Smith ChromaPop Sunglass Lenses – A Short Review

Smith TenetSmith Optics has recently come out with what may be the premier lens technology on the fly fishing market. Their new ChromaPop lenses purport to enhance color saturation and clarity. I’ve been wearing a pair of Smith glasses with the new lenses for a couple of months now. I like them. I like them a lot. They really do make the colors pop. Reds, greens, blues, they appear to be redder, greener, bluer. You’ll find yourself staring at bright-colored objects. Just don’t get too distracted and run that very red stop sign. And that enhanced color contrast makes objects really stand out against the background. Which is why, when it comes to fishing, they’re more than just a novelty. When you’re wading, the rocks and other obstacles on the river bottom are easier to spot than with ordinary polarized lenses. As are the fish, when you’re lucky enough to be sight-fishing. No, it’s not as big a leap as polarization, but it’ll give you just one more edge when you’re out on the water. What’s behind the color enhancement? Smith says they’re able to filter out the specific wavelengths where colors cross over, wavelengths that tend to confuse our brains. I don’t know about that, but I do know that they’re on to something. And the lenses are the whole package – light, scratch-resistant, anti-glare coated, etc… So what’s the price premium for the new technology? Only $10 more than the same frames with ordinary polarized lenses, at least in their “Premium Optics” line of frames. Yes, that puts the total cost above the $200 line, but if you want the best… What’s the downside? I haven’t really come up with any, except that it kind of feels like cheating, like viewing the world through the proverbial rose-colored glasses. The world’s colors aren’t really supposed to be that bright, are they? We’ll leave that one for the philosophers. And go fishing.


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