Lenses are chosen by their index, material, and tint
. The lenses are divided into standard clear lenses or specialty polarized and photochromic lenses. Based on the values in your prescription, we try to recommend the standard lens that will give you the optimum vision correction and thinness of lens. We do not recommend more expensive high index lenses if we do not think it will result in a noticeably thinner lens, though you are free to choose any lens available. If you wish to have a polarized or photochromic lens, you should select a specialty lens with the same index (or higher).
Index value refers to the refractive quality of the lens, or the degree to which the lens bends light passing through it. Generally, the higher the index, the thinner the lens.
For normal, single vision prescription values we recommend a lens with a mid-index of
1.57. It is thin and light, and is included for no extra cost with your glasses. For prescriptions less than -4.00/+2.00, a higher index lens will not produce a noticeably thinner lens.
Lenses with index values of
1.61 and 1.67 are appropriate for prescriptions beyond -4.00 or +3.00. Lenses with index values of 1.74 are recommended for nearsighted prescriptions from -8.00 to -10.00.
Unless otherwise specified, most lenses are made from advanced resin plastic. The exception to this is Polycarbonate lenses. No lenses we sell are made from old fashioned glass.
PC" lens, or PolyCarbonate, is extremely impact resistant, as well as very thin and light with an index of 1.59 . We highly recommend Anti-Reflective (AR) coating with PC lenses to reduce glare and improve night-vision.
Most clear lenses are able to take one of our solid or gradient tints. These tints are available in a variety of colors and strengths. The 1.53 Trivex and 1.59 PC lens cannot be tinted.
Photochromic lenses change their color according to how much UV sunlight they receive. They turn dark when outdoors in direct sunlight and lighten when indoors. Car windows block UV rays so this lens will not work well inside a vehicle. Zenni Optical offers standard photochromic lenses and
Transitions® brand photochromic lenses, which contain patented photochromic dyes.
Photochromic lenses do not get as dark as standard sunglass tints. If you want the darkest sunglasses, using a clear lens with an added lens tint is a better option.
Polarized lenses are permanently tinted sunglasses offered in gray or brown colors. They are available in a choice of indexes and materials. Polarized lenses block light from certain angles and are very effective at cutting glare and harsh reflections.
There are several options for things that can be added to your glasses. We offer several lens coatings, clip-ons, and custom engraving for certain frames
Anti-scratch and UV coatings come standard with all of our lenses. Optional lens coatings consist of anti-reflective (AR) coatings and mirror finish.
Anti-reflective coatings reduce glare, and are especially useful for improving problems from reflections due to overhead lights, or oncoming headlights when driving at night.
Standard AR coating is the traditional coating to reduce glare.
Hydrophobic coating has glare reduction as well as water resistance. It is helpful for keeping the lenses fog, dirt, and dust free and makes them easier to clean.
Olephobic coating has all of the benefits of the standard and hydrophobic coating plus extra resistance against fingerprints and sweat.
Mirror finish adds a reflective coating on the front side of the lens with a very slight coloring. They are often best combined with lens tints for sunglass use. They are not recommended for extended use indoors, especially with computers and overhead lights, since there will be some visible reflections.
Custom-made polarized clip-on lenses with 80% sunglass tint. Since they are not the flip-up type, there are two rubberized feet attached at the bridge that enable them to slide over the top of the frame and convert your regular glasses into sunglasses. The light construction will blend into any eyeglass frame.
They can also be useful with photochromic lenses for use when driving, since the windshield glass will block UV light and keep the lenses from auto-darkening.
Some frames are able to have text or images engraved on the temple arms. Text can be added on the inside or outside of the arm depending on the design of the frame. Images can be chosen from our list of creative designs and are only added to the outside of the temple arm.
Choose the lens options based on your prescription
QUICK TIP: For stronger prescription, a higher index lens can be noticeably thinner and lighter, and provide better vision. We've noted the lens we recommend based on your prescription strength.
Lens Index and Description
Here are some other options you might like to consider