Smith Optics has introduced a new lens technology that should be a paradigm changer. Called Chromapop, the premise is that where color wavelengths cross (from blue to green, and green to red) the eye has trouble distinguishing color. Chromopop filters out that color confusion specifically in those areas.
Whether you understand that or not, there are other more straightforward attributes that are easily grasped: These lenses do not utilize polarizing film; the treatment happens within the lens material (called Trivex). The Abbe value of Trivex (measure of clarity) is 45. Glass is 44. So it is as clear as glass and clearer than polycarbon. That said, it is 10 percent lighter than polycarbon, and a whopping 75 percent lighter than optical glass. They’re anti-reflective coated, and four times more scratch resistant than plastic. So this is a legitimate best-of-all worlds combination.
We tested the lenses and colors do pop more. There is value in sight fishing scenarios, where subtle motion and color differentiations spell the difference between noticing what’s there and what’s not. MSRP starts around $209; for more information see smithoptics.com.