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Old 08-15-2013, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

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Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
Up to 10% of us are "color-blind" to some degree. Soooo, if you don't benefit from the same color of lenses that someone else does to the extent that they do, it is highly likely you perceive colors entirely different than they do and will have to find what works for you.

I am one of those color challenged folks and what I see is very different from what the majority of other people see.
Sounds like some great insight here...

I will say that I'm not a Grey lens (blue mirror) type of guy either, but I will use them when it's super bright and I don't need to see anything in the water (When not sight fishing, wading, etc.).

Conversely, I've tried to convert my dad to a copper-ish lens for years, and he hates em. Always says he feels like he's looking through rose-colored glasses... I guess I just don't mind the grass looking a little greener

Not that it matters much, but we're the only two in the whole family with blue eyes
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

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Originally Posted by wjc View Post
I've read all I can find about sunglasses, colors, etc as I am going to take the plunge for an expensive pair again after many years in a month or so. I've got to go in for a cataract consult in a couple weeks.

The biggest puzzle to me is the near universal opinion that blue/grey is better for offshore use than copper/brown. Perhaps I just need more time looking through blue/grey to adjust to them, I don't know.
As I mentioned the other day, I just finished an article about this, which is in the new issue of American Angler, reaching newsstands now.

The thing you have to realize when it comes to color is that the visible light transmission figures also differ. Anglers offshore have traditionally favored blue, green and grey lenses. This has something to do with marketing -- the first UV-blocking sunglasses were labeled "BlueBlockers" and I believe were often colored blue to make sales simple.

However we got here, the reality today is that almost everyone builds their "darkest" lenses -- those with the least visible light transmitted, often less than 10% of total light received -- in blue, green and grey. Since open boat fishing usually involves hard, bright light with no shade, it makes sense to use the strongest sun-blocking lenses in that environment.

Amber, copper, pink and to some degree brown lenses have medium VLTs and are marketed for nearshore or onshore use. Everyone I talked to at Oakley, Costa, Smith and elsewhere recommended a copper to amber lens for trout water and nearshore fishing. I personally recommend the Costa Silver Mirrors, in 580G if you can spring for them, which are actually a copper-to-pink tone on the wearer.

The idea with the colors is that by "deleting" certain aspects of the visible light spectrum, overall contrast is enhanced. You can actually see this effect in Photoshop by playing with color sliders; sunglasses companies are literally photoshopping the world in front of your eyes.

The last category is the yellow or "sunlight" or "sunrise" shade. These have very high VLTs -- sometimes in the 30% range, which is letting a lot of light in. The yellow color is perceived by the human eye as "bright" for reasons that no one was ever able to satisfactorily explain to me, but it is definitely true. Put a pair of yellow shades on at midday and it will knock your head back.

A lot of people have asked why we can't have clear polarized lenses. This is because polarization itself relies on deleting light hitting the retina horizontally. On a microscopic or near-microscopic level, those lenses have stripes across them like Venetian blinds. That's why you can alter the effect by rotating your head -- a trick almost anyone who ever tried to pump gas wearing polaroids figures out right quick.

HTH,
Zach
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

I just got back from an eye exam, and talked with the opthamologist about polarized sun glasses. While there, the TV in the examination room had commercials on it for Oakleys.

After the exam, I asked the doctor what he thought about Costas. He basically raved about the 580s - despite the Oakely commercials. When talking later with the lense grinding technician - he said Costa does not do "line" type bifocals in the 580 glass - only the "progressive" style.

I did try a pair of Costas on while there, and they really are extremely clear compared to my $12 Chinese ones
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

The thread that will not die. Anyone have opinions on Abel Nippers?

Even though not marketed too much in fly fishing circles, the sunglasses that seem to be made specifically for playing around or in the water are Maui Jim's. 15 years ago they had hydrophobic coatings, anti-glare coatings inside and out, bi-gradient tinting that offers more protection from sunlight at both the top of lens for direct sunlight and at the bottom for reflective glare. Their tints make everything look sharper and more crisp.
I just popped for a pair of their readers so, good bye Flip-Focals and hello freedom. The biggest grip in reviews I've read said the reader portion was too small. For reading maybe it is but for tying a fly on and still being able to wade without the entire lower area of the lens causing dangerous wading, the 'cheater' area is just bright.
Maui's aren't inexpensive but neither are eyeballs. This video shows some of the processes and equipment used that demonstrates how far Maui Jim's goes to make some of the finest sunglasses in the world... IF you can get past the 'funny guy' commentating that is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ4uL0S1eGc
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

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Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
The thread that will not die.
Jackster - why do we want it to die I'm glad it's lived on, and it's moved me to look at older posts on the subject. I've been wearing Maui Jims for the better part of 5 years. Before that, my first pair of true "fishing glasses" were Smith Action Optics from Cabelas. Before that, cheap gas store polarized shades.

I have glass lenses on two pair of MJ's, one with an amber base, one with a copper/brown base. I have a pair of poly Maui Jim Sports, that I use for fishing because the metal frames coupled with the glass lenses on the others tended to get heavy. I ended up going back to the glass because they're clearer.

When I was in Colorado a couple weekends ago, I noticed that my brown base/copper base mirrored glass lenses were not providing me the sun relief for me i felt I needed. It was awful bright. Don't get me wrong, they're great glasses, but they were not working for me. So I read through this thread and others as previously mentioned.

I have tried in Smith a number of times because that is what my local fly shop carries. I've tried them on more than once. I just didn't feel it with them, not so much the frames but the tint/shading. This thread got me to think about Costas, which I researched extensively. I ended up finding a retailer locally (more difficult than I expected) and tried them on, went outside, and they were exactly what I was looking for in a pair of glasses. I decided on a Green Lens 580g, which has an Amber base. The frame fit excellent, the lenses are wonderful. Smiths may work for many, and obviously they do. Quality glasses, great frame selections, selection of glass and poly. A lot a guy can look through to see if they're for him. I suggest and encourage anyone who is shopping and looking to spend this type of coin to look at them hard as well.

Ironically, I will say this, the green mirror/amber lens wouldn't be my first choice for Colorado, I think I'd go with the Silver Mirror (bronze base) to offer more shading. These I felt were superior to my Maui's and would be flexible enough to allow me to fish in some lower light/overcast situations as well as bright sun.

I think it's been a good thread, a helpful one for me.

Cheers,
Mike.
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Last edited by chi flyfisher; 08-22-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

I lost a pair of Action Optics somewhere in Pensacola years ago. I was literally sick to my stomach but got over it real quick when I stopped off by the fishing shack on the way home and bought a pair of Costa 580's in copper. I used the **** out of them until I put them on top of my hat as the sun went down and forgot they were there. As I took off my hat at the truck, the glasses fell and the right lens landed right on the sharpest rock in the parking lot. I about puked. That is until I called Costa and found out I could send them back along with a few duckets and get them completely replaced. I decided to go with the blue mirrored 580's and haven't looked back. If I bugger these up, I'll replace them in a heartbeat with the same thing. I love my Costas and for what it's worth, they are a lot lighter than the Action Optics I had (may they rest in peace).
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Friend and I both purchased new glasses for the 5 week trout fishing trip we were about to take. He the Costa 580g blue mirror/gray shade, and I the Smith PolarChromic lens in copper. After wearing my Smith's for a day on a river he was sorry he bought the Costa's! The Smith's were clearer and the PolarChromic provided the shading needed during full sun. Also early morning and late evening he could not wear his Costa's due to NO PolarChromic. I liked his Costa's only during the full sun and also they did not work for me in lower light conditions.

My Smith's worked for me in all light conditions due to PolarChromic lens. Often I would try to point out a fish to him and he could not see it with the Costa's. Both glasses are good but with the PolarChromic lens the Smith's got his and my vote for best.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

I have the 580G green/copper and 580P yellow lenses and love them both. I use the yellow for early morning and late evening fishing and also as shooting glasses. You can't really go wrong with either brand. Pick which looks best to you.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

For me Costa and Maui Jim are the top tier. MJ is more geared towards the boating and water sports side and Costa is more towards the boating and fishing side. I also believe that Smith is just a smidge below the others (just a tiny bit), but with price considerations in mind, they're a good buy.

Honestly, you almost can't go wrong with any of the three.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Today we stopped at the South Fork Outfiiers shop in Swan Valley, ID to buy fishing licenses, they had the Costa sunglasses, after trying on a pair I pulled the trigger and bought the 580g in the green mirror.

Larry
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