Collaboration has always been key to a variety of agendas for me, and that includes working with people, products, services, and issues both personal and professional. Please allow an anecdote from my pre-optical arena past, so I can give root to the current connection I feel for a multiple joint effort about to occur via 20/20. It involves our publication’s connectivity to independent retailers, independent vendors and more specifically, the company that is Zeiss.

I’ve long been fanatical about black and white photography especially as it relates to actual film cameras. And that passion was ignited even more deeply when in 1985, I purchased a gently used 1955 Rolleiflex 2.8C with a Carl Zeiss Planar 80/2.8 lens. It still stands as my favorite camera of a lifetime. And the word Zeiss as inscribed on the metal circumference on that lens marked my ultimate definition of what it meant to have impeccable clarity and vision.

That name and the mission of Zeiss as a corporate entity has sustained itself as a hallmark of brilliance throughout my years as a writer, editor and now editor-in-chief of 20/20.

All this by way of noting a terrific new video initiative called “Eyes on Independents” from Zeiss that will now be proudly hosted on our website at and supported by monthly e-blasts as new independent optical pros, and their shops and dispensaries come on board telling their stories, hosting their services and annotating their support of the optical products that are part of their premium choices offered.

As many of you likely know, Zeiss is a 100 percent foundation-owned company. As such, it does not distribute profits to shareholders. All proceeds are reinvested back into optical research, science education and community outreach. This puts the company in a unique position where the focus is on the innovation of services and products specifically as those initiatives focus on a unique plateau of collaboration. Over my tenure as editor-in-chief of 20/20, I’ve come in contact countless times with optical professionals highly touting their allegiance to Zeiss. That includes frame vendors and shop owners, many with unique facets of independence buffing their aim on what it takes to deliver nothing but the best in eyewear and eyecare to their loyal customers and patients.

Without hesitation I note those unions and coordinated missions as being built on total trust. It’s that same trust I hope you will depend on as I ask you to join me and 20/20 as we play a partnered position in delivering the valued messages of this new way to keep our Eyes on Independents.

James J. Spina
[email protected]