I, Galen, am doing this DiveOptx review because I have reached the age of needing reading glasses, and am having trouble seeing my camera settings and screen while snorkeling in my mask. DiveOptx are little stick on lenses that come in different magnifications, much like cheater glasses at your drug store.
Why not just get a prescription bifocal mask? If you are not having trouble seeing distance things, or you wear contacts like me, these are a much more affordable way to improve your close vision in your mask.
There are a couple of brands of these mask magnifiers available that are designed specifically for dive/snorkel masks.
DiveOptx, which are stick on magnifiers that do not use any glues, and Aqua-Optics that do use a glue (although they say they are removable). Since this was just a test to review how these reading lenses might work for a snorkel mask, I decided to go with the DiveOptx.
How Do They Work?
Once I figured out a good magnification, they worked great. I can see my camera settings and screen clearly with them. Sometimes if there are some water drops on them inside, it distorts the view, but I can normally move my head around and find a clear spot.
Choosing Your Magnification
DiveOptx come in different powers of magnification, from +1.00 to +3.00, in .25 steps. My eyes are not that bad yet. My reading glasses are only a +1.00, so that is what I bought the first time. But I discovered that the +1.00 did not really work underwater, providing no real magnification. So I later bought some +2.00 lenses and that did the trick. We have not seen any other reviewers who have had this problem, so maybe it is just with the very low power +1.00 lenses.
Stick-On or Glue-On?
For this DiveOptx review I used the stick on type, that adhere to the glass without any glue. And you can take them off and put them in another mask with no problem. They stick on great, and do not wash off, if you carefully follow the instructions. I used them daily, soaked the mask every day, and even sprayed them inside liberally with a defog soap solution. You can read lots of reviews that back this up. We have seen a video where someone is blasting the inside of the mask with a fire hose and the lenses did not come out.
But you will also see DiveOptx reviews from people that say they don't stick and wash off easily. It's likely they did not get their masks clean, did not follow the instructions, or they have some special coating on their mask that prevents good adhesion. Some masks have a layer of silicone inside that prevents you from really getting the mask clean, and the only way to get rid of it is a process called "burning" which you can see in this video.
So how do you put them on? You clean your mask very thoroughly. Then you put some warm water inside. You then position the lenses where you want them (top edge of the lens just below your lower eyelashes). Then you push them down and carefully massage out the air bubbles. Pour off the water in the mask, dry them out inside with a cloth, and then let them air dry for 24 hours. You really need to give it 24 hours. Then you could test them by soaking them to see if you have done a good job.
The Aqua-Optics uses a glue to attach their lenses. They also say they can be removed and reused and that the glue will not damage your mask.
Yes, I recommend these DiveOptx magnifiers for putting in your snorkel mask. It is a reasonably priced way to have readers in your mask if you need to see camera settings or a fish guide or your watch.
A Great Snorkeling Camera