In this article, I will share my experience wearing the Varilux X during my daily routines. There are some really great things about those progressive lenses to say and some things that were a little nagging.
First of all, what´s really good about them is the time to get used to them. It took me only a day and after that, I was set and had an easy time finding the clear spots for reading. The anti-reflective coating is also very good. I see the blue mirrorlike effects barely while driving but they are still there sometimes. What I don´t like are the chromatic aberrations I see when looking at things with a bright to dark transition.
In the beginning, I thought it was me but then I compared to my other progressive lenses and I did not experience this effect what so ever. In short, a really minimal yellow or blue shadow surrounds objects. Especially in bright light. This describes the effect best but you can see what I mean in an exaggerated way in the left picture below.
The options are big if you want to order the Varilux X from Essilor. So what do I actually order? I ordered the very high-end possibility from the Varilux X and that´s the configuration with the 4D ending. The material I chose is the Ormix without a tint which is more durable compared to the standard plastic called Orma. The coating I liked most when looking at the samples was the Crizal Saphire UV.
The coating is extremely transparent and adds a slight blue mirror-like effect to it. Which is really minimal and definitely one of the best on the market.
From What I Heard They Should Have Zero Blur in the Periphery
Nothing could be further away from the truth. Reading other reviews of the Varilux X I new they are great. But I knew a progressive lens always has blurry fields in the periphery. Every manufacturer out there. But how big is the clear field of view now in my Varilux X 4D? Well, I can see my screen on my iPhone 6s Plus perfectly fine if I hold it in portrait mode.
I can read easily and it feels very comfortable. But honestly, if I turn my head like one degree or two to point my nose into the direction at the right or left end of the screen the picture gets from clear to brilliant. That usually happens faster with soft progressive lens designs. And the Varilux X has a soft progressive lens design to give you a smooth progression from clear to blurry.
But of course a smooth progression means some blur will be noticeable a little earlier compared to a hard progressive lens design. If you choose a harder lens design the progression from clear to blurry would happen faster and the clear field of view might be a little bigger.
But it would hit you even harder in the periphery because then the blur (surface astigmatism) would be accumulated on a smaller surface area. But most people will not notice this slight blur. Turning my iPhone in portrait mode shows the blur on the edges of the screen. But the results from my Varilux X can vary from your experience.
The reason therefor is primarily the Add value in your prescription. The higher it is the less clear field of view you will have. The lower the Add value is the lesser you need to perform head movements to point your nose into the direction you want to see clearly in.
I set my Add at +2,00 DPT for this test. And this will be the optimal reading support for a lot of wearers of progressive lenses if they are over 50 years old. This is my prescription:
With this prescription, I have an extremely wide field of view in the upper half in combination with an easy to find near range zone in the lower half. The lenses perform really good in the arm length distance too.
The lower half of the lens can be customized for you. So the clearest optics are positioned in front of your eyes while you focus on near-range things. That´s why I added the numbers of my Insets in the picture above. They position the reading zone. And they are seldom the same for two people. And for me, it´s not even the same for my eyes. Because my pupilar distance is asymmetrical.
But those customization is just one out of many options. Because this is not the only parameter that determines the perfect position for the reading zones.
- How far is the distance from the lens back surface to your eyes?
- How much are the lenses tilted?
- Do you want to be able further away from your belly or nearer to you?
- What is your leading eye?
- What devices do you use most? Ipad, Laptops or a PC?
There is also more but I do not want to blow up this review about the Varilux X too much. If you want to find out more about all the possibilities you can read my article here about the Varilux lenses.
How the Varilux X for Switching Screens Performs
Working with a 15inch Laptop brings the Varilux X to its limits. I can easily work long hours with this if my tasks at those progressive lenses just need to be focused on text and I need to focus on the middle of the screen. If I perform more eye movements the left and the right third of the screens get blurry. It looks pretty much like the picture below.
So for switching screens, it is ok. Really good for a daily progressive lens but if you need a normal PC and the screen is on the same level as your eyes you should get additional computer progressive lenses. The clear field of view would be so much bigger compared to the Varilux X. I had a really small sphere-like effect when working with them on my laptop but this effect disappeared after a few days.
So the roundish shapes disappeared and my screen appears straight again. By the way, describing those things is really nitpicking here from my side.
What I Think About the Varilux X for Driving
Driving my car with the Varilux X is a breeze. Seriously those are one of the best progressive lenses I ever had for driving. compared to other brands I hardly see any blur in the periphery no matter how much I turn my head look behind me or to the sides.
One thing I noticed was headlights that I saw as a reflection from angles that were in a wide-angle driving close at me. That is something I did not recognize with other progressive lenses because I noticed this in the daytime. Funny enough driving at night was there were no mirrorlike effects what so ever.
When it´s nighttime I am able to notice blurry fields in the periphery a bit but only by turning my head a lot. So nobody probably does that but I wanted to add it here.
My Thoughts on the Xtend Technology
The lenses are made with your modern daily routines in mind. Switching distances all the time and it just feels great using the Varilux X. But in some cases my customers expect the X Series to be a substitute for their reading glasses or their office lenses. And it is not.
As I described earlier in this article I experience a really nice clear zone in front of me for reading. The periphery in the lower half, however, is blurry. as it is with other progressive lenses too. I will do a more detailed comparison soon with progressive lenses but for now, I need to say they are extremely good when it comes to the distance zone. In the mid-distance and reading zone I had pretty similar results with other progressive lenses.
The picture above shows you the parts for a clear vision in blue. The colors green yellow and red represent blurry vision. To me, this is one of the best and most accurate pictures to describe the vision with the Varilux X.
In Short, What Is Good
- very easy adaptation for reading and laptop work
- a really wide field of view in the distance
- straight lines appear very straight
- I love how the coating looks, really great anti-reflective performance
In Short What Was Not so Good
- the chromatic aberrations are a weird experience (with low prescription even more)
- off course they are expensive (they start at 500$ per piece)
What About the Cleaning Abilities of the Varilux X Crizal Sapphire UV?
After a long day, the lenses accumulate very little dust on its surface. Overall I had a really good experience with the coating. It is also easy to clean when it comes to skin fat.
I hope my review of the Varilux X helped you out. I continue testing progressive lenses and wish you a great day.