Making Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak

Making Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak

Well maybe not quite the cloak itself but we can certainly make things disappear with optics! Have you ever wondered how a lens actually works?

Optics is one of the most fascinating fields in science as it allows exploring minds to engage and immediately see the results of their experiments. Over the years we have constructed kits for students to present as science projects such as telescopes and magnifying systems. We’ve even helped to make a room sized camera obscura for a HSC student with fantastic results!

A little while ago an interesting experiment came across our desk regarding the Rochester cloaking device that uses lenses to render objects inside the system invisible (Click here for the research). Now, it just so happens that we have access to a ready supply of lenses and Grant was more than willing to spend some time working with the experiment to replicate the results and needless to say it left him inspired.

Depending on interest, we are looking at holding classes where we will be conducting a series of experiments in our front window and everyone is welcome to come and join in. The first will be a basic imaging exercise, followed by dispersion experiments and finally our Rochester Invisibility Cloak. There will be explanations of the relevant phenomena by UNSW adjunct senior lecturer Grant Hannaford and everyone is encouraged to get involved with setting up and running the experiments. Our results will stay in place so that the people of Bowral can marvel at your scientific prowess!

We are also available to come to your children’s school to deliver classes on all aspects of optics and photonics from primary school to HSC level content.

Please register your interest by making contact with us today.

Here at Hannaford Eyewear we love our optics and give expert advice every time.

Individual Fit Premium Care Hannaford Eyewear

*Featured image from

ROAD 2 Driving safety

Are you seeing everything out there on the road?

Did you know 73% of motorists say they experience visual discomfort from the glare of oncoming headlights? 60% of motorists feel affected by poor vision when driving. 50% of motorists struggle with night driving. 1/6 of road collisions are a direct result of a driver with substandard eyesight on the road.*

Common vision causes of car accidents include:

– visual fatigue

– failing to look

– looking but failing to see

– distractions from instruments

– dazzle or glare

– misjudging road conditions

Seeing the road ahead

While not all of these factors may be completely eliminated it is easy to see how good vision and lenses designed for driving may be of great benefit in reducing these numbers. The Rodenstock Road 2 lens is now available at Hannaford Eyewear, bringing with it some of the most advanced designs and technology to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones on the road.

Glare – and advanced filter system blocks specific wavelengths of light identified to be the causes of glare and discomfort

Fatigue – cutting edge lens designs and the same filters have been demonstrated to reduce driver fatigue

Clarity – multifocal wearers will now be able to enjoy the absolute widest fields of vision available in a lens

Road 2 lenses are specifically designed to allow drivers to view their wing mirrors with minimal or no head turn, mimicking natural vision as closely as possible. This wider field of vision is key to the importance of the Road 2 lenses as a valuable safety tool.

Enhance your driving experience and look forward to a safer, more comfortable journey with the Road 2 lens, available at Hannaford Eyewear Bowral.  Click on the image below to view the Rodenstock Road 2 lens video.


Making your spectacles

Christmas opening hours


Christmas Clinic Hours

Merry Christmas!

We would like to extend our best wishes for the season to everyone in the Highlands.

As always we will only be closed for the public holidays to ensure that we are available to serve you but if you do need urgent attention please  use the contact page and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

Saturday 24/12/16        9:00am-12:00pm

Sunday 25/12/16           (Christmas) Closed

Monday 26/12/16         (Boxing Day) Closed

Tuesday 27/12 /16        (Public holiday) Closed

Wednesday 28/12/16   9:00am-5:00pm

Thursday 29/12/16       9:00am-5:30pm

Friday 30/12/16            9:00am-5:00pm

Saturday 31/12/16        9:00am-12:00pm

Sunday 1/1/17               New Years Day Closed

Monday 2/1/17             Public Holiday Closed

Tuesday 3/1/17             9:00am-5:00pm

After this our normal hours resume.


Can I reuse my old frame?

Why should I get a new frame? My old one is just fine!

We get asked this regularly in our practice and the answer is not straightforward, although we do endeavour to make it as simple as possible for our patients.

There are many factors that influence the suitability of a frame for taking another set of lenses, almost all of them directly relate to how long we expect the frame to last. While it is certainly possible for us to put new lenses in almost any frame that is brought to us there must be a reasonable lifespan expectation. That being said, there is always the possibility of false economy when reusing a frame as they may require replacement in the near future due to unforeseen failure or breakage.

One important thing to consider when looking at re-using an old frame is ongoing repairs and warranty. Of course an old frame has no warranty available and will often also prove difficult to find parts to fit. While we have the capability for fabrication of custom parts for some cases, this process is often expensive and outweighs the benefits of keeping the old frame. The safest way to assess these points is to bring them in to us and we will be more than happy to see if they can be reused.

What do we look for?

When assessing a frame we look first at the material and determine the build quality. For example, cheap injection moulded plastics will generally prove unsuitable for having new lenses inserted as their lifespan is very short. Conversely, top of the line hand made acetates will often see several successful lens insertions before we start to see the telltale wear and tear that render a frame beyond reasonable use.

Metal frames will often last well through several usage cycles and depending on the material may have repairs effected to extend their life considerably.

We will look at a frame under very high power magnification and search for cracks or any other indicators that the frame may fail in the near future. While we can’t predict the lifespan of a frame we have found that careful examination will give us a very good idea of whether a frame will survive the fitting process and have a reasonable lifespan.

More than just glasses.

There are exceptions though, sometimes spectacles carry so much of the personality and history of a person that they are worth almost any amount of effort to keep going.

One notable instance for us was the case of the gentleman who bought two pairs of spectacles in Paris after VE day in WWII, one to wear home and one to wear on his wedding day. After years of good wear he began to be told that they were no longer serviceable and so they were treasured but never again used. When this gentleman spoke to us about these glasses at his first eye test with us we asked him to bring them in, partly out of curiosity but also because we have had some experience in rebuilding frames. Happily we were able to rebuild both pairs with some custom parts and fit lenses to them, it was a memorable moment for us when he brought his wife in to collect them. He sat with us and told us stories from both during and after the war and became a weekly visitor to the practice for years, where he would pop in to chat on a Thursday morning. After he passed away his wife came to the practice with a small box containing one of the pairs of glasses, he wanted us to have a pair because we had given him a chance to wear them again just as he had when he got home from the war. That pair of spectacles sits above Grant’s desk where we get a regular reminder that the value of our work goes well beyond vision itself.

Reuse, repair and revolutionise!

A recent Swedish proposal could see the reduction in taxes for services that repair or re use items. The main goal of this initiative is to increase skills in the local economy, retain knowledge and of course reduce waste. Click here to see the video.

I find this interesting as in optics there has been a strong push in the last decade to commoditise eye care and have spectacles made off site, most often overseas in large factories where the person is not an optician but a process worker. There have even been proposals from the two big players in Australian optometry to have all optical education removed from the course for opticians.

The net result of this, as I see it, is that there has been a reduction in craftsmanship as well as a separation of spectacles from the wearer. They are no longer viewed as being an extension of the wearer, indeed some companies would have us believe that they are no more than bits of plastic. Speaking as someone who has worn spectacles since the age of two, they are so much more than that. Spectacles are a gateway to a world that would otherwise have been denied to me.  Looking back to the nineteenth century when poor eyesight was viewed as a disease, this meant that almost everyone over forty years of age was considered defective and had begun a decline in quality of life and lost productivity. Josef Rodenstock viewed poor vision not as a disease but as something that could be dealt with systematically once the system itself was understood. So the age of the spectacle wearer was born, one in which a person was able to avoid relegation to the scrap heap simply because of poor vision.

Back to the Swedish proposal. Why are we so keen to discard our spectacles? At Hannaford Eyewear we believe that it is not only possible to reuse your own frame, it is entirely reasonable. We have helped our patients use frames that are family heirlooms, precious reminders of loved ones or even just fun retro finds at the flea market. Of course we want to make sure that they will survive the process so we are able to assess whether the frames will last as well. What we don’t do is send them away for weeks at a time, our work is done in Bowral in a matter of hours.

One of the key skills we hold to at Hannaford Eyewear is the ability to make your spectacles on site. In this way the person who makes your spectacles knows you, knows what you need and is there to be a part of your journey.


Novelty Contact Lenses & Halloween

At some point in the past decade Halloween has popularised itself across Australia. While I was growing up Halloween was always an American ‘thing’. It was something we saw in American movies and a part of American culture. Halloween was an eve celebration of the feast of All Hallow’s Day: a three day observance of Allhallowtide dedicated to remembering the dead including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.

With the rise of popularity of Halloween in Australia, interest in novelty or decorated contact lenses as part of a Halloween costume has also increased. While these may add that ‘wow’ factor to your costume, non-prescription accessory lenses can be dangerous and lead to significant, long-term eye damage. This is particularly true when they have not been fitted by an optometrist.

Best practice is to ensure not only optimal vision but also comfort and correct fitting in order to maintain ocular health. The cornea (the tissue layer in front of the iris) where the contact lens sits on is a delicate tissue. A compromised contact lens could potentially introduce unwelcomed bacteria to the corneal surface and cause mild infections to sight threatening conditions causing scarring and blindness. Furthermore, an optometrist is able to correctly advise the best method to remove, insert and clean contact lenses and the appropriate products to use to minimise the potential for scratched corneas and allergic reactions to solutions.

A recent study has found that cosmetic contact lenses available online circumvent regulation from safety agencies such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and can contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine, which can seep from the colourants in the lens to cause toxicity problems for the eyes. (i)

So even though you may only wear these contact lenses as a one off, they still require the same high level of care to be worn safely. The following is recommended for all contact lens wearers:

  • Have contact lenses properly fitted at an optometrist who will also instruct you on correct insertion, removal and cleaning of lenses.
  • Always wash hands before touching contacts and never store or clean contacts with tap water.
  • Don’t sleep in contact lenses unless advised it is safe to do so by your optometrist.
  • If your eyes become red, sensitive to light, painful, gunky or your vision becomes blurred remove lenses and see an optometrist ASAP. (ii)

(i) http://Scanning Electron Microscopy Findings with Energy-Dispersive X-ray Investigations of Cosmetically Tinted Contact Lenses, Eye & Contact Lens, Sept. 2015

(ii) Recommendations from Optometry Australia

Image is from

Facial Measurements & Online Spectacles

Some years ago there was a rush by website developers to offer online spectacles and we often get asked why we don’t have an online spectacle shop as well. The answer is quite simple, one of the most fundamental parts of getting accurate spectacles made is the facial measurements and we can’t get those via an online shop. Our primary concern is the accuracy and suitability of your spectacles so that you maintain good ophthalmic health and functional vision.

In order to make a functional pair of spectacles there are several key components:

  • Prescription
  • Lens design
  • Frame
  • Facial measurements
  • Fitting compensations

No matter how sophisticated the system may be for a website they will never be able to deal with the last two points, most websites claim that they can deal with the frame fitting as well, but this is really only something that can be done ‘face to face’. In fact, even the lens design is nearly impossible to get perfect without having a detailed discussion with the patient, so let’s be frank, all an online seller of spectacles will be able to do is make something that duplicates your prescription without any regard to usage or appropriateness (we’ve checked, and they even have a disclaimer saying that their spectacles are not guaranteed to be usable!).

In order to correctly select and fit a spectacle lens to a frame we need to know the dimensions of the patients face and relative eye positions, and no, that is not just the ‘PD’. There are also heights, vertex distance, tilt, working distance and so on. What they determine, indeed what is most important, is the centre of rotation of the eye. This is vital to position the lens correctly so that the patient does not experience unwanted aberrations. It is also impossible to obtain these various measurements without either a great deal of skill or specialised equipment. None of these measurements are possible via an app and most certainly can’t be obtained in the absence of the frame!

Once this information has been determined the practitioner will make compensations to the measurements to ensure that the lenses present precisely the same powers to the eye as were measured by your Optometrist in the eye test. Patients are often amazed by the large impact that a tilt or shift in centration can have on their perception of the world and it is this role that your practitioner plays almost unseen to the public, the interpretation of the prescription.

This is why many practitioners decline to offer facial measurements to their patients when asked, it is not meant as an insult, rather it is an indicator of their level of concern for your ongoing optical health.

With ever greater advances in lens design these measurements become increasingly vital, in some cases an error of even 1mm will render your lenses effectively useless. Going online means that you may be getting far less than you paid for.

For further information on public policy on this and other issues relating to Optometry please visit the following sites from Optometry Australia


Tulip Time 2016


We’ve been hard at work for Tulip Time 2016. Every year Bowral puts its best foot forward and we decided that we wanted to do something extra special.

Taking old unusable lenses we have been cutting them into tulips and hand tinting themDSC_0288 in our lab.

At Hannaford Eyewear we are proud to be one of only a few practics in Australia that still makes your spectacles on site. It’s just another example of how we bring our expertise to the town we love.

Follow the link below to see video of our team in action or head over to the media page.

Hannaford Eyewear Tulip Time 2016


Southern Highlands Business Awards

The team at Hannaford Eyewear are excited to announce that we are once again finalists in the Southern Highlands Business Awards.

We would like to thank all of our wonderful patients for their support over the years. We couldn’t do it without you!

Business award