In this article I would like to have as objective on clarifying ideas on how to make your choice fall when you are faced with the need of having to buy a mask. Today the companies of the best known to those less known, offer a wide selection of masks. Aside from the color, apparently watching them in the exhibitors seem all the same, but what immediately catches our attention is the price difference that starts from a minimum of 15/18 euros up to 60/70 euros and the great variety of very attractive colors.
First of all let’s see which elements go to make up a mask. This topic is explained in detail, both in Open Water Diver PADI that during PADI Specialty “ Equipment Specialist ”
As we see in this article, in fact a technical difference exists and is also substantial. The first advice I can give you is to does not consider the purchase of your next new mask, on the economic possibilities that you have budgeted, brand or color. Most of the time, you buy a mask looking perspective ” I spend a little more and I’m sure I have a good product “.
As you can see, in the picture above, we can divide the masks into two types of models:
With two lenses or a single lens. This type of choice is personal, based on your real needs. If you think you need a mask with prescription lenses, surely you cannot but choose the models with two lenses, are those that are used to be able to mount graduated lenses.
Now let’s see what would lead us to choose a mask with the clear / transparent or colored / black frame / profile “Clear”.
The masks with Clear frame are most suitable for those who practice snorkeling or scuba diving , because thanks to their transparency, helps us to have better visibility, especially in depth because of the greater penetration of light that can illuminate its internal volume.
On the other hand we have this kind of masks, they need more care both for conservation and for their use. Read this article: Preservation and first use of a mask.
Let’s take a look at the world of masks with black or colored frames. In the picture below the first two black masks are suitable for scuba divers and are the most suitable for those who practice underwater photography or video shooting. In fact, for those who already have a patent that is a sub Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver and decides he wants to acquire the skills of Digital Underwater Photographer or Underwater Videographer, will prefer this type of mask because black in particular does not allow light to enter in the internal volume of the mask, allowing the diver’s eye to have a better contrast when looking through small monitors while photographing or shooting underwater.
Looking at the picture above, in the lower part there are three masks, these have been designed exclusively for use in apnea or spearfishing in apnea. The first and very important technical difference with those seen so far is the internal volume and the lenses, which as you can see, are greatly reduced, this to allow those who practice this type of sport, to compensate with less effort, as explained in our Apnea courses..
The apnea masks are made of black or camouflage with an opaque silicone, this to prevent the light from reflecting and facilitating in camouflaging with the surrounding environment.
In conclusion I say that for Snorkeling or Diving, the ideal masks are those with a clear profile and a large internal volume.
For apnea or spearfishing they are ideal, black with lenses and reduced internal volume and with an opaque silicone profile / frame.
The only characteristic in common that a good mask must have, they are the lenses that must be made of tempered glass to withstand the pressures given by depth. These glasses have a small symbol to guarantee what was said now, a small (T) in the top corner of the lenses.