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Wednesday, 06 March 2013


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those look pretty darn spiffy if I say so myself!

With your sunglasses on, I'll bet if you carried a tin cup, people would put change in it. [g]


I call overkill! I have about as challenging a prescription as anyone and the latest version of seamless vari-focal lenses seem completely un-noticeable. In fact having also simultaneously purchased single-prescription reading and mid-range computer glasses, I don't really need either.

Those sun shades look like you're wearing welding goggles.

I've been looking at these glasses for a few years now, just haven't been willing to pull the trigger on a $1,200 pair of glasses. On the other hand, I just received my Warby Parker pair of glasses. I would say they are great for $95 including the shipping (and they send a pair to a needy child as well). I got a pair for distance (driving), and another pair for computer work (30" or so), which I spend most of my time on. When reading, I just take them off, and bring the book closer. With photography, I just have to adjust the diopter on the view finder to match my computer glasses.

"A leaky lens, though, is a pretty objective complaint."

Nice pun, intentional or not.

Re: Shilling
I'm reminded of the comment by Robert A Heinlein (I think), who said: An honest politician is one who when bought, stays bought. :)

When I saw the sunglasses I nearly spat my New Zealand Sauvignon at the screen. The worrying thing is that I have a pair of those somewhere picked off the ground near a Loire chateau. Presumably dropped by a US tourist? I've never seen them for sale in UK or anyone else wearing them for that matter.

Ctein, I'm interested for some of the same reasons you were, but I'm confused by your comment that there are twice as many surfaces to clean. Do the glasses come apart so that you clean the prescription element separately?

Start a band, right now. You have too good a CD cover photo to waste. You just need a solid album title:
"Plan Ctein From Outer Space"
"The Cteiness of Strange (ers) (ness)"
"The Whole Ctein Yards"
"Love Potion No. Ctein"

On the being complemented thing: they make you look like a cross between an older John Lennon and Dumbledore. So, wrell, obviously people like that.

I find that the extreme slant of windshields in modern cars cause immense amounts of reflection. The only way I can properly deal with this is by using polarized sunglasses. Living near a large body of water, the sunglasses usually come in handy near sunrise or sunset as well. I just won't use regular sunglasses anymore.

Which brings me to my cunning idea...

You could adapt some camera lens polarizing filters to your new glasses. You would be adding rotating elements as control units in addition to the slider on the bridge. Could you be more camera geek with any other piece of eye wear?

I fully agree with the random strangers. They do look good on you!

You look like a state-of-the-art Stereo Camera. Did you get matching lens caps?

I am glad to hear your life as a photographer will be continueing, and with a lot more ease.

I have not see the Flying Karamazov Brothers since they used to perform at the Norwescon science fiction conventions in Seattle. Am glad to see and hear they are still delighting people. Is the whole original group still performing?

Ctein, you are one handsome, and talented, SOB. LOL.

Oh dear.

Adams Family (U.S.) television series
"Cousin It" character

hey Ctein those frames bring the Lennon in you out in the open
the I'm-watching-this-darn-eclipse contraption is a hoot but yes, where is the hat i need to drop my dime in?
thanks for sharing, I was unaware of the technology

Fitovers sunglasses (www.fitovers.com) are a great polarized sunglass solution for the cheapskate eyeglass wearer. I have a pair with amber lenses for skiing and a pair with neutral grey lenses for driving and cycling.

Dear Roy,

Not your call… for me. Glad the alternatives work well for you.


Dear ShadZee,

Well, they've come down in price: frames plus lenses run from $525 to $775 on the SuperFocus website. The particular model and style I bought is intermediate in price. Not saying they're cheap; 4-5 years ago, I couldn't have afforded even that.


Dear Paul,

Heinlein said a lot of stupid things that people mistake for wit and cleverness.


Dear Steven,

That's right. Check out the details on the SuperFocus website.


Dear Dan,

“So you wannna be a rock 'n roll star…”


Dear Beuler and Drewskers,

I used to be big on polarized lenses until I realized they kept screwing me up because I wasn't seeing things the way my camera (sans polarizer) was seeing things. So, I abandoned them about 25 years ago.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

This comment brought a smile to my face:

"She handled my fussiness over the prescription well, and even let me rig up my own light in the exam room to run some visual tests to help me home in on the optimal prescription"

... don't mess with The Ctein !

Ctein, for the sunnies try Maui Jim grey polarised rx. I prefer the brown and as an optom in the UK, prefer it as it "brightens up" the dull UK sky..:-) alternatively Zeiss will do a colour neutral rx sunglasses lens. It's very grey. Was intruiged by your initial posting first as most of my px at -4 are in contacts, and multifocal contacts at that. Best success so far is with a lens from France called the C2 multifocal (Precilens labs). We can't get your current lenses in the UK ....yet but I'm on a search. Pip pip!

"I'm reminded of the comment by Robert A Heinlein (I think), who said: An honest politician is one who when bought, stays bought. :)", by Paul Van.
Yep, definitely Heinlein. I think from "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress".

"These are my old glasses. Personally, I like the big owl-eyed look, not to mention the large field of view." - Ctein

I like them too for the same reason as I have very wide peripheral vision. Unfortunately, those nice wide frames are no longer available. Both Pearle, where I purchase my glasses, and the sales part of my opthalmologist's office told me they're no longer made, that the new, tiny, horizontal lenses are what "everyone wants." Money quote: "As seen on TV."

I suspect the truth is that those nice wide lenses which once were the in-thing (everyone, especially motorcycle cops, wanted to look like an aviator), were simply phased out by the optical industry so as to generate a demand by those whose current eyeglasses are otherwise perfectly fine. The current style will will also likely be replaced by something new in a couple of years.

Speaking of style, the round, wire-framed eyeglasses similar to your new specs which John Lennon sported and made immensely popular with the youth when everyone was wearing square tortoise-shell frames (remember Walter Cronkite?) were called "granny glasses" because they harkened to an earlier, gentler time. I still have a couple of them in a drawer somewhere.

Finally, Thanks for the update and I'm glad you are enjoying your Superfocus lenses but I have doubts about their ultimate practicality. The ability of being able to refocus one's lenses with a flick of a switch whenever one wants is likely to become a necessity - I'm constantly looking at subjects at different distances - and I only have 2 hands. So I look forward to your next review.

I am very happy for your success. My complaint is with SuperFocus advertizing. I went to their site to get details for maybe 60 seconds. Somehow they tagged me and now, no matter which internet site I view, I see Penn Gillete's face mugging me in just about every single ad. Spooky. I would never ever consider SuperFocus because of this ad assult.

Ctein. Your face and beard has great character. You should have one of your seasoned photograher friends do a b/w photo of you with the round, framed glasses.

Dear Sven,

Yeah, if it's me vs. a doctor, you can guess who wins. But this wasn't even a fight.

I needed to rig up a pinpoint light to bring out certain aberrations that weren't obvious in a standard eye chart. Which is why the first prescription wasn't optimal.

I may do whole column on this, as it directly parallels issues that arise in the design and testing of camera lenses.

pax / Ctein

@Ctein: Photography is my avocation; BA English/photography. I made my bread and butter as a NYS licensed optician, with a related degree.

I solved this problem with an inexpensive solution: monovision. I had monovision eyeglasses, and now monovision bi-lateral implants - which is permanent, and works exactly as I want.

The mark-up on those glasses rivals jewelry margins.

A bit off topic. . .

Nice self-portraits, Ctein. I'm wondering how you did it. Because not a shadow of a camera or a tripod shows from the reflections on either your old or new glasses. Is the camera peeking from behind the sheet?

I like the first portrait better. But only because the shades beneath your SuperFocus glasses are distracting. (My Spanish language teacher had clip-on shades over his glasses which he used to flip up visor-like.) The second portrait is more in character, though. You look too benign in the first.

Any thoughts on using circular polarizing filters for when taking portraits of bespectacled subjects, to attenuate reflections?

Oh come now. Man who hasn't had haircut or shave since 1968 worried about look of specs frame.

I don't think so! ;-)

Having just been fitted with a "fancy" hearing aid, I appreciate being able to experience the wonderful world of hi-fi. It's nice to listen to jazz again on the tube amp and fullrange speakers that I spent way too much time on building.

I hate my current eyeglasses situation. Ctein hit it on the head as far as describing the pitfalls of eyesight vis-a-vis middle age. I've got seven or eight pairs of glasses--each pair serves a "special" purpose. Problem is, I can't ever find the pair I need. Forgetfulness--another middle age malady.

I wish I was a dog. Then I wouldn't have to worry about eyesight: http://goo.gl/IBPe1

Dear Sarge,

Uhh, it was entirely an accident. It just happened that my arm (and the camera it's holding) aren't in front of the reflection of the window in the lenses.

I'd love to claim that I did this with brilliant foresight, but honest to God I didn't even think about it.

The one modestly clever thing I did do was extend my arm about half a meter out, and turn at an angle to the mirror, so I was photographing myself on the diagonal, rather than facing the mirror head-on. That way the camera is outside the field of view.

How do you frame the photo when you're doing that? You angle your head and your camera so that the lens appears to be pointing directly at you in the mirror, and then you fire off a whole burst of frames, and then you look at the results on the back screen to make sure you got the framing right. Delete when bad, repeat until good. Yay, cheap electrons.

I don't believe we've ever met personally (if we haven't I forgotten, my bad), so you really don't know what my personality is like. You cannot judge what someone is like in person from their writing.

For one thing, I am much taller.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Too bad the shape wouldn't work on me at all, but they do look great on you, Ctein. The hint of cyberpunk IMO also suits (hope you're not offended by that). Congratulations! and good luck with them. I look forward to the odd update down the road. Especially curious how they are at night or in contrasty, harsh lighting--whether they are noticeably any less transmissive or flare-prone.

“An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought” was said by Simon Cameron, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War.


Predated Heinlein by a fair margin. See "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns-Goodwin.

Ctein's new glasses remind me of the U.S. Army glasses I was issued to fit inside of a gas mask (before gas mask insert lenses were available).



Dear robert e,

They seem just fine under those conditions. I don't see excessive flare or reflections.

pax / Ctein

Re: the sunglasses solution.

Cue the therimins.

And remember...

All your base are belong to us.

Dear Dennis,

I beg to differ.

... are belong to ME.

What part of "diabolical death ray" did you not understand?


pax / Ctein

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