Regarding magnification at the bench, have you considered the
magnification systems that show your work area on a computer or TV
screen right in front of you.
I teach using a camera system like the one described, but I am
unable to work under it. We need both eyes for depth perception.
Having the image on a screen 'flattens' it. It would be good to have
to teach with, or to let a customer see how a repair is done, but
next to impossible to work under.
I've spent a ton of money on optics over the years. I'm going to get
safety glasses with transitional lenses (for my near sighted
prescription and magnification too.)
I've got a stereo zoom microscope for stuff like engraving and
detailing models that are on a gravers ball- it's less than ideal,
as I get a sore neck and I tend to lean into the eyepieces and this
gives me a sinus headache.
I have Obrira binocular loupes- these are good for stonesetting and
detailing waxes and metal models, but would be overkill for sizing
rings and cleaning castings.
Finally, I have a Megaview (it's like an optivisor- but has a really
comfortable headband, and 3 interchangeable lenses). The focal
length is nice, and the optics are great. It's by far my favorite
optivisor type aid.
I hope this helps.
Kate Wolf, in Portland, Maine- hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.
www.katewolfdesigns.com www.wolftools.com www.wolfwax.com