How Phoropters Work & How We Save You Time & Money

Excedr - Phoropters

Excedr’s leasing program can source virtually all instrument types and accommodate any brand preferences you might have. Request a phoropter lease estimate today and see how leasing can discount your ophthalmology instrument’s price.

All equipment brands/models are available

The Advantages of Excedr’s Phoropter Leasing Program:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of purchasing equipment by spreading its cost over time
  • Minimizes equipment downtime with included complete repair coverage and preventive maintenance
  • Takes advantage of potentially 100% tax deductible* payments, providing you significant cash-savings
  • Expedites the administrative work needed for instrument procurement and logistics
  • Conserves working capital,  enabling you to reinvest in your core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)
  • Accommodates all manufacturer and model preferences

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

The phoropter, also known as a refractor, might be one of the most recognizable devices in an optometrist’s office.

This large and space helmet-like device is a type of binocular vision testing instrument that assesses a person’s vision. 

By testing their vision—or, more specifically, their visual acuity—using a variety of lenses, an optometrist can accurately determine the specific eyeglass or contact lens prescription a patient needs. 

Visual acuity is determined by first calculating the patient’s refractive error. Being able to test someone’s binocular vision using a phoropter is based on how light interacts with our eyes. In a person who does not need glasses, their eyes allow light to enter and focus on the correct area on the retina. In people who do need glasses, light does not focus accurately, resulting in a refractive error. 

Other than myopia, refractors can also be used to measure Heterophoria, accommodative amplitude, horizontal and vertical vergences, as well as other measurements that have to do with eye placement. 

Generally speaking, an eye examination is done with the patient seated and the refractor placed up to their eyes. An eye doctor, known as optometrist or ophthalmologist, will then cycle through the many lenses in a phoropter asking if the person’s vision is improved or impaired when a specific lens is placed in front of their eyes. An eye chart or other visual reference is used to check whether a specific lens is improving or worsening the patient’s vision. 

Each lens is specifically made to change how light will enter the patient’s eyes. By cycling through these lenses and noting how each one affects the patient’s vision, the physician can then determine what specific corrective lenses that person will need. Prisms are sometimes also used in these refraction eye exams, in conjunction with the lenses to get patient’s astigmatism measurements. 

While traditionally being a manually operated piece of equipment, many manufacturers offer automated instruments today; they are known as auto-phoropters or automated phoropters.

That said, autorefractors, or automated refractors, have become an alternative to phoropters, as well as to the retinoscope and phoropter combination. This is due to the ease and speed at which the operator, whether it’s an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or ophthalmic technician, can obtain refraction readings.

Despite the advantages of an automated refractor, many professionals use this instrument alongside a phoropter, as many readings obtained via an autorefractor will require subjective interpretation. For this reason, phoropters remain a staple of optometry.  

Techniques, Variations, & Autorefractor Price

As standard as phoropters are, it’s important to consider the automated alternatives to manual refraction.


Many phoropters are controlled manually, that is to say, the physician has to physically switch the lenses and write down what the patient says. Automated refractors or autorefractors automate this process.

Autorefractors use a computer instead of an optometrist to calculate the patient’s refractive error. It is able to do this by first knowing what angle light should be passing through a person’s eye, and comparing that with what angle it actually is passing through.

Not only does this virtually eliminate human error from this type of test it also speeds up the whole examination. Autorefractor tests also have the added benefit of being able to work even if the patient is not able to effectively communicate with the doctor. Autorefractors are also often called digital refractors.



Autorefractors can also be paired with keratometers. Keratometers or ophthalmometer, is a tool used to measure the curvature of the anterior surface of the cornea. This is done by finding three values, the object’s size, image size, and distance between the reflective surface and the object, and using them to calculate the radius of the reflective surface.

How these values are first found can vary but the two main techniques are based on the Javal-Schiotz principle or the Bausch and Lomb principle. The Javal-Schiotz keratometer uses a fixed image size and two positions. The Bausch and Lomb Keratometer instead uses a fixed object size and only one position. By using one of these combo autorefractor/keratometer machines, a more full diagnosis of a person’s ocular issues can be achieved.


The Optometer & Henzy DeZeng

The predecessor of the phoropter is the optometer which was invented sometime in the 18th century. Much earlier in 1619, Scheiner found that if you placed a double pinhole aperture in front of the pupil the point at which the eye focuses could be precisely found. Scheiner’s disk principle would eventually lead William Porterfield to invent and coin the term optometer.

This early ocular tool implemented Scheiner’s disks and used a series of lenses inside a cylinder to find whether a patient was able to properly see or focus on a fixed object. Optometers would continue to evolve through the 19th century, becoming increasingly more advanced.

Eventually by the early 1900’s Henry DeZeng would invent the first Phoro-optometer, which resembles the modern day phoropter. The technology would continue to develop over the years as doctors improved upon the design.

One of the first major improvements was mechanizing the optometer allowing doctors to no longer have to manually hold multiple lenses to the patient’s eyes. These advances continue to this day as we strive to reduce human error in determining a person’s optical acuity.


Phoropter Leases to Fit Every Need

For eye care professionals, your patients’ eye health is a primary concern. However, acquiring the proper ophthalmic equipment and instrumentation to monitor and diagnose your patient’s isn’t always as straight forward as we’d all like it to be.

While phoropters can be found in virtually any optometrist’s office—a key part of a full and thorough eye exam—practices can sometimes come against a financial hurdle when replacing or purchasing new ones. 

You should never have to sacrifice on quality and functionality due to financial restraints. That’s why our aim is to provide eye care professionals with the ophthalmic equipment they need when buying isn’t the best option. Health care should never be stymied by financial restraints.

Whether you’re interested in an automated phoropter or a slit lamp, Excedr’s leasing program can help you and your practice finance whatever eye examination equipment you need, all while saving you time and money. Reach out today to learn more.

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.


If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale-leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

Phoropter Manufacturers & Models
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VISUPHOR 500 Digital Phoropter, VISUSCREEN 100, VISUSCREEN 500

DR-900, BR-7

Luneau Technology:
Visionix VX50, Visionix VX65

Reichert Technologies:
Phoroptor® VRx, SightChek®, Ultramatic RX Master™ Phoroptor®, Illuminated Phoropter®, OptoChek® Plus

Takagi: VT-5 View Tester

Intelligent Refractor RT-6100, RT-3100, RT-600, TS-610, TS-310, COS-6100/3100, COS 610/310

Essilor Instruments:
APH 550, APH 400, MPH 100, Vision-R 800


UDR Series, UDR-800, UDR-700


Operating Capital Benefits

Operating Capital Benefits

Excedr's operating lease structure allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Effects on Credit

Effects on Credit

Leasing / renting provides you with non-dilutive financing and does not hinder your future borrowing ability. You're able to acquire the equipment you need without the baggage associated with traditional financing.

Speed of Approval

Speed of Approval

Excedr's program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.

Refurbished Equipment

Refurbished Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.