Rio's Eschenbach Glasses

i do all lot of bead setting. and i am finding that i need more
power. i do all the bright cutting under a 10x loop. but i push all
the beads with my optivisor. has anyone used the eschenbach glasses
from rio grande?


Yes, not really much of an improvement over an optivisor. Try a pair
of Zeiss binocular loupes not cheap but the best thing available for
head mounted magnifying systems. I would not trade mine for

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


has anyone used the eschenbach glasses from rio grande?

i asked my optometrist about eschenbach. he says eschenbach is a
well-respected name in optics.

jean adkins

Yes, not really much of an improvement over an optivisor. Try a
pair of Zeiss binocular loupes not cheap but the best thing
available for head mounted magnifying systems. I would not trade
mine for anything. 

Could you expand on that please?I use an Optiviser (No.7) but I am
always on the look- out for a better system. My eyes are starting to
fade and I would not mind giving them a better deal

Hans Meevis

They are definitely worth the money! Buy them and you wont be sorry.
They are much lighter in weight than the bargain brand I previously
purchased. I wished I would’ve purchased them years ago!


i bought a pair of these at the bench jewelers conference in atlanta
this spring…i was very close to returning them for 2 reasons…i
had to keep my work at a farther distance than is comfortable for me
and your working field of vision is the size of a thumbnail so if you
slightly move your head or the piece, your eyes need to refocus to
work again…if i got more use from them i would have thought the
$240 was well spent, but i did keep them…i tend to pull them out
when i have an individual stone needs to be replaced in some tight
mtg…i and co-workers found them impossible for more productive
work…i’m going to have a long talk with my eye doctor and have
something made that fills my requirements…our eyes deserve the
best! the way, matthew, i’ve been to your web site and really
liked it, especially the magic area

all the best

In reference to Lisa, who is not getting the use out of her
Eschenbachs that she thought she would…

Just a friendly reminder to all our friends on Orchid that if you
buy something from Rio and you’re not completely satisfied with it,
we encourage you to return it and let us give you your money back!
Really – we’d rather know you’re happy.

Lisa, it’s not too late, even if you bought them a number of months
ago. If you’d rather put that money on a better solution for you,
just let us know and we’ll send you a return shipping label.

Take care!
Andrea Hill

Chief Executive Officer
The Bell Group
7500 Bluewater Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121
505.839.3033 ph
505.839.3032 fx

I appreciate all the comments on the Rio loupe head set. I think I
need to try the zeiss one before buying one. in the mean time I have
actually set up a great magnification set up on my bench mate, I use
this to set everything.

I have taken a cheap $7.00 third hand that has 2 third hands and a
magnifier on it, and screwed it into my bench mate were there was
already a screw (this could be screwed into you bench or bench pin
also). I used one side of the magnifier with the enclosed 4x
magnifying glass, and the other side I used the aligator clip and
attached a 10x loupe to it. I did a fairly large job this weekend
with 65 round.015 carat diamonds (1.1 mm) each to be bead set, and
it was like setting on a small TV screen. I actually had no eye or
neck strain. I did not have to hunch over the work. but I think I do
need to check out the zeiss loupes. anybody live in Michigan that
has them? before i made this i took three pairs of reading glasses,
and put them together. it looked funny but it did work. the work
distance and depth of field is nice. the only down side was the

if you want to see a picture of my newest set up to try for
yourself, email me off line and I will send you one. I actually
think GRS should incorporate this into their system.


Hi Gang,

I too am one of the optically impaired & need magnification to do a
lot of things.

I wear trifocals full time. For a while I used an Optivisor, but
found it sort of like looking through a tunnel & a real PITA to
converse with anyone that came in to talk about something. After a
couple of years, I found the ‘Opticaid Clip-on Magnifier’. They’re

The clip on portion is made of spring wire, everything else is made
of clear poly carbonate or some other plastic. They’re very
lightweight, you don’t notice the weight when you’re wearing them &
because everything else about them is clear or small, it isn’t
distracting when they’re on. In addition to that, they can be flicked
up completely out of the way with out disturbing your glasses.
Another nice thing about them is your field of vision is not
restricted. You can look over them, under them, & around them &
observe what’s going on around you or where that tool is on the bench
without having to tilt you head way back. They come in 6 powers, 1
1/4, 1 1/2,2, 2 1/4, 2 1/2, & 3 1/2 with focal lengths of 4 - 20

They’re price around $19. I got mine from Stuller. They’re shown on
page 324 in Stuller’s Vol 43 Tool Book.

Usual disclaimers, just a happy customer.


Yes, not really much of an improvement over an optivisor. Try a
pair of Zeiss binocular loupes not cheap but the best thing
available for head mounted magnifying systems. I would not trade
mine for anything.

Could you expand on that please? 

They are basically a small pair of binoculars each lens has 3 lenses
and 2 prisms in the optical path. The advantage of this type of
device is there is no spherical or chromatic distortion and they
have an excellent depth of field.

I am using the 4.3 X 300mm focal length System KF prism loupes They
mount on a pair of safety glasses that can be fitted with your
prescription if necessary.I tried both the headset and the
eyeglasses mounts and found the eyeglasses mount to allow me to more
accurately position them when putting them on. The thing I love about
them is that wherever I go in the studio I always have that
magnification available not just at the bench like a microscope. Like
a pair of bifocals when I need to see something without magnification
I just look up over the top of them or if necessary just swing them
up on their mounting pivot.

Go to and search for prism loupe.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


If anyone is seriously interested in acquiring a pair of top quality
binocular loupes, I am selling a pair of 5.5X binocular loupes, made
by Keeler ( These are easily comparable to the
Zeiss loupes. At 5.5X magnification, they have a focal distance of
13".They are mounted on a headband, with infinite adjustments. You
will find loupes like this used for surgery. They are in excellent

I am retiring next year, and I’m selling some of my equipment. I
have a few other items that I’m letting go, so contact me off list if
you are interested. I’d be happy to post a list on Orchid. Right now,
I’m just getting rid of things I have duplicates of, since my son and
I have combined shops. We seem to have an abundance of rolling mills,
kilns, sand blasting cabinets, etc.


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107

Hi Doug,

If anyone is seriously interested in acquiring a pair of top
quality binocular loupes, I am selling a pair of 5.5X binocular
loupes, made by Keeler 

I’ve been thinking of upgrading what I use for much diamond setting,
a single B&L corrected triplet loupe in the traditional watchmakers
eye loupe with a head spring deal. Great image quality, but only one
eye and an inch from my poor old face… What I don’t know is whether
the lower magnification of this sort of thing would be made up for by
the binocular vision and more comfortable usage. My number 7
optivisors aren’t even remotely close to the eye loupe… And I can’t
quite afford a brand new GRS bench scope… Thoughts? And how much
did you want for your loupe?


Peter Rowe

Hi, Doug,

I’m interested in your binocular loupes, if I am not too late–
along with anything else you may wish to sell off. How much are


i would like to thank the Rio reps who not only have posted here but
have even called me to talk about my eschenbach glasses…the company
will accept my returning them (even after 7 months!) and were very
gracious…we goldsmiths know it can be difficult to incorporate
something new but we like to try it all…i’ve decided at this time
to really try to work the glasses into my working routine…that’s
all for now and thank you again to RIO and your reps who are looking
out for us with a personal touch

Now back when I had money to spend, I bought a used stereo scope
from a local place that sold used lab equipment. 10-60x ziess optics,
a spot to mount a camera, 4 way arm stand and bench base, and
detachable halogen fiber optic light unit with circle light source as
well in fantastic shape for $240. Now I got it about 4 years ago, and
that was before this place went Ebay. And as we all know, now the
Ebay is the way to sell, its also pushed prices ( and shipping and
handling charges ) to crazy new highs. You may need to look for a
place that doesnt use ebay yet to still get a fair price for one, but
I would have paid a lot more for it if I knew how handy this thing
is. Engraving, stone setting, inspecting solder joints or looking at
porosity (why?? cause I can!) even looking at bugs with the kids! I
have a Gem Scope I use with my GIA GG lessons as it has the bottom
light and shutter system which is a must for gemology.


Based upon experience with using a microscope at work, I would
suggest not using a single loupe if you are going to be at it for
hours a day. My prescription changed almost a diopter and a half for
the worse in the eye that used the miscroscope. It corrected after
stopping but took several years even though I was in my twenties. I
don’t know if the experience was unusual but it made me very
unwilling to use single optics.

Belinda Brockman