How we perceive the underwater world is largely determined by what we see, and the mask we use is therefore the most-important piece of equipment for most, if not all, scuba divers – and now Fourth Element has entered this arena with the Scout mask (SRP: £79.95 / €95.95 / US$110).
Diving in caves is a different experience from snorkelling in tropical seas. Likewise, diving in lower visibility, temperate waters is different from the near-unlimited visibility of some blue water locations.
Fourth Element’s lens system in the Scout dive mask – the company’s first foray into diving hardware – is designed to deliver an optimised experience for different conditions when diving, whether for underwater photographers looking to maximise the light transmission, or wreck divers needing to enhance their perception of dimly lit surroundings.
The Scout is a single-lens frameless mask that has an angled profile to maximise the field of view, and a soft silicon skirt for optimized comfort and fit. It also comes with an elastic strap made from recycled materials.
Building your Scout mask couldn’t be easier. Use the lens guide to choose the right lens to suit your dives, then use the online mask builder to preview and select the skirt and strap that creates the style you love.
There are four lens to choose from:
Shield – Anti-UV and Anti-Glare
Inspired by the gold visors of NASA astronauts, the Shield lens provides UV protection and reduces glare, making it fully suited to tropical and warmer water environments for shallower diving and snorkelling in bright conditions. UVA and UVB radiation is reflected by the lens, reducing the exposure of the eye to potentially harmful rays.
Clarity – Pure clear lens
Maximising the amount of transmitted light, without any tint from impurities in the glass, the Clarity is the ideal lens for night divers and photographers. It is also the perfect lens for teaching, allowing students and instructors to clearly see each other’s eyes. The Clarity lens is manufactured with the highest level of purity to deliver maximum visual acuity during a dive.
Contrast – Anti-UV
Filtering out some of the mid-range wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum, the Contrast lens has a green appearance. Particularly when diving in temperate (green) waters, images seen through the lens show and increase in contrast, accentuating brighter and darker areas, increasing the perception of visual acuity. The Contrast lens provides full UVA and UVB protection from harmful ultraviolet.
Enhance – Anti-UV, Anti-HEV
Filtering ultraviolet and HEV (High Energy Visible) radiation, the Enhance lens is designed to protect the eye and enhance the visual experience. It is well known that UV has a damaging effect on the eye, but it has also been shown that HEV light can interfere with the lutein proteins in the eye and alter them, so filtering out this High Energy radiation can help to preserve optical health.
Then there is the mask strap to choose – there are various colour options of an elasticated strap that is made using rubber and recycled nylon, with clips made using recycled waste ABS plastic from the automotive industry. The clips have also been designed so that they will fit most mask buckles.
The Scout comes in a mask box that is designed to replace the plastic boxes that are supplied with so many masks. Low profile and protective, this case will protect the lens thanks to its cushioned half shell, without creating bulk, meaning it can fit in the foot pocket of most fins for convenient transport.