What do you see with Symfony lenses, after lens replacement surgery?

This page describes what you see with Symfony lenses after lens replacement surgery. Here you get a very good impression of what I see. You have to keep in mind that seeing is a game between the eyes and the mind so you might see it differently.

What do you see with Symfony lenses, after lens replacement surgery?

(webpage under construction, photos will be added, text will be altered)

My background

I’m a advertisement/product photographer so I’m quite aware of what my eyes see and also I’m quite able to create an image that resembles what I see. I made these images after one eye had surgery (1-12-2016).

I only had two weeks time to express what I see because then (16-12-2016) I had surgery of the other eye and since that moment it’s close to impossible to express what I see correctly.

For example: if you wear sunglasses and are able to put them down you can create an image of how sunglasses look. But if these sunglasses are permanent glued to your eyes you cannot create an image that resembles what you see, you don’t have your reference anymore of the ‘real world’.

So, those two weeks were short, especially because the first 5 days weren’t that great.

What you see here is what my right eye sees/saw. My right eye I does however have a final flaw: it’s didn’t correct to zero. So, the images you see are probably worse when your eyes are corrected perfectly to zero.

End conclusion, would I do it again, have eye surgery with Symfony lenses?

For those of you who want the quick answer: yes I would. Are Symfony lenses a perfect solution for seeing? No, I don’t think so. Yes you can see sharp from 60 cm and further but you do get a ‘nice collection’ of halos back in return. Initially those halos are quite something, quite strong. They will always stay but I get used to them.

Who should probably not get these lenses? Graphic designers, especially those who like to play with fonts with a glow.

Before I had surgery I thought I had more or less perfect vision with glasses (the doctors said so, measurements indicated that as well) but now because of writing this webpage and being very aware of my sight my conclusion is now that my old vision wasn’t close to perfect at all. But since you are so used to your own constant imperfection you don’t see them anymore.

What’s the point of seeing something blurred while you know it is sharp and clear? No reason. You have a blind spot (corresponding with the yellow spot of the eye), this blind spot is clearly in your area of vision but you don’t see it while it is quite a big hole in your vision. Think about that. Seeing is a game of your eye AND of your mind (looking for patterns), and the game becomes a bit more complex because you have two eyes. If you try to read something with your left eye and you can’t read it, you try now to read with your other eye and you still can’t read it, but then, when using both eyes then suddenly you (might) be able to read it while none of your eyes on their own are capable to do so. The brain plays a rather big part in what you think you see and maybe eyes are quite lousy.

What do you see during daytime

What do you see with Symfony lenses... 

During daytime you see this

These photos show what I see. During the day vision it’s not that different than before the surgery. First photo is of before the surgery, the second is after surgery.

As you can see, the main difference is the ‘colour temperature’ (about 500 Kelvin colder/bluer) and there is a general ‘soft focus’ (they often use in movies for romantic moments, like putting a little bit of Vaseline on your camera lens)

You see during night time or 'high contrasts conditions' this

At night there are high contrasts and when there are high contrasts it’s a different story of what you see: halos become obvious and can have a strong impact of what you see. So at night it's quite a different story after surgery. This is very close to what I saw with my right eye after surgery and currently, months after the surgery, I still see it like this. 
(Don't crop/zoom in these photos because that's not realistic with what I see.)

You see this when watching television, computer screens and smartphone

These are also high contrast conditions. What are conditions of high contrast? Usually at night time when it’s dark and when there are ‘lamps’. For examples car lights or candles. But alsothese ‘lamps’ like yes your television or computer monitor and yes unfortunately also your iPad or smartphone.

I’m a big fan of movies, especially science fiction with stars and dark dark skies. Currently when I watch that kind of movie the strong contrasts are gone, every bright white object has a strong halo. Movies get all that soft focus feeling.

On the other hand: I’m getting used to it. So it’s getting less apparent and I don’t regret having my Symfony lenses, I knew it wasn’t going to be a perfect solution but hey I don’t have to wear those horrible glasses anymore and that is such a relief.

So yes I do see al the detail but not the contrast, I can only imagine how it looked before in my mind, in my memory. A clear full moon in a pitch dark sky that’s over, that I won’t see anymore.

About seeing - a bit philosophy

Seeing is pattern recognition, you see the things you ‘think’ you see.


Probably your eyes are quite lousy, you THINK you have perfect eyes

Here you have a screenshot of an iPhone6. In order to see these screenshots right you should make the size the same as an iPhone6. 

Seeing around the lenses


My initial eyes vision

My initial eyes vision before surgery was this. Beware: reading this distance was beyond arm length. Total eye sight was ? %.

Left eye: +2.50 Spherical   -1.25 Cylindrical   As 180

Right eye: +2.25 Spherical   -1.75 Cylindrical   As 170

My final eyes vision

Since it wasn't possible to correct the surgery with laser treatment (the 'skin of the eye was too thin) this was the end result, measured 16 January 2017, 6 weeks after the first surgery. And also a big difference was I could read at 60 cm. Total eye sight was 120%.

Left eye: +0.50 Spherical   -0.50 Cylindrical

Right eye: +0.75 Spherical   +0.25 Cylindrical

So what’s the difference in a nutshell with Symfony implanted lenses?

  • You see 500 Kelvin colder (I tried to discover any magenta green shift but could find it, in my opinion there is only a blue yellow shift)
  • Soft focus
  • You see sharp and you do see halos at night or when in the cinema or when watching television or driving your car at night.
  • Xmas trees with lights have there own beautiful halo effects. I like them quite a lot, it’s like every light in the tree is covered with angel hair.
  • Halos: if like when wearing contact lenses for a long long day and you are tired and your eyes feel dry or something. Every light starts to have a halo. Or a bit like looking through glasses which are a quite greasy.

The kind of halos

The halos strongly depend on the size of the light. Big lights (like the moon) get a blurry halo.


Tiny small lights (for example tiny back lights of bicycles) get a wonderful circle pattern without rainbows. (I tried to find a Photoshop filter or action that would produce this kind of visual effect but there isn’t one yet. I still have to create this phenomenon)


And sometimes there are more or less radiant glares as well.


In general there is a rule that the smaller the light the more interesting the halo.

- - -

This page isn’t finished yet and lots of photos need to be added. Currently I only have MS Word as a html-editor so that’s not good enough. There will be photos within a month. You have to be careful how to watch these photos. It would be easier for me to show you on printed photo paper so you cannot zoom in and out because then you will interpret the Symfony lens effect wrongly, that’s the big disadvantage of a webpage.

If you have questions or remarks you can email me: harrie@harriedefotograaf.nl

I hope I help people understand what it is what you see with Symfony lenses. You always have to remember that your brain is a big part of your eyes. I think my images a quite accurate but I can’t show the effect of your brain. (Like halos and your blind spot, if you always see them you probably get used to them and don’t notice them anymore).