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buying a BIO soon, need advice


SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2002
In a dark room
  1. Optometrist
I have to buy a BIO for 2nd year soon -- what type should I buy? I've heard that Heine is the lightest (and seems to be from the ones I tried), and Welch-Allyn is a little cheaper. I'm inclined to go with the lightest thing, since I'm afraid I'll get headaches from anything too heavy.

I also have the choice of either a 78D or 90D lens (I may have these wrong...) -- which should I get?


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2001
Do you guys at SUNY have to buy a BIO head gear or did you just want to know about BIO lenses? I think you might have meant the actual BIO head gear, b/c of your concern with headaches. If so, at PCO we're not required to buy it, they provide us with that, so I don't know.

I have both a 78D and a 90D. They are both good. Each has its own pros and cons.

Good Luck:)


New Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2004
dont buy a bio unless you ABSOLUTELY have too...or if you know for sure that you're gonna be in private practice and need one there. one thing i regret now is buying all the crap they made me get in opto school. all you need is a 90/78/etc, 20D/28D/etc and a good gonio lens. Almost everything else will be available for you whereever you go. with that being said, if you still want to buy a bio - go with heine. comfort is great and the optics can be beat
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7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2004
  1. Optometrist
Personally I went with the Heine Sigma 180. Love it. Totally lightweight and very easy to use. Also keeps a charge for a long time. The Keeler was really nice too, but waaaaaay more expensive and a great deal heavier. The Welch Allyn BIOs were all right, but felt kind of cheap - also, a friend of mine bought one and has had to get service on it 2 or 3 times.

As far as the lenses go, for the BIO you use lower powered lenses, i.e. 20D, 30D, etc. Basically, the higher the lens power, the lower the magnification, but the bigger the depth of field. Our professors recommended that if you had really, really, really tiny hands, get a 30D, otherwise a 20D is fine. The 90D, 78D, and superfield lenses are for slit lamp biomicroscopy. I love my Superfield - and I also tried one of my friend's lenses called a Superpupil that was really good too.

As far as for not needing this stuff, maybe not, but how will you really know unless you try it out. It can't hurt to get it while you're in school too, since I know at least at my school, we get at least a 40% discount on what practising docs pay, which is a huge deal for stuff that doesn't really ever go on sale.

Hope this helped you a bit!!


It's a boy !!!
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2001
  1. Optometrist
we're required to stock our own rooms at UHCO for basic equipment (including BIO)... I have the Heine 150 and it serves me fine..... the only other one I really like that I've tried is the keeler.
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