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I just got back from doing a pool test with this mask. All I can say is...WOW!!!
I'll start by saying that I'm one of the comparatively few divers who are the perfect profile for this mask. I'm nearsighted (-5.25 left and -5.0 right), 48 years old, with presbyopia, needing 1.75 reading glasses to read thing close up when I wear my contacts. When I heard about this mask, I went to the website (www.hydrooptix.com) and found an eye doctor near me who was listed as having loaner masks available and picked one up.
The punchline is this: as soon as I went underwater, wearing the mask with no contacts, I had perfect underwater vision. No distortion, magnification, or out of focus periferal vision. I could see details on the bathing suits of swimmers six lanes over, and yet still see the details of my fingerprint lines when I held my hand up close to my face (something I have not been able to do since I crossed over to the over-40 set). I could see my fins looking down and objects on either side of me, as well as above and below me clearly, just by moving my eyes - not turning my head or whole body. I took my Mares 6 lens mask as a comparison. I bought this mask a long time ago - at the time it was state of the art for side and downward viewing when diving. The HydroOptix blew it away. The panoramic effect of seeing almost everything in my field of vision, uninterrupted by the sides of a mask was breathtaking.
Details: As I had heard, the mask leaked a little, but I had no trouble clearing it by blowing out through my nose, using the dual purge valves. I purposely filled it water, and the combination of slight pressure on the top of the mask, and blowing through my nose cleared all the water quickly. I also heard it squeezed. I did experience a pretty good mask squeeze diving down to the bottom of the pool (12 ft.), but again - blowing firmly through my nose "popped" the mask and fixed the squeeze. I also hear that it is prone to fogging, but I did not experience this, even though I used just spit to defog.
I guess there are caveats - I have not taken the mask to depth, so I'm not sure if the squeeze will worsen when one goes to diving depths. There's also the hassle of either putting on the correcting goggles when you surface so you can see the boat, or using the accompanying monocle to see it with one eye, and I'll have to keep my glasses handy when I get back on the boat. If I had 20/20 vision, I doubt I coud be talked into wearing disposable lenses to make me nearsighted just to take advantage of the view this mask affords. But I keep coming back to the first view I had with this thing -I could see the whole *&%$# pool - and crytal clear at that!!
I'm leaning strongly toward buying one, and would welcome other feedback on this mask.
well, I'm a hydrooptix cheerleader, having one myself, and, like you, a pretty perfect candidate eyesight-wise. In regards to squeeze, any mask will squeeze if not equalized, but given this is a high volume mask, there's more air to manage; nevertheless, technique to mitigate squeeze is the same as with any mask. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new about that ;-)
As for above water eyesight, I find that I can do perfectly fine without correction until I can get to my glasses back on the boat. At our prescription, it's not like we bump into poles :-) or can't see the ladder, etc, but I do carry the monocle in my bc pocket just in case.
Just to echo posts in the other threads about the mask, it does leak and one does get pooling at the center of the lens that is bothersome at times, even though it's relatively easy to clear, and it does fog up, but then again, so did my old prescription mask.
I did view your excellent report (and ran a search for Hydrooptix) before posting my thoughts. I was really trying to see if there were any more recent thoughts or experiences from Scuba Board members that had not previously posted.
Do you have an opinion on which color skirt to buy? I'm not into fashion statements with my gear, so it's really between black and clear, I think. Your thoughts?