Marta, I have been using a binocular loupe, made by Keeler Optical,
for about 10 months now, and I really like it. It was originally
designed for dental surgery, has a working focal distance of about
12", at 5.5X. I have used a microscope in the past and the Meiji is
a great scope. I went with the binocular loupe because the microscope
does not automatically focus as you move the work beneath it. Every
time you move the piece you’re setting, you must refocus the scope.
With the binocular loupe, you automatically refocus simply my moving
your head slightly. This soon becomes an unconscious action, just
like your eyes normally refocus. I constantly check my work from all
The other disadvantage to the scope is that almost all microscopes
look straight down onto the work. My eyes, however, look at a 45
degree angle with my hand and tool above my line of sight. I had a
hard time seeing what I was doing under the scope, because my hands
and tools were always in the way. Some people are able to adjust
their working posture to accommodate this, but I couldn’t.
The disadvantage of the binocular loupe is it’s power. 5.5X
magnification is about all you can ever expect to have. Anything
more, and the depth of field becomes so small that it is hard to
focus using your head. A fixed stand, like a microscope, is steadier.
For flat engraving, I prefer the microscope. For stonesetting, and I
set a lot of bezels, I like the binocular loupe.
You will make your choice based upon the type of work that you do.
They cost about the same. Unless you decide to add the video feature
to the Meiji…
If you want to check out the Keeler loupe, let me know and I’ll get a
phone number, model number, etc., for you.