Photographers love lenses, I am no exception. I have a decent collection of lenses that I use on different occasions. Recently, I have added a unique lens to my collection; quite possibly the most expensive and equally valuable. This one is quite tiny, 6mm in diameter and with its extensions, about twice that. Now, you may be thinking “how on earth you use that lens?” You are right, it does not fit on any of my cameras, does not zoom, has no focusing mechanism of its own, no built-in f-stops. But this one is implanted in my eyes, each eye has its own after two successive cataract surgeries. It is remarkable that I can now see, reasonably clearly with no glasses at all. Yes, it is not yet as clear as it will be in the next few weeks and, yes I have to wear glasses to read; but being able to see the world with “naked eyes” is a treat. I thank Tom McCauley who performed both surgeries with great success and has been taking care of our eyes in the family for decades.
Here are two photographs of a sample lens similar to those that are implanted in my eyes. The numbers you see below the lens are the ISBN numbers on the back of a book. That should give you a sense of scale. The process by which they implant the lens it is also quite interesting. The incision in the eye is quite tiny and they roll up the lens lengthwise into a thin tube and inject it through that small opening where it unfurls inside the eye’s own lens sack. One of my eyes has an implant that lets me see near to mid-distance and the other from mid-distance to far. Amazingly, in time, the brain learns how to use this oddity and I expect to need to wear glasses less and less.