Does anyone know this brand? The cheapest one I’ve found that looks reasonable legitimate:
Don’t know about it. I cobbled together a test lens kit from individual lenses on ebay and ali-express and was really happy with it. The lenses I have are good-lite and “howdy optics” and “babyface international” on aliexpress. The ebay seller was some optometrist in the US Air Force. I didn’t get any bad lenses or have any problems.
I think with the cheap kits you might get 101 good lenses and 3 mislabeled ones (maybe). You can replace bad lenses for about $1-2 a piece with those sellers on aliexpress, and I was impressed with the quality (glass lenses), nicely made.
It’s more of a hassle (OK for our purposes) but you can stack lenses in the trial frame to get whatever lens you need if you had a bad one. If your -3.75 lens is no good, you could use a -2 and -1.75, for example. So I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money. Make sure your trial frame is adjustable or that it matches your PD.
Also, if you’re a low myope (not sure what your prescription is) the quality is less of a big deal than with higher-levels of correction. With axis for astigmatism being off a few degrees at -0.25 CYL has almost no impact, if you had -4D of CYL it’s a much bigger deal.
I bought that lens kit. But the frame was for kids with PD52 so I had to buy an universal frame for these lenses.
It has good big lenses. But I was disappointed, because I think over -2 the steps are 0.5, so you would need to combine lenses if you want for example -2.25 (-2 & -0.25).
But combining lenses sucks. Better buy a lens kit with a lot lenses.
For combining cylinder lenses this would suck too.
So first make sure your myopia is not so high, that you would need to combine lenses
Thanks for the comments both!
I’m in the ~ -4 range, with astigmatism. In fact, it’s the latter I’m more curious to test with a lens test kit as centimetres work okay for purely diopters. @Tony87, how is this kit for astigmatism?
This brand also does 158pc and 266pc kits for not much more, so perhaps it’s worth getting those for the smaller steps, especially if combining with astigmatism.
I also have a big head, so a kid’s frame definitely wouldn’t fit me - I wonder if the other kits have bigger frames? Looking close at the screenshots, the 104pc kit frame says 68, but the 266pc one says 60… Although I feel like the photo may not be 100% accurate to what you receive haha.
@nycmao, I’ll have a look at AliExpress too.
I think the trial frames are about $8 if you get a pre-sized one (choose your size) or maybe $40 for a high-end adjustable one.
You might consider just getting the lenses you need if nobody else is going to be using it.
Like maybe pairs of -3.5 -3.75 -4 SPH for normalized, (6 lenses)
pairs of -2, -2.25, -2.5, -2.75 for differentials (8 lenses)
and pairs of -.25 CYL, -.5 CYL, -0.75 CYL, -1 CYL (8 lenses)
So that would probably be about $22 plus 15 for shipping for the lenses; call it $40. Then about $8 for the trial frame that fits you.
So about $50. With those aliexpress sellers you can just send them a message telling them which lenses you want exactly and they’ll send you exactly what you ordered. Unless you’re testing friends and family you don’t really need 75 of the other lenses in the big kit. That would keep you busy for a year or two probably.
On the other hand the kit has slots labeled and a nice case. I just have mine in little envelopes inside a hard case for sunglasses.
I bought a nice kit, it was interesting toy, but I didn’t find it any more practical than the cm measurement. If your astigmatism isn’t cylindrical, it’s still not cylindrical looking through a test kit instead of at an astigmatism fan or through a stenopeic slit. A low power JCC and flipper is all you need to test the next incremental change over your existing glasses and check that your angle has not changed significantly.
If you’ve got the money is a nice toy, but I don’t recommend it for most folks.
@nycmao That is a good idea - save myself some money to start and see how it goes.
@Dlskidmore Interesting observation. My issue is I want to know the extent of my astigmatism without going to the optician - the fan tells you the angle but not the extent. What’s the solution to this? Also, what is a JCC and flipper?
JCC is jackson cross cylinder, it comes on a handle so you can twist your fingers to rotate the cylinder 90 degrees. You use it to “fine tune” astigmatism correction.
I prefer using the cylinder lenses in a trial frame (for me, personally). It’s nice to pop them in and then see what they do, and you can rotate the axis while you’re looking at real world stuff and then see what axis you end up at (and how that compares to your “prescription”). An optometrist gave me a prescription of -0.75 cyl in my left eye, I found with the test kit that -0.25 CYL worked better under all circumstances. Now I don’t need it at all.
For me the trial frame and lenses were totally worth it, it answered a bunch of questions I had. It’s also really nice to try at different times of day and different situations, you can go look at streetlights and cars at night, or your screen during the day, and figure out when (if ever) you really benefit from CYL correction.
Lens flippers are these things:
You load your trial lenses into it and then flip back and forth between them. Do I prefer this one, or that one? For example you could compare -4.25 in each eye (top row), to -4 in each eye (bottom row). If they look the same go with the -4, or try -3.75. It just makes it convenient to prototype different levels of correction, kind of like a circuit breadboard.
They’re also handy for vision therapy (these are pre-loaded flippers):
I’d say if you do the cm measurement with the stenopic slit at the angle you got from the fan then you get the strength you’ll need on the cyl axis.
- if you need cyl correction that is
- if you wish to correct the cyl at all
I created a topic on measuring which includes the Stenopic Slit and the JCC.
I have watched dozens of videos on measuring but found these the most helpful.
Especially the part on how to decide if the cyl measured is correct.
@nycmao Thanks, those are really helpful videos! I’ve used them before in the opticians but I didn’t know their name.
@BiancaK That’s true, but I’ve been looking and can’t find a steopaeic slit tool for sale anywhere! Or a JCC. That would be the idea solution though I think.
DIY: if you have an sph only lens, you can cover the two halves with paper leaving one line open only. If you have a JCC, you can do the same and turn the JCC around +/- 180 degrees to see how the acuity changes
You can by 0.25D and 0.5D even on Amazon. In the test kit they are often called cross cylinder simply - without the J.
my low cost low bother DIY solution
JCC covered out to work as a stenopic slit adding -0.5D in the gap.
Aha, success with finding a cross cylinder tool! Although I feel like the slit might be better, as it is easier to adjust - I can’t find one, but like you showed, I could DIY one from a normal lens. Eh, I guess the solution is use both
In fact, the 266pc Vevor lens kit (although plastic, not metal ) has lots of other tools: 266pcs Trial Lenskit Optometry Rim Optical Lens Optometry Test Trial F – Vevor UK including SS and CC (and a load of others, whatever they are). Sadly the smaller metal-framed kit doesn’t have them all.
Looking on AliExpress, lenses seem to be about £1.75 (US$2.50) each inc delivery. So buying 22 like @nycmao suggested would still put me back $55. Frames are $15-$20, so $75. Although as my vision varies so much I think 32 lenses might be better, bringing the total to $100. Another $10 for JCC… And then we get to lens kit price territory! Although it seems so wasteful to get all the convex lenses.
Buying the smaller kit wouldn’t be crazy. You might look around and see if anyone is selling a used one (I don’t think they really “age” unless someone really mistreated it), and you could always sell it later or sell off all the convex lenses and recoup a few dollars if you don’t mind the hassle of selling stuff online.
The sellers on aliexpress will sell you all the individual oddball lenses too, including the cross cylinders (not on a stick though, unless you want it that way) and the stenoscopic slit. Shipping to the US is only $1.26, might be more to the UK. So if you get bored with the bare-bones kit you don’t have to spring for the 266 piece kit.
From a hobbyist’s perspective, I can vouch that the auxiliary specialized lenses are fun. You can spend many evenings figuring out how to perform all the various tests you can do with them and verify that you do or don’t have don’t have cyclophoria, and see if you’re prone to suppressing one eye or the other, etc. They’re neat from a “so this is how things work” perspective even if you don’t actually “need” them for fixing your myopia.
Guaranteed suitable for ophthalmological recreation and wizardry. Approved by self-experimenting mad scientists.
*White coat not included.
I think I will got the AE route.
Still cheaper than the lens kit, and Vevor couldn’t confirm the size of the frame (meaning I might have to buy that extra anyway). Three pairs of lenses each for normalised/differential for now, four pairs of CYL, and a slit for good measure.