When the Zeiss LA-350 came out back in the early 1990’s, it was well regarded as “way-before its time.” Perhaps that may still be the truest statement ever said about a lensometer. It’s incredibly accurate, and in many ways, the LA-350 can still compete in every category against a modern day lensometer despite its older user-interface and chunky appearance. The 350 offers continuous feedback, use on just about every lens, neutralization of progressives, and automatic PD regardless of lens alignment. In many ways, these are still the ingredients for grand lensometer success.
OUR TAKE: Probably the greatest lensometer ever built. It does however lack a modern interface and a sleek design.
#1. Accurate, On Every Lens
There are a lot of different lens options out there nowadays- but the LA-350 should still be able to handle any kind of digital free-form you throw at it: single vision, bifocal, trifocal, aphakic, and progressive addition lenses, soft/hard contact lenses are all on its resume. Scratch resistant, UV and anti-reflective coatings, and tints down to 5% luminous transmittance are also no problem.
#2. Continuous Feedback
The LA-350’s icon based user interface easily guides you to neutralization, providing instantaneous feedback on lenses of any diameter. The unit will also notify the user of special situations, such as lens aberrations or rapid power changes– a feature that is loved by larger laboratories measuring thousands of lenses per day. Even when compared to newer computerized lens-meters with fancy user interfaces, the LA-350’s feedback is instant, large (scaled), and easy to use.
#3. An Interface That Still Impresses
We mentioned some great measuring features of the system’s user interface above. However, we’re also (still) equally impressed by the software’s appearance– a large icon-based screen that guides you to a reading. Although the unit is hardly compact, light, or portable, it is the perfect machine for serious accurate readings of lenses– a lensometer that can be used all day without the fatigue of looking at smaller LCD screens.
Probably not despite it’s exporting options. It will however connect to the Zeiss HARK 599 Autorefractor.
It does not. A measurement can be captured by using the blue button underneath the lens tray.
You bet. It must be one of the more intuitive lens-meters we’ve ever seen. Don’t worry though, we’ll send a user manual out with it.
Hardly. This puppy is meant to sit on the counter, all day everyday. The unit is rather heavy, and large.