Seeing the world clearly through the lens

28 11 2011

I chanced upon Bausch and Lomb’s new contact lenses while doing the preparation works for a photo shoot. I then had the opportunity to try on a pair of PureVision2 HD (PV2 HD) contact lenses and also appreciate the difference it makes to photography compared to wearing a pair of glasses or my earlier contact lenses.

Bausch and Lomb’s PV2 HD contact lenses I was to understand are silicone hydrogel lenses and being amongst the thinnest monthly disposable lenses, they are also extremely comfortable and allow more oxygen to reach the eyes as well as featuring a unique rounded edge. It is in another feature, Bausch+Lomb’s proprietary technology – High Definition™ Optics, which is now available in silicone hydrogel monthly contact lenses, that would probably benefit someone behind the camera most, enhancing vision with reduced blurriness, particularly so in low lighting conditions, as well as reducing glare and halo from lights and helping to improve photography where the glare of lights can sometimes affect the ability to compose a shot and focus.

I had one previous experience with contact lenses. It was in the days when playing a variety of sports appealed more to me than photography did, and that was when I first invested in a pair of soft lenses. Outside of the sports field, I had always found it easier to keep my glasses on as it was sometimes uncomfortable to keep the contact lenses on for too long a time, so much so that I soon reverted to using spectacles and never again thought of using contact lenses – that is until recently when a good friend and an avid photographer explained how contact lenses helped improved his photography experience by allowing him to get his eye right into the cup of the view finder. And so, when I received the invitation to try a pair of PV2 HD out, with all its stated benefits, I did not hesitate.

The true test of the PV2 HD contact lenses for me was of course in using them when I took photographs. The first opportunity I had was during a daytime visit over the weekend to a wooded area of Singapore where I was hoping to capture shots of nature and of birdlife. I was quite happy with the benefits of using the lenses over glasses, finding it much easier to spot, compose and react much better and faster allowing me to get a few quick shots away of a woodpecker that I had spotted in the trees.

I also had the opportunity to use them during a night-time, low light shoot at the Geylang Serai Hari Raya light-up. Again I was very satisfied with the PV2 HD lenses as the glare and halo reduction features allowed me to compose night shots in conditions where there is the glare of lighting, more often than not, interferes with attempts to quickly compose a shot. Another distinct advantage I found during the shot on the hot and muggy evening was that I did not have to stop to wipe my glasses from smudging and the perspiration that very often clouds the spectacle lens and interferes with the shoot.

Putting a pair of the PV2 HD lenses on the first time – there wasn’t a sense at all of any discomfort. I did, in fact, not feel that the lenses were there at all throughout the 8 hours I had kept the lenses on. What makes it all the more comfortable I suppose is the three in one solution, Biotrue, that is used to clean, rinse and soak the lenses, working as is described by Bausch and Lomb like natural tears. This keeps the lens and also the eyes moist at all times. This was very evident especially compared to my first experience with contact lenses when I needed frequently to use eye-drops to avoid dryness and irritation in my eyes.

Overall, the experience I had with PV2 HD and Biotrue was very positive – and one that helps to improve the way in which I can express myself with a camera, especially shooting for long hours – something that I would certainly look forward to doing more of and something that I would highly recommend to other spectacle wearing photographers.