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rguinter
24-Feb-2010, 10:02
Greetings. There was a thread here a week or so ago about using reading glasses for fine focusing work. I thought about adding my question to that thread but decided to open a new one since the question is a bit different.

I have a cheapo loupe... don't have it with me so I don't know the brand. I think it's about 5x. All plastic. Nothing special. Picked it up for a few bucks off the counter at my local camera store years ago.

It worked very well for me up until recently with additional eye changes.

So I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a high quality loupe in the 8-10x range? I'd like to buy a good one that'll work for a while with my deteriorating vision.

Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks in advance. Bob G.

CarstenW
24-Feb-2010, 11:32
I don't have an answer for you, but was wondering if you could elaborate on the "until recently with additional eye changes". I am considering getting Lasik correction done, but hesitate due to the unknowns. Is that what you are referring to?

Eric Woodbury
24-Feb-2010, 12:03
8-10x seems pretty strong. Most LF loupes are about half this.

Mark Stahlke
24-Feb-2010, 12:05
I'm in the same boat as you. As I get older my eyesight seems to change daily.

The key feature folks like us need in a loupe is the ability to focus the loupe. I've recently started using a Silvestri 6x focusable loupe. My initial impression was not positive but I'm getting used to it. One day I might even like it.

Rodenstock and Schneider also make some nice focusable loupes - bring lots of money.

I'm sure there are other focusable loupe options. I look forward to reading the replies in this thread.

lilmsmaggie
24-Feb-2010, 12:14
I've heard good things about Horizon loupes:

http://www.kievusa.com/loupes.html

B&HPhoto has 8x which may be too strong. Horizon does make a 4x model. Seem hard to come by though in either flavor. :D

Joshua Dunn
24-Feb-2010, 13:01
I use a Peak 10x loupe (http://www.peakoptics.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=67&products_id=79)with a suction cup on the end. It’s easy enough to pop the suction cup off and use it without, and really handy to free up a hand and still have it in place. The above link is not anyone I have bought from before; it’s just the only vendor I could find that had a picture of the loupe and the suction cup (even though it’s a crappy shot). B&H sells them for less but their image did not have a suction cup. If you were to buy it from B&H I would call them first to make sure it’s the one you want.

Hope this helps.

-Joshua

Brian Stein
24-Feb-2010, 15:36
I havent tried them although the price has tempted me, but a number of the chinese sellers who deal in dayi and gaoersi sell a focusing 8x loupe on ebay.

I am interested in the folks who use 8-10x: as stated above most (including my current toyo) are about 4x, and I would be concerned with the higher mag that you start getting distracted by the fresnel pattern/gg grind. Is this your experience?

Bob McCarthy
24-Feb-2010, 15:43
I can speak positively on the Fuji 4X loupe. I see them on ebay and mine came indirectly from Midwest. Comparable to the German loupes at a lower price. I have no problems with my 62 year old lasiked eyes. I also wear a pair of strongish readers for general focusing with fine touch up with the Fuji.

bob

jeroldharter
24-Feb-2010, 17:56
FYI, many of those silver colored Fuji loupes were given away free as a Jobo promotion years ago. I know because I obtained one that way and it is every bit as good as my Schneider 4x loupe.

For focusing on ground glass, I prefer the standard Toyo 3.6 loupe which has a rubber base so it won't scratch the glass and it is rather long so you don't need to kiss the groundglass when you focus. I also like the Wista loupe which has a built-in diopter correction which might be better for people with changing vision issues.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=wista+loupe&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

rguinter
25-Feb-2010, 09:31
8-10x seems pretty strong. Most LF loupes are about half this.

Eric: Thanks for the comment. I'll keep that in mind.

What i have now I believe is about 5x. But having done so much microscopy over the years we use a 10x telescoping eyepiece when viewing the back focal plane of the microscope... useful for centering other optical parts or viewing interference figures. One of the reasons I thought 8-10x would work for me. As long as its focusable. Bob G.

rguinter
25-Feb-2010, 09:39
FYI, many of those silver colored Fuji loupes were given away free as a Jobo promotion years ago. I know because I obtained one that way and it is every bit as good as my Schneider 4x loupe.

For focusing on ground glass, I prefer the standard Toyo 3.6 loupe which has a rubber base so it won't scratch the glass and it is rather long so you don't need to kiss the groundglass when you focus. I also like the Wista loupe which has a built-in diopter correction which might be better for people with changing vision issues.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=wista+loupe&N=0&InitialSearch=yes


Jerold: Thanks. I like the looks of the Wista. And after posting this thread I found out that the photo processing lab I use has one. Next time in I will ask them if I can try it. The focusing feature is what I need since I'm nearsighted and remove my glasses for viewing... same as when using a microscope. Cheers. Bob G.

Aahx
25-Feb-2010, 11:08
I use a Schneider 6x aspheric and love how well I can see with it compared to my old cheapy Peaks. Mind you mine is the older version (black metal) not the newer silver plastic models.

pocketfulladoubles
25-Feb-2010, 11:15
I use the Toyo 3.6 loupe and honestly wish for a little more magnification. I haven't used one, but imagine the 6x Silvestri tilting loupe is about perfect. It's my next purchase for sure.

Armin Seeholzer
25-Feb-2010, 11:23
I haven't used one, but imagine the 6x Silvestri tilting loupe is about perfect. It's my next purchase for sure.

I like the tilting loupe, and can recomand it!

John NYC
25-Feb-2010, 21:06
Rodenstock 4x here. Bought it used for some reasonable amount. Enough magnification to focus and not too much so that you get distracted by the grain of the ground glass. I think 6x would be nicer sometimes though.

Frank Petronio
25-Feb-2010, 21:51
Wista used to make a longer 7x "hood" loupe that was really the best I've used, but I am not fussy - a $5 Agfa loupe will work just fine.

If you get fussy, a lot has to do with the fresnel pattern (if there is one installed) -- too high a magnification emphasizes it. Also, odd as it seems, as you go larger in format, the less magnification you need. You can focus an 8x10 without a loupe sometimes.

Chris Strobel
25-Feb-2010, 21:59
Just picked up some +3.25 readers from the market.Perfect for 8x10 here.

Dr Bellows
3-Mar-2010, 09:40
There's a place called American Science and Surplus (sciplus.com) that sells small projection lenses for $5 to $10. I use a 40mm and a 50mm. They are adjustable in the sense that you need to hold it at the proper distance from the ground glass to get in focus.

Also, I have removed the fresnel lens from my Speed Graphic. I think the Fresnel makes the image a bit brighter, but also degrades it. I better trust that I am focusing the actual image without having the fresnel in there. I used a depth micrometer to make sure the ground glass surface is in the same plane as the film.

BetterSense
3-Mar-2010, 09:44
I use a loupe I got from Dealextreme.com for about $2.41. I like it a lot better than using a lens from a 35mm camera.

Atul Mohidekar
3-Mar-2010, 17:31
I have used three loupes in this order: Mamiya 4x, Schneider 6x and my current favorite - Mamiya 5x. I love the solid construction and optical quality of the Mamiya loupes. Also, Mamiya 5x has bigger optics than the other two making it easier to see larger area. Bottom line: I prefer the Mamiya 5x loupe over the other two.


// Atul

shadowleaves
3-Mar-2010, 18:27
I use Pentax 5.5x and it's great.

R Mann
4-Mar-2010, 02:13
I have been using a Hartblei finder for a Hasselblad - 4x with a 2" x 2" square image - I like it a lot, but it is a little bigger than most ground glass loupes. Fairly light as it weighs about 5 oz.

neil poulsen
4-Mar-2010, 05:30
I used an inexpensive loupe for a long time and thought it worked OK. But when I picked up the Calumet Aspheric (Rodenstock, Schneider?) at one of their conferences, it was a revelation.:eek: Even better, they sold to me by mistake for $10. :D

I've since purchased a Nikon 7x loupe for a reasonable price on EBay that I plan to use with a 6x9 camera. I checked it out, and it seems to work fine. I haven't checked it in actual use, though.

Steve Hamley
4-Mar-2010, 05:34
Anybody have an opinion on the 7x long Horseman loupe? I know Ted Harris liked it from my forum search, but that's about all I could find. Does it have diopter correction?

Cheers, Steve

rugenius
6-Mar-2010, 10:19
I purchased a Pentax 5.5x photo loupe for use with a 4x5 view camera.
NOT the ZOOM version....
Incredible planar FOV, generous eye relief, diopter adjustment.
It lacks strap connections for the neck because it was designed to be on a light table.
But in my opinion, not too cumbersome for this camera type, even in the field.
Especially helpful to get such a wide view on subjects.:)

Alan Davenport
6-Mar-2010, 10:48
I have one of the 4x Fuji loupes that I bought on fleabay; it's probably the same one Bob McC. is using. Before that, I used a 5x eyeglass loupe, the kind that clips onto the frame of your glasses. Disadvantage of that type is that it's hard to hold one's head still enough that the groundglass image remains in tight focus. As for the Fuji, well it's OK but nothing exciting and it's not focusable. I expect I'll need to upgrade before too long.

One thing some folks don't realize (or don't believe) is that, when you're viewing a groundglass through a loupe, the quality of the loupe doesn't have very much to do with your ability to focus accurately. That's because you are looking at a true image on the groundglass, not a virtual image. Regardless of the quality of the loupe's own focus (on the GG) when the groundglass image appears to be the best, that's where it really is focused. Of course, a better loupe does make it easier to perceive that point of focus, but my point is that a lesser quality loupe doesn't equate to lesser quality photos.

Bob G., your mileage may vary, but most LF users seem to find that 6x or 7x is the maximum magnification for a loupe to be useful. Beyond that, you start seeing the grain in the groundglass, which confuses focusing for some. Also, if your camera has a fresnel screen, higher powers might make the ridges on the fresnel annoying, tho I'm not sure the fresnel isn't annoying at the best of times. It's a tradeoff where we accept a new evil to reduce an old one.

Len Middleton
6-Mar-2010, 19:52
I have two of the small Schneider loupes, an 8x and a 6x, with the black metal body, and the orange plastic ring on the base. I purchased them both used, so I cannot comment on how painful it might be to purchase them new.

i use the focus adjustment and find that helps me. They are small enough to get right into the corner, and compact and light. I put a nech lanyard on the one (8x) that I use for GG focus.

I am a little surprised about the number of comments about it picking up the fresnel when focusing with a higher magnification loupe. On the Technika 4x5 I have a fresnel on, I just lift it off to focus, as it sits in on top of the GG and only held in place with the focusing hood. I presume that no one has the fresnel between the GG and the lens...

On the 8x10, I do not have a fresnel, and therefore it does not get in the way.

I prefer the higher magnification (8x) to allow me to concentrate on the focus, at that point in the image, and do not find I get distracted by the GG surface.

Hope that helps,

Len

gevalia
7-Mar-2010, 02:29
Well, I'm a bit of a mix here. I put on a pair of those cheap pharmacy reading glasses under the darkcloth to dial in and then switch to the loupe for fine focusing.

Ron

John Jarosz
7-Mar-2010, 06:54
Only available used is the macromax (leitz) 5x loupe. You'd have to shoot me to get mine.

John

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
7-Mar-2010, 12:56
Only available used is the macromax (leitz) 5x loupe. You'd have to shoot me to get mine.

John

No, The Macromax was made in Wetzlar, Germany but was not part of or a division of Leica. They were simply made in the same city by different companies. The Macromax was a product from Emo-Optik who has been out of business for a while.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
7-Mar-2010, 12:58
I used an inexpensive loupe for a long time and thought it worked OK. But when I picked up the Calumet Aspheric (Rodenstock, Schneider?) at one of their conferences, it was a revelation.:eek: Even better, they sold to me by mistake for $10. :D

I've since purchased a Nikon 7x loupe for a reasonable price on EBay that I plan to use with a 6x9 camera. I checked it out, and it seems to work fine. I haven't checked it in actual use, though.

Neil,

That is the Rodenstock Aspheric loupe.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
7-Mar-2010, 13:01
Wista used to make a longer 7x "hood" loupe that was really the best I've used, but I am not fussy - a $5 Agfa loupe will work just fine.

Wista still does make a 7X telescoping loupe and a 5x non-telescoping one as well as a 5x sliding loupe that fits to the back of a Wista.