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Fluid Goggles - get 'em while they're cheap!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Didn't I just say that?
Feb 7, 2002
Hello all,

I recently acquired a pair of what Eric Fattah terms "cosmetically defective" Fluid Goggles, which in my case, were made for David Lee and used on his -51m unassisted constant ballast world record - the Nirvana Fluid Goggles on sale now must be utterly amazing! I thought I'd share my experiences with them for the uninitiated, though I haven’t been diving with them yet - I'm still waiting for the Paradisia noseclip to arrive. In the interim I’ve been acquainting myself with their finer points, as there’s always a familiarization phase with any nouveau piece of equipment.

Seeing clearly through liquid for the first time is an eye-opening experience, if you’ll pardon the expression. The realization that most marine mammals perceive their environment in this way is easy to understand conceptually, but affectionally more profound once you’ve ‘seen’ with their eyes. By the way, the magnification goes both ways – if my fiancée’s reaction to my oversized pupils is any indication, I’ll scare the fish right out of the water. Following Eric’s suggestion to read the manual, I first practiced filling one eyepiece with Saline solution before attempting both. This is done to familiarize you with the process of donning them and adjusting to the field of view, etc., without making it twice as challenging the first time around. This is a process that does require time to refine, and practice is the key to success, but it is well worth it.

Having run through the process of donning and adjusting them, I began the ‘non-destructive testing’ phase of negotiating the ‘domestic obstacle course’. The difference in depth perception due to magnification (approx. 10%) is significant, and this was quite amusing; I became one of those things that go ‘bump’ in the living room - a human pinball if you like. It doesn’t take long to adjust to it though, and soon I was walking around without incident, watching movies, and reading text with some success (I wouldn’t suggest driving with them however). Of course, I do all of this is to become functionally and psychologically comfortable with the Goggles, and therefore, increase the enjoyment of their first use, which I eagerly await.

That’s all for now, I’ll update this thread when I’ve ‘done the deed’.

fluid goggles

i was wondering what you were going to use the goggles for, just freediving of spearfishing. also how durable do yo uthink they are, could you use them all the time or do they seem like they would break really easy. i was hinking about buying a pair but i was going to use them for spearfishing and photography, jsut about every day use in the summer. if you could help out thanks.
Driving goggles. :D good one.

Say, isn't the magnification scale difference supposed to be 25% and not 10%? (correct me if i'm wrong), or is it different for fuild goggles?

For what I know, the scale change is due to the difference in the light breaking angle on different materials (water-air), so now that you have fluid goggles, would'nt it be the first time you are watching things underwater with no scale difference at all?

It is true that when underwater and using fluid goggles, the water/air interface doesn't exist, so there is no magnification due to the water/air interface, as with a mask. However, the lens in the goggle is 'replacing' your now non-functional cornea. Because that 'artificial cornea' is not touching your eye like a contact lens, it causes a small magnification, which turns out to be slightly bigger than the magnification caused by an water/air interface. However, on land, there IS an air/water interface when using the goggles, so the magnification above the water and below is different...

In the end, both masks & fluid goggles magnify, but for different reasons.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Where can I find these? I have heard about them, and seen a picture of Jacques Mayol with them on. Are these the same things?
Goggle Site

Fluid goggles can be found here:

What you saw mayol wearing were hard scleral contact lenses. They are extremely uncomfortable, hard to put on, non-permeable, bad for your eyes (eyes hurt for days after), and they also have to be custom made and cost about $9000. Fluid goggles were invented to solve the problems of scleral contact lenses, while keeping their advantages (i.e. no mask equalizing, no flooding, no fogging).

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
A vs. B lenses


What exactly are the differences in the A and B lenses?

If someone has no astigmatism, and 20/20 vision, should they go into one lens over another?

Have you found that more people fit into a B lens over an A lens?

The pair that you let me try onin Miami last year seemed to work pretty darn well. Where those an A lens or a B lens?

How would someone know if the other lens would work better once they their first pair?

I just want to be sure before I order a pair. I am sold on them, but I now have to somehow convince my wife of the "need" .;)


Response to questions

The B power goggle has a slightly shorter focal length than the A power goggle.

So far there is 0% correlation with eyeglasses prescription and the required goggle power.

About 60% of people prefer the B power goggle; it is a slightly more comfortable and more stable goggle, less prone to double vision problems, however some people insist on clear goggles (even though it makes little difference because the smoke goggle filters mainly red light). And some people simply see more clearly with the A power goggle. I usually recommend starting with B power, and then people can exchange their goggle at no cost for the other power if they want. Some people ask why they can't have B power goggles in a clear goggle. The answer is complicated; there is not enough room in any commonly available clear goggle to place the lens in the correct place.

The pair you tried last year was a B power goggle.

If you try B power, and you are nearsighted with it, then you need A power.

More questions?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Power selection


This may or may not be something to look at regarding the proper selection for people who have not had a chance to try a pair before ordering. Based on this comment from the website...

"The power you need depends on your facial structure and the axial length of your eyeball."

Those with a contact lense prescription may be able to make a selection based on that. I know there are two other numbers that are part of the contact lense presciption. One is the lense diameter and the other is the base curve. So I was wondering if there might be a correlation between the base curve value and the right power for the fluid goggles. My reasoning being that curvature affects focal length.

If I'm completely off just tell me so. :)

Getting warm

It was once believed that people who are nearsighted had especially 'long' eyeballs (i.e. long axial length). However, it is now known that nearsightedness is simply a mismatch between the curvature of the cornea and the length of the eyeball. So, a person with a -10D prescription may have a shorter eyeball than someone who sees 20/20. This is the reason that so far there has been no correlation between prescription and goggle power. Fortunately, astigmatism disappears when the cornea is immersed in water.

As a further example, I use B power goggles, and my prescription is -8D, and several friends have 20/20 and they also see best with B power goggles.

Further, facial structure comes into play. The distance of the goggle lens from the eye has a vast effect on the goggle power, and so the goggles sit farther from the eye on some people's faces.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Yes but...

:) That's why I was wondering about the base curve value. That is a measurement of your eye's shape and has nothing to do with your prescription strength. My base curve for example is 8.8 and will stay that way reguardless of the diopter strength of my prescription. It will be the same if my need for contacts goes away completely. If I remember the base curve value starts around 8 and goes up to 10 or so. This is for available contact lenses, I'm sure some people are lower or higher and can't wear them. I think the higher it is the longer your eyes are.

Facial structure may be a bigger factor though depending on the focal length of the B lenses.

But as I've never tried them and am not a doc of any kind, I'll quit speculating now.

This topic did make me think how odd some things are though. You can dive with no trouble after most any of the corrective laser eye surguries. The increased pressure is not a problem. But the opposite is not true. For high altitude climbers, laser eye surgury is not recommended. The decrease in external pressure at altitude will allow a corrected eye to deform enough that your vision would become hopelessly blury. Or so I've read in the climbing mags.


I have another question about temerature. The bottom temps by me are always 4 degrees C. Do your eyeballs get cold in the kind of water? Is there a temp that a mask becomes a better choice because of the insulation that the air provides.

I also thought that the type B goggles were smoke colored. The ones I tried on last year were clear. Am I mistaken about that?:confused:




The goggles you tried were clear B goggles, with zinc sulfide lenses. That version of the goggles is no longer manufactured. The new smoke 'B' power goggles have the same equivalent power as the goggles you used, but are entirely different in their construction. The 'rainbows' in the peripheral vision have been virtually eliminated.

Concerning 4C water, your eyes will freeze with standard fluid goggles, but more importantly, your face will freeze as well, since much more of it is exposed. When diving here in winter, I use special 'arctic' fluid goggles which have all sorts of added insulation. However, those are not currently for sale.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Arctic Fluid Goggles

Please tell me more!

Can you post a picture or a description? :confused:

Arctic goggles

The arctic goggles have an extra 3mm glass disk on the outside, and any dead space in the interior is filled with silicone for extra insulation. They look a bit funky, not very professional, but they work, and they are much warmer on the eyes.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
The eyes have it...

Hello again everyone,

While I have been waiting for the nose clip to arrive, I have been practicing [dry] static’s with the Fluid Goggles to become more accustomed to them and to see if there were any noticeable physiological changes associated with their usage, and as it turns out, there are. I notice that by my third breath-hold my hands and feet are numb (tip to mid-forearm/calf) from the vasoconstriction. Needless to say, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the nose clip...

Naturally, when I received the Paradisia nose clip, I promptly went diving. I've been freediving here for around twelve years now, so I don't think about the water temperature - I'm used to it. There is a 'numbing' process that occurs to the facial area - as anyone who dives in cold water can attest to - but after that, all's well. I failed to appreciate how much of my face was protected by a mask, because it was painfully cold on my sinuses/forehead. No problem I thought, it'll go away in a few minutes. So, I swam out to the dive site and started my warm-up, which usually begins with a 5 minute facial immersion followed by three static's and two negatives to ~4 m (I decided not to use a snorkel this time out, so I skipped the facial immersion). I could tell that my static’s were going to be great, but ironically, I couldn’t keep my face in the water long enough to realize it. After three attempts I decided skip my warm-up and just dive. The Goggles work great; I had no problem seeing underwater, but you do have to look through them just right for the clearest view. The visibility isn’t that good here though, so I didn’t notice any impairment with regard to vision - the surface was a little different. Diving without equalizing a mask is a different experience for me, and I’m hooked on it. Unfortunately, the pain in my forehead never lessened or went away and I had to cut my session short. The whole thing makes me laugh, and what’s even funnier is my solution: dunking my face in cold water to acclimate it – repeat & rinse.:duh I’m going to do this for awhile and try it again; who knows, maybe it will work. In the meantime I’m going to Puerto Vallarta for two weeks and my goggles are going to get some serious use.

For those with questions regarding spearfishing with Fluid Goggles: I think the only fish I’d try spearing is Halibut at this point. They’re not much of a challenge if you catch them on the bottom, and in Alaska they get ridiculously large (I’ve seen pictures of a 4m Halibut, for instance).

Heading for warmth & sunshine,

The hard way


It appears you found out the 'hard' way what I was just talking about! Although 'arctic' fluid goggles are not yet for sale, you can take some silicone and fill dead spaces both inside & outside of your fluid goggles, and this will keep your eyes warmer. An extra glass disk on the outside would help, but that's more complicated to do. Further, make sure your hood comes down as close as possible to your eyebrows, and you can try covering exposed skin with vaseline (a bit gross and messy though).

After a while, the cold reaches your optic nerve and you may start seeing flashing lights!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Can you use these with contact lenses? I have awful vision and without my contacts would be useless LOL I wear acuvue soft lenses.

i was wondering, is there any kind of warranty on breakage of the goggles?
Also, on your site i did not see an option for different types of lenses.....
And yet another question, does anyone know where i can get a paradisia nose clip for less then 60 bucks, or anyone that wants to sell one to me??:)
thanks for the help guys, im looking foreward to getting a apir of these once i get up the money:)
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