Magnifier

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by derwiener, May 3, 2020.

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  1. derwiener

    derwiener Registered User
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    Aug 8, 2009
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    I have a Vigor Vison Visor for close up clock [not watches] work. However, I need a magnifier that is more powerful but it must fit over my prescription glasses. I have seen quite a few in clock catalogs, but am wondering if there is one that someone would specifically recommended.

    Thank you!

    Paul C. Miller
     
  2. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

    Sep 29, 2004
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    I don't know if these would work for you, but I'm thinking about getting some dental hygienist binoculars (ebay) to use for myself. They are usually advertised as 2.5 or 3.5 magnification, and some can fit over your prescription eyeglasses if I remember correctly...........................gary
     
  3. derwiener

    derwiener Registered User
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    Aug 8, 2009
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    Hi Gary:

    Thank you very much. I'll look into those binoculars.

    Paul
     
  4. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    Apr 13, 2014
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    Consider getting another set of prescription glasses that are your usual distance prescription with about 6 diopters (sphere) added. If you have cylinder/axis on your prescription, leave those the same.

    For watch work, I wear glasses that have my distance prescription +1.25d (I can see my whole bench area) on the top half and +6d (I can see the watch) on the bottom.

    (an addition of 6 diopters means you can focus at 1/6 meter = 6.5 inches)
     
  5. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    I got a set of those cheap "dental binocular loupes" for xmas on frames I dont wear prescription glasses and I cant personally use them or set them so I can use them but It could be just my eyes I cant use optivisors either. I know professional ones need to be set up by an optician.
     
  6. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Good evening, all!

    Chris makes an interesting suggestion. Back when I first started wearing glasses, I used to go to the drugstore and buy the highest-power "readers" I could find. Eventually, astigmatism prevented me from using reading glasses at all.

    If you know your prescription, there are discount mail-order manufacturers of eyeglasses who will make up anything you like, basically no questions asked. I mention that because once, I wanted to get two sets of glasses, one for distance and one for close-up, and the optician I visited refused to do it because the prescription was not written that way. The mail-order firm I use now has no such qualms and is much less expensive than the neighborhood optician. The frames are not stylish, but who cares?

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  7. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

    Sep 29, 2004
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    I looked at a set of those binoculars again last night, and noticed that the description gives the magnification power as 2.5X or 3.5X and 420mm. 420mm is the focal distance of the lens, about 16 1/2", which would make it more comfortable to sit upright and still be able to see up close to your work. Getting down close to be able to focus at 10X on something is hard on my back. Just thought I'd pass that on.............................gary
     
  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Dec 14, 2001
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    I use almost all the various magnifiers. For machine work, like drill press I use cheap reading glasses. They are also safety glasses for me. I recognize they are not real heavy duty safety glasses but for the light stuff I do, they are enough for protection.

    There are two types of dental loupes, low powere or Galilean so named because of the simple optics like Galileo's telescope. I have used a moderately expensive set for a long time. The good one cost about $100 to $200. They are on sturdy but light frames with good adjustment and are very good for assemble work especially for those of us over 45 or so. I also used to use them at marts and auctions to look at items. I bought a cheap pair for about $125 at an NAWCC regional athat were for attaching to regular glasses. I found them to be too heavy for comfort and they eventually fell off landed on the floor and broke. Most dental hygienists use these.

    The next step in cost are Keplerian or prism binocular loupes which go from about 4 to 8 power. They typically have about a 2 foot working distance. I have decent "low cost" set which I had to modify to get to be useful. I added some camera view finder lenses and altered the frame to get it to work at about a 1 foot. I replaced the lenses in the frame with my prescription. They are still heavy and I do not use them much. I had intended to use them for lathe work but the power is not enough and the working distance is not right. Dentists and surgeons usually get these built into a pair of special glasses with lenses cut to hold these. My exoerience has been disappointing and if you are not optically skilled they are nearly useless.

    For lathe work I have set up a binocular zoom microscope and it has been the best thing for that. I became a believer during an NAWCC tour when I saw some very high end watchmakers using this set up. Younger workers usually use a high power loupe often on a holder set into the lathe frame.

    I have an older cheaper microscope I keep with my sharpening set up and check gravers and drills before and after sharpening.

    I have used regular loupes and in my experience good loupes are worthwhile. I use the Bergeon aplanatics which I find give me a very good view as well as older B&L triplets. I also get a lot of use out of the Airy flip up loupes although the hinge mechanism often needs attention. These are not stereo but they help me a lot. They accommodate a higher power add on which I use sometimes. I had the higher power version and found it very hard to use. I get a lot of use on the low power one. Lately I use it instead of the low power binocular loupe, unless I need a stereo view.

    If you need more power than a visor, which I have never used, I suggest either an Airy loupe, or if you need binocular vision get a good grade dental hygienist binocular loupe with a good adjustable frame.
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Paul,

    If you're considering one of the Ary flip-up loupes, (I have the 2.5" model giving x4, which I use constantly, sometimes with the additional x6.5 lens), or some decent dental surgery binocular types, don't be too surprised at the prices; your eyesight is too valuable to go for the cheap option! The Ary is vastly superior to the $5 to $10 products, and this is reflected in the price.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
    Dr. Jon, D.th.munroe and doc_fields like this.
  10. Thomas Sanguigni

    Thomas Sanguigni Registered User
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    Aug 22, 2018
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    I use the cheap purple optivisor . I can use it with safety glasses or without. You can pop out the lenses easily from a 2.5 - 7x. I have no problems, and it is inexpensive.
     
  11. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    I am myopic with -4 and -4.5 plus astigmatism. This means taking off my prescription glasses, I immediately get a corresponding loupe effect and have used this since my mid-forties. Being in my mid-sixties now, I begin to feel that the accomodation capacity of the lenses diminishes.

    Anyway, for the past twenty years or so I used ordinary safety glasses without the prescription glasses on for ordinary bench work and machining, when no close inspection is required. Some ten years ago I discovered that they make now safety glasses that more look like the ones racing bikers use and that are much more comfortable to wear than the larger ordinary safety glasses. Mine also have a small loupe insert.

    For more detailed work I have safety glasses with a 3x loupe - just like reading glasses, but with the screens at the side to protect you from flying objects.

    I also use an optivisor, but this is not very handy, when you have to find tools and parts on your table while working, as the focal distance and depth of field is limited.

    Very enthousiasticly I discovered the cheaper binocular loupes as used by dentists etc., but have been rather disappointed as others above. They are meant for working standing up and hovering over your patient and nor working at a table at reading distance or closer. The focal distance is just to long and working with stretched out arms neither comfortable nor efficient. I basically never use them, also because they are heavy.

    I also have an (antique) binocular microscope, but this has not been set up properly yet for lack of space. However, preliminary use showed to issues: it has straight optics, which makes the use at the lathe not very comfortable; an angled path of view would have been better, so that you can turn it around to look straight down or horizontal. The other problem is that the field of view and depth of field are rather limited, making it useful mainly for assembly work, but not so much for delicate workshop work.
     
  12. davefr

    davefr Registered User
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    I start with diopter 6 Strong Readers with a full size lens.
    Next up would be a Donagon Optivisor with #10 glass lens (3.5X) and Zebralight mounted on the brim.
    After that, it's the Leica A60F with flex arm stand. (a must have IMHO)


    P1080416.jpg P1080414.jpg P1070644.jpg
     
  13. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User

    Feb 22, 2013
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    One time while i was getting my teeth cleaned I asked the lady if i could try her custom made binocular magnifiers and was amazed at the clarity and focus of them every thing was crystal clear from about 4 -10 inches and the light source was bright but when I asked the price it was way over 1000$ so was way out of my price if i could i would get a pair.
     

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