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Optivisor options

My old Donegan Optivisor (30-40 years old), needs to be replaced. Before I buy another one, are there better choices now. I can only find the 5X lens now and would like to try some other powers of magnification. My nearly 70 year old eyes are changing and I find myself using magnification a lot more, so I might as well get what I need. I don’t do any small stone setting or engraving, so high magnification is not needed. Anything in the archives is old so suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks…Rob

I invested in surgeon’s binoculars which fit over my prescription lens. Very expensive, but an absolute godsend

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I have been using CraftOptics (.com) for several years now for doing granulation and filigree work with good results. You send them your eyeglass prescription with the pupillary distance measurement and they send you back the telescopes, which you can flip up and down as needed. The only issue I have with them is the bi-focals are not progressive (I am far sighted), so objects across the room are out of focus. HTH,

Hi Rob,
I wear several different glasses, depending on what I’m doing, from off the shelf 3.0 diopter readers, to my 5.0 (2.5x) Optivisor, to a pair of 2.3x Zeiss binoculars.

The Optivisor is available in magnifications from 1.5x to 3.5x on Amazon ( Although my Zeiss binoculars are a slightly lower magnification, they don’t extend from my face as far as the Optivisor. (I was frequently bumping the Optivisor with my saw frame while doing small piercing.)

Hope that helps.

My honey got me some 10x reading glasses. They work great. I just trade for my regular specs when I need to do the small stuff.

My favorite specs are reading glasses bought on Amazon. I have in 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x and 10x
Less obtrusive and less $

Try raising 4 beads over diamonds that measure 0.03mm’s in diameter OY & Ouch!


Gerry, On my iPhone!

The “surgeons” binos are great because of the optical quality bit more for the increased focal length for a given power. For instance a 5X optivisor had to be within about 4 to 6 inches of the subject to focus. The Binos 12 to 18 inches with many having greater depth of field as well (the ability to maintain focus within +/- inches of the focal length spec). Viciously expensive though.

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Rob, from experience, the surgeon’s glasses have a field of view the size of a postage stamp. One American trade house offers to take them back if they are not to your liking.
The higher end microscopes will have a Barlow lens available which increases the working distance and the depth of field. But if you want your left hand to be able to see what your right hand is doing!!!
I found this out forty years ago.

Hi Rob
So here is the thing that I’ve found to work better than having to be right on top of your work. These are made from just plain 'ol reading glasses. Get cheap ones in different powers 1.5s seem good but try 2s as well. They allow you to be away a comfortable distance ans see clearly. And as you can see you can stack them. I just thought of this now but you could put those lenses into a visor frame. I don’t like having that strap around my head. There’s my 2 cents for what is worth


Thanks for all the optivisor options. I bought a new #5 optivisor to replace my old one. The lenses were badly scratched (think 8 year old grandson). I am still looking for other ways to deal with my eyesight problems. I talked to my eye doctor and he said that it may be time to deal with my cataracts…Rob

I recently had a cataract removed from my left eye as my right one suffered suddenly from macula degeneration - lost most sight over 3 weeks. A short time later i had my left eye operation and the next day i removed the patch and i could see things better than i ever remember. The colours also are amazing. Iv had specs since i was 10 and im 75 now. My new lens is long and medium distance so i have reading ones for near. Im good for working at the ben with no problems. Go for it.

The nicer part of my Cataract repairs is that I don’t have guess what I’m doing! The very next morning I was at my setting bench.

My wife asked why am I making demo-rings? I replied…”it’s because I can”… I can do my Pave setting without stopping & using my loupe just to see!
I now have 20/15 vision on my right eye, this is better than 20/20 which is perfect. The left eye is now only 20/40.

I was almost “legally blind” on my left eye prior to this “eye-fixing”.

If I refused any eye-fixing, the doctor would send a letter to “Ministry of Transportation” baring me from driving.

If anyone hesitates from this very easy & quick operation, don’t come crying to me!

“To see my g-kids faces again, is well worth the time spent”


Gerry, On my iPhone!

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Sale on now:

Really good price! Maybe they were reading Orchid lately…:-)…

Janet in Jerusalem


As a Diamond Setter I use just 2 lenses #2 & #5. But I’m more comfortable with the #5.


Gerry, On my iPhone!