After waiting two weeks, I headed to Target this afternoon to pick up my new lenses. I’m going from my ‘old schoo’l ovals to hipper, hotter rectangular frames (or at least Helaine and Stef say they’re hipper and hotter).
I only waited a few minutes while the salesperson finished up with someone there before me. Then she brought out my new specs.
I looked at some small type. Perfect. Everything was sharply in focus. I’m crazy about that.
Next I looked at a poster on the wall. These are progressive bifocals, so near and far should be no trick. I wanted to see something with high contrast.
The poster was almost sharp – but not quite. I went back and forth, switching from the old to new glasses, trying to get a read on the situation.
Maybe I was tilting my head wrong, or had to get used to a new sweet spot on the new lens? Whatever the problem, I said I’d take them home and see if it was just a matter of getting used to them.
As I walked out of the store and into the car, I began to realize what was wrong. In the bright sunlight, everything was fringed in blue! Where hills in Meriden met the pure blue sky, there was no way to see the blue, but there I saw an orange band.
This was a problem I recognized. Sometimes, while working with my pictures in Photoshop, I have to correct a similar fringing. If a lens doesn’t pass all colors at the same speed, the result is called chromatic aberration.
My new glasses are chromatically aberrant! Doesn’t anyone in the lab check?
I was off at the next exit, heading back to Target. The salesperson said this was a problem with polycarbonate lenses, but it’s tough for me to believe it’s legal to dispense a whole category of lens that distorts what people are seeing. After all, they’re called corrective lenses and many people use them in situations where color is critical.
I’m wearing my old glasses again. The wait is on for another new pair.
I’ve asked not to be placed at the back of the line. Good luck to me!