High Volume or Low Volume???

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by T_Mancini, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. T_Mancini

    T_Mancini Guest

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    I am new to this and will be getting certified in about a month or so. Is there really a big difference on getting a mask with high or low volume? If the masks fits well enough, it shouldn't leak that much right. Some one told me that it would be harder to clear a mask with high volume, is this true???
     
  2. ew1usnr

    ew1usnr Barracuda

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    Low volume masks are supposed to be easier to clear, as well as weigh less and be more streamlined. But, they often (though not always) are made with either two separate window panes, or have a plastic piece that comes down right between your eyes that divides the glass in two.

    Those type masks always annoyed me and made me feel cross-eyed. I like having a large volume mask with one big wide picture-window plate of glass in front of me. These masks take a little more air to clear when flooded (a half a pint at most), but that is more of a concern if the mask is used for skin diving. If you are wearing a scuba tank, that little extra bit of air is insignificant.
     
  3. pipedope

    pipedope Great White

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    Far and away fit is the most important feature of a mask.
    In fact the three most important things about a mask are;
    1. Fit
    2. Fit
    3. Fit

    I dove many years with a US Divers tri-window mask and now I use a CressiSub Big Eyes. I like the lower volume masks as they
    are less likely to get bumped but fit is still king.

    BTW take your snorkle and test the fit with it in your mouth.
    Having a regulator or snorkle in changes the shape of your face and may change your best choice of mask.
     
  4. T_Mancini

    T_Mancini Guest

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    That is a good point about the snorkel. I probably would have never thought about it. I plan to buy the Ocean Master Dry Snorkel. I have heard it is pretty good and isn't too expensive.....

    Thanks everyone for the info.

    Tim
     
  5. klausbh

    klausbh Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kiel, Germany
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    As far as I can tell, low volume masks are superior to high volume masks in all respects. They are easier to clear and equalize, more streamlined, less buoyant, and provide a better field of vision. As far as single lens masks are concerned, some of the lowest volume masks around are single lens frameless designs.

    -Klaus
     
  6. DSJ

    DSJ Nassau Grouper

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    The best field of view I've found by far is the Hydroptix MegaMax, and it's also the highest volume.

    Just like the tip to check fit with a snorkle in your mouth, check the true field of view under water. Placing the glass closer to your eyes works to increase the field of view above water, but refraction underwater changes that.

    Disclaimer: I don't get anything from promoting the mask, I'm just a satisfied owner.

    David
     
  7. DeepTechScuba

    DeepTechScuba Nassau Grouper

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    There is absolutely no reason to buy a high volume mask.

    They do not work. You do not see any better with them.

    The masks that give you the best vision are the low vol masks with the large eye pieces.

    Low volume masks are easier to protect in transit as well because they fit nicely inside your fin foot pocket.
     
  8. nwdiver2

    nwdiver2 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Vancouver, BC
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    Low volume masks give better peripheral vision and are easier to clear. Some of the newer concepts in masks are moving back to higher volume to give curved lens etc. I suggest first fit is most important and visibility is second most important. Try a low volume clear silicon mask that fits you very well and you will be on your way.
     
  9. ew1usnr

    ew1usnr Barracuda

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    David,
    What the heck is a "Hydroptix MegaMax"? Is that for real? I couldn't find anything on the internet about it. Please tell me more about it. Post a link or a picture if you can.


    "Step back! Give me room for my MegaMax!"
     
  10. DSJ

    DSJ Nassau Grouper

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    Lol, the URL is http://www.hydrooptix.com/index2.htm

    I've got one and it's not hype. The company does a good job of explaining the physics of it, and I've had nothing but great service from them.

    I know all the arguments for low/high volume, but what I dive for is to see stuff, and this mask lets me see more of it. So for the small additional expense of the mask system I'm maximizing my diving dollar. Granted you can't stuff it in your fin pocket, but it comes in a nice hard shell case so you don't have to.

    David
     
  11. ew1usnr

    ew1usnr Barracuda

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    Massively cool! That thing must be a trip to dive with.
     
  12. DSJ

    DSJ Nassau Grouper

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    It is. You can find more of my comments at:

    http://www.scubaboard.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29130

    I'm not usually the first to try out new gadgets, but after reading the website and going over the optics I had to try it. I did, and as I report in the other thread I found the claims to be true. The volume isn't all that much larger than other flat panel masks (300ml for the Mega vs. 225ml for the PanGeo) and I get to view things UW like I do above. No distortion, no fragmented views, no magnification, no tunnel vision. That's a revolution. You can get that from most masks when you check them out in the store in air, but you have to take them UW to see what you will see when you dive.

    David
     
  13. kgdiver

    kgdiver Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle- PNW
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    I started with a high volume 3 window Beauchat mask. Although it fits fine and a can see ok it does feel large on my face. Also the glass is brought closer to the face in my low volume so I can actually see more with it than my 3 window mask.

    I moved to a low volume mask and use my old one as a back up. Clearing is not a problem for me on either mask. I have come to prefer black over clear silicone also due to the suns effects on clear. My mask has turned yellowish. But some people like the way light comes through the skirt. Up to you.

    Just make sure it fits you.
     
  14. T_Mancini

    T_Mancini Guest

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    Well I bought my mask and snorkel. I got the Ocean Master Z2 and I love it. I haven't dived with it yet but I have used it in the pool. It gits great and is easy to clear. I also bought the OM Dry snorkel and it works better than I ever thought it would. I want to thank you all for your info and helping me make my decision. Hope to have the rest of my equiment soon and be in the water shortly after...

    Again thanks,

    Tim
     
  15. Karl_in_Calif

    Karl_in_Calif Banned

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    Definitely go with low volume.

    Easier to clear.

    Easier to see.

    Easier to stuff into your fin foot pocket.

    Less positively buoyant.
     
  16. blawler1

    blawler1 Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Lago Vista, Texas (on Lake Travis outside Austin)
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    I have a Ocean Master dry snorkel and stopped using it for diving because it is very bouyant due to the air trapped in it and tugged at my mask causing it to leak. It is a good snorkel for snorkeling as it does cut down on water in the snorkel.

    As far as high volume/low volume question, I started with a TUSA PanaGeo, a high volume model and have since changed to a Sporasub Samuari Elite (ultra-low volume) and love it.
     

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