Reading Glasses, Lasik and Photography

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TwoWheels, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    I am in my early 50's, wear a mild set of progressive glasses and went for an assessment yesterday for getting Lasik eye surgery. The idea is that they would optimize my distance vision but then I would need reading glasses for everything close up. For a lot of the things I do--running, cycling, travel--that would be ideal. On the other hand, I'm not so certain how it would impact my photography. So, I'm looking for some input and perspective for those of you who have either had Lasik surgery or wear reading glasses.

    My most important question: Does the eyepiece adjustment on most cameras adjust enough so that those who need reading glasses can see clearly through the viewfinder without wearing glasses? If it doesn't adjust to compensate, it seems like a serious bother to view a scene without glasses then have to put them on to see through the viewfinder. What about viewing the LCD screen? Can you read/see it without glasses? Do any of you have any experience you can relate on how Lasik and/or wearing reading glasses affects your photography?
  2. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Glasses drive me nuts right now. I have two pairs, one for reading and one for the computer. Because of the way I work I have to keep swapping between them. Progressive / bi-focal don't work for me :(

    My distance vision is fine. I don't need glasses for anything past around 40 inches. It's a shame my arms aren't longer or I wouldn't need glasses for reading either ;)

    Now to your question. I have never needed to wear glasses for using the EVF. The diopters have been perfectly capable of making the EVF completely clear and sharp. Having said that, I don't think my prescription is that strong, so you may need to figure out how string the correction will need to be.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. I'm in my late 50's and like most people, my eyes keep getting worse. I started wearing glasses occasionally (I hate them) in grade school for distance vision. However, until I turned 50 I was always able to pass the vision test (even for color blindness?) for my drivers license. I have progressive lenses now, but I still prefer to read and use the computer without them.

    On my camera I have the diopter set where I use the EVF without my glasses. I usually use the LCD without them also. I never got used to using the EVF with glasses on.

    I looked into LASIK on one eye, the then your other eye will adapt for close vision. The eye Dr gave me a corrected contact so I could see if it would work. On my left eye corrected, everything up close was blurry. On my right eye corrected, everything up close was also blurry. I seem to have a non-adaptable brain. I couldn't get the contact out of the right eye, so I had to back to the eye Dr. He could only find 1/2 of the contact. I guess I also have a hungry eye.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Funny Funny x 4
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I'm in exactly this situation and it's one of the reasons I so like EVFs. It's hard to use an LCD without my reading glasses, and that's just one more thing to go wrong when I'm out shooting.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    I use progressives. Just got a new pair. One eye seems to be getting worse, not the other. ?? I also use computer glasses which for me work for everything but distance. I read without glasses. In my case the EM5 diopter adjustment has plenty of range to correct for my eye. With or without glasses. I suspect that there is enough adjustment to correct for vision much worse than mine. In the past one could even have custom diopters made and fitted to the eyepiece. Not sure if that is even an option anymore. The only problem I have is that the adjustment won't stay where I set it and continually gets moved so I have to re-adjust all the time. I gave up on keeping the eyecup on it so the little wheel is exposed. This is the worst thing about the EM5 IMO. It's a PITA.

    As far as the viewfinder goes I believe that the apparent distance is about 1 meter. At least that's what it is in the old optical viewfinder of an OM. Not sure how that translates to digital but it is probably different but not infinity.

    Bottom line: you shouldn't have a problem.
  6. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Please see PM
  7. JBoot

    JBoot Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    I'm using Transitions Vantage lenses in my progressives, which auto tint and also become polarized as they tint. This allows me to have a single pair of glasses to cover every need indoors and out.

    However, it poses two problems... as you've seen with progressives, they are difficult to comfortably line up to the viewfinder. With the tinting/sunglass effect, the glasses also make it hard to validate exposure/overall image look.

    So, what I do, is keep my glasses on and just slide them down a bit, allowing me to use the viewfinder just looking over the top of them (the EVF handles my vision). This eliminates the possibility of dropping them, trying to hold them (or having to wear a librarians necklace) and when I need/want to immediately look at something else they are right back in line with a little nudge.
  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Polarized lenses cause the viewfinder to black out. At least mine do.

    Hmmm... I just ordered new progressives and I asked for the polarized transitions but they told me that they weren't available. Must be a Costco thing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I'd long worn glasses and then contacts for my severe nearsightedness. Then I had to have cataract surgery in one eye, and the doctor put in a corrective lens so that eye has near normal vision at distance. Then he balanced my vision by using LASIK on the other eye, also for distance. The dioptric adjustments on the EM5 and EM1 have been enough to let me see through the viewfinder, but I have to rely on autofocus and/or focus peaking to get the focus right. My visual acuity isn't as good as when I was younger, so precision focusing via the viewfinder is difficult. Working with an LCD is even more difficult, requiring good reading glasses. But, I'm used to carrying a reading glasses constantly. I'm in big trouble if I forget them.

    One gripe about the EVF is that it blacks out with polarized sunglasses. I need to wear those when I'm outside to protect my eyes, but when I'm shooting, I have to take them off. I guess it could work with non-polarized sunglasses, but most of the good ones are polarized.

    Oh well, life is full of little compromises. :)
  10. JBoot

    JBoot Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    The Transitions auto tint. Transitions Vantage are the ones that tint and have a built in variable amount of polarization that 'turns on' with the tinting process. BTW, I also made sure to add the anti-reflective coating, which is separate but makes a huge difference. See if they have Vantage.

    Agreed the lenses black out the viewfinder when tinted due to the polarization, but I found just looking over the top works well and I really love the single do-all lens.

    In keeping with m43, I now only have one pair of glasses to cover everything and nothing extra to carry.:2thumbs:
  11. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I have lens implants that get me close to 20/20. The implants can't adjust focus from near to far like my biological lenses did; focus is fixed. I use -1.5 diopter readers for reading documents and books, but can still read without assistance in bright light (pupil stops down = DOF). My situation is more severe than an older person with LASIK surgery and I am easily able to dial the EVF adjustment so I can shoot without readers.
    If your specialist sees any indication of future cataracts (most people get them eventually), forgo the laser and wait until you need the lens replacements. As always with medical concerns, YMMV.
  12. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    I had LASIK in 1998. I say go for it, assuming you're a good candidate. I'm wearing reading glasses now, but that was going to happen anyway. I have been perfectly happy with the EVF diopter adjustment on my E-M5. I do have to choose between using the EVF and the LCD, because I need reading glasses for the LCD but not for the EVF. I always have my reading glasses handy if I do want to look at the LCD. If your reading correction is mild, and you're not pixel peeping on the LCD, you can probably manage without the reading glasses for a while.

    Wearing glasses all the time is a pain in the -- uh, neck. I am very glad that I had LASIK. I can swim and see the shore (or the pool). I don't have to worry about my glasses fogging up when I come in from the cold. I can get out of bed and find my way to the bathroom without groping on the nightstand for my glasses. (I was pretty severely nearsighted.)

    Maybe talk to your doctor about monovision (one eye corrected for distance, one for reading.) It might be possible (as Harvey said) for you to get a couple of contact lenses to wear for a while to see how your brain adjusts. Some people love it. When they correct the eye for reading, all they do is undercorrect it -- not do the full correction that they would do for distance -- so if you tried it and it didn't work out for you, you could still get the "reading" eye corrected for distance and wear reading glasses.

    Choose your surgeon carefully. This isn't a time to bargain shop!
  13. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Thanks for the input, everyone. Lots to think about but it sounds like dialing the diopter so I can see the evf wouldn't be a big issue.

    That was suggested as a possibility to me in my consultation. It sounds like a road to mediocrity to me--effectively always having one eye blurry and one eye clear--although I know it apparently works for some people.

    The optometrist did say I have the slight beginnings of a cataract, but she said most people my age do and it could be 10-20 years until anything needs to be done about it.
  14. My male Optometrist said that it usually works best in females, although he had it done and was happy with it.
  15. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    I'm sure there's some sort of observation in there about the stubborn/hard-headed nature of men, but we won't go there on the grounds that it might be self incriminating. :biggrin:
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Before any of you choose LASIK ask about redo or touch ups. I had LASIK done at age 58, I'm now back in glasses. I found out that if you are over 50 that likely your operation will NOT stay in place. I had a toric cataract implant done in the other eye and it is holding much better. Had I known what I know now, I wouldn't have had it done. If you get progressive lenses make sure that you get the "wide channel" lenses, Costco only offers that type now. The new Transitions also work inside your car. Because I did have LASIK and the toric lens implant I can use my cameras with the diopter adjustment and no glasses. Had I not had it done the astigmatism would have made that impossible. Just make sure that you get ALL the information before you pull the expensive trigger.
  17. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    One of mine was relatively fast developing and the other was slight. Provincial healthcare covered both and I only had to pay for the machine tests to get an exact prescription. Most of the time it's great, though I get some reflection off the edge of one lens with strong lights to the side at night (wide open pupil).
    Here's a self portrait of my right eye a couple of hours after surgery, shot with the 12-40:

    16788393325_19ba4b9a0d_b. Post Surgery Pupil by Graham Moore, on Flickr

    You can see a reflection of the flash off the outer portion of the lens at lower left.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    I am in the same situation as carbonman with replacement lenses in both eyes although mine give me 20/20, I need reading glasses but can manage without at a pinch. I use both the evf and lcd without any problem. As an aside, it took me ages before I stopped wiping my non existent glasses clear of rain drops with my finger ... and after 55 years as a glasses wearer I still love the feel of wind on my eyes.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Randy dawson
    I had lasik done on both eyes over 10 years ago. I had to use glasses for everything before that. Now, I only use them for reading, computer work and anyother close work. I have enjoyed having not to use glasses all the time, so when someone asks me about it, I say do it, you will be happy.
  20. MJL

    MJL Mu-43 Rookie Subscribing Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    Katikati, New Zealand
    I've got Zeiss "office lenses" which are progressive for using with computer and reading, totally different from normal progressive. Could not be happier, you may want to check it out.