Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spectacles

After close to 10 years, it is time for me to get new spectacles. For people who doubt the effectiveness of social media advertising, I can honestly say that it works. I came across the advertisement for Owndays PC on facebook which caught my interest for the ability of the lens to cut down up to 40% of blue light from electronic devices like computer, gaming devices, handphones, tablets, etc. I happened to see that advertisement when my eyes were very tired so it was really the right thing at the right time. Before going down, I tried to google for people's experiences with the shop and overall the reviews are pretty positive. After going, it is not all flowers and pretty things so I decide to write about my own experience which I hope is more balanced.

Owndays is a spectacle shop originating from Japan. It opened its first store in Singapore in 2013 although I was never aware of this. Owndays is unique as it displays the frames on the shelves for customers to take a look, touch, try it on, and look at the price. This is in contrast to typical optics where frames are kept inside a glass display and customers have to ask the shopkeeper to take it out. To add to its unique-ness, the pricing is very straight forward and there is no hidden charges. The price that you see include the frame + the basic lens. Just add another $100 if you want to upgrade the lens to a thinner one or the PC lens. The best thing is everything will be ready in just 20 minutes.

I was expecting to wait 2-3 weeks as my degrees are pretty bad. Imagine my surprise when they have all sort of lenses available with various degrees (including astigmatism!). The optician, who assisted me, also showed how the PC lens cut down the light passing through her torchlight to show that the lens is not some gimmick. Sadly, to keep the weight at lighter side, all the lenses are made of plastic. Plastic lenses are generally thicker than glass lenses which make them not very suitable for people with severely poor eyesight like me. The optician was also honest and told me, who have been using glass lenses my whole life, that plastic lenses can be twice as thick as my glass lenses and they won't give as clear as glass lenses too.

The service is top-notch. Although I said that I already had a prescription, the optician still offered to check my current spectacles to ensure that it is indeed the same as my prescription, to check for my degree (which is obviously worse than my current prescription), to check for the astigmatism axes and my focal point. Wow.. From my previous experience, optical shops usually cannot bother to do re-measurement when I just provided them with a prescription.

Style-wise, as expected from Japan, the available ranges are pretty huge, colorful, trendy, and chic. Unfortunately, as expected for their price, a lot are made of plastic and rubbery material which will definitely not last through the test of time. In addition, a lot of their models have nose supports connected to the frame only by a screw. I think that is another minus point since I am looking for something durable. There is a small section for titanium frames but they also feel rather plasticky. I guess that's the downside for their attempt to keep things light. In relation to my high degrees and plastic lens, my choice of frame became quite limited as I had to choose frames which are sturdy enough to support as well as to hide the thick lenses.

My main objective is to get a new pair of spectacles to replace my current one which was bought like 7+ years ago. Lol.. But I am quite vain and I ended up with 2 pairs. Oh em gee.. I chose a titanium frame for my first pair which is going to be my main one and that cost me $298 in total (inclusive the upgrade to PC lens). There is an ongoing promotion for half price for the second pair and thus my second pair only cost me $138 in total. I chose a sporty style and this is purely for vanity purpose as the thick frame will make me look weird for daily use.

I guess I was a bit too excited when choosing my second pair and I did not realise that the back half of the temples (yes that is what the long part of the frame which is resting against your temples are called) is made up of the rubbery material. It feels like the rubbery material for the casing of my Sony Ericsson K800i phone and I hate it. It will get sticky after a few years even when it is not being used. Shit man!

Ironically, my vain pair of specs becomes my main one. Thanks to my weird and non-symmetrical facial features, the temples have to be configured into a very weird position that makes the whole spectacles cannot fit to the box. No choice but I have to wear it. It did not make me giddy and I adjusted to it rather quickly which showed that they did get the measurements correct. My previous spectacles always have something 'not right' as I will feel a bit giddy and need some adaptation when I change to them.

On a second look, the frame actually resembles goggles donned by superheroes so I will call refer this as "superhero" specs. Lol. The thickness of the lens really shocked me! Although the optician had been very honest about it, the thickness was way too thick. It made me really like an old man T_T On top of that, the PC lenses appear blue-ish which means they are really reflecting blue light but this makes the lenses appear even thicker. My my...

Some of you may be wondering if the PC thingy is just a gimmick. I can testify that it is not. Comparing against my 'normal' glass lens, the reflection of white light on the PC lens is blue-ish and much more defined while the reflection of white light on normal lens is white and very light. That basically means most light pass through normal lens. In addition when compared against white paper, the paper appears brownish under PC lens which also proves about lesser light passing through.

I still don't know if I like it or not. It cuts down the glare from computer screens but at the same time, you need sufficient light to be able to see something. The fact that less light pass through makes my eyes feel a bit tired. I don't know if my eyes naturally compensate the "lesser light" by working "harder". It makes looking at computer screens more enjoyable and relaxing when you are doing brainless things like watching anime or youtube videos. At the same time, when you need to focus eg. reading, it is more difficult and tiring.

With the addition of these 2 pairs, I have a total of SIX pairs of glasses now. What the... Hahaha... They are:
1) The one for daily use
I don't think there is any brand for this and I have been using this same pair since my JC days. Either that the quality is good or I just take a good care of it or both. A lot of paint has disappeared but it is still my number 1 pair as it is the most comfortable.

2) The nerdy one
I got the frame for free when I purchased the one for daily use. I only put it in lens with a degree in my university days. Although I like it because it gives me a 'different' look, it is not comfortable as it keeps sliding off. Lesson learnt is to avoid those long plastic temples which are not very bend-able to follow my weird facial contours.

3) The formal one
Red frame and Levi's brand. It is my first branded frame (thanks to my parents!) although I don't know if it is fake since I bought it at Mangga Dua, Indonesia. Lol.. Because of the price tag, I reserve this only for special formal occasions. I don't know why the lenses are damn heavy and the nose pads always leave marks on my nose. This discomfort is what deters me from using this for daily use.

4) Sunglass
This is a sunglass with prescription lenses. The brand is Giordano. Again courtesy to my parents haha... Nothing really trendy about the design but because it is a sunglass with prescription lenses, it has a special place in my heart. Haha...

5) Superhero goggles
I am 'forced' to wear this because it does not fit into the box. Lol.. I have to get the right temple readjusted this weekend as it keeps sliding down. Grr...

6) New-kid-on-the-block
The last one is the new one with titanium frame. I have yet to wear this so it is difficult for me to say anything about it yet.

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