Any recommendations for magnifying lenses for very fine work?
I've used those lighted magnifying desk lamps with some success, but
they are only good for desk work. I am wondering if some sort of loupe
like jewelers or dentists use might be worth buying.
My dentist told me that dental loupes cost $1,000 or more. That's a
bit more than I was planning on spending.
How much magnification is needed or useful? According to Wikipedia,
, jewelers use 10X magnification to
inspect diamonds for blemishes, but dentists only use 2X-5X, so
something in that range ought to be good enough for removing slivers
and soldering. ;-)
This article says that good jeweler's loupes are triplets -- three
lenses combined so as to correct (or minimize) distortion. I am
guessing that this is not important for general use.
This article has a lot of detailed information about optical
magnifiers in general.
Here are some products I found online. Any recommendations or
This company offers mini-loupes in 4X, 6X, and 8X powers for just
$3.50 each and a headband to hold them for just $5:
I couldn't find the 4X loupe.
This $40 headband magnifier had 4 lenses (1.2X, 1.8X, 2.5X, and 3.5X
and a small headlight. I can't tell if the lenses flip up.
Is 3.5X enough magnification?
The same company offers this headband magnifier for $60. These lenses
(2X, 2.5X, 3X) do flip up, but it is not lighted.
Amazon is selling this set of 5 watchmaker's loupes for $13. Based on
the reviews, it's not clear if these are 2X, 3X, 5X, 7X and 10X or 1X,
2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X.
These are loose loupes (no headband), which I presume you wedge into
your eye. I've seen jewelers use them that way, so it must work, but
I'm thinking some sort of headband like the first entry would be
easier to use, especially for work taking more than a few minutes.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
This $45 product from Bausch & Lomb claims to have top quality optics.