Jena HD 4K vs Varilux vs Costco HD Progressive

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby kdaug » Sun May 15, 2016 11:38 am

<Post split from Costco Progressive thread>

I finally went back to the optician from whom I bought my current Varilux Physio progressive lenses (after cheching out COSTCO and a few other local opticians). He tells me that, in addition to the Varilux line he now also carries a lens called the Jena HD 4K, which has the widest field of view of any lens on the market, and is less expensive than Varilux's best lens. Now as I said previously, field of view width will be critical for me as my current Varilux Physio's just don't have a wide enough field for my liking. This may be the brand I go for next.
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Postby george » Sun May 15, 2016 4:19 pm

The Jena HD 4k is manufactures by a Canadian company, Optik K&R. They look like a decent enough company, but as with other companies, it is impossible to separate out propaganda vs actual evidence of superiority. I'd rather hear from people who have tried multiple types of lenses to compare rather than just assume their propaganda hype is accurate. Or at least see a publication in a peer reviewed journal showing superiority.

As best I can tell, there are limited ways to optimize a progressive lens. If you maximize field of view width you likely will sacrifice other properties. All of the top lenses, including Costco, use free form grinding techniques. I think the only way to know would be to have each brand to compare. Without that, there is no way to know what is real and what is hype.
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Postby kdaug » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:45 pm

I just spoke to an Essilor Canada rep regarding any differences between their Varilux Physio (which I currently wear) and Accolade Freedom lenses. Unfortunately he was a little vague but he did say that the Accolade Freedom was an entry level lens compared to the Varilux Physio. Now Costco and Walmart here in Canada both have the Accolade Freedom. I feel that I would benefit from the quality of something more than an entry level lens so will be trying the newer Jena 4K lens that my current independent optician also now carries in addition to the Essilor Varilux lines.

Check out this Jena 4K link:

https://www.optikkandr.com/JENAlens.com/Patient_Brochure_4x8.5_EN_100421.pdf

Otik k&r is a German company with a manufacturing facility now in North America and I think many would agree that the Germans know how to make good lenses.
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Postby richs » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:48 pm

Very interested to know how the Jena 4K lenses are working out for you. Will be calling them Monday to see if these are available in the Chicago area.

I have had progressive lenses for many years and no problems. My last pair from Costco in 2011 are different than what they make now and the new ones (identical frame) are probably going back for a refund (at least at my store verified up to 3 months and it's been about 3 weeks). Have already had the prescription double checked and adjusted by the optician manager. Smaller field of view to see either the computer monitor or the 57" TV from about 9-10' away and without perfect immobile positioning things blur, go out of focus, etc. No such problems with the old glasses (that I compared) that just had to be bumped up 0.25 for reading-otherwise the same prescription. So there is definitely an issue with how Costco changed the high-index lenses from the older Essilor (company that makes Varilux-I wish I knew specifically which one) to their new propriety one made for them by Essilor. They claim a wider view with the new ones and even had technical literature to show details. Theory does not match reality, at least in my case.
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Postby george » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:03 pm

Richs,

Thanks for sharing your experience. That is very disappointing to hear that the performance of the newer lens is inferior for you, which means there are probably thousands of other people with exactly the same experience. It is very frustrating that so far the eye care industry hasn't mastered a way to match which progressive lens will perform best for a particular individual. I would have figured there wouldn't be that much difference between the different manufacturers at this point, but clearly there is. If you find another brand that works better for you, please share that experience and feedback. The part that I find particularly frustrating is the high cost involved in getting progressive lenses, which makes it too expensive to try different brands until finding the one that works for any particular individual.
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Postby richs » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:05 pm

Credit should be given to Costco that they will refund if the glasses don't work out. I don't think very many others would do that. I considered ordering online before this recent experience and very glad I didn't as none of them I checked with have a real cash refund policy. No one using progressives should ever order online. I'm looking forward to hearing how the Jena HD 4K lenses work out for anyone who's tried them.
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Postby richs » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:22 am

Update: I had both my old and new glasses measured at another store and at Costco and both were reasonably in spec (both gave me numerical printouts). The other store explained that the new Costco progressive lenses are digital and some people simply can't adjust to them. Obviously I'm one of them. My old glasses are non-digital Ovation lenses. And I just met up with a friend who had the same problem with digital lenses that were NOT from Costco. So I had no choice but to return the new glasses to Costco for a painless refund, and as my prescription had not changed much, I am back to my old glasses and not giving them a second thought. Unfortunately, Costco only offers only this one digital progressive lens and nothing else, which is too bad since they are very professional and about 1/3 the price of everyone else in my area as well as less than the major online suppliers (which for progressives-just don't do it!). It was a rough 3-4 weeks giving the new glasses a try and getting nowhere and it wasn't subtle-great difficulties with the computer screen, headaches, and noticing blurry areas constantly. When I went back to the old glasses the stress relief after only an hour was remarkable. The takeaway from all this is to KNOW if your existing progressives are non-digital that you might have difficulty adjusting to digital ones, and don't let anyone BS you that it's only an "adjustment" of the frames. When I first switched to progressives many years back it took all of about 2 days to be comfortable with them.

FYI, I contacted Optik about the Jena HD 4K and according to them they are not available in the US at this time.
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