By Christie Walker
For years, labs have been working diligently to educate their customers on the benefits of free form progressive lenses. There has been plenty of confusion in this area because the explanation involves two distinct parts—the progressive lens design AND the way the lens is created, being free form, digital processing.

In the days before free form, ECPs didn’t need to know how the lab made their lenses as long as they were accurate, scratch free, delivered in a timely manner and at an affordable price point. With the creation of free form processing equipment, labs discovered that they wanted their customers to know how lenses were made, showing them the advantages and innovations that take place when a lens is created with free form technology.

Now the benefits of lenses created with free form technology are no longer restricted to presbyopic patients. Single vision users can experience the clarity and improved vision that comes with a customized, free form single vision lens, while labs have a new premium lens product in their arsenal.

“In lenses, the opportunity to offer superior performance with a premium product has been associated almost exclusively with progressives,” said Fred Howard, Carl Zeiss Vision’s president, Americas-Pacific. “But wearers of standard single vision lenses suffer from the same visual compromises as semi-finished progressives wearers. By using the proprietary PreciseForm technology and process, we can create a truly superior visual experience for single vision wearers as well.”

Since the groundwork has been laid with free form progressive lenses, the learning curve for ECPs with free form single vision should be fairly straightforward.

For labs that have already invested in free form equipment, premium single vision lenses are a gift. There is no additional equipment to be purchased or special processes to learn. For labs that are still on the fence, this new breed of free form lenses provides an additional product line that could finally make the investment in free form equipment irresistible.

According to Shamir, a leading seller of free form lens designs, “As Freeform continues to become a standard in the market place; there are increased benefits for a laboratory to provide progressive Freeform products, as well as single vision products such as the Autograph II – Single Vision. From an inventory standpoint, space limitations can be an issue for some labs; however, utilizing semi-finished single vision blanks for both progressive and single vision Freeform designs allows for reduced inventories for the lab.

Shamir also stated that the production of Freeform designs enables the lab to produce high quality, consistent products for their customers. A single vision Freeform design can be produced consistently throughout all materials, allowing patients with multiple pairs to easily switch from pair-to-pair without adjustment time. Each Shamir single vision Freeform lens is produced as a backside atoric lens in all materials. The ability to process these lenses with more automation, allows the lab to provide faster service and better quality lenses with less re-do’s, resulting in increased customer satisfaction at both the ECP and patient level. Ultimately, labs producing Freeform designs for both progressive and single vision patients provide more precise optical solutions, while utilizing the most advanced technology available, setting themselves apart from the pack.

“You have something special you can offer the doctors when you have the option of providing a digital single vision lens,” said Steve Seibert, owner of 3 Rivers Optical.

“Digital single vision provides reduced distortion and wider, clearer fields of vision. With digitally enhanced single vision lenses, patients can now use all areas of their glasses to see, not just the optical center. A standard single vision lens has a small central zone of vision,” explained Seibert. “Digital single vision lenses provide exceptional, full vision throughout the lens.”

“Right now, digital single vision is in its infancy. We are working hard to educate the ECP on the benefits. We can’t sit back. We have to jump up and work even harder to promote this new category of lenses,” Seibert concluded.

The folks at Carl Zeiss Vision agree. “With Zeiss Individual SV, we are doing more than creating superior vision for single vision wearers – we are also creating a completely new premium sales opportunity,” said Claude Labeeuw, CZV vice president, marketing and business development. “We know from our experience with Zeiss Individual progressives that there is very little price resistance to a personalized product that delivers superior performance. By creating this level of performance to single vision, which has been viewed as almost a commodity category, we are creating an opportunity for labs and ECPs when they need it most.”

Almost every major lens manufacturer has a premium single vision free form lens offering available in a variety of materials. Check them out and decide if you’re ready to provide single vision patients with the option of better vision.

Single Vision Free Form Lenses


Augen High Definition single vision lenses are aspherized along one or two meridians on the front surface based on the prescription. This provides clear, wide, natural vision for single vision lens wearers. These lenses have flatter curves for all prescriptions for a better cosmetic look. Available in Trivex.


This single vision lens features WaveFront Advanced Vision Enhancement technology for sharper, clearer vision. Material choices include standard plastic, 1.50 Transitions, Airwear and 1.74 index.


With free form digital processing on both the convex and concave sides of the lens, the NuLux EP provides exceptional lens performance. Available in the following lens materials: 1.67, 1.67 photochromic and 1.70.


With two single vision lenses, one for distance (Mono) and one optimized for near vision (Nexyma), Rodenstock offers both lenses with position of wear compensation as well ECP personalization. Available in most indexes, photochromic and polarized options. SEIKO SUPER MAX-VUE 1.67

The new Super MaxVue 1.67 lens is a double-sided aspheric single vision lens with Seiko’s patented aspheric front design and advanced free form processing on the back side. The combination of a low base curve and free form aspheric back surface virtually eliminates power error, distortion and marginal astigmatism.


Employing the same technology used for Attitudes wrap frames, Attitude SV is for non-presbyopes who want distortion-free vision for their wrap frames.


Using Shamir’s proprietary Eyepoint technology, the lens design software will automatically calculate proper thinning prism. There is no need for additional position of wear measurement for this fully aspheric, back-surface lens custom-made for the single vision patient. Available in all material indexes up to 1.67, photochromic and polarized options.


As a fully customized single vision lens for every Rx, the Zeiss 3D offers up to 40 percent wider fields of view than a standard single vision lens. It provides for a thinner, flatter profile with superior optics. Available with PureCoat AR by Zeiss.


With edge-to-edge clarity and up to 50 percent wider fields of view than standard single vision, this sophisticated lens allows for ECP input of personalized position of wear information including vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt and frame face form angle. ECPs can also select an alternative base curve within two diopters of the default value. Most material indexes up to 1.67 are available except Trivex. Polarized and photochromic materials are also available.


Labtalk June 2020