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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find what you are looking for, please call us at 1.888.444.7728!

Below are our most frequently asked questions. Click on a question to view the full answer.

1. Do they clip on my own glasses?

No. CraftOptics Telescope magnifiers are a complete set of titanium eyeglass frames with the telescopes attached and your prescription (if you wear one) installed! Everyone has different size and shape eyeglass frames, so a clip-on would create big alignment and comfort problems. The telescopes flip up and down, and are attached to a titanium frame, into which we install your complete prescription. We contact your eyecare professional to obtain the prescription for you (or you can email or fax a copy to us) and we install that prescription into our frames. If you wear progressive lenses, the prescription will be installed as a bifocal, with the near correction in the bottom of the frame and distance correction in the upper portion so you can see the TV while working. The CraftOptics frame is specifically designed to hold the magnifying telescopes comfortably, line them up properly, and provide the ability to easily see around the telescopes when they are in the down position. The silicone strap nosepad, spring hinges on the frames, and the included Chums headstrap/eyewear retainers help make them comfortable for all day use.

2. What if I don’t know what my prescription or need a new eye exam? Can I still order?

Yes! You can still order if you don't have your prescription available or wish to have a new eye exam.  Simply choose one of these options that are available when checking out online:   If you prefer to get the information yourself, we will need to following to complete your order:

3. What if I wear bifocals or progressive lenses? What if I take my glasses off when I want to see details?

  The price for your set of CraftOptics is fixed and includes any prescription, whether it is a bifocal, single vision or reader. There is no additional charge based on your prescription.
Most common option:
If you wear progressive lenses, bifocals or trifocals, you will be joining a large majority of CraftOptics customers who do the same. We install your prescription as a bifocal, which provides a large near correction. When you flip the telescopes up and look down, you will see through your near correction as you normally do. When the telescopes are in the down position, you will be able to see above them through your distance correction (to watch TV, for example). This configuration is by far the most common.
*Other options:
  1. Some people install their near correction in the entire frame if they only wish to see close up while working (when they glance above the telescopes to look around their work area). Some bead artists and bench jewelers choose this option.
  2. In some cases, we install the intermediate correction in the upper part of the frame if all the user needs is their intermediate correction when looking above the telescopes when they are in the down position (they only need to see within arms length/computer distance).
*please indicate your selection in the notes section when you check out, or call 888 444 7728 if you have questions.
  Some customers tell us they take off their glasses to see their close work. Most take off their glasses because they have progressive lenses and the near correction area is so small it doesn't work well for detail work. Others who do this tell us they see well but have to hunch way over because in order to do so, they have to sit very close to their work to see it.  So, if you need a prescription but don't have it installed in the CraftOptics frames, you will not be positioned at a comfortable working distance. Installing your complete prescription gives you a very large near correction area, and ensures you will eliminate eye strain and sit in much more comfortable working position.
CraftOptics Telescopes are an enhancement to your corrected vision, not a replacement for it. Our on-staff optician will gladly guide you through the options if you have any questions.
Check out our video page here and watch the video "What if I only wear readers? What prescription is installed in the frames?"

4. What if I don't wear glasses, I just wear "cheaters"?

A “cheater” is actually a correction, as it helps you see near. If you wear a “cheater” or reader/reading glasses, you will want that installed in the frames. Think of it this way—when you flip up the telescopes, you want to see near as you normally do. The telescopes enhance your reading correction. By installing your reading correction, there is another benefit—it allows you to sit at a more upright working position, which will significantly reduce your back and neck strain. If you are nearsighted and normally take your glasses off to see close, you most likely have to hunch over your work. By installing your complete prescription in the frames, you will be able to see without hunching over, relieving your back and neck strain!

5. What working distances are available?

Select one of three working distances that are available to help you get the right ergonomic posture for the activities you love: Short: 12-14" Best for work on elevated surfaces: benchtop jewelry, fine scale modeling, etc. If you are used to holding your work close and prefer to work that way, select this distance. Regular: 14-16" Best for tabletop and a wide variety of similar position activities: beadwork, quilting, needlework, etc. This is the most common selection. Long: 16-18" Best for long-arm quilting and longer distance work. If you are concerned about your posture and hold your work further away, select this range.

6. Are they guaranteed? What is the warranty?

Everything we sell has a money back guarantee! If, within 45 days of receiving your CraftOptics you find you are not happy with the product, we will fix it or you can return it for a full refund, even if we install your custom prescription. If you need more time, simply let us know. Our goal is for you to have a product that works well for you, period. CraftOptics has a lifetime warranty on the telescopes and hinge, and a 3-year warranty on all other products and components.

7. Can I use my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or HSA for CraftOptics? (HINT: Yes!)

Many people use their FSA funds for CraftOptics! Plans do vary, but if you have a Visa card associated with your FSA, you can typically use it as we are a merchant with an inventory information approval system (IIAS), which indicates FSA-eligible items (all our vision products) and then permits only those items to be charged to the card. Some vision plans also offer reimbursement for all or a portion of CraftOptics purchases. We do not process insurance plans but we do provide detailed receipts for documentation and reimbursement. Check with your plan for details.

8. What is the DreamBeam? How does it work?

The DreamBeam is a tiny, high intensity LED illuminator designed specifically to work with CraftOptics. It connects to CraftOptics Magnifying Telescopes right between your eyes, so everything you see is both magnified and brilliantly lit without any shadowing. The light goes where you go, as it uses a battery pack powered by three AA batteries (you can also use rechargeable AA batteries if desired). The battery pack can clip to your belt or go in a pocket while working. This video shows you how it is set up: Unboxing Your New CraftOptics. Discussion of the DreamBeam starts at the 2 minute mark.

9. Can I watch TV while using CraftOptics?

Yes! CraftOptics frames are specifically designed to allow you to see OVER the telescopes while working so you can see off in the distance. cropped-gemma1.jpg If you don’t watch TV while working and just want to see around your work area, we can install your near correction in the entire frame (instead of as a bifocal). This way, when you look above your telescopes when they are down, you can still see your work area clearly through your near correction.

10. What if I'm having cataract surgery soon?

If you are having cataract surgery some time in the future, don’t wait! You can use your set of CraftOptics with your current prescription, and after the surgery simply switch the lenses in the frames to your new post-surgery correction.

11. What happens when my prescription changes? Do I have to buy a complete new set of CraftOptics Telescopes?

No! When your prescription changes (which of course is very common) you can either have the prescription updated locally with your optical professional, or send them back to us and we will install your new prescription for $85.

12. I have monovision (one eye corrected for near vision, the other eye corrected for distance). Will these work for me?

Yes! Monovision is becoming more common and we have many happy customers with this correction. Monovision can be terrific for normal day to day near vision tasks, but for fine detail work it can sometimes be problematic. In the frame, we either install:

13. Will they help those with macular degeneration?

The answer to this one is, “it depends.” If someone is still able to read large print text and do some craft work, CraftOptics can be very helpful, particularly when combined with the DreamBeam, which most people purchase anyway. When one eye is worse than the other, the stereo effect of looking through the telescopes often allows the good eye to “fill in the blanks” of the bad eye to give a more complete or comfortable image to the user. Call our customer service team to discuss your situation. We have had a lot of success with people who previously had to stop doing the work they love due to vision challenges, and now can go back to that work. Remember, we have a money-back guarantee so if they don't work for you, we will give you a refund!

14. I have terrible back and neck pain when I do my craft. Will CraftOptics help?

Yes! This is what the telescopes are designed for. A lot of back and neck pain results from leaning over or working in uncomfortable positions. Select one of three working distances that are available to help you get the right ergonomic posture for the activities you love (Short: 12-14", Regular: 14-16" & Long: 16-18").

15. How does the PayPal payment plan work?

PayPal offers its members a "Pay Later" option which currently offers a 6 month interest-free payment plan. You can apply for this option (subject to approval) when checking out online (or call us and we can email you an invoice). When online, follow the screenshot instructions here: paypal-website-screenshots-complete.

16. Why are CraftOptics binocular telescopes better than just my prescription or reading glasses?

Our telescopes are designed to work with your reading prescription, allowing you to see more detail at higher levels of magnification than when you use your reading prescription alone. If you try using a stronger reading prescription only, the focal length, or working distance, will be short and you will end up bending over while you work, putting strain on your neck and back due to poor posture. Our patent pending optical designs allow you to see high resolution images from a comfortable working distance.

17. Are they heavy?

We frequently hear from customers who tell us they feel much lighter than they expected. The complete set of glasses and telescopes weighs only 48 grams with a standard bifocal installed in the frames. The DreamBeam weighs only 7 grams (about the weight of a quarter). Together, they weigh up to 40% less than similar surgical systems. In addition, the frame is titanium with spring hinges and it has a saddle style nosepad which all combine to distribute the weight evenly. Finally, a set of flexible Chums eyewear retainers is included with your purchase. This can be adjusted for additional comfort.

18. What working distances (focal lengths) are available?

CraftOptics offers three focal lengths to choose from: Short: 12-14 inches Best for jewelry bench work or for those preferring to hold their work closer. Regular: 14-16 inches Best for table/desktop activities or like beadwork, quilting, sewing, needlework, etc. Long: 16-18 inches Best for long arm quilting or relaxed position lap work. The depth of field of 4-5 inches in our optics means that you can move several inches either side of those focal lengths, creating greater flexibility in your working distance.

19. What is the magnification of the telescopes?

Our level of magnification, 2x at a 16" reading distance, is designed to maximize the performance of the magnifying telescopes for multiple activities. This is very similar to what you see dentists wearing. DO NOT CONFUSE 2X WITH YOUR +2.00 READER--they are not the same thing. A +2.00 (2 diopter) reader is not the same magnification level as a 2x magnifying telescope. 2x is roughly equivalent to a +8.00 (8 diopter) reader. A +8.00 reader is not commercially sold and would have such a short working distance that it would be unusable. The magnifying telescopes work WITH your own reading correction (they drop down in front of your reading correction), boosting the overall magnification you have. 2x magnifying telescopes doubles the image size but from a comfortable, ergonomic working distance. It provides power, distance and flexibility. As magnification increases, the field depths decrease, which can be limiting for many crafts.

20. I am still young. Isn’t this for old people?

Absolutely not! You should use anything that helps improve vision and makes your craft more enjoyable. CraftOptics binocular telescopes are worn and loved by serious artists of all ages.

21. Will magnification hurt my eyes?

No—in fact it will help. Magnification reduces eye strain, making detail work easier on your eyes. Just as eyeglasses reduce eye strain if a correction is needed, magnification lets your eyes do the same work with less effort.

22. Will I become dependent on using magnification?

You may find that your vision is so much better with scopes that you will not want to work without them. This is a good thing! It does not mean your eyesight is getting worse; you simply see better with magnification and you won’t want to go back to your old system.

23. Will I get dizzy or have headaches?

Magnification should help reduce headaches by reducing eye strain. If properly adjusted, the telescopes will not cause dizziness and you should adapt rapidly. It is important to make sure you are sitting at the correct working distance. Sitting closer than the working distance of the telescopes can cause strain which is easily corrected by sitting back a few inches. Just as it takes time to adjust to a new pair of eyeglasses, there is a learning curve and the most common behavioral change people go through is learning to sit more upright when working. Often it feels counter-intuitive but in this case, you will quickly find that your eyes will feel better as will your back and neck when you stop hunching over your work. If you ever experience eyestrain, call us right away at 888 444 7728. There is usually a simple solution.