Contact Lens Monovision in the 3D World

Here’s an interesting article submitted by Tony Rivetti, 1st Assistant Camera/Focus Puller/Local 600 NEB. It sent me to to find out what “contact lens monovision” is: “if bifocal contact lenses will not work for you, your doctor may recommend monovision. With monovision, you wear a contact lens that corrects for near vision in one eye and a lens that corrects for distance vision in the other eye. Many people who try monovision can adjust to it. Monovision has some drawbacks, though. Each eye must work more independently, making good binocular Stereo 3D vision difficult, which can cause problems with depth perception. You may have to adjust your gaze more often to allow one eye or the other to see properly.”

Here is Tony’s article:

First off, everyone sees 3D differently. Say you think you can see normal 3D. But, it appears the 3D images do not resolve. The 3D images are not aligning perfectly. This happened to me the first day of the 3D Sony Workshop this week.

I wear Monovision Contact Lenses. My right eye contact lens is the dominant eye corrected to 20/20 vision for distance. My left eye contact lens is corrected with a 1.25 magnification to see closer. While the entire class apparently could see a good 3D image, I was seeing images slightly irresolvable.

The second workshop day I decided to bring my progressive reading glasses with a prescription that corrects my vision wearing Monovision Contact Lenses. This enabled me to actually see and share the 3D images that the rest of the class was seeing.

In the 2D world wearing Monovision Contact Lenses always felt normal. I never thought about it. It was seamlessly automatic. The Brain takes over. The right eye sees distance and the left sees close. But, Monovision does not work in the 3D world.

The third workshop day I did not wear any contact lenses. I wore my progressive reading glasses that allowed me to see 20/20 distance and read close in both eyes without contact lenses. For me this was a better solution. Now my eyes were more relaxed. I was seeing sharp, perfectly aligned, resolved 3D Images.

The misaligned 3D image I was seeing before was actually caused by the slight size difference between my right eye and left eye’s 1.25 magnification. This resulted in a size mismatch between the left and right eye images.

If you are wearing Monovision Contact Lenses you may experience 3D images that do not align or seem in focus. If this is the case, Camera Operators, Focus Pullers, and 3D Technicians should look into wearing glasses that will correct the misalignment.

On a final note, the Sony 3D Workshop is fantastic. It’s a must -do. The three days are intense and very informative. The participants all share ideas and interact in conversations between each other and the instructors. Some traveled from Spain, France, four from the UK accompanied by Paul Cameron of Sony Europe. There were Local 600 Members of all Classifications from all three Regions. Represented were Documentarians, Sports, Concert, Commercial, Film and TV Crew People. I had worked in Film 3D in the past. The Workshop removed the mystique and fear of the new 3D Digital Technology. The Sony 3D Instructors, Buzz Hays and Matt Blute are very knowledgeable; they made it fun and very easy to understand.


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