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Bifocal dive mask and Aquatic Optics


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#1 diver21

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 11:42 AM

Hello all,

 

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum.

 

I need to get a prescription dive mask with a bifocal setup. My local dive shop uses 'Aquatic Optics' for doing this. I've searched a bit and not found much about them.

 

Does anyone have any experience with them? My understanding is that they replace the original mask glass, as opposed to bonding onto it.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

David



#2 Undertow

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 01:05 PM

Also very curious about prescription mask options too right now (though not bifocal). 

 

This definitely would have fit best in the old "Unrequited Gear Lust" forum category. I think its best here now, noting that the pinned "Fins for photographers" was moved to this category. 



#3 wydeangle

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 02:25 PM

I used to use Seavision and was happy with them until they said they couldn't make a mask that I requested. My wife still uses them and is happy with their product.

 

I now use Prescription Dive Masks and have my second "see under" mask - plain glass below, prescription up top for distance. Works well for those of us who remove our topside glasses to read. Happy with them so far.

 

Both outfits replace the mask glass entirely. No stick-ons.

 

I've also started using the "see-under" principle for land-based video; instead of a bifocal setup, I simply look under my (vertically) narrow lenses to see my viewfinder. Raise eyes to see subject (looking through distance lenses), drop eyes below lenses to see the viewfinder. Works fine there too. I use an outfit called Zenni for the topside glasses which cost about 1/10 of what the local optical shop charges and seem to be of high quality. I'm sure there are other good low-cost on-line glasses suppliers.

 

This works for those of us who are near-sighted.

 

The underwater masks are definitely expensive from either of the two places mentioned above. It's easy to spend much more than $200US at either place. I decided long ago it is worth it. Not a good place to scrimp unless your prescription changes often...

 

Tom



#4 diver21

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 03:12 PM

...

 

I now use Prescription Dive Masks and have my second "see under" mask - plain glass below, prescription up top for distance. Works well for those of us who remove our topside glasses to read. Happy with them so far.

 

Both outfits replace the mask glass entirely. No stick-ons.

 

...

 

Tom, I've seen the prescriptiondivemasks.com website and they seem to be one of the few that I can find any reviews about. All positive.

 

That said, their website suggests the lenses are "chemically bonded into your mask by hand". They also have a FAQ answering the question "do the lenses come unbonded?".

 

I just wonder how thick the end combination becomes ...



#5 wydeangle

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:24 PM

David,

 

I have to blush - I wore the first Prescription Dive Mask four years (hundreds of dives) without noticing the upper half of the lens is the prescription part, and is in fact bonded to the original flat glass of the mask. The inside of the lens is where the added glass is bonded, giving it a definite 3-D aspect, as well as a "step" where the top part of the lens stops and the original lens continues.

 

I don't think I ever noticed anything unusual after I put the mask on and stepped in.

 

The new mask (new prescription) is made the same way.

 

Aside from the fact the prescription portion of the mask is curved, it makes the lens about twice as thick as the original flat lens. On mine, that's approximately the top half of the lens.

 

I am guessing the thickness and size of the prescription lens is dictated by the strength of the prescription. The stronger the prescription, the thicker the added lens.

 

My distance prescription is -4.0 for comparison.

 

Learn something every day!

 

Thanks,

 

Tom


Edited by wydeangle, 09 September 2018 - 04:28 PM.


#6 diver21

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:32 PM

Thanks, Tom. 

 

It seems like you and so many use 'prescription dive mask' that I'm going to go with this known quantity.

 

I appreciate the input.



#7 ianmarsh

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 05:39 PM

David

 

I used Seavison in San Diego.

 

They did a great job; distance correction upper, plain glass lower.

 

Find a mask with tall lenses (e.g. Scubapro Spectra) to give more real estate.

 

I also had them bevel the lower edge of the upper corrective part, so looking downwards I am looking along the bevel, rather than across a flat, distorted transition. It gives the impression of no correction and makes more of the surface useful for vision.

 

ian


Edited by ianmarsh, 09 September 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#8 troporobo

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 12:36 AM

I'm on my second Sea Vision bifocal mask (after a prescription change) and have been thoroughly satisfied with both.  They replace the lens entirely, there's no additional "bonded" lens.  I'd buy from them again without hesitation.