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No-brand binocular loupes


#1

I’ve been wanting to get a pair of clip on binocular loupes to use
when carving wax and checking polished finishes. I had a really good
show last weekend and decided it’s time to treat myself to some
vision enhancement. But I can’t afford the $1000 and up for Zeiss and
other name brand surgical loupes.

I was browsing ebay and found many binocular loupes on there for
under $250, almost all from China.

That prompted me to check other places online, and I found quite a
few sites selling no-name binocular loupes for really good prices.
Here’s one link to a US-based non-ebay sales site, just as an
example of what I found.

http://tinyurl.com/yl5wolx

I haven’t purchased anything yet because I’m a tad leery…it just
sounds too good to be true.

Has anyone ever bought any of the no brand binocular loupes, and if
so, are they any good for jewelry work?

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
www.featheredgems.com


#2
Here's one link to a US-based non-ebay sales site, just as an
example of what I found. 

The types of loupe actually marketed for surgical use, like the site
you mention, are quite likely to be very good quality. However,
watch out for the working distance. With many of these loupes being
designed for surgical applications, the working distance with many
of them will be rather longer than the usual distance between your
eyes and your bench pin, even sitting up quite straight… I once
bought, on ebay, a pair of such loupes from a dental student who no
longer needed them. I’ve yet to find them all that useful. the optics
are fine, but the working distance only works if I’m fiddling around
on the surface of the bench PAN, not the bench pin. And I find the
magnification of those to be lower than I’d like too. They’re OK for
for some work with machine tools where I’m farther from the work,
but at the bench, no. That doesn’t mean all such loupes won’t work.
It only means I made a silly purchase which you shouldn’t repeat.

Peter Rowe


#3

For folks who wear glass as a matter of course, I’d suggest the
Opticaid magnifiers made by the Edroy company.

They are available in 6 different powers (1.5X thru 3.5X).

The magnifiers are made from clear polycarbonate except for the
stainless steel clip that attaches them to your glasses. They can be
folded up to your forehead when not in use They only weigh 3.8 gm so
there’s no noticeable weight on you nose.

The nice thing about them being made of clear polycarbonate is that
there is nothing to obstruct your vision of things around you like
there is with an Optivisor.

I got mine from Stuller (stuller.com). They’re around $22.

Usual disclaimers, just a very satisfied customer.

Dave


#4

First let me say all the furs I have are faux and I only hunt to eat.
Now with being said I have found off and on at sportsmansguide.com
all sorts of things by accident when getting ready for different
hunting seasons and when they have a sale OMG. I got binocular loupe
with different lens for $25, I got 2 scales:one a pocket and the
other for here for larger specimins and the other for gem shows. BOTH
measure kt weight as well anything else, BUT they do get them in that
measures gold and gemstones this is in the reloading section of ammo
part, because you HAVE to be precise in gunpowder of you can make the
news. AND because of alot of the repairs you have to make on guns or
your bows and arrows, (refletching can be a pain) hense some times
can come across some some seriously nice binocular loups. MY favorite
big light is a WWII surgical MASH overhead light, the intensity is
amazing, more than that of my $250 “Truecolor Ott-light” I got it for
under a $100, it may not supply ALL you want right away, but with
pateince I am finding there isnt much they dont come across, I have
even picked up some semiprecious stones by way of clearance jewelry
on there. AND for those of us who like to mine and dig in the dirt,
the sales they have on outdoor boots can be amazing as well. You cant
always predict when they are going to have a blow out and when
something is going to come through, but to me its almost like
mining,lol. and no I dont own a piece of this store, roflol. but I am
hooked after I found I could meet the needs of 2 different loves at
this place.You just never know what you can find in their sales
catalogs or the website. yes there is a small membership to pay,
think its onetime actually, but in the long run you save alot and you
also get member sales opportunities before it goes out to the general
public, “first pick”


#5
you mention, are quite likely to be very good quality. However,
watch out for the working distance. With many of these loupes
being designed for surgical applications, the working distance with
many of them will be rather longer than the usual distance between
your eyes and your bench pin, even sitting up quite straight... 

Peter, thank you for this You’ve confirmed that this IS
what I need! I carve wax at a converted roll top desk rather than at
my bench, so the surgical loupes will be perfect. I believe they may
also be useful for soldering, as I have a standalone soldering area
that is not at bench pin height. Actually I do very little using that
bench pin. I’m beginning to wonder if I should ditch the bench
entirely…nah. I need the bench drawers for storage.

Another question regarding binocular loupes-- how does one determine
what strength to get? These are available in 2.5x, 3.0x, 3.5x and
4.0 (a few even go up to 6.0). What’s the deciding factor in which
magnification to buy?

Kathy Johnson
confused in Detroit (again)


#6

I agree about the hunting store - I make a habit of perusing every
store I go into for anything useful. My best find so far - $5 needle
nose pliers, no serration, in the fly-tying section of sports stores
(Sportsman’s Warehouse my favorite). They are sturdy, inexpensive
and SUPER needle nose for tightening up woven chain. Second favorite
would be those surplus stores - LosAlamos, NM has one called The
Black Hole - great for flasks, industrial stuff and organizers. Thank
so much for the headlight tip - I’m off to the Army/Navy surplus to
find one!

Susan “Sam” Kaffine


#7
Another question regarding binocular loupes-- how does one
determine what strength to get? These are available in 2.5x, 3.0x,
3.5x and 4.0 (a few even go up to 6.0). What's the deciding factor
in which magnification to buy? 

Comfort and how much magnification you need to do the work. Lower
powers give you a wider field of view, greater depth to the area
that’s in focus, and are easier to wear comfortably. Higher powers
are greater magnification, so smaller details may be clearer, but
they can be annoying in that slight movements of your head are much
more noticable. So keeping your head and the work located so what
you’re working on stays clearly in focus is harder with the higher
powers. I’d suggest not buying from a dealer that wouldn’t let you
return them if you find they don’t work for you. Better would be a
dealer who specifically lets you try before you commit for sure.

Peter


#8

There are a couple things to remember when using magnification.

  1. Working Distance: The working distance is measured between the
    front lens element of the magnification tool and the point at which
    the object being viewed comes into focus. The working distance
    lessens with an increase in magnification.

  2. Field of View: The field of view (usually circular so we’ll use
    diameter) is measured from one side of the viewing area to the other
    when at focus. The Field of view also becomes smaller with increased
    magnification.

  3. Depth of Field: A lens, or combination of lenses, is able to
    focus precisely at a single point. Combination lenses are limited in
    the same manner, but that point can be moved my manipulating the lens
    mechanism. Once manipulation stops a single point is focused most
    precisely. There is a range of distance before and after that single
    point within which an object will have acceptable focus, depending on
    your requirements. Here again, the depth of field becomes shorter
    with increased magnification. See

Now, to answer Kathy’s question. It depends. How close do you want
to, or are comfortable working, and how much magnification do you
want? What will work will be a compromise in these two areas.

I’d love to have 20X visor that would let me work at about 12 to 15
inches. yeah, in my dreams. It isn’t gonna happen. If I want 20X I’ll
be working close enough to cut my nose with my snips. Anyway. the
parameters discussed above will differ somewhat depending on the
lens, or combination of lenses, present in your magnification tool,
so I’m not going to attempt to go into that detail here.

I hope this helps.
Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#9

Last summer I did a jewelers perspective evaluation of the Leica
HM500 surgical microscope. It is an incredible piece of optical
engineering. Light weight, comfortable, balanced, quiet, lightning
fast focus, from inches to feet, and foot pedal zoom. You can even
digitally record what your doing; if you need to prove you didn’t
leave that sponge inside! It the tool for the guy that already has
the latest laser. Very, very costly. Perhaps justifiable if your
setting all day long. With out a doubt the ultimate “brand binocular
loupe”.

Regards, Kevin