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Trifocals with a difference

Old 10th Jul 2021, 21:04
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Trifocals with a difference

Hi All,

I’m researching glasses. My current multi focal lenses are great but I need a reader correction at the top of the lenses to view the overhead panel. Can anyone recommend an optometrist in Melbourne, Victoria that can handle this kind of request. So far the usual suspects, OPSM and Specsavers just can’t cope.

TIA!
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 23:45
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Ought not to be too difficult.

Years ago, as John Colvin's legacy, we had one of the older left seat folk in the B767 with pentafocals - I can't bring myself to bifocals, how anyone can manage 5 segments is totally beyond me .....
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 00:01
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Originally Posted by Deethy19 View Post
Hi All,

I’m researching glasses. My current multi focal lenses are great but I need a reader correction at the top of the lenses to view the overhead panel.

TIA!
Have you considered modifying your current lenses with stick on fresnel lenses? They work surprisingly well and are a low cost, easily removable, solution.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 00:19
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For those interested in John Colvin;

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2006/...in-fracs-fraco
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 00:29
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Originally Posted by Deethy19 View Post
Hi All,

I’m researching glasses. My current multi focal lenses are great but I need a reader correction at the top of the lenses to view the overhead panel. Can anyone recommend an optometrist in Melbourne, Victoria that can handle this kind of request. So far the usual suspects, OPSM and Specsavers just can’t cope.

TIA!
I found an independent Optometrist, (non Franchise, spec savers etc) that has been in the business a while and uses the old school manual machine. Have a look for an older Person with experience with pilots, maybe around the Essendon area?

I have “graduated” glasses. I took measurements of the focal distance/angles I needed. Ie: writing in the tech log/EFB (corrected), programming the Box (corrected), looking out the window (not corrected).

I needed to get the reading correction “raised” up a little because of the angle needed when writing/EFB. The overhead is a bit of a compromise, but if you turn the lights up a little it’ll help. (The big RED lights are pretty easy to see without glasses🤓&#129299

It takes a while to get used to them, but it is much better with than without.

I flew with a Capt that had 3 pairs of glasses as the “multi focal” thing didn’t work for him. 😩
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 00:52
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I had such glasses for focusing on overhead panels made for me by Specsavers, but although they worked exactly as planned, I didn't like wearing them. It became easier to use bifocals and just lift my head higher to see the overhead panels.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 01:13
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I used Progressive lenses last 5 years before retirement. Worked really well.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 02:27
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Roj approved View Post
I found an independent Optometrist, (non Franchise, spec savers etc) that has been in the business a while and uses the old school manual machine. Have a look for an older Person with experience with pilots, maybe around the Essendon area?

I have “graduated” glasses. I took measurements of the focal distance/angles I needed. Ie: writing in the tech log/EFB (corrected), programming the Box (corrected), looking out the window (not corrected).

I needed to get the reading correction “raised” up a little because of the angle needed when writing/EFB. The overhead is a bit of a compromise, but if you turn the lights up a little it’ll help. (The big RED lights are pretty easy to see without glasses🤓&#129299

It takes a while to get used to them, but it is much better with than without.

I flew with a Capt that had 3 pairs of glasses as the “multi focal” thing didn’t work for him. 😩
Thanks very much Roj!
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 02:32
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Thanks, but they [specsavers] flat out refused to acknowledge something like that was even possible when I spoke to them. Didn’t even want to entertain the possibility of producing a set! Which shop did you go to and did they have readers top AND bottom of the lense?
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 02:33
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Thanks John, if you can drill down to a shop or supplier I’m all ears!
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 03:01
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As long as ordering internationally doesn’t bother you, try https://bigatmo.com/. I have found these people to be exceptionally knowledgeable, helpful and prepared to go the extra mile to meet your needs. They’re definitely worth discussing your requirements with. They specialise in aviation glasses, with both company principals having a long and ongoing association with commercial aviation. Not only that, they’re bloody good people too!

I personally have 2 pairs of their multi-focal glasses (one pair sunglasses, one pair clear spectacles) both pairs are the same prescription. They are fantastic in the cockpit in all environments. The frames are comfortable and robust, well beyond what I experienced with other “premium” eye wear. I couldn’t imagine being without them now. The sunglass lenses particularly have been formulated specifically for aviation and are superb.

Prior to these glasses, I wore contact lenses for many years and tried all the usual suspects for sunnies… RayBan, Randolph, Serengeti etc. These Bigatmo lenses are at least the equal of any of those.

IMO it’s definitely worth the effort of dropping them a line, at least. They’ll give you rock-solid, experienced advice at a minimum.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 04:41
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Another point dealing with spectacle makers is their insistence on knowing best. Unless you REALLY insist on your measured distances to the work face for each inside segment, be prepared to take the glasses back for second or third or fourth go ...
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 05:44
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I tried tri-focals once back in the 90's and the top bit was a separate part of the lens (not all one piece) and although it worked the join was a bother. Times have changed but I would not suggest anything but one piece lens these days.
The mention above about John Colvan and Martin Hogan brings me to another question. John was responsible for the "Apollo Anti-Glare" spectacles back in the 70's and 80's which were used in the RAAF and also sold in civy world. Martin X Hogan was at the top end of Collins St and did the fitting etc. I still have a pair of those glasses and have never found any better, especially the frames which had little clips to stop the lens from 'popping' out if hit. They were also advertised as safety glasses.. Does anyone out there still have/use a pair??
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 07:01
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I used small bifocals. One for reading charts and the other for the instrument panel (the latter mainly for night).

For the overhead panel, I just pushed the glasses up higher on my nose. If I needed a long term view of the overhead panel, I just lowered my seat to the floor!

You’ll find something that works for you.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 07:20
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Be cautious also of buying the light-sensitive colour-change glasses. I bought one such (expensive) pair, to use in an S76, and found that the UV which activates the change, was removed by the windscreen, so they didn't darken at all. I had to be outside the aircraft in direct sunlight for them to darken, and as soon as I hopped into the cockpit, they cleared up again. Waste of money.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 07:51
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How about a pair of these?



(That’s Dennis Taylor, 1985 world snooker champion.)
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 08:10
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Hampton Optometrist can do them.
Ian Gutteridge
348 Hampton street
Hampton
Vic
9598 1220.

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Old 11th Jul 2021, 09:55
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You'd be best going to a specialist rather than an chain optical shop. The big names tend to discount and aren't interested in anything beyond plain bread and butter work as their returns are limited and they just want quick and easy turnover.

When I was in Brisbane years ago, we had "Focus Optics" which was in the same building as the CASA approved eye examiner.

You could try calling some of the Designated Aviation Opthamologists on the CASA website who may be able to do the job themselves or point you in the right direction. At least they would know what an overhead panel is.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 09:59
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Originally Posted by Deethy19 View Post
Hi All,

I’m researching glasses. My current multi focal lenses are great but I need a reader correction at the top of the lenses to view the overhead panel. Can anyone recommend an optometrist in Melbourne, Victoria that can handle this kind of request. So far the usual suspects, OPSM and Specsavers just can’t cope.

TIA!
Lenses somewhat like this are used by snooker players and librarians. You probably need an independent optometrist; even then, a useful word to trigger thinking beyond the normal is "occupational"; I have a particular need for bifocals for working, and my excellent optometrist was having difficulty understanding what I was on about until she retrieved the phrase "occupational bifocals" and all was plain sailng.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 10:07
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I used to have a great old-school optometrist who looked after me well until he retired. Being way overdue for updated glass and with a medical looming I paid a few visits to some of the CBD shops but wasn't really impressed as they were more fashion focussed than meeting/understanding my specific technical needs. Then I had an idea, to find another good optometrist I popped into an eye surgery and asked for a recommendation. They recommended a shop in Oakleigh, Atherton Rd who listened to and understood my needs and were able to deliver three pairs of glasses to suit, and as a bonus I was able to reuse my existing frames. The glasses are great and I won't hesitate to go again next time.
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