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Help Needed: Goggle lenses strategy for various light conditions, photochromatic etc.

CindiSue

Certified Ski Diva
#1
I have a very small face and am currently using the Smith Heiress goggles which fit pretty well with my small Giro helmet. I'm not sure the lens color but it has a pink/violet tint to it. I plan to ski a LOT next year so I'm looking at getting some Smith Mag IO/S Chromapop goggles. I'm mostly hoping to see better in flat light, minimal fogging, and good peripheral vision.

The Mag IO/S come with 2 lenses. There are 3 possible combinations for the 2 lenses. Low light/every day, mirror/every day, and photochromatic/mirror.
Low light: flash rose 50% VLT or flash yellow 65% VLT
Everyday: various options between 23% and 36% VLT (or photochromatic is 30-50%)
Sun Mirrors: 9-13% VLT

I ski in Sun Valley, ID and we certainly get a lot of sun, but I've never felt it was too bright with my normal goggles, while I do sometimes struggle with low light. (56 years old so that might be affecting me too.) Thinking back, it seems like we have a lot of mixed days where the light is flat on one run and not on another, or goes flat on and off depending on the clouds.

The photochromatic is appealing but I worry about how fast photochromatic changes; I hear it's about 30 seconds and wonder if that can be a problem? I also wonder if it's as good in low light as the low light ones. I guess if it goes to 50% VLT then that's the same as the flash rose low light so it might be okay. Or should I get the 65% VLT to get the very best visibility in flat light? My concern there is whether that would be a problem if the sun then peaks out or I move to another run which is brighter.

Any comments about photochromatic in general, and what combo might be best for me?

Thanks!
Note these are on sale at Evo for $169 (or $191 for photochromatic)
 
#2
I have the IO/X photochromatic as my everyday lens. I don’t notice the change. That is, I don’t perceive any sudden shift in brightness as clouds move in and out or as I ski from sun to shadow to sun. At low light, it is indistinguishable from the rose flash. If there’s a photochromatic/yellow flash combo, pick that. On foggy and truly low-light days, you might want the yellow flash or even clear.
 

CindiSue

Certified Ski Diva
#3
If there’s a photochromatic/yellow flash combo, pick that. On foggy and truly low-light days, you might want the yellow flash or even clear.
Thanks, good to know about photochromatic. Unfortunately there is not a combo with that and a flash. A found a review https://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/Smith-ChromaPop-Lens-Review that said they perceived better visibility in low light with chromapop at 50% than just clear, because of the increased contrast. Sounds like you wouldn't agree?
 
#4
Thanks, good to know about photochromatic. Unfortunately there is not a combo with that and a flash. A found a review https://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/Smith-ChromaPop-Lens-Review that said they perceived better visibility in low light with chromapop at 50% than just clear, because of the increased contrast. Sounds like you wouldn't agree?
I didn’t mean to imply clear is better. I do think the yellow flash is better than rose flash on gloomy days. I have both. Practically, I wear the photochromatic all the time, even on overcast days, since it performs the same as the rose flash. When the whole day is very overcast, I swap out for the yellow flash because it lets in just a little bit more light. Only once did I wished I had clear and it was on a miserable foggy, overcast, snowy day at Keystone where nobody could see a thing.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I started writing a response to this and remembered we had another thread on pretty much the same topic; you can find it here.

My comment in that thread was as follows:

My husband has the Smith Photochromic Rose Flash, and he thinks it stays too dark when it's cloudy. I think that may be the case with a lot of photochromic lenses. I have a Transitions Photochromic lens in a pair of Dragon goggles, and I think they stay too dark, too. I've actually gone back to changing lenses, depending on conditions. I now have the Smith I/O MAG S which uses magnets and a clip to hold the lens in place, and it's super easy to swap from one to another.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I also have a very tiny head. To give you an idea, I purchase kid sized 3-ply face masks off Amazon.

I previously had a Giro helmet with Smith I/OS goggles. Those worked great, but I'm a lazy turd so I switched to (in the last couple years) Dragon Photochromatic/Transition lenses. The overall profile is a bit bigger than the Smith I/OS, but not terribly so. I've just accepted as long as it's comfortable, I don't really care how crazy I look.

I haven't had any issues with the shade of the lens vs. the two I/OS lenses I had previously. They seem to get dark and light enough for both bright sun and night skiing under lights. They don't change instantaneously, but it's not so slow as to really bother me either.

This is them in an indoor setting with lights. Not as light as they get, but also not super dark. Husband has non-transition Smith I/O lenses. Not sure what lens he had in.

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#7
I have the Dragon Rogue goggle with the photochromic transitions lens in the amber tint. They are the goggles in my profile pic. I love them! They get nice and dark on sunny days so I rarely have to seek out my 15% VLT lens. I don’t notice the transition as the light changes. They’ve been great too on storm days and dusk skiing. I switch to a yellow lens for night skiing.
 

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