Optical Lab Products

MAR 2014

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FEATURE CAMBER LENS TECHNOLOGY 14 march 2014 totallyoptical.com A New Era for Lens Technology BY BILL HEFFNER, IV Camber technology, a joint project between Younger Optics and IOT, allows independent labs to offer a premium lens as a house brand. PEOPLE OFTEN question the technology that is used in house brand lenses. The real question isn't: "How is a house brand worse?", it's: "How is the brand name better?". Through a joint project from both Younger Optics and Indizen Optical Technologies (IOT), independent labs can now offer a super-premium product as a house brand. Camber ™ allows a laboratory to take their existing IOT free-form lens designs and control both sides of the lens to produce better optics. The front of a Camber lens is not spherical, like most free-form, but has a variable front curve. CAMBER TECHNOLOGY The philosophy of Camber is simple: for a given prescription, use the best possible base curve for the whole Rx. This is currently not possible with 100% backside free-form designs, as they all have to make use of a spherical blank that has the same curve over the entire surface. This means that while the base curve used might be ideal for distance, it is not ideal for near vision. Camber, however, makes use of lens blanks with fronts that have a variable curve. In addition, the blank doesn't have a fxed progres- sive design on the front. This means that by moving the optical center around on the lens the calculations can pick the best base curve for the prescription at hand. A LAB'S PERSPECTIVE Being able to produce Camber lenses is a badge of accomplish- ment for a lab. Not every lab can process them, but the ones that do have to be validated and certifed. This means that eyecare profession- als (ECPs) can be confdent that they're getting the technology and the quality they're paying for. AN ECP'S PERSPECTIVE One of the major complaints that I hear about free-form is that plus lenses are too steep. This is because the add power is on the back of the lens, instead of on the front, like on a traditional progressive. That means where a traditional progres- sive might be a 6-base lens, the same prescription in free-form might be an 8-base lens. With Cam- ber, this is taken care of by having one lens blank that allows the distance portion to be a 6-base, while the add portion is an 8-base, giving an overall thinner appear- ance to the lens. This leads to fatter lenses, especially for plus powers. There's also an improved, more spacious reading area. This stems from having a better match between the front curve of the lens and the prescription. Since traditional free-form is confned to a single spherical front curve, there will always be a compromise somewhere in the lens. Usually, the selected base curve is closer to optimal for the distance part of the lens. Since we get more plus power as the eye travels down towards the addition, we tend to get worse optics due to the mismatch between the prescrip- tion and the ideal base curve. Overall, Camber is a great step forward for independent labs and ECPs. Younger Optics and IOT are taking steps to be at the forefront of technology. Obviously this benefts them, but it also makes this technology easily accessible to independents as their own brand of lenses. Bill Heffner IV is Marketing and I.T. Director, at FEA Industries, Inc. Email him at otherbill@feaind.com. This shows the comparison between a standard spherical blank that is used for free-form (on the left) and a Camber lens blank (on the right). The standard has the same base curve over the whole surface, while Camber has a patented, continually increasing base curve. Here you can see how a Camber lens blank has increasing spheres as you approach the bottom of the lens, with a lower diopter curve at the top and a higher curve at the bottom. This 'stacking of the spheres' is unique to Camber lenses. LABS ON BOARD Three labs have agreed to be part of the pilot launch of Camber technology. They are: FEA Industries, Inc., Expert Optics, Inc. and Laramy-K Optical. Three more labs are expected to join in the next few weeks. Fig. 1 Compare Front Surfaces Fig. 2 Stacking of the Spheres OLP.Mar2014.indd 14 2/24/14 11:58 AM

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