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Optical Shops

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Georgie 22 Jan 2018, 10:16

Does anyone know what's happened to Optical4less? Their website seems to be down.

I've used them a few times in the past to buy reasonably priced back up pairs in my unusual prescription which would cost a fortune at my regular optician. I'll be distraught if they've gone out of business.

aviator -00- 25 Jan 2016, 09:49

correction: I will be a foreign visitor!

aviator -00- 25 Jan 2016, 09:41

Does anyone have experience of buying glasses in Colombo, Sri Lanka? I'm looking for an optical store which will put RX lenses in some of my frames at prices not inflated because I'm not a foreign visitor!

Revolver 17 Jul 2015, 11:35

In the late 70's the largest drugstore chain in the U.S. set up a kiosk in their larger stores, with a number of frames on it. You could try on the frames and select what you wanted, fill out one of their rx forms with no questions asked, and send it to them. There was a gadget on the kiosk that you looked into and it would give you your p.d. and they only had single vision up to a set power, such as plus or minus 5.00 (it may have been more, I don't remember) along with payment and they would make the glasses and return them to you. It lasted around a year or so and then disappeared.

NJ 16 Jul 2015, 08:30

Nat, when I was a young kid (early-mid 60's) I remember that some drug stores in my neighborhood (New York City) sold minus glasses. There was a store nearby that had them on trays arranged by increasing power. I don't remember how high the minus powers went, but I do remember some edge thickness and thinking it would be cool to buy a pair. (Yes, I was an OO even back then!)

Not sure when these disappeared, but certainly I never saw them in the 70's or beyond in this country.

Nat 16 Jul 2015, 03:35

I thought it was a great idea too. People who need glasses can buy them quick and easy. also people who can't afford to go to the opticians can get the glasses they need so cheap. Is horrible when you have to wait for new glasses if your shortsighted. How can you mess your eyes up if you are already shortsighted? The glasses were only for shortsight so what happens if you have stigmatisms would you be able to see ok with these glasses still?

Soundmanpt 14 Jul 2015, 09:44

On that same note, I constantly keep thinking that if I were to have a van sitting on the parking lot of various DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) lot with a sign saying "Glasses for Sale" and sold glasses ranging in prescriptions from say -1.00 to -3.00 for $50.00 I could probably make a fortune selling glasses to the people that fail the vision test to get their drivers license. But chances are I would quickly be arrested.

Soundmanpt 14 Jul 2015, 09:39


That is so cool! it sure would be nice if they were to start doing that in the US as well. I can't understand why they won't. I know it is the FDA that won't allow it, but then why can you buy over the counter readers so easy? Do they not think that someone could ruin their vision wearing them just as easily? If they think that there wrong because young girls are buying those readers and forcing their eyes to see with them just because they like the way the glasses look.

Nat 14 Jul 2015, 07:38

I was In Athens and lots more people in Europe wearing glasses. I seen glasses for sale in the street -1.50 right up to -7.00 there was one frame choice in dark pink or black. The lenses in the the glasses were thick even at -3.00 and very thick the higher the prescription. First I've seen glasses for sale in the street for shortsight. Any other cities like this? You just chose which power you want and pay they were only 7 so cheap

Rupert 23 Nov 2014, 15:21

Hello Soundmanpt,

Yes, I placed my order with Zenni and had no problems. The glasses are in transit and will be arriving in a few days. So, it all worked out fine.

I think you're right that the message has always been there. I just didn't notice it when I placed my first order a couple of years ago.

Thanks again for encouraging me to go ahead and order.

Soundmanpt 21 Nov 2014, 23:35


I just wanted to report that I placed orders for glasses for 2 different people with Zenni. I have actual current prescriptions for both people but I at times have placed orders without a current up to date prescription. So I was curious if they would contact me asking for a copy of the prescriptions and they did not. Honestly i have seen that disclaimer many times through the years but never actually read it until you pointed it out. But it seems nothing has changed which I am happy about.

So did you in fact go ahead with placing your order?

GreginColo 11 Nov 2014, 19:57

Hi Trent; if I am recalling correctly, Zenni optical usually has a BOGO special for Black Friday, so I am hoping they plan to do so again this year, as I have been waiting to order, so we should know in a few weeks. In the meantime you may want to go to their site and look at frames, etc in case they offer this special again. I have been pleased with glasses I have ordered from them in the past. Hope this helps. Thanks also for sharing your recent Rx, if the same Trent. Regards, Greg.

Trent 11 Nov 2014, 19:23

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming, where do you think the best sale on glasses will be?

Soundmanpt 11 Nov 2014, 17:37

Crystal Veil

To be honest like yourself i have been placing orders with Zenni for about 11 years now and have probably ordered several hundred in those years and yes i saw statement but I don't recall ever reading it. i just finished checking my orders to be sure they were entered correct and simply clicked where it asks if you accept the terms and conditions. So has it in the past always ask for a written copy of your prescription slip to be included? I told Rupert the only way to find out is to place his order and if they don't accept it then we all have a problem. But otherwise he should receive his glasses as ordered. Most all of my orders do have actual prescriptions from the people wanting them. But I usually always order several pairs a month of glasses that I think will be popular with my clients based on their age group. So far this has worked out very well. Of course every so often some of them are dropped by Zenni. But because my sample pairs all have very weak prescriptions in them I don't have much trouble selling them at a slightly reduced price.

Anyway until now have you ever read that statement at the very end?

Crystal Veil 11 Nov 2014, 16:20


I have been ordering Zenni glasses for five years (well over a hundred pairs) and always simply fill in the form without adding a photocopy of an optician's prescription. They only ask me questions about orders for glasses with high prescriptions without high index. I then explain to them that the glasses are not for use in daily life, only for photo shoots with models (which happens to be the truth!) so nobody will ever complain about the thickness of the lenses. I hope this information is reassuring to you. All you have to think of is how to paraphrase it for your own situation. Good luck!

Soundmanpt 11 Nov 2014, 12:41


Please do! Many of us in here use them quite often and that would be a major bad thing if they are only accepting written prescription slips.

Rupert 11 Nov 2014, 12:01

Thanks so much for the responses!

I'm going to go ahead and order. If I run into any problems, I'll alert the crew here at Eye Scene!

Soundmanpt 11 Nov 2014, 11:58


I think your fine too place your order. Those terms have been in place for some time and I have never had a problem getting orders placed and received.

astigmaphile 11 Nov 2014, 11:44

The last time that I ordered from Zenni was a few months ago. They did not ask for a prescription. They just had an online area where you fill in spghere, cylinder, axis, add. What I am wearing is a little higher than my real prescription, which is over three years old.

Rupert 11 Nov 2014, 11:07

Quick question about Zenni Optical. I was just about to order a couple of pairs of glasses to do GOC and noticed in the terms of sale as I was checking out that they are requesting that a copy of the prescription be sent via e-mail, fax, etc. along with the order.

Since I'm doing GOC, my actual prescription does not match what I'm ordering. I ordered a couple of great, thick pairs from Zenni two years ago and had no problem. Does anyone know if they're actually following through on the prescription request? I canceled my order for now.


lazysiow 27 Oct 2014, 19:34

An interesting startup. Frames and lenses specifically designed to be interchangeable

aviator -00-  08 Oct 2014, 16:25

Does anyone here have experience or ordering glasses from optical shops in Argentina? Do they require an "official" prescription, or will piece of paper written by the customer be sufficient? Also, what are the prices like if buying in Buenos Airies? All advice welcome.

19dollface76 18 Feb 2014, 11:56

newbie -- while this doesn't help you just yet, it soon will. will soon be offering international shipping as it looks like more countries are being added to the website (US and Canada,but Netherlands and Spain are now showing up recently, which may mean shipping will soon be available!). The wonderful thing about this is that they are the only website to have come up with software tools on their site to accurately measure vertical fitting height for bifocals/progressives(varifocals)/etc. This is a critical measurement that allows for proper prescription/lens placement in the frames you choose and will make you a much happier customer. I believe if you contact them, you can be notified when the shipping becomes available.

newbie 31 Jan 2014, 15:35

Thanks for your advice, Soundmanpt. I will give that some thought. As you say, the 50% cash back offer does reduce the risk.

Soundmanpt 31 Jan 2014, 11:55


Maybe I can help you a bit for any future on line glasses shopping. Your correct that it is so much easier to buy some nice single vision glasses on line and not have any problem, but varifocals, progressives and bifocals is somewhat more of a challenge to get the correct sight height for the add.

It's great that you prefer a rimless or semi rimless frame style or any frame that has the adjustable nose pads. This at least does allow for the glasses to be adjusted higher or lower and puts the add in the proper location. Also something that Zenni ( has started asking when you place your order is where you position your glasses on your nose, pushed all the way up, part way down or low on your nose. Picking one of these should help them place the add closer to what works best for you.

As for a good fit of the glasses in general, something I have found that works very well is to first find a pair of your previous glasses that fit your face best. Measure them across the front from the outside left to the outside right in millimeters and then when shopping on line for new glasses find something that is very close to the size of your glasses that fits well.

Doing these things should help at least

If this still doesn't help and your not pleased with your new glasses Zenni will at least refund 50% of what you paid for them which isn't a bad deal considering they are not very expensive in the first place.

lazysiow 31 Jan 2014, 03:48

Everyone should check out Made Eyewear. They seem to only offer hipster frames for now sadly, but they will send you a free trial of 3 frames with PRESCRIPTION lenses for up to a week and it's up to you what you keep with FREE shipping.

They actually own the factories they use and apparently manufacture them with qualtiy and for $5 or less a pair so beat Warby Parker at their own game

newbie 30 Jan 2014, 19:41

In my last post (last line) I think I meant too say 'too low in the frame'.

newbie 30 Jan 2014, 19:39

Does anyone here have a view on which UK chain opticians give best value? I have seen a number of contributors say that independents give better value than chains but I don't know whether they mean US or UK. In my area the independents seem to be aiming at the high end of the market and are therefore very expensive.

I'm looking for varifocal lenses in rimless or semi-rimless frames (ie not the current fashion) and the local independents are quoting 400-500. I did buy a semi-rimless pair online few years ago and while they fitted reasonably well, in the end I didn't feel I suited the frame and the add in the prescription started too high up the frame, so that I had to tilt my head up to read. I could, I suppose, buy online again, on a trial and error basis, accepting that although it may take a few tries to get a really suitable pair, I would still have spent less than I would buying on the 'high street'.

Cactus jack 06 Dec 2013, 00:23


You might want to explain coherent and non-coherent light and the sources and uses.


Astra 06 Dec 2013, 00:13

As for the unit of "angular deflection",

Scientific prisms are often used for deflecting a coherent beam of light ray to propagate in a specific direction.

This purpose is different from Ophthalmic prisms or most types of non-prismatic lenses, which often comes with the unit of "focal length", are often used for focusing of non-coherent light beams.

Cactus Jack 05 Dec 2013, 12:39


Ophthalmic Prisms are prescribed in Prism Diopters defined by Sir Isaac Newton 300 years ago as: 1 Prism Diopter is that amount of prism that will deflect a ray of light 1 cm at a distance of 1 meter. Some times you see it written as a number with a small superscript delta or triangle symbol followed by the direction of the Base of the prism Up, Down, In or Out. The delta or triangle is often mistaken for the small superscript circle denoting degrees of several different types.

Scientific prisms are often specified in angular degrees of deflection. When Newton was defining, distances were more easily measured very accurately than angular degrees.

There is a trigonometric relationship between Prism Diopters and angular degrees using an Arctangent function (Inverse of the Tangent function). It turns out that 1 Prism Diopter = approximately 0.57 angular degrees.

The simple, but surprisingly accurate prism test I outlined on the Vision and Soex site uses Newton's definition of Prism Diopters.

Even if you use a small circle to designate Prism Diopters, most lens makes will interpret that as being Prism Diopters and make the glasses


Astra 05 Dec 2013, 05:37

Zenni 1.61 index costs $ 20

Astra 05 Dec 2013, 05:20


1.6 lenses in "Profit Finder Co" costs US $ 28.4

Crystal Veil 04 Jul 2013, 06:25


Zenni recently started offering prism glasses at a modest extra cost, just under 10 dollars. You may well get what you want there.

Aubrac 04 Jul 2013, 05:31

Was interested in getting some glasses made up with base out prism added. Unfortunately the cheapest seller, SelectSpecs, insists on a prescription for prism correction.

However Glasses4eyes does prism up to 3 degrees, and when I called them said that for 10(UK pounds) per lens, they would do higher levels so might give them a try.

aviator -00- 03 Jul 2013, 18:12

Does anyone have experience of buying glasses in Brazil? Will they insist on a proper prescription, or do the optical stores accept what the customer asks for?

Revolver 27 Jun 2013, 11:03

If you're ever in Vegas, go to the Cosmopolitan hotel/casino, take the escalator to the 2d floor and there's a shop called RetroSpecs which is way cool. It's an interesting mix of original old frames, some of which have been rx'd and some of which haven't, but all in excellent shape and can be rx'd. Also, they have brand new frames made to be vintage. You'll find just about anything you want, they have 3 licensed professional opticians on staff, but are very upscale in price. Their GM is a sweetheart, she came to them from other retailers, and unfortunately has no correction herself. But, she wears a pair of black/silver Clubman style frames, plano with AR coating. Well worth the trip.

Stingray 26 Apr 2013, 10:18

I just ordered a new pair of glasses from They have powers up to -/+ 20.00 and the prices are dirt cheap

Crystal Veil 26 Apr 2013, 08:38


a good alternative for 1.74 lenses in a Zenni frame is ciliaryblue. My life partner Nel has -12 and needs progressive lenses. Zenni does not go higher than -10.00 for progressives. So I sent two of her favorite Zenni frames to ciliaryblue and they charged me 200 GBP for each pair. The glasses look great and give her perfect vision. If you only need single lenses (presumably the case) their price is 95 GBP per pair. Not as cheap as Zenni would have been but still only one third of what your local optician charges you. It's really worth a try!

Ellie 26 Apr 2013, 00:23

I had the opportunity to speak with a Zenni representative on their live chat today and I asked about the 1.74 high index lenses. It turns out that they are an option to only -10 and below...which I found strange. Perhaps they're getting lens shipments from a different source than they used to in the past? I'm not sure. The representative said she didn't know if 1.74 lenses will be made available to those with higher precriptions (like me).

I'm quite disappointed as I was hoping to get a really nice (and inexpensive) pair. My current glasses from Zenni broke unfortunately, so I need to get a new pair anyway. I'm suffering with having to wear contacts for longer than I am used to...

Soundmanpt 14 Apr 2013, 11:34


I had forgotten about that happening to you, and I know they have a disclaimer that says some prescriptions, I assume stronger ones, may take a bit longer than 14 days to deliver, but without a doubt 4 weeks is excessive. I can certainly understand your displeasure with them for that as I am sure your daughter was in need of her glasses. So as a consumer with other options available that are good and maybe more timely I get it. If I ever feel that I am getting poor service I would be doing the same as you.

One thing I can tell you is that I now know of many opticians and even the doctors that are getting their own glasses as well as their family members from Zenni and in many cases they have told me that Zenni is more accurate with their prescriptions then their own lab is.

specs4ever 13 Apr 2013, 23:06

If you go back to 05 May 2011 @ 09:18 and read to 12 May 2011 07:57 in the thread Online Retailers it might refresh your memory soundmanpt. The eventual outcome was that they did not get her glasses to me on time and they refused to refund my money. The eventual outcome was that they did ship the glasses directly to her, but she had purchased another pair from a local optical store.

When I get ticked off I have a a long memory and the fact that they were very uncooperative didn't help.

Soundmanpt 13 Apr 2013, 15:52


Just curious what problem did you have with Zenni as I have used them for many years and ordered many hundreds of glasses from them without even one problem. (so far) As well as other members of our vision group.

Specs4ever 13 Apr 2013, 06:52

Ellie, I have been sadly disappointed with Zenni during my past couple of purchases. I have found to be a decent alternate, and they do offer 1.74 lenses

Ellie 13 Apr 2013, 00:53

Hello Soundmanpt, thanks for your response. Please let me know if you are able to reach someone at Zenni who can explain what happened to the lens selection.

I'm quite disappointed that they don't offer higher index than 1.67 anymore. I wonder if they would do special orders. I was hoping to get a new pair as I'm heading off to college this fall and am contemplating wearing my glasses in public more often. Especially since I can't find contacts that correct me properly, I will need to wear glasses more often. My prescription is -14.50 for my right eye and -12.50 for my left. I also have moderate astigmatism in my left eye as well, which makes it hard for me to find toric lenses that go up in my power for sphere. I don't think my glasses would look bad in the 1.67 (I have a pair with 1.67 in an older rx) but I would prefer a nicer looking pair.

Also, sorry for posting in the wrong thread. I forgot that there is a thread called Online Retailers.

Soundmanpt 11 Apr 2013, 10:48


You are correct. Interesting that they don't offer it anymore. I will make a point to ask them the question next time I chat with them. Actually you can do the same as they have a nice "live chat" that they answer questions on. I did notice that it wasn't real cheap as I recall it was an additional $78.00 or so, but compared to the optical stores still a bargain. Does your prescription warrant such a hi index? I have ordered glasses from them in the teens with just the 1.67 lenses and they look great.

Ellie 10 Apr 2013, 21:07

Not sure if I'm just not looking in the right place, but does Zenni still offer 1.74 high index lenses? Every time I get the screen to order my glasses I only see the 1.67 as the highest index. Is this happening to anyone else?

Soundmanpt 04 Apr 2013, 10:38

Crystal Veil

That should work for them in the future. Most all optical shops respect and honor a request for a patient's prescription without question.

I was wondering why you didn't just use your trial frame and lens on them as that should work well. Now I understand why.

You should be able with their own help to get reasonably close to their prescriptions by their first picking out the glasses they want to use in the shoot and then modeling with them.

looking forward to your next shoot. Sounds like you have quite a good number of willing models to select from.

Crystal Veil 04 Apr 2013, 05:32


I will mention your information to the models. It's not the end of the world if they don't know their exact prescription. It often happens that a model puts on a pair of vintage glasses, exclaiming, "I can see perfect through these!". Then I know their actual prescription. There will be no room left to bring along a trial frame + trial lens set to Ireland so the glasses will have to do the trick.

Thanks for your information, much appreciated!

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