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It's been over forty-eight hours and I've not heard back from Goggles4U on my query, so we'll approach this as a two-candidate race between Optical4Less and 39DollarGlasses for the time being. (Note to self: Another communication breakdown.)

We'll start with Optical4Less' offerings.

As mentioned in part one of this series, Dean is looking for Photochromic Progressives, and the frames are going to need to be on the large side.

Lens costs and options:

  • High index 1.56 Multi-focal Progressive Lens (non-Photochromic) - $98
  • High Index 1.56 photochromic progressive lenses - $187 (Grey Only)
  • PRECISION ® customized 1.56 photochromic progressive lenses - $198
  • PRECISION ® customized 1.67 photochromic progressive lenses - $398
We strike the first, due to the fact that he wants Photochromic (I only include it at all to compare the non-Photochromic lens price). The last one is struck for two reasons, he doesn't need Hi-Index with his prescription and the nearly $400 price tag is cost-prohibitive.

That leaves two options and I think for the extra $11 you probably buy the hype ("The ultimate-quality progressive lenses!"), to the point that they're probably better than the $187 option.

Optical4Less charges $3 per degree of prism correction, per lens. So that tacks on $6 to the order. They include anti-reflective, UV and anti-scratch coatings in the price.

These decked-out lenses will come to $193.

I dug into the site with the existing sizes of Dean's frames in front of me -- and I ran into trouble. Really, there was only one frame that came close to matching up with the numbers...

The much-maligned Aviator. I won't debate the merits of this frame in this piece, but suffice it to say, I think this is a tough frame to pull-off, especially in it's non-sunglasses form.

There were a couple of pair that are close, but are they "close enough?".

Next up, I saw this titanium pair which will likely hold up to the stresses of being slept in.

Only one problem. They're only available in gold. I'm not a big fan of gold, and I don't think Dean is either. I think he'd rather stick to the more subdued, gunmetal or even silver, but I can't really speak for him. I like these, but the sizes, in particular the temple length, scares me a bit. It's not like spending $15 or even $40 on glasses, this is a bigger investment (and risk).

Another bigger frame in an aluminum and alloy is the MA080. The lenses are 55mm by 39mm, so we're in the same ballpark at least. The width is 145mm, but the temple length of 140mm might be a bit short for ol' Dean. Regardless, this is still an option.

It's available in Bronze, Gunmetal and Black and the $34.00 frame price makes this ensemble price out at $238 (+ shipping).

Next up -- probably Sunday -- we'll look at what 39DollarGlasses has to offer. I'll be out of town for the weekend, so email responses might suffer for a couple of days. I'll try to get online at least once a day, but I have no broadband (or even cell reception) when I'm in the hinterland. Have a great weekend.

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