The Latest In Lens Trends

By Liz Martinez, ABOC, NCLC
The last few months have brought advancements in the form of a crop of new technologies and improvements to existing designs. Today’s patients are in luck. Never before have they been able to have PALs that offer a good visual field in the tiniest of frames, but they can also choose from an array of materials that provide thinner, lighter lenses. As the frosting on the cake—or the top layer on the lens—new coatings are available that make eyewear better than ever before.

Essilor’s Varilux Ellipse

Essilor of America’s Varilux Ellipse is a short-corridor PAL with a fitting height of only 14 mm. A new generation of the well-known Varilux lens, the Ellipse is suitable for frames with today’s short B measurements. The lens is available in regular 1.50 IOR, 1.50 Transitions grey, 1.67 high-index, Airwear (the company’s polycarbonate material), Transitions V grey and brown, and 1.67 Transitions V grey.

Excelite’s X-PRO MINUO

With a fitting height of 16 mm, the X-PRO MINUO progressive from Excelite, Inc. lives up to its name: the word “minuo” is Latin for “small.” This lens features less peripheral distortion and an enhanced distance zone wider than that of conventional PALs. It is currently offered in CR-39, with Trivex and 1.60 high index to follow in October. The company’s other X-PRO lens, the OMNUS, has an 18-mm fitting height, making it a reliable general-purpose progressive. The OMNUS comes in Trivex, CR-39, Corning SunSensors, and a 1.60 high index. Its latest incarnation is availability in Transitions grey and brown.


HOYA Vision Care’s HOYALUX Summit CD is a short-corridor progressive with a 14-mm fitting height. The company now makes this lens available in 1.67 high-index material. Other lenses in the HOYA family that now come in 1.67 include the HOYALUX GP Wide, with a fitting height of 18mm, and the Summit ECP, with a height of 15 mm, as well as HOYALUX SV. The company has also released the HOYALUX Summit ECP, HOYALUX Summit CD, HOYALUX GP Wide Progressive and HOYALUX SV lenses in Phoenix (1.53 IOR) Transitions V.

Optima’s Resolution Lens Line in Transitions

For the first time, Optima’s Resolution lens line will include a photochromic option, Transitions V with ESP in grey. This will be available for Resolution’s semi-finished single vision and Response progressive designs. Resolution lenses are manufactured through Optima’s exclusive ECM-9 process to eliminate birefringence for enhanced optical performance. Pentax Vision’s DiamondClear AR and Surpass ECP Super Hydro AR Pentax Vision, a division of Seiko Optical Products of America, now offers DiamondClear AR, featuring Surpass ECP Super Hydro AR. DiamondClear AR includes EasyClean Plus, a new protective topcoating that combines hydrophobic and oleophobic chemistry to provide ultra-high coating surface tension for lenses that are extraordinarily easy to clean. Engineered for the best overall durability, DiamondClear AR repels water, oils and grime, while preventing deterioration due to UV, humidity and normal temperature fluctuations.

Seiko’s Proceed III SUPER SHORT

Seiko Optical Products of America’s Proceed III SUPER SHORT has a fitting height of 16 mm—2 mm lower than its predecessor, the Proceed II SHORT—to fit smaller frames. The lens features the company’s patented Multi-Division Aspheric design, Progressive Prism Variation, and Vertical Prism Control. The MR-10 material, with its 1.67 index of refraction, boasts excellent tensile and flexural strength. It’s available in uncoated, clear double hardcoat, and Transitions V (both grey and brown).

Shamir’s Attitude for Piccolo and Genesis

Shamir Insight, Inc. now provides Attitude for its Piccolo and Genesis PALs in a Base 8 design, specially designed for prescriptions ranging from -4.00 to +2.00 in wrap-around frames. Attitude incorporates asphericity to compensate for aberrations in the periphery. Eye-Point Technology simulates the eye to create a lens that is physically an 8 base curve, but which optically performs as an optimized 3 or 5 BC. Piccolo with Attitude, which has a fitting height of 16 mm, is available in polarized grey, clear and Trasitions V, all in polycarbonate. The Genesis with Attitude, with a 19-mm fitting height, comes in high-index Superlite 1.6 and Superlite 1.6 Transitions V.

Signet Armorlite’s KODAK CleAR Anti-Reflective Coating

Signet Armorlite has introduced KODAK CleAR Anti-Reflective Coating, which has been created using advanced technologies. The multi-layer premium stack is applied using a vacuum deposition process and is topped off with a super hydrophobic/oleophobic layer. A special formulation and process designed into the adhesion layer insures durability over the life of the prescription. The coating makes lenses easy to clean and fights off oily smudges and dirt while eliminating distracting reflections.

Younger’s IMAGE and NuPolar Green-15 and Trilogy AR

Younger Optics has expanded the IMAGE PAL availability with an MR-10 resin (1.67 IOR) lens offering. IMAGE 1.67, which has a fitting height of 18 mm, is a choice material for high prescriptions to reduce lens thickness, especially in drilled rimless eyewear–available in NuPolar polarized, Transitions, Trilogy (made with Trivex), polycarbonate and hard resin. Green-15 in hard resin has been added to the NuPolar line of polarized Rx lenses. The product was designed to match the classic Ray-Ban glass G-15 color—something that, according to the company, no other plastic polarized lens has achieved. NuPolar Green-15 provides excellent polarization, optics and color consistency and is currently available in single vision in 2, 4, 6, and 8 base curves.

Zeiss’s Gradal Individual

Carl Zeiss Optical bases the design of the Gradal Individual PAL on the successful Gradal Top design. The Individual’s freeform surface considers the prescription as well as the individual anatomy of each patient to provide clarity, superior adaptability and optimized wide viewing areas. Its minimum fitting height of 18 mm makes it ideal for patients who prefer traditional frame sizes, and its latest availability is in 1.67 high-index material. The company’s Carat Advantage Coating, which includes AR and hard coating along with a hydrophobic coating, now comes standard on the Gradal Individual. The lens can also be ordered with outdoor tints, including grey 75 percent, G-15/Pioneer 80 percent, and Skylet Road (brown) 80 percent.

Liz Martinez, ABOC, NCLC, is a licensed optician and an instructor at Interboro Institute in New York City.


Labtalk June 2020