My Glasses Arrive

My glasses arrive, from the online people, and the varifocals are great – exactly what I wanted.

The sunglasses look ok initially – I love the retro mock-tortoiseshell frames, but something niggles me, so I send an email to them querying it.

I get a phone call back within an hour, from a very pleasant guy who is happy to talk to me about technical stuff. I explain that although I don’t expect to use polarised sunglasses for looking at an LCD computer monitor, I was sitting in front of one when I opened the glasses, and couldn’t help noticing – thanks to the polarization of the screen – that the pattern of the polarization of the lens isn’t even, and I seem to be looking at stress patterns in the lenses themselves. I know that this would not be visible under normal use, but I had to know if it was indicative of anything.

He assured me that – to an extent – this is normal, and is caused by stress, in making the lens and fitting it to the frame.

As he is speaking to me, I notice something else.

“OK, I said, but shouldn’t the polarization of both lenses be aligned to the same plane?”

“Yes,” he said. “Otherwise – depending on the polarisation of a light source or glare, one eye could appear darker than the other.”

“That’s what I am seeing,” I say. “I’m rotating them in front of my LCD screen, and the as they rotate the left hand lens is getting darker and lighter about 20 degrees before the right hand lens.”

“OK, that’s wrong. I’ll raise a return ticket, so you can send them back.”

Sigh. One part of me is frustrated that there is a problem. However, I do appreciate good customer service, and this is definitely it. The return ticket, with a pdf freepost label, arrived by email in minutes.


  1. July 28, 2010

    Excellent service!

    Sounds like a company I should definitely look into.

    I’m amused at work that the polarisation of my laptop is the same as everyone elses, and 90 degrees from all the LCD monitors … and that my polarized varifocal sunglasses are at 45 degrees, so that I can see both screens (but darkened a bit) and if I tilt my head one way, then the laptop dims and the desktop monitor brightens, and if I tilt my head the other way, the same thing happens but to the vice-versa screens.

    • July 28, 2010

      oh, and the stress patterns for the varifocal/fitting/whatever is there in mine too, so it’s apparently normal.

      • chris
        July 28, 2010

        That’s good to know, and as I explained to the guy, if he had reassured me that all was well, as he did, I would have accepted that – really I just wanted to check that this was ok, while I was in a position to do something about it if it wasn’t.

        However, when I mentioned the difference between the two lenses, he immediately said, “no, that *is* wrong”, and arranged for their return.

        So I am glad I raised it with them.

        My understanding is that polarized glasses are vertically aligned, as the most common glare elements – sun off water, in particular – are horizontally aligned (and hence will be cancelled). It seems that most LCD manufactures go 45 degrees either side of the vertical, to be sure that polarised lenses don’t clash. However, I *have* read reports that some very expensive car HUDs cannot be used with polarized glasses, so not everyone thinks of it.

        • July 28, 2010

          It’s annoying when you’re using a digital camera and either have an electronic viewfinder, or are using the screen on the back, and you go from landscape to portrait and suddenly everything goes black 🙁 … ditto using something like an iPhone. I don’t know how AMOLED screens work so I don’t know if they suffer from the same problem …

    • chris
      July 28, 2010

      Fun to have with a laptop. Ordinary cellophone changes polarization by 90 degrees.

      I don’t have the details at hand, but from memory, some years back a chap used this to experiment with turning a normal laptop into a type of 3d display, by covering half the screen with cellophone, so one half was oriented at 45 degrees, and one half an 135 degrees. He then made up a pair of glasses with similar filters, and displayed stereoscopic images on the laptop. Apparently it worked like a charm.

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