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Thread: #%$& Glasses

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    #%$& Glasses

    So in the past year my perfect vision has gone to pot and now I can not read the apertures and speeds on my shutter dials, amongst other things. This is a hard, cruel transition for me because for 48 years my vision was one of the few things that worked perfectly on my body and now even it is crapping out and the warranty sucks.

    My lovely wife made me get an expensive pair of narrow designer-y reading glasses that I constantly take on and off. I also have a couple pair of $15 reading glasses from the Supermarket. I'm thinking about getting one of those old lady eyeglass chains, at least since I am no longer a ski bum and Croakies are kind of bulky.

    But it sucks! Worse than bunions and impotence! This getting old crap blows so much.

    I've stuck diopters on my small format gear but I found I could no longer focus a TLR easily. I didn't like focusing an SLR either, although I could get used to it -- but right now I am thinking a 35mm rangefinder is the way to go for small format focusing success. Of course AF works on digital but I find it harder to confirm that the AF is focusing on what I want it to focus on, so it slows me down.

    On the large format ground glass I adjusted my loupe to give me a sharp image but I find I am not as precise as I used to be. I used to be able to focus 99% accurate without any loupe, so this really is a pain.

    I'm going to try a Graflex RB slr next to see if I can stick my head w reading glasses into the furry hood ;-)

    What strategies work best for those of you who have decent far vision but need reading glasses for camera operation? What's the smoothest working method -- any tips?

    I guess I am just moaning but since most of the readership here is old coots I figure you'll be sympathetic or at least share a smirk....

  2. #2

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Try these... They say, "I'm an old dork, and I'm proud of it." Actually, they look/work better than a librarian chain. Samuel L. Jackson wears them so you know they just HAVE to be cool.

    I have a pair of readers at my desks at work and home, a pair next to the bed and one in the console of my car. I also have my wear all the time glasses, but they're not handy for concentrated up close work.

    BTW, sorry about the impotence thing. Having half naked pretty girls in leather and handcuffs isn't helping that?
    I've got my gear, now what?

    Photography Blog

  3. #3

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post sucks! Worse than bunions and impotence! This getting old crap blows so much.
    But you CAN see the models, right Frank? It could be worse.

    I carry some readers with me. Cheaper than an assistant.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Holland + Brazil

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    For most camera's, including the TLR's you have diopter inserts.
    Have an optician cut a glass to it and reglue.
    In that way you can have your own power even with a cylinder if needed.

    Hope this helps,

  5. #5
    Michael Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    This is a hard, cruel transition for me because for 48 years my vision was one of the few things that worked perfectly on my body and now even it is crapping out and the warranty sucks.
    It ain't the years, it’s the miles...

    When I take my glasses off, the world is a fuzzy blur; need 'em for reading and distance. That presented a problem for using of loupe, so I had my optometrist make a pair of magnifying glasses measured to focus at about 8-10". They are half frame so I can at least look over the top at what I am photographing. Then I mounted them on one of those neck things so I could pull them off without worry about where they land and place my real glasses on. (They make those "things" in materials other than gold chains, btw. Mine is some weird braided leather that kinks when I try to wrap it up.) This works much more smoothly than a loupe, can be re-made as my vision changes, and the best part is both my hand are free to adjust the image while still being sharply focused.

    You might try one of those magnifiers orthodontists or brain surgeons use, but you’ll still end up with the glasses on the chain look.

    Enjoy the years. The alternative is less archival…


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Frank, I've got you beat by 5 years but I haven't given up yet. As I have great close vision I've so far just looked over the top of my glasses. As that is imperfect too I'm considering actually using the (safety or 'birth-control') bifocals issued to me by my employer. I sold my Rollei, one reason was the focus issues. I find the Leica to be the easiest hand-held camera to focus, but then I've been using it for 30 years. I'd suggest the possibility of a real pair of glasses (not tiny ones that scream 'fashion victim') that will allow bifocals. Just have the eye doctor prescribe a bifocal that will focus at your preferred working distance. As I often photograph around delicate and x-pensive things, the strings on the earpieces are standard wear. I wouldn't worry too much about how it all looks- I guarantee that anyone who sees you at work will be looking at your subject.

  7. #7
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vancouver Washington

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Frank, I know what you mean. I used to be able to read road signs from miles away. My close up vision sucks. I have to use cheapo reading glasses. I use a pair of 1.5's just to get my camera set up and then switch to a pair of 4's to focus. Shooting 11x14 and 8x20 I have to stand back a bit to see everything. The loupe thing just did not work on my larger formats. I tried those chain things around your neck but with my viewing filter and the one for my glasses I always got pissed off when things got tangled. I just have to watch when I have the 4's on. There have been time when I am walking around the camera and I trip over things. Not nice when you trip over the tripod when it has your 11x14 on it. Everything else works fine but I'm trying to get a transplant for my face and body and loose about 30 years in age so I can chase the young hotties again. Now that I'm older and wiser I've got more game! So the bottom line for me is I use a pair of 4's to focus with. If I really think about it it does make things look bigger from a close distance..........!!


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Houston, TX

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    I went through this about 5 years ago. Did the cheap supermarket readers, but as I never used glasses prior, I couldn't adapt to the on-again-off-again routine. I also stepped on a few pair that I placed poorly, and simply lost a few more (my memory went with my vision).

    In the end, I invested in a good pair of prescription glasses. Turns out I actually needed a minute correction for distance as well as for close up! Most of the glass is without prescription, though the glasses have a photochromic coating, so they are also top notch sunglasses as well. These things are now on my face unless I'm sleeping. Indoors, outdoors, driving... always. They have truly changed my quality of life.

    Be aware, though, good ones are expensive, and there's lots of junk out there. I initially bought two pair from one of the national vision chain stores... $375 each, after my insurance discount. I promptly returned both pair, thankfully for full credit. They made me dizzy using them, and one of the two pair fell apart within days. Turns out the prescription ground poorly, with the prescription portion being misplaced. I gave them two tries before I asked for my money back.

    After investigating a bit... turns out that ALL of these chain operation are getting most of their frames & maybe glass from China... so they can make more profit. This junk initially look fine, but like most Chinese products, is engineered to cost (not quality). If you want quality glasses, stay away from the chain operations. Oh, and all of those famous designer names... they have their crap made in China as well.

    I finally bought my glasses from an optometrist office... they are the only ones I could find who sold Varilux lenses. These are clearly superior lenses to the crap the chains are using, and only the optometrist offered offered the Nikon photochromic process, which is also far superior (faster changing, lighter & darker) than the version the chains push. Oh, and most of the frames here were from Italy... even some from the good old US of A. I wound up paying over $500, but only bought one pair. They fit great, and have performed flawlessly for the last four years... I've never even need a readjustment of the frames.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    Yup... 48 is about when it happens. I remember that day well. I've worn glasses for a long time but always had great near-vision accomodation. About that time I visited the opthomologist and he exressed surprise that I could still see close. That afternoon (and, no, I'm not exaggerating... at least not too much) that changed. I went back and now wear bi-focals. Welcome to the middle-ages, Frank!

  10. #10
    Tracy Storer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Oakland CA

    Re: #%$& Glasses

    44-now using +3 readers on croakies for focusing non-ULF view cameras. (details are big enough for good focusing without them on 20x24)
    Tracy Storer
    Mammoth Camera Company tm

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