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Isn't light refraction fun?
I decided a couple of months ago that I really wanted to get my favorite frames relensed -- and then like so many other things, I let it get away from me. Having a dozen perfectly suitable pairs to choose didn't exactly push the task to the top of the list.

And then, while looking for a pair of glasses to wear, I came upon the scratched, neglected pair at about the exact time I needed a post topic. The stars aligned with my wallet contents and I started the process.

I chose 39 Dollar Glasses for this pair, as they offer expedited shipping and I had a fighting chance for a 1-week turnaround. They also offered the lenses I wanted for far less than the mall store who said they wouldn't do these as they were semi-rimless. Not much to argue as I wasn't going to use them anyway, I started the online order process.

I used the online order form (as opposed to calling them) as a test, and a necessity -- I tend to get to my eyeglasses orders outside of traditional business hours. Apart from a lens-choice hiccup that I remedied in the ample "notes" area, it went very smoothly. The emails I received with shipping instructions were very clear.

Off they went...

...and back they came with a tack-sharp prescription, clean, and better than new.

I went with the CR-39™ optical resin Next Generation™ Transitions® Lenses to replace the generic photochromic lenses I had in them before. It's an option I really like and in the bright, cold sunlight this morning, they've behaved extremely well. They went from completely clear to fully dark in less than a minute and back just as quickly.

I called them this weekend to talk about the process learned that their machines can use the existing lenses or frames to make the lens templates, so if you've got an old pair of frames (or an old prescription) you'd like to make new again this is an ideal solution.

They're out of the drawer and back to their rightful place upon my nose.

Interested in giving them a try? Click Here. Prices start at $39.

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At March 3, 2008 at 1:11 PM Anonymous said...


I have a rather complicated prescription with graduated bi-focals as well as having 20/200 vision. I had tried in 2006 when I got these glasses, and they were horrid with which to deal. I took them from 6/23/2006 until 7/19/2006 to tell me that they could not make my lenses and therefore my glasses. It took me another two weeks to get a refund - I had to hound them for that too (I still have the email trail).

I'd like to try online ordering again and would like to know if anyone you know has had a good experience with a online eyeglass retailer when they have had a rather challenging prescription?

Thanks so much for your time.


At March 3, 2008 at 1:34 PM Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm thinking about doing relensing with this site, but the thing is that I used to live overseas and I'm not sure where my prescription is. I see that there's an option for "Please copy the Rx and PD from the existing lenses." Does that mean I don't need to include a prescription for them to make lenses for me?

At March 4, 2008 at 9:53 AM Anonymous said...

I just placed an order last week with 39 Dollar Glasses, after reading about it here. It worries me a bit that when I tried to log in to track the order today, the web site seems to have disappeared, giving only a Network Solutions domain available notice...


At March 4, 2008 at 10:06 AM Ira said...

@Anonymous (1:34)

That's what it means. I verified this with the man over there.

I remember my dad getting this done on vacation when I was a kid. It's certainly possible.

That said, it shouldn't replace an eye exam if it's time...

At March 4, 2008 at 10:08 AM Ira said...

@Anonymous (9:53),

The site is working fine for me. Not sure what you were seeing.

Worry not, they're not going to disappear on you. :-)

At March 4, 2008 at 9:36 PM Anonymous said...

Did the re-lensing give any problems with a semi-rimless frame? My local Walmart eye center said I couldn't buy a frame online and have them lens it if it wasn't a full frame. Is this just more BS?

I want to buy a frame from one site and have $39DG relens it for me. Do you think it matters that it's a frame they don't carry?

At March 4, 2008 at 9:41 PM Ira said...


If there are lenses in the semi-rimless frames, their machine can "trace" them. Full frames, they can trace the inside of the frames.

Semi-rimless without existing lenses are either impossible or possible if they can get the template from the manufacturer.

At least these are the details I got from 39$.

At March 5, 2008 at 10:31 AM Anonymous said...

I had $39DG re-lens a pair of hingeless/rimless frames, replacing standard distance lenses with my first progressives.

They did a swell job; matched the lens shape and the workmanship appears to be solid.

I will say, the progressives were a bit of a challenge. The lens height was medium-short originally and I had to have the local shop grind another couple of millimeters off the bottom when I put a big chip in them a few years back. I ended up with a height somewhere under 30mm. Some places won't do a progressive lens under 32mm because it narrows the usable fields of vision too much. $39DG uses Varilux lens that they claim allows for the shorter heights.

I found this to be true, eventually. I've had them for about a month, and it wasn't until a week ago that I finally managed to adjust the temple arms and nose bridge so the lens didn't ride too high on the right eye. My next pair, however, I will go for a larger lens.

(BTW, this is a great site. Not only did I get the re-lensing done for a fraction of what I would've paid locally, I just got a pair of sunglasses from $39DG and a pair of non-progressive distance glasses from Zenni. Good experiences in every case.)

At March 11, 2008 at 1:27 PM Unknown said...

I got my relensed frames last night. That's exactly 3 weeks round trip, from the local post office off to 39dollarglasses HQ and back to my stoop.

By my estimate that's about twice as long as as our fearless blogger here but I'm not gonna fault 39dollarglasses for giving some special treatment to the patron saint of online glasses. =)

The glasses had been carefully cleaned and packed. They looked brand new. The prescription is spot on. Swapping between my Lens Crafters lenses and my half-price 39dollarglasses lenses there's absolutely no difference. The old lenses were included so I guess I can go outside and fry ants or something.

At March 11, 2008 at 1:29 PM Ira said...


Glad they worked out for you!

Patron Saint? (Aw shucks...)

At May 1, 2008 at 9:47 AM Some Assembly Required said...

Are the Transitions lenses dark enough for you? I had a pair about ten years ago, but I felt they never got dark enough for me. Maybe in the interim they have been able to make them darker?

At May 1, 2008 at 11:39 AM Ira said...

@some assembly required,

They seem to do the trick. They're not as dark as some of my prescription sunglasses, but I don't find myself squinting at all in them.

If I'm going to be out on the water all day, I'll wear my sunglasses, but for typical day to day, in and out behaviors, they're perfect for me.


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