Transition lenses

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Abstract, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'm going to the optometrist on Wednesday and will probably get a new pair of glasses. I thought about getting a pair of Transition lenses, but I don't know much about them.

    I spoke to an optometrist last week (not the one I'm going to see on Wednesday), and he tried to tell me about them. However, I don't know if there's some sort of trade-off. After all, these transition lenses obviously aren't glass. They must be synthetic. Does that matter?

    Realistically, if I'm outdoors in the bright sun, and I suddenly walk into a building, will it feel like I'm wearing a pair of sunglasses indoors, making it hard to see? :confused: I don't want to face this problem for years. How long does it take for the lens to go from clear to dark, and vice versa? The guy I spoke to said 6 minutes, but he also said you won't even notice. Sounds like a sales pitch to me. How can I not notice my glasses turning from regular glasses into sunglasses, and vice versa?

    Will the clear glasses still be perfectly clear after 1 year? I'm afraid that eventually, the transformation from sunglasses to normal glasses won't be as good, and a brown tinge will always be noticeable.
  2. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I can always tell who has transitions, even the newer ones. Plus, it's obvious if you're coming in from outside or in somewhere that has skylights or exterior sun exposure--and it's tacky. I would get a separate, specific pair of prescription sunglasses, even if you have to go with an inexpensive $150 pair of frames. Lots of places have specials if you buy more than one pair of glasses.

    That, or go for contacts so that you can wear regular $20-50 sunglasses. That's one reason I have contacts and glasses.
  3. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Jan 15, 2007
    Stick to regular glasses and get prescription sunglasses.

    When buying sunglasses be sure that they are polarized.
  4. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well my eyesight isn't that bad, actually. I have minor astigmatism, so I rarely wear my glasses. However, I'm getting old (turning 28 soon), and thought since I'm going to buy glasses, may as well think about transitions.

    I own Serengeti sunglasses. I've been told by three optometrists that they're the "Rolls Royce of sunglasses", so I don't think I'm going to bother getting another pair. The lack of prescription lenses doesn't bother me.

    I just thought it would be cool if my regular glasses could block out SOME of the harsh mid-day sunlight while I'm outdoors.

    But you're right. It's probably a bit tacky. And I don't know anyone who has had long-term experience with them, and can tell me if the transition stage is as awkward as I imagine it to be. I don't want to look like a Bono-esque douche bag who wears his sunnies indoors all the time. ;)
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I got my first pair of transition lenses last month. So a lot of the stuff is off memory.

    First off the transition part is not caused by changing the material.

    What they do is dip the lens into a chemical bath that penetrates the lens about 150 micros. This chemical reacts to UV light and darkens. If you want to know more about it Google is your friend.

    Also your lenses should not be glass to begin with. They should be a polycarbonate lenses any how. Since they been using that stuff for years because it is stronger, lighter and does not shatter. Pretty much better then real glass in every way.

    I like having them. It is nice when I go out side for them to darken and on the inside it is 100% clear. It looks exactly like my old ones in how clear they are so unlike the poster above's claim on the inside you could never tell. Now if I go out side you will be able to tell very quickly.

    Now they take about 60 secs to change either way so when I first come inside they are still darken but rapidly lighten up it just takes a bout 1 min or so to finish but it not a huge draw back. They do not get as dark as normal sunglasses and do not work in a car (UV filter on the windows). My sun glasses are about 9% light transition. My glasses may get down to 20% at most.

    As for cost I would not of done it if insurance did not pay 100% for it. With out insurance it would of been $110 with insurance it was free.
    I really like them. I have quite a few co-works who have them to and they like them but like I said I would not of paid the amount they cost out of my pocket. I would let insurance do it though.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Yes, this is completely the case. I worked with a person who had them and if we were in a bright room filled with windows (restaurant, meeting rooms) the lenses would start to go dark. You can't turn that off at all.

    I would definitely go for two pairs. Besides, as also previously stated your sunglasses should be polarized.

    I dislike it when people wear sunglasses inside. They rank right up there with those who wear a BT headset 100% of the time even if they're not driving or on the phone.
  7. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    @Rodimus Prime: Good to hear someone with some experience with them. When the optometrist I spoke to said it took 6 minutes, but that it wasn't noticeable, I just grinned and nodded by head. ;)

    Ok, so its not worth getting if insurance doesn't pay for it? I'm definitely going to be paying all, or most of the cost, so I guess the minor reduction in transmittance isn't worth it then. I thought that even if these lenses reduced the transmittance down to 50%, it may be handy. They're not meant to be like my sunglasses, which allow only 9 to 15% of light to pass (they're a bit transitional too).

    Thanks for the reply. :)

    But isn't that the beauty of having transition lenses? If you're facing the window, and it's too bright, your glasses will adjust so that you don't get too much light. It's a dynamic lens that can adapt to the situation. That's why it sounded like such a good idea.

    On the other hand, I also hate people who wear sunglasses indoors.
  8. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Here is your answer.

    Let there be light (flip up). And then there was light.


  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006

    They never look as bad as full sunglasses. No mirror like reflecting, and not as dark. They still look like normal glasses with a tint to them.

    I will say they have help me when I was looking at something outside. The darken lenses just made writing on the paper easier to see. If you have ever tried to read something out side with out sunglasses then put sunglasses on when it was bright you would notices that it because easier to read. Same way with the transitions.
  10. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    Like other people have already said; it's really easy to tell who has transition lenses on while inside. I've actually never seen a pair of transitions go 100% clear. They always had some sort of small tint to it, and it looked really really tacky.

    I'd stick with just a nice pair of normal glasses.
  11. d_and_n5000 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    The transitions aren't bad. They do stay dark for a while after you come in from outside. Also, when driving, the windshield tends to block a lot of the UV rays which activate the lenses, so they won't be very dark.

    Also, if you wear them a lot, after a while you get very used to them, which makes it difficult to get rid of them.

    Clear to dark is very quick, maybe six or seven seconds. Dark to clear is much longer, maybe a minute or so.

    You may notice a tinge, but it won't be because of the lens deteriorating, it will probably be from UV rays that lights throw off. I know that when you walk under those mercury-whatever lights they have in Wal-Marts and whatnot, they get a little darker.
  12. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Thanks everyone. I was in favour of going with normal glasses, but I'll think about it some more.

    The downside is tackiness, while the slow transition may not be an issue. Maybe since they don't get too dark, I'd get used to the 1 minute transition, or simply not notice as much as think.
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    OK, I'll weigh in now.

    As I understand it, and this may be old info, there are 2 levels of transition lenses. One is lighter in the effect, and clears almost perfectly once indoors. The other is darker, and does not fully clear indoors.

    Something to do with the chemicals used in the process.
  14. redwarrior macrumors 603


    Apr 7, 2008
    in the Dawg house
    idk if this will help you any, but my mom and dad both have them and would pay any amount of money to keep them.
    My dad works outside a lot, going inside to take care of my mom. (They're 80!)
    He drives all over the place, walking in and out of stores, and never changes his glasses. Both of them love them. They have very stylish frames and I never noticed anything funny-looking about them.

    It seems to take about 15 seconds for them to transition completely.
  15. huntnboy04 macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2007
    MI, USA
    i've had a few pairs on transitions and wouldn't go with them again. I wear glasses all the time and they were nice while going outside in the summer, but the downsides are as follows...

    when driving, the windshield blocks the UV rays and mine didn't go dark in the car at all.

    After a year or so the lenses will develop a yellowish tint to them when they are clear(indoors), at least mine did, and it just looked horrible.

    I live in Michigan and I found out that when you are outside in the cold (about 40 degrees and below) and go inside they take longer to transition back to clear. Also I am an outdoors man, and in the fall and winter if I am outside, when the sun sets and gets dark, because of the cold my glasses stayed dark, so I was basically wearing sun glasses in the dark.
  16. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I'd get separate sunglasses and eye glasses.. I too can tell who has the transition ones and I thought it looked tacky. To me, some frames do not work as sunglasses and some frames that were meant to be sunglasses do not look right as eye glasses.. That's just me though. :)
  17. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    The trade off is when you come inside from a sunny outside you look like an idiot for a few minutes while they switch back and everyone laughs at you.

    Personally I would just go with regular glasses and prescription sunglasses. I think they look better. Transitions are tacky and just don't look good if you ask me. I've seen peoples start to transition in really bright rooms and that transition phase just isn't appealing for me.
  18. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Jan 15, 2007
    ^Psh. I leave my sunglasses on when I walk in. They come off once I reach my desk.
  19. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    If I could I'd wear my sunglasses all the time though... People can't see where I'm looking that way :p
  20. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I had transitions about 8 years ago in school. The teachers would always ask me to take off my sunglasses in class and the transition speed was pretty slow back then. Would take a good 5 minutes to get back to normal. I've no idea how they are now or if the technology has improved.
    I never liked how after a while they would no longer go back to being fully clear. It messed up colours for me.

    Now I'd prefer to get plain glasses and sunglasses.
  21. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I was told not to get them because they don't work i the car, the place I would want them to work the most.:rolleyes:
  22. Vster macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    Celina, TX
    Totally agree here. I had Transitions and first of all they have a slight hue to them even if they are @100% clear. Looked like I was always a little sick when they were on (made my eyelids look greenish). Also temperature comes into play. I went to Colorado in the winter and just walking around town they worked normal, but when I went inside the trastition took almost 30 minutes due the the cold. I went for a dedicated pair of eyeglasses and a dedicated pair of polarized sunglasses. Works great! :D
  23. MacFanatic08 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    I have a pair of them, and they are horrible. Don't get transition lenses.
  24. gmecca2 macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    When I think of transition lenses I think of the old creepy guy that looks like hes from the 60's and has cigarette stained nails, big glasses that have been stained yellow from the smoke, and a white short sleeve dress shirt on.

    Anyways, the technology has changed greatly but I still wouldn't want to wear them in the workplace.
  25. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    I feel like I'm one of the few people who likes transitions. Anyway, I barely notice the transition but I do notice the difference that it makes once I'm outside. It probably isn't a complete solution but I know that I will never get another pair without it.

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