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Loupe buying. Recommendations?


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I used a loupe for the first time the other night. Fascinating! I want to get one. Anything special to look for? I’ve seen them on sale from just £3 upwards. Different magnifications 3x, 5x, 10x and so on. I have read that you need to get one with a good lens otherwise you could end up getting headaches. Any suggestions? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

For future reference and for anyone else looking for a recommendation, these are really good for the money. There is a good reason why those in the jewellery trade use 10x triplets, the field of view is very wide vs the other magnifications, a 20x is too narrow a view to be much use other than making out GIA numbers:

http://belomostore.com/belomo-10x-triplet-loupe.html

Edited by Padders
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As a complete novice at this I'm hoping to pick the brains of those with more experience than me, so thats everyone ............

I have never used a loupe so

Can anyone provide any insight into the optivisors offered by cousinsUK ? are they practical as my interests lay more in the direction of pocket watches

As a long time glasses wearer I'm just a bit wary of the field of vision with a loupe, are they difficult to position correctly with the clip on to the glasses version ?

What sort of magnification is best for general dismantling, cleaning and repair.

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I use a pair of spectacles type of loupe I got from Cousins. They weren't very expensive, but I can't remember how much.

@Nigel B I wear glasses normally, all the time (shortsighted). I don't have a problem wearing the loupe instead - except I can't see very much when I take the loupe off.

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I'm waiting for a 10x Belomo triplet to arrive from Belarus. These get great reviews and seem to have some association with the much more expensive Zeiss. The Zeiss D40 (about £80) seems to be the benchmark. I paid around £20 from eBay. I use a chinese  20x Waltex No: 702 bought from Maplins years ago which is OK. I've got a Bausch & Lomb  81-41-70 10x jeweler's loupe which is good (if you can hold it in your eye). Other than going by reviews I'm never sure how good these sorts of things are as you need something to compare to (if that makes sense).   

Gary

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Thanks @Boots I had sort of bypassed those in favour of something I could wear as well as the glasses, I'll give them another looking at now, how do you find the working distance with the Loupe glasses.

@GaryH Sorry if I sound a bit thick but I assume youre describing hand held single Loupe type stuff, I am not sure I will be able to manage that type of Loupe and be able to manipulate things to make much progress, especially being new and needing both hands for most things.

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11 minutes ago, Nigel B said:

Thanks @Boots I had sort of bypassed those in favour of something I could wear as well as the glasses, I'll give them another looking at now, how do you find the working distance with the Loupe glasses.

@GaryH Sorry if I sound a bit thick but I assume youre describing hand held single Loupe type stuff, I am not sure I will be able to manage that type of Loupe and be able to manipulate things to make much progress, especially being new and needing both hands for most things.

The Belomo (waiting for this one) and Waltex are the standard handheld types (like in Steve D's picture above). The Bausch & Lomb is one you "hold" in your eye allowing both hands to hold the object being examined. I'd guess these may not be suitable if you're short-sighted. The over-specs ones may be more efficient. 

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37 minutes ago, Nigel B said:

Thanks @Boots I had sort of bypassed those in favour of something I could wear as well as the glasses, I'll give them another looking at now, how do you find the working distance with the Loupe glasses.

@GaryH Sorry if I sound a bit thick but I assume youre describing hand held single Loupe type stuff, I am not sure I will be able to manage that type of Loupe and be able to manipulate things to make much progress, especially being new and needing both hands for most things.

Nigel, I've never really thought about it, it's never been a problem. There seems plenty of room to get any tools in. I tend to work quite close up anyway, because of my normal eyesight. I have not been aware of being any closer, and my suspicion is it is farther away. Of course the great thing is two free hands.

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Thank you all gentlemen, I may well end up with a variety as the different types appeal for different uses / operations, I appreciate the feedback.

The Cousins "head band magnifier" appeals for the general work, with the clip on loupe for getting in close.

@vin if I start using the headband magnifier with my lathe I'll frighten myself :biggrin:, I have a Boxford 4.5" tucked away in the shed, not quite the thing for watch type accuracy .....

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I carry a loupe with me at all times but I must admit, since I had my latest cataract operation done, I have found it rather more difficult to use, especially without my glasses.  My advice, for what its worth, is that inexpensive loupes can be perfectly OK but always stick with a lower magnification - ideally 10X. Once you go into the high magnification bracket, the area of undistorted lens available to use diminishes and the loupe becomes increasingly hard to use. Cheap loupes also tend to fall apart, when the screw holding the cover to the lens loosens and sometimes falls out. I think that I might invest in a quality loupe with a wider viewing area than the usual loupes now that my eyesight is not so good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I went ahead and ordered this one from cousins https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/multi-lens-with-led as a trial run and have been very pleased with the results.

I have found it a great improvement over trying to work one handed holding a magnifier, and being able to vary the magnification has been a great advantage too.

I can see an upgrade in quality coming along in the future to one of the better ones but this will do fine for the present whilst I have much more to learn.

Thanks for all the input

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