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Old 03-21-2013, 11:14 AM
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Default Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Anyone have any opinions between Smith Optics and Costa Del Mar's? I lean toward the Costas because you can get actual glass in lieu of plastic. The price is....something that holds me back some.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Before you decide on your next purchase of sunglasses, take the time to listen to the Itinerent Angler's podcast titled "Sunglass 101 with Costa Sunglass VP of Product Development. It was produced on Feb 4, 2013, so scroll down to the second episode in the list:
The Itinerant Angler

One thing I learned from listening to the podcast is that glass len's cause the sunglasses to be heavier, but if you tend to be hard on them, then glass is the way to go as it will resist scratches much better than the plastic. On the other hand, if the additional weight is an issue than go with plastic, but they will require a little more TLC. Costa has a propriatary approach to making polarized sunglasses which is also very interesting and that is what drives up the cost......my next pair will be the Costa 580's.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

There is no comparison to Costa Del Mar 580 glass lenses, period...

Glass may be heavier, but Costa's glass lenses are half the weight of other companies glass lenses, at least they feel that way on my face...
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

My brother in law has a set of Costa Del Mar with the 580s. The clarity with those is a full notch above the Oakley's that I have with aftermarket polarization.

Like everything else in my life, I have to be very careful with laying out cash for something. I don't know if I can justify the cost, but I'm always considering stuff.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

It's definitely a costly investment considering they are sunglasses, but I have bought both my pairs on eBay brand new for less than retail so that saved me some coin and one pair is over 5 years old now, still look new.

Obviously what you do makes no difference to me, but if you take care of them, you will have them for a long long time.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Costa's... No question. The 580 glass is super clear and designed for fishermen. Even the poly lenses are better than any other I have had. Smith should stick to what they know best... ski goggles. They're Lenses are no better than any other cheap polarized glasses for fishing, but I will admit they do look good.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Costa's are great but Smith Action Optics fishing glasses are hi-tech glass as well. Glass is not only scratch resistant but there is far less distortion than with even high quality CR39 type plastic lenses...polycarbonate is barely optical material but is the lightest. Chose between the Smith and Costa product based on frame style and tint...they are both first rate and worth every penny.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

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Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Costa's are great but Smith Action Optics fishing glasses are hi-tech glass as well. Glass is not only scratch resistant but there is far less distortion than with even high quality CR39 type plastic lenses...polycarbonate is barely optical material but is the lightest. Chose between the Smith and Costa product based on frame style and tint...they are both first rate and worth every penny.
Smith's weigh quite a bit more and clarity isn't even close...

You should try them side by side sometime...

I agree they likely are the two best, but man the Smith's feel heavy on your face in comparison to the Costa's and I personally see much better with the Costa's that may be different for others though as I am sure everyone's eyes are a bit different.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

If you want overall quality control... Action Optics aka Smith Optics... Makes all their glass lenses in their own labs... Costa only makes their own frames and outsources the lenses from a separate company... Also I don't think Costa offers PolarChromic Polarization which means the level of tint on the lenses changes depending on the current conditions... I've own a couple pairs of Smiths(non-glass) and their polycarbonate is pretty dang scratch resistant... I'd imagine their glass is even better
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Smith Optics vs Costa Del Mar

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
If you want overall quality control... Action Optics aka Smith Optics... Makes all their glass lenses in their own labs... Costa only makes their own frames and outsources the lenses from a separate company... Also I don't think Costa offers PolyChromic Polarization which means the level of tint on the lenses changes depending on the current conditions... I've own a couple pairs of Smiths(non-glass) and their polycarbonate is pretty dang scratch resistant... I'd imagine their glass is even better

The polychromic lenses are what I own, I still see better in all light levels with my 580G lenses by Costa...

You ever tried them side by side? Just curious...

That could be a great idea for one of these fly shops next "shootouts" sunglasses...
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