Brief review UCanSee 266 pcs Optical Trial Lens Set Kit Metal Rim Aluminum Case

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A couple weeks ago I bought this “ucansee” trial frame kit / trial lens set on Amazon for $220. It’s currently “unavailable” on Amazon but I’ve seen it from other web vendors and direct from the ucansee.us site. I was concerned about spending the money without the support of some review articles or knowledge of the product, but all worked out. I thought I’d save some others some bother and worry by sharing the info.

See the end of this post for the manifest of included lenses and other items.

A determining factor: lens dimension out-to-out: 38 mm

Only the “ucansee” product listing specified their lenses as “industry standard 38 mm”. That was one of the main reasons I bought this kit, knowing I would be buying the frame separately and it would have to accept the size lenses from the kit. It turns out that 38 mm really is “standard” (for metal anyway).

See my separate review of the lens frame I bought.

The frame (“eyeglasses skeleton”) that comes with the kit is a “pretend product” – “total toy”. The fatal flaw is the fixed PD’s which come with this category of item (sample frames in kits). If it’s not your PD, too bad for you…

Price point in scanning amazon and the web (and listening to a Jake youtube on the subject I think) I concluded that $100 (min price bracket I saw) was too low – mainly because that range includes only about 100 pieces. I didn’t want to get stuck having to buy extra pieces after supposedly buying a full kit.

I was also convinced by one product’s sales pitch that cases made of wood, fiber, cloth etc look nice when new but dry up, warp, split, mildew etc – better to go with metal case and plastic liners.

“Build” quality: no complaints – no projecting burrs in the aluminum case, the top lines up well and the lens holders are smooth and properly formed. Minor complaint: the case dents rather easily.

Trial lens frame material (the holder for each lens): I prefer metal just for aesthetics but after watching some youtube howtos I saw that professionals all had plastic (so it’s likely a decent lens holder material). Also the plastic framed lenses seem to go in and out of the frames easier than the metal (per the prof’ls on youtube videos) – though that could be mostly due to the higher-end lens frames too.

Don’t drop / break those lenses! I had to contact three optician/optometrist supply houses online to get one who would not require “a doctor’s RX” to sell me a single glass lens…geeez what a racket!

Summary: does the job, worth the money (IMHO)

MANIFEST

(Copied from the ucansee website)

This lens trial kit with 266 pcs of lenses inside, including 160 spherical lenses, 80 cylindrical lenses,12 prisms, and 12 accessories.

Specific Lenses:

Spheres: 40 pairs each of concave and convex:
0.12D
0.25D to 6.00D in 0.25 steps
6.50D to 10.00D in 0.50 steps
11.00D to 14.00D in 1.00 steps
16.00D to 20.00D in 2.00 steps
Cylinders: 20 pairs each of concave and convex:
0.12D
0.25D to 4.00D in 0.25 steps
4.50D to 6.00D in 0.50 steps
Prisms: 12 pieces:
0.5 (2), 1.0 (2), 2.0 (2), 3.0-8.0(1)
Accessories:14 pieces:
BL,PH,SS,GF,RF,MR (1) FL,PL,CL (2)
Cross cylinder: 0.25(1), 0.5(1)

Disclaimer: my only involvement with this product was to buy one as a retail consumer. I have no financial or any other commercial interest in this product or any optical industry supplies or sales.

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One question would be how the high diopter lenses work out - I often get participants in the 8+ diopter myopia range where a lot of test lens kits optical quality starts to really compromise getting usable results.

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The highest refraction I’ve had was in the 4-5’s so I have no experience with products at 8 or above. I just added to the post a list of all included parts to start to address the issue – to provide a place for anyone else on LeMeow to add their experience.

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I got exactly the same one, as documented here before.

It does the job, and I agree with you about the toy lens holders. It’s plastic, and very toy like, but it reminds me of my childhood when “cheap” and “japan” were synonyms. And I’m lucky that the 60 PD they included is roughly my PD. It turned out to be much lighter than the fully adjustable one I bought from Amazon for $40.

I will add that there is some optical degradation with some of the “specialty” lenses. The green and red colored glass, useful for tranaglyph work, is not optically clear. Not terrible, but kind of like as if they applied green plastic on top of plano.

It only holds two, and sometimes I need three lenses over each ocular hole, though. So sometimes I put up with the discomfort and use the expensive, uncomfortable one.

Since I’m not really testing my vision anymore, just making minor reductions, my primary use is prisms+colored glass with the tranaglyphs for vision therapy.

:slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m looking at these, and there’s nothing in between -14 and -16 in the case, even for the larger sets, that’s way too huge a jump. There are probably tricks for stacking lenses to get finer gradients, but then you get into complicated issues of vertex distance and compounded distortion effects…

A previous eye doc had an assistant that thought she’d help and play with the trial lens kit with me while waiting on him. He was pretty dismissive of that when he found us.

I might still get a trial lens set, if I go the route of stacking glasses over contacts, the glasses will be down in a more testable range. On the other hand, glasses in a more testable range are cheaper to buy, and I don’t need to be as careful about getting the right ones.

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So…have you read the No BS Guide from Cliffgnu yet?

I like to refer people to it, because he’s got a practical approach which might be worth considering.

If you go on YouTube, look for user cliffgnu, then see the no bs video…it’s a pdf linked in the notes from his Google drive.

Pretty indirect, I know. I’ve also uploaded it here before, as well.

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Nice. I think I had most of that info, but this is a more concise format, and it starts out with a steeper gradient than is usually discussed here.

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Yes…why waste time and money? :slightly_smiling_face:

Avoiding headaches from rapid change seems worth extra time and money.

You might be surprised. I found my high water mark prescription to be pretty painful. I had sharp, stabbing sensations in the lenses of my eyes, probably from the cylinder correction. and I often felt tired after a few hours’ working, even though I was “reduced” prescriiption for both near and distance, i.e., about 0.25 off for distance from 20/20 and about 1.25 off from distance script for near.

Once I started reducing, my eyes felt relief like they haven’t had in a long, long time.

:slight_smile:

Kent

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This is great! I’ve been debating getting a lens kit, mostly to help friends with more complex refractory states but also to learn more about optics. Are there any specific resources that you found especially helpful in learning how to use a test lens kit?

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Yes, I looked quite carefully at the various youtube videos showing how to do a full refraction (apparently meant for students and other optometrists).

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