Hello Orchidians, I would like to buy an OptiVisor for hands free
magnification. Does anyone have any suggestions as to which lens
would be the most appropriate for general repair work? Thanks.
Glenn - I became a convinced user of Opti-visor in the 1980s. My
preferred lens has changed over time, largely because of changes in
my eyesight and eyeglasses. Now that I use bifocal eyeglasses I use
the strongest Opti-visor lens; the combination of focal distances
gives me three easily accessible choices. Before I switched to
bifocal glasses I used the mid-range lens on the Opti-visor. A lot
depends on how well your eyes work, and whether or not you see well
up close before adding magnification. I have an on-going dialog with
my skin doctor about using the Opti-visor; he has two pair, one for
office and one for home; I have three, one for each workshop
(lapidary and metal work), plus one for my “show” kit. Work with a
dealer who will let you try out different magnifications before you
Hello , suggestion for optivisor use , buy the lowest power you can
work with , if it is your first, you will be surprised at the
effects of the # 3 plate . As you age you will appreciate being
able to step up in power . I started using an optivisor at age 30
, now nearing 50 I still have one plate left to go [ #10] , I have
worked with a man who started with the #10 plate and regreted it as
it is now harder for him to see as he , too , is aging . and his
only options start getting expensive and cubersome [ microscope /
video ] I urge you to use the least amount of " help" you can . Buy
the #3 and if needed you can buy a stronger lense only and switch it
in / out of your optivisor .
I used to use an Optivisor, but I had several problems with it.
First, the plastic rivets that held the lens in were always popping
out and getting lost. Second, the headband gave me “visor hair”, and
third, the tilt up eyepiece holder was always falling down, whamming
into the top of my glasses and driving them into the bridge of my
nose. What I use now is called Mag-Eyes. It’s made on a
sports-headband type headpiece that slides on from the front, and the
lenses slip into the holder and hold securely. I got mine in
Clotilde, a sewing catalog, but I think they sell them in larger
I think one important point has been left out here. The lenses are
only in ‘focus’ at a particular focal length (the distance from the
eye) it is important to get the one that is in focus at the range you
will be working. The one I use for wax carving is different than the
one I use for stone setting. The magnification is not that much
different one from another.
I think one important point has been left out here. The
lenses are only in 'focus' at a particular focal length (the
distance from the eye) it is important to get the one that is in
focus at the range you will be working.
Lorri’s note here is well worth keeping in mind. I am very near
sighted, something on the order of 20/2000 or so. With my glasses
off, and at near distances, my sight is about the equivalent of a #4
OptiVisor lens. When I add a #4 Optivisor, I get near a 5x
magnification. Add the Opti loupe and It’s getting close to a 10x
loupe. I find that with my glasses, I am limited to about a #3 or
#4 lens. On some jobs, I use the #10, but it focal length and my
eyes ends up requiring I keep one eye closed. I can’t focus both
eyes on the job with the 10x focal length of about 4 inches.
A comment was made about the rivets popping out. The older
Optivisors use a nut and bolt to hold the lens in. There is nothing
wrong with replacing the rivets with a bolt. I think it is a #8x
3/8" , or 1/2" stove bolt and a plain nut. Most hardwares will
have them. Another complaint was that the lens hood kept dropping.
There is a tension nut on the hinge that will cure that. The last
complaint was “visor hair”. My only fix for this is to not take the
visor off in public. It’s hard to tell that it has screwed up your
hair when it perched on your head. People look at it and not you.
You may want to add some feathers on it to further distract peoples
attention from your hair.
I don’t know if this is correct, but i use an optivisor quite a bit,
and i agree that the lowest power is best to start out with, but i
also feel that to look through it constantly, just because it is
there, attached to your head, is foolish! Is it my default to do
everything as natural as possible, or is there dependency of the
eye/brain, when using it for prolonged periods of time, as opposed to
looking through it, as when you are using a loupe, intermittently,
“for a close up view”, or “to see what’s going on”? I am pretty sure
that i lose my ability to see close on my own, which i pride myself
in, when i keep them on like eyeglasses, and don’t give it a second
thought. Also, in the machine trades field and the jeweler’s field,
i have seen many people “flip them down” when there is insufficient
light available. To use it for that reason, i believe is a real
neglect to think, because light should be your #1 magnifier, i use
150 watt bulbs all around the shop, but i prefer sunlight when it is
available, and only when great light is in place, do i use the
optivisor, optimally. The other way to get around constant optivisor
use is to actually feel what you are carving, or filing, etc, and do
things in specific order, so that you know what you are doing, for
the most part, and there is little need to look “constantly”, under
magnification, and for all those who are young, beginners, and/or
still see well, up close, take pride in that and use it naturally.
Actually, i don’t know if any of this makes sense to others, but
i’m sure there are many opinions and experiences out there, from
microscope and optivisor users. dip dave
Hi Glenn, I have always used a number 5, chosen more for it’s focal
length than it’s magnification. My aging eyes have recently
required that I use a number 10 for really close work like
stonesetting and wax carving. I’d prefer the magnification of the
10 all the time, but the focal length is very short and I can’t
always fit the tool I’m using between the work and the lens. I can
assert from experience that one should not solder using a number 10
optivisor… it gets your hair entirely too close to the flame!
Hi Gang, Here’s another suggestion for those of you wanting (needing)
magnification to see what your fingers are doing.
I’m like most older folks & wear glasses to make my arms longer. I
started with the Optivisor, but it seemed like I was looking down
a tube all the time. Also any time anyone stopped to talk, it was
literally a pain in the neck. A friend of mine who also needed
magnification suggested I try the Opticaid clip ons. The3 inch X 1
inch lens is a hard ploycarbonat. It’s supported by a clear plastic
arm about 2 in front of your glasses. The magnifier attaches to your
glasses with wires that clip over the nose & under each lens. It’s
very light weight (15 gms) & gives you great visability up close &
doesn’t interfere with looking at things around the sides of the
magnifier. It comes in 6 different focal lengths & magnifications.
Cost in the Stuller Tool catalog (item 29-7700) is $18.95.
The only drawback that I can find with it is that, without
modification, it’ll only work with glasses having larger lenses
(those similar to aviators sun glasses). Not a problem for me,
that’s the type glasses I use.
Usually disclaimers, just a satisfied user (over 10 yr).
I don't know if this is correct, but i use an optivisor quite a
bit, and i agree that the lowest power is best to start out with,,,
but i also feel that to look through it constantly, just because it
is there, attached to your head, is foolish!
Another thing I like about the Mag-Eyes is that since the eyepiece
arrangement is open, it is easy to look above it when you need to
I made a half a sweatband for my forhead and attatched it with
velcro to the inner side of my Optivisor’s headband. Works great for
a hot climate and washing it’s easy.