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Thread: Review: Definity by J&J

  1. #1
    Sawptician PAkev's Avatar
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    Review: Definity by J&J

    Product: DEFINITY
    Vendor: JOHNSON & JOHNSON
    Vendor Home Page:
    Category: Lenses
    Reviewer: Kevin Treat (PAkev)

    Ratings:
    Quality:
    Ease of use:
    Client acceptance (if applicable):
    Customer service of the manufacturer or distributor:
    Value:
    Overall:

    Review:
    As both consumers and retailers we are often influenced by product hype and advertising. Discerning between something that is just sponging from profit margins or does indeed offer a legitimate benefit is often the biggest vice of our decision to use a new product. However, while we may be waiting to evaluate market reaction to these products, it can be very easy to loose pace with new technology and prevailing industry demands turning your "Status Quo" into "Status Low".

    This review addresses one of the latest buzz words flying around the optical industry, "Free Form Technology" Unlike conventional PAL's originating from an inventory of specific pre manufactured stock lens blanks, new free form technology enables patients to now recognize super premium lenses that are truly customized for their specific prescription demands and frame choice. Although there are already a few players in this arena, a name that first comes to the mind of many is Johnson and Johnson's DEFINITY progressive lenses.

    My first reaction was of usual indifference every time I learn of a new PAL claiming to have superior design features. After meeting a J&J sales rep, understanding their claim of superiority, and recognizing the higher price compared to conventional premium PAL lenses, I was first hesitant to using the new J&J DEFINITY product. However, the tide soon changed as patients began asking if we carried the new PAL lenses which they have seen advertised on TV. In my opinion, any advertising our vendors do to end user consumers, the more perceived value a product carries to influence their buying behavior and ultimately enables us to concentrate on features which the product affords instead of price. Like most other PAL's, the prevailing attention is given to how J&J has developed the DEFINITY"S reading zone. Although many PAL's have proprietary designs with wider reading zones, J&J's dual surface add design has made their technology easiest to explain to patients which also justifies the patients addional investment at the same time. In the past six months I have had the opportunity to fit several patients with their first pair of DEFINITY lenses without having any non adapts. These results have given me an optimistic outlook for super premium lens styles using free form technology.

    The major disappointment I have had with J&J is the fact that their product is exclusively distributed and can not be obtained through laboratories which we already have established relationships with. Their claim of turn around time is 3 to 5 days, however I have found 7 to 10 days to be more realistic. Those retailers also recognizing the benefits of buying groups will be disappointed to find they will have one extra bill to pay by using J&J products. As more manufacturers introduce free form technology, I believe J&J will have to revisit this policy in order to remain competitive.

    One of our biggest challenges has been in classifying free form technology PAL's. Since most major PAL manufacturers already have their version of a premium PAL design we decided to put it on a different playing field. While we still expect to sell many premium PAL lenses we don't want folks thinking we are selling inferior quality eyewear by making DEFINITY our premium choice and giving the impression of everything else as being substandard. We therefore have classified our DEFINITY as a "Super Premium" lens design which the patient construes as the latest and greatest. Overall, I think J&J has brought something to the table by offering a new standard in super premium PAL lens design and from my personal experience give it a thumbs up.

    Would you purchase this product or other products from this company based on your experience with this product?
    Yes.

  2. #2
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    What do your customers who.........

    have been wearing Varilux Comfort or other "soft design" lenses have to say about the difference between the two?
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  3. #3
    sub specie aeternitas Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    One of our biggest challenges has been in classifying free form technology PAL's. Since most major PAL manufacturers already have their version of a premium PAL design we decided to put it on a different playing field.
    The review was superbly written and conveyed the impressions of the Definity product very well.

    Regarding direct surfacing (aka "FreeForm" - this name is actually copywrited by a particular lens manufacturer), I think it is important to understand the difference between "customization" and "direct surfacing."

    Direct surfacing gives laboratories the ability to create an aspheric surface- a progressive surface, for example- on the lens via a process involving a multi-axis generator and a specialized polishing system. However, just because the design is created with a direct surfacing process does NOT mean the design is necessarily "customized."

    The J&J Definity is a good example of a direct surfaced design that is not customized. An example of a direct surfaced design which IS customized would be Seiko Super Proceed Internal, Rodenstock Impression ILT, Shamir Autograph, or Varilux Ipseo.

    In Definity, direct surfacing is used to place 0.75D of the ADD power on the rear surface of the lens. In the original product (Definity2), the "Dual ADD" was accomplished with two molded surfaces which were adhered together. Due to manufacturing complications, this process was abandoned for the direct surfacing process used today.

    Although direct surfacing creates the potential for a unique design on each lens- based on either power, lifestyle, or the individual viewing habits of the wearer- it can also be used to create designs which stay the same from lens to lens. In Definity, every lens receives 0.75D of the ADD power on the rear surface- regardless of total ADD power. The design is not particularly customized.

    There are other "non-customized" products which also use a direct surfacing process. For example, in the 1.67 version SOLAOne is created via a direct surfacing process. This is done to reduce the inventory requirements of the laboratory. After all, the other interesting feature of direct surfacing is the ability to create many different designs and ADDs from a single SKU (blank).

    As I said, the review was very well written, and it is great to have the real experiences of an eye care professional to judge the efficacy of a particular product. As PAKev suggests, however, it is somewhat difficult to classify the "FreeForm" product. I'm just pointing out that "FreeForm" is simply a process- not a design characteristic. You can create any design using direct surfacing (Essilor Adaptar, SOLA VIP, Varilux Panamic, etc.), that doesn't mean you have a customized PAL. Additionally, some NON-freeform products are more "customized" than some of the "FreeForm" products out there.

  4. #4
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    There are other "non-customized" products which also use a direct surfacing process. For example, in the 1.67 version SOLAOne is created via a direct surfacing process.
    Actually, SOLAOne in 1.67 is customized. ;) Each prescription lens is completely optically optimized for the typical as-worn position. Using proprietary optimization software, a base design is ray-traced for each wearer's prescription and adjusted in order to maximize performance. This process is repeated (iterated) until the best possible design is achieved. You can think of it as an atoric-like correction, specific to each individual prescription, incorporated into the design, but it's obviously more complicated than that. The distance and near powers are also adjusted for the typical as-worn position, so the lab will receive a compensated Rx form.

    Best regards,
    Darryl

  5. #5
    Same goes for Zeiss Individual. Totally custom...

  6. #6
    Sawptician PAkev's Avatar
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    As indicated in my review, I am aware of other manufacturers in the "free form technology" arena. Although, PAL lens superiority can be argued by folks in the trade all day long, the other half is developing and maintaining a successful marketplace for a good product. Those circumstances were the prevailing reason of using the J&J DEFINITY throughout the review.

    Remove yourself from the optical industry for a moment to realize how folks fealt about going for an airplane ride in 1903 with Langley or the Wright Bros. It took a lot of "confidence building" before passengers started standing in line at what we now call airports.

    This is where I belive the context of my review supports J&J has done an excellent job of developing a good product while also developing
    good "End User" consumer acceptance.

    Kevin

  7. #7
    Banned Jim Stone's Avatar
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    Darryl Meister said:
    Actually, SOLAOne in 1.67 is customized. ;) Each prescription lens is completely optically optimized for the typical as-worn position. Using proprietary optimization software, a base design is ray-traced for each wearer's prescription and adjusted in order to maximize performance. This process is repeated (iterated) until the best possible design is achieved. You can think of it as an atoric-like correction, specific to each individual prescription, incorporated into the design, but it's obviously more complicated than that. The distance and near powers are also adjusted for the typical as-worn position, so the lab will receive a compensated Rx form.

    Best regards,
    Darryl
    I am sorry Darryl, if you are talking about a simi finished product, you are not even close. Same for Zeiss. As for PAkev,this is just the kind of BS PR you'd expect from J&j. You are going after VLUX You go gett em!!!!

  8. #8
    He isn't talking about semi-finished which is why he is right on target. READ THE WHOLE THREAD.

    I suppose I would agree that the PR is BS. But I think most PR is just that including both JJ and Varilux!

  9. #9
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    J & J Review

    We are getting excellent results with the Definity. Many individuals who have worn other brands notice the increased view immediately. I dispensed a pair to one of our optoms the other day. I wear alot of brands and must say it is working out far superior then the others I have currently.

    Kevin, you did a great job on the review.

  10. #10
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    Zeiss Invisual is not a trully customized lens...It is trully about the hype, not the design iwth this product.
    Optical Genius

  11. #11
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Definity

    I've been getting great results from Definity. After reading what Kevin and Bev were saying I thought I would give it a try.It is somewhat tiring to constantly hear people complain about the narrowness of the channel and corridor and if this was the solution, I was all ears. When I finally got mine ( JandJ wasn't quite sure they wanted to open an account with me- I don't deal in contact lenses) I was in focus wherever I looked.The lens has been a wonderfull addition to my practice,improving my bottom line, and customer relations. They love the lens too.

    I am anxiously awaiting a new Rx so I can try SolaOne.If anyone out there is already wearing one, please consider doing a product review in this forum.
    Last edited by hcjilson; 05-13-2005 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling again!
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  12. #12
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    Zeiss Invisual is not a trully customized lens...It is trully about the hype, not the design iwth this product
    Uhhh... Yes, it is. The lens design is optimized for the wearer's individual prescription, pantoscopic tilt, vertex distance, PD, and near working distance.

    Best regards,
    Darryl

  13. #13
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    Daryl,

    So if the rx is a -1.00 why do we care about the tilt, vertex? Daryl, it is really NOT a custom lens. It takes inot account, things that we all should as opticians. Ipseo is the first TRUE custom PAL product in the market. It takes into consideration things that matter, like the eye/head ratio of patients. We need to identify how peolpe use their head and eye movement to see. Not what thier vertex is. Individual is a good lens, but it is not custom. Infact, Varilux Panamic offers more designs than the Zeiss lens.
    Optical Genius

  14. #14
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    So if the rx is a -1.00 why do we care about the tilt, vertex? Daryl, it is really NOT a custom lens.
    So, your point is that it is not customized because the design doesn't need to be manipulated much for low-powered lenses???

    While weak prescriptions may not need a great deal of fine-tuning (and this discussion is completely ignoring adjustments based upon add power), a progressive lens design certainly becomes more and more sensitive as the prescription or fitting parameters become more significant. Here is a comparison of how various prescriptions affect the zones of blur through a typical progressive:

    Emmetrope


    Low Myope


    High Compound Myopic Astigmat


    In any event, to clarify... While the magnitude and type of customization will obviously vary from product to product, or even from wearer to wearer, a "customized" progressive lens design -- in the sense of Zeiss Individual and similar progressives -- is a progressive lens design that is varied, optimized, or manipulated based upon individual wearer data before final production. This type of customization inevitably requires some sort of "direct" manufacturing process, such as a free-form generator, as well as sophisticated computer software. (Note that I am referring to the physical design of the surface, not simply to prescription tweaks.)

    It takes inot account, things that we all should as opticians.
    Actually, it takes into account things that opticians can't.

    [Ipseo] It takes into consideration things that matter, like the eye/head ratio of patients.
    I'm not claiming that Ipseo doesn't. (And I don't think anyone else in this thread has, either.) As I mention in another thread, SOLA also agrees that this sort of biometric analysis is useful for lens design and/or selection. Though I certainly wouldn't say it's the only factor -- or even the most important factor -- in customization.

    Infact, Varilux Panamic offers more designs than the Zeiss lens
    I have no doubt that the Varilux Panamic is a good design. As far as the number of discrete designs used for Panamic goes, I am very familiar with the product, and have analyzed its base curves and add powers. I will leave it as an exercise for you to verify your claim.

    Best regards,
    Darryl
    Technical Marketing Manager, AO*SOLA
    Last edited by Darryl Meister; 05-13-2005 at 12:54 AM.

  15. #15
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    This is a review written by someone who has had very positive experiences with a product. I do not think that others should comment unless they have had their own personal experience in fitting the product and have experienced patient response.

    Dump the sales hype! Realize that there is some very terrific product that works for certain individuals. One size does not fit all. Just like shoes, one lens style & manufacturer doesn't meet every ones brain mapping and visual preferences either.

  16. #16
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Second to Bev's sentiments about keeping the discussion to the thread and reviewing the lens in question.

    I started using the Definity thanks to Harry J. It's a lovely lens. It's got the widest intermediate of any lens I've used, and the peripheral distortion is virtually nil. Very soft contours. Also there is that "4th" power zone -- there is actually clear distance power at the lower periphery if the lens is fit to 26mm or higher.

    So right now I'm wearing a Zeiss Individual, a Zeiss Individual Short, a Definity, and a Rodenstock Multigressiv II. They are all fine lenses. Our experience in fitting them with patients has been uniformly positive. They also have, in my experience, different areas of strength. The Definity is an easy lens to adapt to, has really good intermediate and near, and a nice, smooth, relatively undistorted distance peripheral (the only one better in that regard, IMHO, is the Mutigressiv II). It could be a very good "default" lens for many wearers.
    Andrew

    "One must remember that at the end of the road, there is a path" --- Fortune Cookie

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    Bev/Andrew, to which posts are you two referring?

    Best regards,
    Darryl

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    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Darryl,

    I thought this thread had to do with reviews of the Definity lens. The posts I was referring to were those that had to do with other lenses, or were from people who didn't indicate whether they had any experience with the Definity and were addressing other issues. Example: posts referring to the design criteria of the Definity, to me, are "on-thread"; posts that discuss the design criteria of other lenses, to me, are "off-thread." If you feel I'm being too rigid here, please tell me.

    A separate thread on the whole question of "free-form" or "custom-designed" progressives would be really interesting. One thing I notice is that there are almost as many definitions of what a "custom-designed" lens is, as there are people posting on the subject. :bbg:
    Andrew

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  19. #19
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    I understand your concerns.

    Personally, I don't think this thread has spun off topic any more than other product-oriented threads. ;) Also, free-form technology, which is integral to Definity's "story," was a central theme in the original post, and these subsequent posts have dealt with this topic as it applies to Definity and lenses that compete in the same category. Since this product review is posted in a public forum, with little accountability for the validity of its content, any information regarding its technology and performance in a competitive context should remain accurate. Similarly, it would also be remiss of me -- or anyone else -- not to respond to blatantly inaccurate statements concerning a product I am familiar with, much less a product I am associated with, in this or any other thread. Unfortunately, just such inaccurate statements were posted in this thread.

    Best regards,
    Darryl

  20. #20
    OptiBoard Professional Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Heishman
    This is a review written by someone who has had very positive experiences with a product. I do not think that others should comment unless they have had their own personal experience in fitting the product and have experienced patient response.

    Dump the sales hype! Realize that there is some very terrific product that works for certain individuals. One size does not fit all. Just like shoes, one lens style & manufacturer doesn't meet every ones brain mapping and visual preferences either.
    I agree BEV! We have sold a bunch of Definity's and have had wonderful success. THe patients really seem to notice a difference and seem to love it. Two of my employees have the Definity from the Panamic, and wear the Definity's more. Great success.:cheers:

  21. #21
    OptiBoard Apprentice keagles2's Avatar
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    Definity

    :idea: I have had a bit of non acceptance from Definity wearers. Is anyone out there seeing the same problem?
    Most of my wearers claim to see well out of one eye and not the other.When discussing this w/Definity I have been told that they have pre calculated the near pd 's based on the distance pd's.:drop:
    Keagle

  22. #22
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    I have had more non-adapts to the Definity than any other recent PAL design.

  23. #23
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allanon
    I have had more non-adapts to the Definity than any other recent PAL design.
    Thats strange, I have been selling the lens for just about a year. It has become my PAL of choice and in all that time,I have only had one non adapt, and I suspect that was not due to lens design. I am positive J&J has the statistics to back their claim of a higher acceptance rate because they have studies to back every single claim they make.I know that Varilux has acceptance rate statistics as well, as does every lens manufacturer.
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  24. #24
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    We use so many progressives. The Definity really is well accepeted by individuals who previously wore a variety of progrssives individulay. Better yet the short is gaining headway.:cheers:

  25. #25
    Optiboard Professional Bill West's Avatar
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    Over Priced

    Well, when you spend a fortune to try and hype the American public and fail because the price is too high. SELL IT TO ANOTHER CORP AND LET THEM TRY IT. Greed is fast creeping into optical like most other corps.There is no such thing as a $360.00 poly lens. They even offered the dispenser a $50.00 rebate. I didn't bite did you?:finger:
    Bill West, TBDOA - IWFMO -NPOBSH
    Last edited by Bill West; 08-05-2005 at 12:06 PM.

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