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Thread: Tintable high index lenses

  1. #1
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Tintable high index lenses

    OK, here's what I think I know:

    1. Some substrates aren't inherently tintable, like polycarbonate, and only the scratch coat tints.
    2. Therefore, there are tintable (softer?) coatings put on some of these lenses, so you can get a decent tint. Otherwise it's pretty poor tint absorption.
    3. Some substrates tint easily, e.g. CR39, 1.6, and I'm guessing no special coating is needed, there.

    Questions:

    1. What about 1.67 monomers? Does that substrate tint?
    2. When it comes to tintable polycarbonate, what options are available? For example, can you order just about any PAL design?
    3. Holy moly, what about digital? If you surface the front and the back, I don't know how they even get a SRC!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    OK, here's what I think I know:

    1. Some substrates aren't inherently tintable, like polycarbonate, and only the scratch coat tints. Correct.
    2. Therefore, there are tintable (softer?) coatings put on some of these lenses, so you can get a decent tint. Otherwise it's pretty poor tint absorption. Correct.
    3. Some substrates tint easily, e.g. CR39, 1.6, and I'm guessing no special coating is needed, there. Correct, absorption on CR39 is best.

    Questions:

    1. What about 1.67 monomers? Does that substrate tint? Not really, hence why tintable hard coats are used.
    2. When it comes to tintable polycarbonate, what options are available? For example, can you order just about any PAL design? All Poly options are available tinted, SV BF & PALS if lab uses tintable hard coat processing.
    3. Holy moly, what about digital? If you surface the front and the back, I don't know how they even get a SRC! There is only one truly double surfaced PAL lens in today's market available, and the company that produces it doesn't tint poly. All other FF and Digital PALS are all SF SV blanks and 100% backside designs, (excluding camber PALS).
    See above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lab Insight View Post
    See above.
    And, As i understand, it in most cases, it still depends on the tintability or lack thereof of the HC applied regardless of the the index.

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    I almost never sell tints, polarised or photochromic are generally where it's at

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    So,
    1.67 comes in two flavors. MR7 and MR10. MR7 is softer and is tintable, but still needs a backside coat applied. These can only be tinted prior to the BS coat. Once coated, however, the tint is locked in place and cannot be adjusted after the fact. I will not touch custom tints on full sized surfaced blanks, especially Grads, for obvious reasons.

    So, overall, yes, tint-ability is based on the coatings used. Tintable coatings are softer and lower on the Bayer scale. 2.5-3.5 is the average. Not much better than an uncoated lens, IMO. 10 is the rating for glass. Best bet is to forgo custom tints, unless you stay with CR39. For other materials, stick with Polarized or Photochroms.

    Poly actually comes in a variety of pre-tinted options. Brn3, Grey3, G-15(ish), Gradient and solid Polarized. A good alternative, and repeatable, if only one lens needs to be replaced at a later date.

    A time consuming and more expensive option is to have a vacuum deposited tint, but your color options will be limited by the thin film provider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Gilman View Post
    And, As i understand, it in most cases, it still depends on the tintability or lack thereof of the HC applied regardless of the the index.
    Correct.

  7. #7
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    For other materials, stick with Polarized or Photochroms.

    I almost never sell tints, polarised or photochromic are generally where it's at


    Love the feedback. This is new thinking to me.


    So help me understand, please.


    When we
    specify something weird like brown 3 gradient, the lab is ordering a soft-coated front side lens that has tintability, and the lab does it themselves? If we specify something basic like gray 3 we probably get pre-tinted?
    Last edited by drk; 02-25-2019 at 12:01 PM.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Labs will use a tintable backside coating for grads.
    For solid 3 in poly, pre-tinted is the best option, which we provide. For other materials, tintable backside coating is provided

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    So....

    We have penchant for poly in sunwear. Ergo, we would prefer pre-tinted for consistency, right? It will still have a so-so-softie scratch coat, though?

    And always go for polarized, if possible, in poly, because you'll get a harder coat.

    If we want to do a "fashion tint" (and I'm thinking of when we Rx ladies' designer suns) which includes bigradients, blues, greens, etc. CR-39 is advisable.

    And for the most part, avoid other materials.

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    Look at the Essilor Colors line. Several color options, in solid and gradient, polarized and non. We mostly sell the Sienna Brown Polarized gradient and it is gorgeous.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post


    Love the feedback. This is new thinking to me.


    So help me understand, please.


    When we
    specify something weird like brown 3 gradient, the lab is ordering a soft-coated front side lens that has tintability, and the lab does it themselves? If we specify something basic like gray 3 we probably get pre-tinted?
    You can get gradient polarised

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    Drk, you might be getting a little hung up on the scratch coating here. We do polarized for 90%+ of all of our sunwear, but when we do custom tints we just order tintable hardcoat on whatever material we need, tint, then backside AR. We usually can't tint them past 70% dark but if we need a dark tint we can just order fixed tint lenses to start with. I've never noticed our tinted lenses with the "softer" hardcoat have any problems with scratching or the like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    Drk, you might be getting a little hung up on the scratch coating here. We do polarized for 90%+ of all of our sunwear, but when we do custom tints we just order tintable hardcoat on whatever material we need, tint, then backside AR. We usually can't tint them past 70% dark but if we need a dark tint we can just order fixed tint lenses to start with. I've never noticed our tinted lenses with the "softer" hardcoat have any problems with scratching or the like.
    +1. I agree with Kwill. Backside are less prone to abuse and wear/tear, and generally do not create problems The factory coatings that are applied to the front side are equal to most tintable hard coats on the back side. Caveat here is with FSV. There are multiple variables with FSV coatings. Some are easily tintable, like Essilor's true tint, Vision Ease Continua, etc., but other FSV lenses are not as easily tintable, even in CR39.

    Most labs will use tintable backside coatings, unless Premium AR is requested, at which time, solvent based or thermal cured coatings are normally used. This, of course, depends on the lab that you order from.

    Don't overthink this. Trust that your lab will know what coatings and lenses to use.

  14. #14
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Thanks, people of color.

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    There are now pre-tinted lenses available that offer dark and consistent colors on high index materials.

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