary depending on location and UV exposure.

    Thanks for the experiment and swift report of the findings!

    I remain pessimistic, but hopeful!

    Your complimentary adult libation will be in the mail to compensate you for your efforts!

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