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Glass vs. Plastic Lens Mask

odd.i.c.

New Member
Hi again all! Thanks to those who advised me on the monofin question. I'm going with a Waterway Nemo in medium firmness. I'll make sure to let everyone know how I do...

Next question: I'm told the Sphera mask by Aqua Sphere is a good low-volume mask for freediving, however a store proprietor here in Vancouver said that it's cheap and plastic. What would be the advantages of a plastic lens? Am I better off with glass lenses? What would be good brands to look for? Any ideal makes/models from experience?

Thanks for your input all!
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
1,805
331
188
79
Kona
kv6j.net
The store operator has a good point. If you don't plan on using it below 40 meters or so, get the most comfortable (best fitting) free diving mask with glass lenses. For deeper than that, low volume becomes more important but the 'magic' properties of the Sphera don't start until over 50. You could make a case for starting with Spera but it is easy to change during one of the three or four steps along the way.
P.S. You'll like the Nemo
 

steff

New Member
Mar 1, 2007
27
2
0
Brisbane, Australia
OK. Glass lenses will scratch less than plastic lenses. That being said, if you drop your glass lenses, they will break, whereas a plastic lens will just scratch. The glass sphera (falco or something?) has a flat lens, then little 'side shields', whereas the plastic sphera has a curved lens, which feels nicer to wear (to me), however will distort your peripheral vision.

Hope this helps

steff
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
1,805
331
188
79
Kona
kv6j.net
The Spera doesn't fit over my..uh..facial features so I'm not the best one to ask. When you talk about mask volume, there are two of them. A minimum and a maximum. The ratio max/min is greater with the Sphera than any other mask so it takes less air to equalise. In my case, the deepest that I can fill my mask and mouth is about 35 and if that ratio was 1.5/1, no air (for the mask) would be needed until about 60, leaving the whole mouth fill to equalise ears, sinuses and airway. I'm over simplifying of course.
 
OP
OP
odd.i.c.

odd.i.c.

New Member
Ok! This is all great info. Bill, I have a question for you... when you refer to your facial features that don't allow you to wear a Sphera, what are you referring to? I have a narrow face with a somehat prominent nose. Either of these features match yours?
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
1,805
331
188
79
Kona
kv6j.net
Let's just say to make sure that the Sphera doesn't rest on the bridge of your nose.
If you have a chance, try the Beuchat mask on. There is nothing like trying on gear before you part with the money (the third best reason to have dive buddies, after safety and fun). When you swap fins it will often let you know which size is best for that brand.
 

amihov

New Member
Aug 24, 2006
111
4
0
Don't buy plastic mask there is no point. Cressi minima is more like goggles whit a skirt . The best thing is to check omer bandit . I have to masks one is cressi focus very good mask not the lowest volume but i have to say maybe the best mask i have ever try. Second is omer bandit very good mask but the silicon is too soft and you have to adjust the mask from time to time.
 

demasoni

New Member
Feb 3, 2005
324
45
0
40
Maui
mauiobserver.blogspot.com
I have used both the Minima and Sphera and personally, I prefer the Sphera.

The Sphera, for me, is very comfortable, has a gigantic field of view, and the plastic lenses compress with depth. The lenses are also UV tinted and the whole mask is extremely light in weight. The downside of the Sphera for me is that the mask is rather fragile and the lens can separate from the frame (although you can pop it back in) if you accidentally sit on it or something.

Also, at some point - you will want to get a new Sphera - 6 months to a year later - because something happened, like the skirt tension loosened from use and no longer seals your face or the lens cracked. I don't worry about the inevitable scratches because I don't see them in the water.

The Aqualung sales rep made a presentation at the dive shop I work at and stated the Sphera was originally designed for the Navy SEALS, at least that's what he said...

The Minima didn't fit my face as well - it's a smaller mask, although with a larger nose pocket - I would say better for narrower faces than the wider "Sphera faces." Also, the straps are not as robust as the Sphera (which actually isn't saying much ;)) and if used with a snorkel, sometimes the pull of the snorkel can break the seal of the Minima - at least with me. The biggest downside for me though is that the field of view is tiny and the mask doesn't compress with depth.

The Minima does win in the durability department I think due to the hardy frame and glass lenses. Another option is the Falco - which is the Sphera, but with flat glass lenses - this one is much more durable and won't distort your peripheral vision like the Sphera.

Just my two cents!
 
OP
OP
odd.i.c.

odd.i.c.

New Member
I didn't know which way to go, so I ordered both! I received my Cressi-Sub Minima and my Aqua Sphere Sphera in the mail the other day...

The Sphera doesn't fit well at all. It's definitely made for wide faces. The Minima however is fantastic! I just wish I had ordered two of the same (always good to have a spare).