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Lamp magnifiers vs. Mag-Eyes


#1

Hello everyone,

I recently visited the optometrist for the first time in about 20
years…partly because I had the insurance so figured I should use
it, but mostly because all the tiny hinges and whatnot I’ve been
making lately have strained my eyes quite a bit. I showed him the
Mag-Eyes in a catalog, but he steered me away from them and to a
fluorescent magnifying lamp; the sort that clamps onto the bench like
a lamp and has a circular glass through which to look. He said this
sort of magnification is far better for the eyes, although I must
confess I was too busy not fainting after the pressure test that I
didn’t ask him why. He also said that having the circular light
directly over the work and around the eyes is superior to one point
of light.

Now as I said I didn’t ask him many questions, just nodded groggily
and went home and ordered myself one. Now that it’s in the mail I
realize it’s really going to cramp my style; as I’ve worked over the
past week I’ve tried to imagine having that big thing in the way and
I just can’t. I’ve used the Mag-Eyes before and found them helpful,
but would definitely need some sort of light added to make them even
more so. I also found that whatever focal length the pair I used had
kept me hunched over the work, which I’m trying not to do for
ergonomics’ sake…perhaps I just need to bring the workbench to me
to make these work for me?

Once the monster arrives I’ll have a month to decide whether I want
to pay to ship it back, but in the meantime the OptiVisor thread has
prompted me to ask whether any of you out there use this sort of
magnifier. I cannot afford more than the $70 I paid for this one, so
anything really good and fancy is out. Does anyone agree/disagree
about the swing-arm variety being easier on the eyeballs than a the
lowish-quality-range (compared to others that have been mentioned so
far) Mag-Light? I’ll be using whatever I end up with in conjunction
with on-order (oh joy) reading glasses.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have on this one!

Best, Jessica in San Francisco, where it’s nearly time to light a
fire in the fireplace.


#2

Hi everyone

Jessica’s comments about an eye exam, “I recently visited the
optometrist for the first time in about 20 years” made me think
about my wife’s eyes and how important it is for all of us to get
our eyes examined on a regular basis. About a month ago my wife
discovered that she could not see with her right eye. Tests
revealed she has glaucoma and that her sight had failed several
months before she realized it. When you are concentrating on detail
you may not realize that one of your eyes has lost sight as you do
not notice the loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma can sneak up on
you. There are no side affects that warn you that you may have a
problem.

She never realized she lost her sight until one night she was
brushing hair out of her left eye when the right eye was open and
she discovered she could not see. Glaucoma destroys the optical
nerve. There is no fix for the resultant blindness. As important as
our eyes are to all of us we should take care to have our eyes
checked on a regular basis. As we grow older the exams should come
more often.

The investment in an eye exam is well worth it. Happy holidays to all
Lee


#3

Years ago, my optometrist talked me into a magnifying lenses on a
flexible arm. I hated it. To keep things in focus I had to hold my
head firmly in one place. I may hunch over with an optiviser, but I
have a lot more freedom of movement. Mine, by the way, has one side
of the lenses wired in place. I also repaired a very old one at the
art center with combination of copper wire and duct tape. To make it
look more arty, I used a silver pen and drew spirals over the sides
without the tape. It still works for students who do not have their
own even if the tension part of the lens holder doesn’t work.

Marilyn Smith


#4

The person who does most of my bench work has been a bench jeweler
for about 50 years. He uses one of the lamp/magnifiers which you
describe quite successfully. David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings


#5
    Does anyone agree/disagree about the swing-arm variety being
easier on the eyeballs than a the lowish-quality-range (compared to
others that have been mentioned so far) Mag-Light? I'll be using
whatever I end up with in conjunction with on-order (oh joy)
reading glasses. 

The watch resoration work I do is rather hard on the eyes and for
much of it I use a binocular microscope but this then leaves me with
the problem of how to look at things closely but not under the
microscope… I used to use watchmakers loupes - then I tried the
stand magnifiers but these got in the way and I had more clutter of
vision devices on the bench than work! I tried a magnifying visor but
that was too heavy for long-term comfort so now I simply buy strong
’ready reader’ reading glasses and I have lightweight, binocular
magnification for a very modest outlay. The only issue with these is
that, to be optically correct, the lenses should point inward
slightly to the closer focal point but that is easily sorted out in
practice by simply bending the frames a little. I have been using
this method for over a year now and a recent eye test was actually a
bit better than a year ago…

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield, UK