Monday, August 10, 2009

Cameras and eyeglasses

Anyone who doesn't have to wear eyeglasses should count their blessings, especially if they use a camera or computer very much.

As a wearer of eyeglasses since a youngster, I can tell you they are a hassle when trying to focus on a computer screen with small fonts and then look down at your key board.

A few years ago I started having trouble seeing my computer screen and the proofing pages at the newspaper where I work. This was a real problem.

I had my eyes checked, the eye doc gave me stronger bifocals, different size bifocals, triple focals, you name, he tried it. And even though I took samples of my newspaper proof pages, measured how far it was from my nose to the computer screen, what size font I had to work with, etc., nothing seemed to help. Until I voiced my frustration to Velvet Prewitt at Velvet's Optique in Batesville, AR.

With a just 20 minute visit to my desk on her way to work one morning, she took a few measurements, made a few notes and within just days I had a pair of mid-range computer glasses with bifocals that allow me to see the computer screen perfectly while retaining my reading ability of smaller print with the bifocals. My long distance vision is affected slightly, but inside an office setting I seldom notice the difference.

If you wear prescription sunglasses, you know the lens darkness can be so complete that peripheral light around the glasses can be so strong as to make you squint more than if you were wearing clear lenses in bright sun.

And the transitional lens that change in sunlight, and cold weather, can be a hassle too. In addition to staying dark on cloudy, cold days, you will often find yourself needing to take your glasses off when trying to use a camera's viewfinder because you can't be sure the exposure is right looking through dark lens.

These too were problems I had dealt with over the years all to no avail until again I talked to Velvet. Although her office doesn't do eye exams, she has been filling my optical prescriptions for years and has saved me lots of money on quality eye wear and knows what my day to day routine consists of.

The solution she found for this particular problem was to go to "tinted" prescription glasses with UV protection. I was able to choose the tint color and the darkness of the lens that serves me best. I chose a light to medium green tint and was able to put the new lens in an old frame, thus saving myself more big bucks.

This particular tint serves me well for everyday sunglasses, but when it comes time to take a photo, I still have enough clarity while focusing that I can pretty well tell what the exposure looks like without taking off my glasses.

I have found that eyeglasses, computers and cameras can coexist in a world of computers and cameras. Like a lot of things in life, it's just a matter of finding the right problem solver.