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Thread: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

  1. #1

    Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    Anyone here using those "dime store" magnifier (reading) glasses instead of a loupe for focusing. I am new to this format and it seems to me that not having to hold the loupe would free up the hand. Cheaper too. If anyone is using these, are you using 4x mag? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    939

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    I use both/either dime store glasses ($10) or a loupe. I have 3s and 5s in my bag. The 5s were special that I bought from another photog here. The problem with the glasses is that as you get to higher powers, the depth of focus decreases for your eye. This means that when you are focusing, you can't always tell if the image is out of focus or your eye is out of focus. In some cases focusing isn't that critical, as when you're are not focusing on a flat surface. I recently bought a Toyo/Mamiya loupe ($38) to use for critical focus. The loupe is nice in that the loupe to glass distance is fixed and you don't have to think about that distance, just focus. The problem is having all that crap going on under the darkcloth.
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  3. #3

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    "The loupe is nice in that the loupe to glass distance is fixed and you don't have to think about that distance, just focus."

    Eric, thanks for that insight. I knew it could not be that easy. Guess it is loupe time.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    6,705

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    With a loupe you can wear it around your neck on a cord. Practice a prussian accent and you've an instant chick magnet!

    With an extry pair of glasses hanging from a librarian's chain, you'll look like another nearsighted old fart. Definately not a chick magnet. Not even shooting a 'dorff can help you out then!

    Of course then you can wear black socks with bermuda shorts and get away with it!

    Cheers!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Posts
    90

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    You can make a pretty nice one from the cheap loupes by adding an extension . I made this one from a $3.00 loupe and used epoxy to glue an inch tube on the end. I couldn't afford the expensive ones when I first got into large format so I made this one and it was so good I've never had need for another.
    Last edited by Don Sparks; 24-Mar-2008 at 14:11.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Nuremberg Germany
    Posts
    1,051

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    With a loupe you can wear it around your neck on a cord. Practice a prussian accent and you've an instant chick magnet!

    With an extry pair of glasses hanging from a librarian's chain, you'll look like another nearsighted old fart. Definately not a chick magnet. Not even shooting a 'dorff can help you out then!

    Of course then you can wear black socks with bermuda shorts and get away with it!
    That's the way it works! But only with black and white, the prussian colors.

    Peter K

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    England
    Posts
    119

    Re: Cheapo magnifier glasses vs focusing loupe

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    That's the way it works! But only with black and white, the prussian colors.
    Not Prussian Blue, or is that another type of film? :shock: :wink:

    I've recently bought an Eschenbach 4x magnifier to go on the front of my specs when I'm running out of hands setting up the movements and failing to use a "handheld" loupe. The lens is bigger and made of some decent optical plastic rather than some of the cheapo jewellers clip-on magnifiers. It doesn't seem too bad apart from having to keep your head at a constant distance from the gg. Getting something with a bigger / better quality lens means you'll have less distortion than some types - you get fed up of trying to look through a fuzzy meniscus

    I generally use a Silvestri 4x loupe which I like as it's a decent sized objective len, bright and sturdily made (machined metal instead of injection moulded plastic.) If you're careful, you don't have a problem smashing the gg or marking it.

    I tried some 10x magnification glasses my Dad used to have for spotting prints but they blew your mind when you surfaced from under the darkcloth and looked out. They also had zero street cred as he'd gone for thick rimmed orange frames (very 1970's style over here) as they were the cheapest the optician had... For that kind of option, I'd guess you'd almost need a prescription set of high strength specs if you generally wear glasses as they hurt your eyes and brain if not focusing at approx 4" distance...

    Andrew

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