The Leica Variovid Volterra Experience – An in-depth Review


Leica has a new progressive lens design and I tested the Variovid Volterra now for a few weeks. In this article, I review the lenses and tell you what I liked and what I did not like about those lenses.

The Leica Variovid Volterra is advertised as a revolution in progressive lens design. And in all honesty, I expected more from a revolutionary product compared to the progressive lenses from other competitors. Do not get me wrong here. The Leica Variovid Volterra is a great progressive lens design and it totally keeps up with other high-end progressive lenses.

The width of the clear field of view is pretty much what I get with the Varilux X or the Zeiss Individual 2. So that is extremely good. But wearing the Variovid Volterra does not feel like a revolution. Because it is advertised as such.

Although the Leica Varioid Volterra does a better job in two important benefits in which it clearly outperforms the mentioned competitors. Take your time and read on to get my whole review about those new progressive lenses from Leica.

Getting used to the Leica Variovid Volterra

It definitely took six days until I got used to the Leica Variovid Volterra. Especially in the beginning, I was gradually adapting day by day a little better to the lenses. But after approximately two weeks I really started to like them.

Although the lens design is advertised as revolutionary. It of course functions in totally the same way as you would expect from progressive lenses.

As soon as you perform eye movements down you will get the reading support and you need to point your nose into the direction you want to see clearly in. If you follow those basic rules you will find the reading zones quickly. Usually, that is exactly the case. But I had to look for the right spots more compared to the Zeiss Individual 2 for example.

Michael Penczek wearing the Variovid Volterra Progressive lenses from Leica

This effect gradually decreased over time but even after wearing those lenses for more than two weeks now, I found myself in situations looking for the right spots here and there when I read inside in artificial light.

When I am outside the Variovid Volterra are probably my favorite progressive lenses in terms of clarity and the ease of finding the right spots to see clearly in.

Also, what was one thing which should be mentioned I took them off from time to time in the beginning. The start with those lenses was not as easy as with other progressive lenses.

It was approximately two times per day when I had to just ease off and did not want to wear them for a few minutes. After a few moments, I placed them on my nose again.

The clear fields of view or the centration were not the problem. We rechecked everything and sometimes you just like or dislike one lens design over the other.

Surprisingly I personally never had this experience before. And after time it made click and I really started to like this lens design. Suddenly

What Configuration did I choose for the Leica Variovid Volterra Review?

The configuration for the Varioid Volterra ist the plastic material 1.6 with the coating Aquadura Vision Pro. The length of the lens corridor was 15mm which is a medium-sized corridor length.

How wide is the field of view with Variovid Volterra in the reading zone?

The field of view in the Variodvid Volterra in the reading zone is exactly as wide as with the Zeiss Individual 2. Here in the picture below, I marked the beginning of the blurry fields on my iPhone 6s Plus when I hold it landscape mode.

When I hold it in portrait mode everything is clear. But in landscape mode, the blurriness starts to kick in at the marked lines. As I tested other progressive lenses before I was surprised that the blurriness kicks in at the exact same spots as with other high-end progressive lenses.

Also what I tried was if I could read better in the blurry space compared to other progressive lenses but also this was the same. When you look through the spots in the periphery you will get things like double contours and shadow-like effects on the characters. And also this was pretty much the same with the other lenses.

The coating – Leica nails it.

The coating you get with the Leica Variovid Volterra is the Aquadura Vision. It has very good characteristics in regards to staying clean and transparent throughout the day.

The color of the reflections of the Aquadura Vision Pro is white. It looks great and is barely noticeable. During the day and night, I had no glare noticed whatsoever. That is definitely a plus here. Overall the lenses I tested so far are my favorite for driving at day and night.

There is also a normal version of the Aquadura Vision with blue reflections in on the surface which is also very minimal when it comes to glare on the lens surface. But I only tested the Pro version. So the glare, if there is any, will be extremely barely noticeable and you definitely do not need to worry about reflections on the lens surface.

When I think back about my other experiences with progressive lenses the coatings on other lenses gave me a more noticeable glare. Even during the day, I was able to see spots with the reflections from other cars behind me.

Which was minimal and I had no issues tolerating those but having none at all is definitely better. So I highly recommend the Aquadura Vision Pro.

Finally – No Color fringes

If you want to find out more about color fringes that bothered me a little on very sunny days with the Varilux X and the Zeiss Individual 2 just click on their names here and you will get to there reviews. Although I chose the “same material” (1.6) in combination with all three pairs of progressive lenses the Variovid Volterra gave me no color fringes at all and the other both did.

Color fringes I experience with the Varilux X and Zeiss Individual 2
Here is a example of what I mean with color fringes. on the left you can see a tiny colored shadow. And on the right shadow it looks normal. The Variovid Volterra gave the experience on the right even on sunny days.

And that is a huge plus for me. Because when I was outside I always unintentionally looked at those color fringes. They appeared as a little yellow or blue shadows on top of a shadow. And not having to deal with this makes the picture a little more brilliant to me. A little better than the Zeiss Individual 2 and definitely better compared to the Varilux X.

Bent Lines

Usually what can happen with progressive lenses is a slightly altered perception of shapes when looking through your new progressive lenses. With the Variovid Volterra, I had just a very minimal bent in straight lines.

Conclusion

The Variovid Volterra experience delivers very wide fields of view. And the coating delivers superior performance in comparison to the other high-end manufacturers. But it definitely did not feel revolutionary wearing it. I had to point my nose into the direction in exactly the same way as I did with the Zeiss lenses in the weeks before.

In the beginning, I was very critical about those lenses and I wrote this review over a few days. But today wearing the lenses I got used to them. It was right in the moment when I typed this text on my laptop. I really like these lenses.

I think if you are interested in those lenses you should try them. They are definitely a good alternative to the other options out there. If you do not like this new progressive lens design you can switch afterward anyways. Because usually optical shops give you some sort of satisfaction guarantee. But verify this in your optical shop individually before you buy it.

As you could read here progressive lenses sometimes just take time to get used to them. Especially the start was a little stressor in the my daily routines. But after I suddenly got used to them they feel great. So take your time, wear your new progressives.

I hope this review gave you the information about the Variovid Volterra from Leica you were looking for. Soon on this blog you can find a more detailed comparison with other progressive lenses. In this article I just wanted to share my experience wearing them.

I wish you a great day.

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