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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had stared a thread a while back about some issues I had shooting with progressive lens. I had trouble getting a focus on the target with them. With my single vision sunglasses I could get clear distance vision without distortion. Well went in for my yearly eye exam and had to upgrade my lens once again. I asked my eye doctor if there was something different they could do with my progressive lens to help in shooting archery. He ended up going into a long explanation of how they produce progressive lens, much going over my head.  Long story short they were able to widen out my peripheral correction. Well my glasses came in yesterday so I ended up rushing home to give them a try. What a nice improvement over my old progressive lens!
It pays to ask questions to see if there is a solution to a problem.


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It's good to know you have a decent eye doctor.

Years ago I read an article by an ophthalmologist about prescription lenses and shooting. I asked about some of his ideas at the doctor I had just started using. He proceeded to tell me that it was physically impossible to do what had been suggested. I thanked him for his time and left. I then called my eye doctor from many years past and about 35 miles away. I mentioned some of the things I had read and why I was interested. He told me to bring my handguns with me.

He gave me the most in depth eye exam I ever had. He explained how he could do what I asked about, but at my age I didn't need it as my eyes had the range required to compensate and showed me how to test it. He did say in 10-20 years I may need the changes though. It's nice to have a good doctor. I was seriously bummed when he retired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its really nice. I am sitting in my chair and I can look to my right and left with just my eyes and everything is clear as a bell. Could not do that with my last pair without some distortion.
 

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Its really nice. I am sitting in my chair and I can look to my right and left with just my eyes and everything is clear as a bell. Could not do that with my last pair without some distortion.
I'm happy for you mate.

I've lived with eye glasses for 45 years and know how important a good eye specialist is.

Well done.
John.
 

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I guess I have a superhero eyedoc. I've worn progressive lenses for years, and never had any issues shooting my bows, longguns or pistols. I keep the bifocal part low in the lens, and keep the peripheral vision clear all the way out to the outer edge.

Or perhaps I'm just lucky?
 

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I've been wearing progressive lenses for decades, and have been mostly satisfied with all of them until taking up archery. I found I could not get a clear focus at 15-30 yards, so I thought maybe I needed new glasses.

When I got an eye exam it turned out my vision hadn't deteriorated, but the doc said the slightly angled view you get when shooting a bow can be distorted by some lenses. He said what I want is a lens that gives a wider view in the intermediate area.

I've been researching all the options for the last few months and found out quite a few interesting things from reading posts at optometrist websites. I didn't realize it but the lenses I have now are "high index" and though the lightest lenses, are not the clearest. I found out Trivex material is very clear, the most durable lens, and lighter than everything but high index.

I also decided on "free form" high definition lenses (free form is: all progresssive power generated on the back surface of the lens), as discussed in this article. All that was left was to decide which brand; with Zeiss, Varilux Physio (my current brand), Shamir, Kodak, Essilor . . . available there were many options. I'd all but decided on Shamir Auto II because of all the great reviews when I saw in several posts at a few websites doctors raving about Seiko (I didn't even know they made lenses, but it turns out they invented free form lenses). Here's one such post:

I would agree that the Auto II is great lens, but out west we have a ton of heavy computer users and the Auto II is very narrow in the Intermediate. The Seiko Surmount is about 4-5X wider in minus power, and about 6-7x wider in plus than the Auto II intermediate. The Shamir Spectrum is about 30% wider than the Auto II in the intermediate, so we making more Spectrums than Auto II's now.

There are also wide reports of Auto II's not working as well for Hyeropes.

Its not a matter of one lens being the "best", its a matter of matching your patients lifestyle and needs to the qualities of the lens. Auto II is the best for short corridors with high adds, high cyls and great for reducing spacial distortion. Its great for prev. non-adaps as its very very smooth.
But its also very very soft, which is not the best for wider near zones.

Just for reference, Seiko invented free-form in 1993 and holds the key patents that most other manufactures license, so there are not late to the game as it may seem in the US.
In another post, which I cannot find, one very experienced optometrist who buys every top lens for himself to try (kind of like a Buejeger equivalent) said that of all the best FF/HD lenses the Seiko Surmount was clearest overall and in the periphery (though he said Shamir was best intermediate-straight ahead). After finding a dozen or so professionals recommending the Seiko, I'm going to try them.

The other issue is cost. A lens like Seiko Surmount or Shamir Auto II are very expensive in progressives (and with transitions, which I really like). Dispensers around here charge over $700 with tax! The last time I went with this online lab that does lenses for about half the cost, and they did a great job. This time I'm going with Eyeglass Lens Direct because they do Seiko Surmont Trivex progressives in their lab (the other company has to send out to do Seiko), and they also have a great reputation.
 

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Why use progressive and bifocal lenses for shooting anyway? I prefer to use my standard distance glasses for shooting, or nothing rather than my progressive glasses. Progressive lenses are not at all designed for shooting a bow. Yeah, you can do it, but you can also use the back of an axe as a hammer.
 

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Why use progressive and bifocal lenses for shooting anyway? I prefer to use my standard distance glasses for shooting, or nothing rather than my progressive glasses. Progressive lenses are not at all designed for shooting a bow. Yeah, you can do it, but you can also use the back of an axe as a hammer.
I can't see much without glasses, near, intermediate, or far, yet I want to see everything clear, including when I'm shooting (and all the rest of the time too). If a person must wear glasses, and wants to see all distances clearly at all times, it makes sense they'd want to optimize the area of the lens most used for shooting . . . thus my quest for clearer and wider intermediate-distance progressives.
 

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I can see that some people will have vision constraints that make the progressive lens the best tradeoff. I guess if your vision correction changes significantly from 15 yards to 100 yards, then that might be a good case to use them. And, I can see you will need the very best progressive technology available to get the best results, given the peripheral field issues with progressive lenses.

But, for someone that does not have much correction change in that typical shooting distance range, the progressives aren't good in my opinion. I find two 2 issues with them. First, the peripheral vision is not ideal and aiming a bow puts you sideways trying to look out the sides of the glasses. Second, progressive lenses work by tilting the head vertically and so the head must tilt at different angles for different distance.

But, I guess if you only shoot with those glasses, one can adapt to them and have no problems.
 

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I have been using bi-focal glasses with tinting (the changing with the light type) since I started archery.
Once I established an anchor I never had a problem, hunting or comps.
 
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