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Vondo

Cheaters/reading glasses

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I have now become old enough that I need help seeing well enough underwater to use my camera. My distance vision is good enough that I don't need to consider full bifocals underwater. So I've been looking at two option. First would be the cheap option, the XS Scuba gauge reader mask which has 1.75 diopter for the bottom third of the mask. The other option would be to have lenses put in the bottom HALF of a mask that I already own, but this is about 3x the price.

Anyone else gone through this and what did you do? Am I going to regret getting a mask which has 1/3 vs 1/2 of the bottom area setup for close vision? 

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My mother had the same issue and found lenses in the bottom third not very helpful. She is now using bifocal contact lenses and is very happy with that solution. 

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I tried several options including the stick-on lenses and none were satisfactory.  For years now I have a "bifocal" mask with no correction for distance, and love it.  Have a look here:

https://www.seavisionusa.com/

I don't believe it is necessary to have 1/2 to 1/3 coverage for the close up correction.  Think about bifocal glasses on land.  They have much smaller crescents for reading.  Also note that you need the "bifocal" part only for gauges and tiny critters, but not for looking through a viewfinder, that works according to your distance vision and the viewfinder's diopter correction. 

This topic has been covered a lot here, a search will reveal more opinions and options

Edited by troporobo

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I tried a search, didn’t find exactly my question. I’m a mirrorless shooter without viewfinder. Maybe the next camera will have one. So I suspect I need more area than just for reading gauges. Even adjusting settings using the screen is becoming tough. 

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I have been using the stick on + lens for 20+ years. I'm on my third pair (getting older!). Since they are removal, you can change them into a new mask and adjust the for what works best for you. Here is a link Dive Optix

 

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I recommend a contact lens in your 'worst' close up eye. Get a good optician to give a test and buy on line to your prescription

I have been using this set-up for years and cannot praise it highly enough. I use one a day lenses that are inexpensive and never lost one while diving.

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One lens of the mask for close up, one for distance. Close the unwanted eye.

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I've been using an Oceanic mask with bifocal lenses - top 2/3 is flat, bottom 1/3 is +1.75 dioptre (or similar) for a few years now (I tried the XS Scuba one initially but it didn't fit my face very well so sold it on).  I find that in good light I can look through either part to see the reef but need to look through the bottom part for the camera screen.  In poor light (esp. night dives) it's a bit restrictive as I can only see the reef clearly through the top part (unless it's really close but I don't like to be that close in case I hit something ;) )

The idea of only correcting one eye wouldn't work for me as I'm very left eye dominant and never get a sharp image with just my right (lazy) eye.

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21 hours ago, hyp said:

My mother had the same issue and found lenses in the bottom third not very helpful. She is now using bifocal contact lenses and is very happy with that solution.  

+1 this.  I went through the same.  I found in mask optics annoying and not very useful.  I did multifocal contacts and am happy with the results.

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I've only been wearing glasses for a year. The idea of contacts is a couple of steps too far for me. I won't toss my uncorrupted masks, though, in case I end up going that route.

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My mother thought the same thing. She had out of focus macro pictures for at least two years while trying various solutions that didn't work. She has said that she wishes she had gone with the contacts option from the start. 

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Like @Bill1946, I use the stick-on lenses in my mask with good success.  They are certainly the cheapest option, so you could try them first, and if they work - great.  If not, you aren't out much money, and can try something else.

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2 hours ago, SwiftFF5 said:

Like @Bill1946, I use the stick-on lenses in my mask with good success.  They are certainly the cheapest option, so you could try them first, and if they work - great.  If not, you aren't out much money, and can try something else.

I tried the small gauge reader version of those and wasn't super impressed, but maybe I should try again placing them more in my line of sight. I've got 3-4 dives coming up in a month or so, so I'll try then.

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On 9/27/2019 at 9:17 AM, Vondo said:

I tried the small gauge reader version of those and wasn't super impressed, but maybe I should try again placing them more in my line of sight. I've got 3-4 dives coming up in a month or so, so I'll try then.

 

Yes, I did have to try a couple of positions before I was really happy with them.  I have mine set just barely below my line of sight, so that it is easy to look down slightly to use them.  Good luck.

 

 

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5 hours ago, SwiftFF5 said:

 

Yes, I did have to try a couple of positions before I was really happy with them.  I have mine set just barely below my line of sight, so that it is easy to look down slightly to use them.  Good luck.

 

 

Personally what I found annoying about the stick on's was that in my normal line of sight they were annoying and the optical edge between the corrective lens and the mask was bothersome.  I thought it would be like my glasses but it wasn't.  I tried moving them down so that I could shift my eyes to glance down to look at my camera of gauges.  In reality this didn't work for me.  When I am composing with the camera it is out in front of me or pointing up slightly.  In order to use them in the position I had to crane my head way back into an uncomfortable position even coming into contact with my fist stage.  At that point I just moved to contacts and haven't been back.  No optical edges to deal with, nothing distracting in my normal field of vision and I can focus near and far with my head in any position.

It my be worth it to try.  If you explain to your eye doctor the situation most will give you a sample with something close to your prescription for free. Just pay the office visit, which is probably as cheap as the stick ons.

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I just returned from my a diving trip, where I was using progressive lenses glued into my mask (I am 62, shortsighted and have astigmatism; was just unable to see clear at a distance, instruments, camera screen and controls).

=> It is not the cheapest solution (approx 650 Euro for mask plus lenses) but would not want anything else. It works perfect. It just makes me forget that I have problems with vision...

 

Wolfgang

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Another vote for www.prescriptiondivemasks.com - HIGHLY recommend them. 

I'm on my second mask with near vision lenses lower aspect of the mask.

The version I have now has both corrective for near lower and far upper. The initial setting of the lens put the "line" right at my pupil - they took the mask back and re-did the positioning.

 

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Mares has multiple lenses for their X-Vision masks - they are pretty easy to install, you take off the front frame and replace the window. They come with a little pry tool to separate the frame. I use just one, works great for just reading the gauges/computer/camera.

They are about $30 per lens I think.

15585068_10155153610352668_5103605780109381222_o.jpg

Edited by mt-m

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If you are using the viewfinder to compose there are a few options to get a magnifier for the LCD screen and these often have dioptric adjustment, lets you use the screen like a viewfinder with your distance vision.  Your options will depend on what housing you use - Nauticam compact housings for example have mounting points for their LCD magnifier and AOI make one for the TG camera housings.

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