What’s right for you? Well, that depends.
Dr. Ginter likes to use a “Tool Analogy”. Think of multifocals as a “jack of all trades and master of none”. It is the adjustable wrench that will fit a range of bolts or nuts, but won’t fit anything perfectly. It’s like one of those multi-purpose tools that seem appear just before Christmas each year, and claim to do everything. If you’re going out shopping, or socializing, or just want to know that you have one pair of specs that will allow you to handle any task that arises, then the multifocal is your best bet.
A Single Vision (SV) lens is a specialist. It’s the high-quality box-end wrench that fits only one specific size of bolt, but fits it perfectly. If you want to sit and read for two or three hours, a SV lens is the best choice, just as it is for prolonged computer work, sewing, cross-stitch, or any other task in which you are working at a single, relatively constant distance. Since they are the least expensive type of lens, you can consider more than one pair. Perhaps one for playing the piano, one for reading, and one for painting those miniature civil war figurines that you collect.
A Bifocal allows you to do two things at once. You can read while watching television. You can do cross-stitch while keeping an eye on the kids outside. Or you can use them to see paper work, and computer, but remove them for seeing across the room. A Trifocal lets you do paper work, computer work, AND see across the room. There is even a special type of multi called a “room distance” (RD) lens that is designed for a range from about two metres (6 ft.) up to 30 cm. (12 in.). This is what Dr. Ginter wears at the office.
What about tints and coatings? You can have a solid tint in a colour and density of your choice, depending on the intended purpose. There are variable tints (“transitions” in plastic, and “photogrey” in glass) that adjust to the level of UV light which work really well outdoors, but not so well inside a car or behind glass. There are anti-scratch coatings (outside of lens, or both sides?), anti-reflection coatings which make the lens look clearer and more attractive but are more difficult to keep clean and are easily damaged, UV filters which are clear but make many office workers more comfortable by filtering out the UV light from fluorescent lights, and many more. There are lots of other variations and permutations, depending on your needs. The bottom line is that you need to ask questions and you need to think about how you use your eyes, so that the dispenser can assist you in choosing whatever will be best FOR YOU. If the dispenser seems more interested in just making the sale, than in answering your questions and trying to figure out what you need, then buy your specs somewhere else.