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Binocular loupes

Does anyone know of a good source of binocular loupes? (A source of good loupes?) Optivisors are simply not working for me any more.

What I need is a set that attaches to my prescription eye glasses and flips up. Loupes in their own frame will not work. I need to flip them up to find tools using my progressive eye glasses. I’m not going to take loupes off, put glasses on, find tool, take glasses off, put loupes on…

What I’d like is something on the order of 5X magnification, is light weight, and costs under 4 figures. I’m willing to compromise on what I’d like to get something good though.

But unless a suggestion is based on personal experience, I’m not interested cheap items on Amazon.

Neil A

Neil…You on the same search that I am on. For me it is in preparation for cataract surgery. So far I have only used an optivisor and my PUK microscope. I also see a lot of doctors. Many wear what appears to be optical loupes attached to the lense in a conventional frame. I don’t know why that lense couldn’t be a prescription lense that allows you to look up close through the loupe attached to the lower part of the lense and then look through the upper part of the lense when you need to find something in your shop. I have decided that I will likely need a shop work specific pair of glasses after I have the cataract surgery and may build magnification into them if I can. Please share you resolution to this problem as it may help many of us. Thanks…Rob


i also wear glasses and was intrigued by your question…has anyone had experience with this product and company?

it would require buying rx lenses for the frames. thru same company…

money back guarantee
us company



Neil. I have these in several strengths. I love them and you can call the person directly and tell them what you need and working distance. They can attach to your prescription glasses too but I didn’t like that option. Shrug. These work perfect for me. I do change based on how. Close I am to the work.

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after cataract surgery, I had to completely redo all my glasses. the good news, better vision than before. I now have 3 pair - regular with reading bifocals, studio use - 18" and 8" range, and the bingo - computer glasses - 22" and reader bifocals. I very seldom use optivisors . judy h

This one here is a binoular to wear on glasses (“Eschenbach”) - I do not like it. Magnification up to 3x in binocular, 5x in monocular.

This one is my personal favorite - light wight, super easy to use and wear. I think, I got 4 or five of them now (all around my studio).

I have a pair of the CraftOptics. I tried several cheaper alternatives that didn’t work well for me. The CraftOptics work for me. I use drugstore readers when reading, so I had them put those in the frames.
I sometimes use an Optivisor over the CraftOptics. It is a tight fit, but works.
If something were to happen to my CraftOptics I would replace them.
I don’t have the light.


I have this one which comes with 5 different lenses. Only problem I have is the nose rest needs more padding. It fits over glasses if the elastic band is used.

I love my Craftoptics…wear them all the time I am in the studio. The glasses, which are permanently attached to the magnifier, have your near and far prescription as bifocals. I use my microscope by just flipping up the magnifier. If I need to see to get a tool or look across the room, I just flip up the magnifier. If I need to use the computer, mid distance is not really accommodated so I put on my regular progressive glasses. There is no need to pay extra for the light attachment…that is for folks who do needlework or other portable crafts so they will have light when they need it. We all have good light at our benches. I wear my long hair in a bun when I’m working…safety first!..and Optivisors don’t work because of the headband. The glasses have an adjustable retainer string (like on sunglasses) that holds the glasses snug to your face. And I think of them as a lifetime investment because as my prescription changes I can get new lenses put in. And a 45 day return if not satisfied. Oh, and did I say, I love them?


Hi Vera and Whit,

Thank you for your detailed replies!

May I ask which working distance you got?

short (12”-14”)
regular (14”-16)
long (16”-18”)

I normally wear #4 optivisors

I sometimes use #7 to get a bit closer
(although more frequently as my eyesight seems to be getting a bit worse…)

or #10 infrequently to get a real close look


Thank you Whit and Vera.

I was turned off by CraftOptics’ website with its 36 scripts and their sneaking in over a dozen 3rd party cookies while I have 3rd party cookies blocked. I hate doing business with people who do that kind of thing. However I will hold my nose and check into it, and report on the outcome.

Thanks again.

Neil A

Here is what I lerned from CraftOptics’ website, for those who are interested in their product.

Their wizard selected the following for me:

“The complete set of glasses and telescopes weighs only 48 grams with a standard bifocal installed in the frames.”

A deal braker for me is that the optics are only 2X and I use stronger Optivisors than that and want greater magnification. A shame. They say this on that topic:

“We don’t provide higher magnification, as it generally is not accommodating for our client base. As magnification increases, the field size decreases, the depth of field decreases, and the weight increases, all of which can be limiting for many artists’ most frequent tasks.”

As to refunds, they say:

"If, within 45 days of receiving your CraftOptics you find you are not happy with the product, we will take care of you. Often all that is needed is a change in working distance or even an adjustment of the lens configuration, which we will do for you at no cost. If you need more time, simply let us know. Our goal is for you to have a product that works well for you, period.

If you still find you are not delighted, you can return it for a full refund…"

I have seen clip-on-only models that go up to 5X and 6X. I still want clip-ons, and magnification of at least 3X, more is preferable, so I will keep looking.

For those who value privacy and not being sold to everyone and his uncle, here are the outfits they inform about whatever details they can extract from your computer system:

That might be acceptable with a free site (might) but for a business selling a product I consider that much tracking to be really out of line.

Neil A

It would be cool to find out how CraftOptics responds if you were to tell them that their product would be perfect for your needs, but you won’t buy because of the gross number of cookies. Let us know…

I think my distance was the short…I got what they recommend for jewelers because we sit with the bench pin high. I think the mid range is for regular crafters who work sitting on a normal chair at a normal height table. And the long is for crafters who work with their project in their laps.

I asked how their product compares to Optivisor numbers, and they said something like they don’t compare directly, or the numbers don’t relate. Don’t remember exactly. Before I got mine I used #7 Optivisor and the CraftOptics were a clear improvement in my ability to see to work, although I can’t pinpoint exactly why.

I do know that if I wear my progressives to look through the microscope I can’t keep anything in focus. The single lens in my CraftOptics works perfectly with the microscope. I suspect that looking through the CO magnifier with the single lens is an improvement over looking through the Optivisor with progressives. Hope that makes sense.

And the CraftOptics are sooooo much more comfortable. The adjustable string holds the glasses firmly in place on your nose and there is no constant pushing at them to go back in place. I worried that the weight of the magnifier would be a problem and it has not been. And no pressure on your ears.

Hi Vera,

It would be cool to find out how CraftOptics responds if you were to tell them that their product would be perfect for your needs, but you won’t buy because of the gross number of cookies.

Actually, if they had what I wanted, or something close enough I’d buy from them. My browser (Brave) with specific add-ons mess with their trackers nicely. :grinning:

I don’t need the fight though. Right now that is with the post office. They have decided they will not deliver a small (1.5 lb.) package to me, the carrier who is here every day repeatedly ignored my request. I’ve seen long lines at the P.O. annex (where packages have to be picked up), so I’m thinking they are trying to discourage online shopping. Since in most cases I don’t get to choose how something is shipped and my knees are now worse than my eyesight, this is the battle that needs fighting.

Neil A

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Hi Vera,

Thank you for your reply!

sounds like short would be good for me also…

i seem to be ok with my progressives while looking through my microscope.

When i first got the scope, i tried all of my glasses with it…single vision (SV) reading, mid distance (MD) (desk/ computer), and progressives…the progressives seem best…

although i will add that the reason why i got SV and MD in the first place was that my previous prescription progressives were “not quite right”…

i figured that my (poor eyesight) had crossed some sort of threshold where one pair just wasnt gonna work for everything…anymore…

fast forward a few years…i got a new rx and new progressive lenses…and this time, i can again see very well…

i am relieved to know that the problem was a faulty rx execution on my last pair of progressives…

(i am just mentioning this in case someone has a similar issue with new lenses…keep going back until they get it right)

re the microscope…i had the hardest time viewing thru it correctly…i went thru a few days of frustration and anxiety that i might be in the 1% that isnt a good fit with the scope…

i could not get the pupillary distance right…


one day i had the eyepieces just grazing my skin/ cheekbone…i sat up straighter…lifted my chin…gazed forward to the wall, over the head of the scope…sighed in frustration…then “accidentally” just tilted my gaze down…not my head…just my eyeballs…

bingo! one bright circle of view, instead of two overlapping…and no black shadows!



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This is an update since a few things I found may be of interest to some.

There is a clearance sale on these 2.5X loupes, for $295:

2.5X $295

Otto Frei has Zeiss loupes, 2.3X for $625. I called and asked if they could be focused since I wear glasses and do not have 20-20 vision, and was told no. So that’s something to consider.

Right now I’m looking into this website, which has a variety of loupes, including clip-ons. This will take some study.

Hope this is of help.

Neil A

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Well, good luck with your post office and knees!

My progressives have a bad prescription. The eye doctor that did them a couple of years ago said he couldn’t get my left eye to 20/20. I just recently got a new test with a new doctor and they had no problem and said the left eye has a new Rx. So thanks for telling me about the progressives being good for the scope. I expect they may be good for me too when I get new glasses. And you’re right…there is a definite learning curve using the microscope.

Hi Vera,

the weird thing was that in addition to my rx possibly being “off”, the lenses…were “off” too…or the “centers” not right…or something…

my vision is poor…so the spread from far to near is big…meaning that each increment seems to get a teeny sliver of lens as it progresses up or down…

i was told that the nearsighted portion at the bottom is about the size of the tip of my pinkie (for most, not just mine…?)

i could not see to read things on my desk

i was told…” oh, you need SV, and MD glasses too”

also, with those progressives i would tilt my chin up to see the computer, or when reading in bed…unconsciously…which resulted in chronic neck pain…

the mid distance glasses were a blessing in the whole ordeal because it seemed like each increment was a bigger sliver…since it only had to cover from reading to mid distance (and not far)…no more head tilting to “hit the sweet spot” of vision on the lens
(weirdly, i took to wearing these around the house more often as those are the distances i am usually using…)

the single vision glasses were also a blessing…i have the whole lens, including periphery, to see everything on the page clearly at once, whereas the progressives would blur on the periphery (even with the top of the line, best periphery, thinnest high index lenses available :cry:)

the craft optics are bifocals, so basically more of the mid and near lens available to view thru, instead of slivers! since distance is pretty constant? that makes sense…my MD glasses are still progressive…

maybe i should try MD bifocals…or trifocals!

my bro in law swears by his trifocals!

i think the SV and MD would work well on the scope if i updated my rx…it is a tad stronger now…

i favored the MD when i had the “off” progressives
but now. i favor my new progressives
and the MD now seen a tad weak

vision challenges! (sigh!)