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Best loupe? 20X? 30X? 40X?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by shinbone, May 24, 2018.

  1. shinbone

    shinbone

    75
    Dec 13, 2005
    I've got a Bausch & Lomb Hastings Triplett 20X loupe to examine scratch patterns on the bevel as I sharpen my knives.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OVHUPS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    While not an essential tool for knife sharpening, I do find it informative to view scratch patterns from the various grits as I go through a stone progression. This particular loupe is 8.3mm in diameter, and is relatively hard to use.

    Can anyone recommend a better 20X loupe? By "better" I mean either easier to use, or a better image, or, preferably, both.

    Also, I would like to get another loupe in a higher magnification level, so, can anyone recommend a 30X and/or 40X loupe?

    I am also open to other magnification options beside the traditional loupe.

    TIA.
     
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I'm like you and found the loupe hard to use. I went to the OptiVisior headset and
    got the 8X lens. And found I like it. Perhaps they have since made higher powered lenses. DM
     
    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  3. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    I also own and use a couple of Bausch & Lomb loupes. One I have is a straight 10X and it is handy for quick checking during sharpening and just nice to have for quick inspections of how badly a blade needs sharpening. I have another Bausch & Lomb loupe that is 8X x 17X and it's not bad for checking out intricate work that I've done on blades.

    I just recently had the privilege of chatting with a real life "watchmaker" and I spoke to him about his use of Loupes in his trade. He told me that the current best loupes on the market are the German made Zeiss loupes. I've been checking them out and I do want maybe one or two of them that I've looked at but they are high dollar. I know that the "Carl Zeiss" company has had a great reputation over the years for all kinds of super high quality optics ( especially in the medical field).

    I hope more people chime in on this thread because I would also like to know more about loupes.
     
  4. shinbone

    shinbone

    75
    Dec 13, 2005
    Thanks for the suggestion. The strongest Zeiss loupe I could google-up is only 10X. No doubt it is a good loupe, though.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  5. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  6. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Zeiss have been the Premiere Lens for all Optics for many years! A 10X Loupe is the standard for Jewelers for a couple of hundred years! I don't personally use a Loupe while sharpening... Rely on feel & test results. Though the OP's use of one to examine grit lines may be very information on the Stones, Belts, Rods Etc...


    When a dealer of Gem stones, Diamonds is glancing at stones, they use a hand held loupe, When working, they have a 10X that fixes to their glasses over their dominate eye...

    I use a set of 10X glasses over my normal spectacles when going over fit on my Custom knives at times, I may start doing more inspection of my grit lines from my belt sharpening... Good way to see the pattern as the belts start to wear...
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    annr likes this.
  7. shinbone

    shinbone

    75
    Dec 13, 2005
    Thanks for all the info, everyone.
     
  8. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    They were (are) big in the world of astronomy as well...telescopes and astronomical projectors.
     
  9. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    9CD8D45B-593D-47F4-A0C1-A9A99555C925.jpeg 0891DBA0-E9CB-4B3D-BBAA-6EB72D997931.jpeg 10X loupes are the standard by which Diamonds are rated for inclusions, voids, flaws, cracks, cut, color, etc. I find it hard to hand hold a magnifier over 10X because of the shake factor. I switch to a binocular dissection microscope when working above 10X. The Opti-Visors go up to 10 diopters (3 1/2X). I add T lights to my Opti-Visors. For long distance work, I use a Zeiss loupe at 4.3X with focus at 40cm.
     
  10. ToddS

    ToddS

    265
    Jan 15, 2015
    Is that 8x or 8 diopters? I have a set of PeriOptix loupes at work that are 3x and that's about as strong as I would want.
     
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Yes, they supply up to a 3 or 4X with the headset. Then I had a flipper loupe sold at Sears with 3 large lenses, each being 5X. I took one out and connected it to the headset right side on a swivel screw. Bringing it to 8X when it is swing into play on the right eye. It works great and is all the power I need for use. DM
     
  12. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Do these visors cause any neck or headaches?
     
  13. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    No, the binocular loupes are sometimes used for extended surgery. The Opti-Visor is even lighter than the binocular loupe. Headaches are usually caused by poor quality optics or misadjustment of the optics. The binocular loupe is focused by moving your head back and forth. Same with the Opti-Visor. You can wear prescriptive glasses with either one.
    The problem with single lens loupes is: the higher the magnification, the shorter the working distance. The highest power Opti-Visor (3 1/2X) is utilized just inches from your face.
     
  14. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    The Opti-Visors come in 6 magnifications: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 diopters. The corresponding powers are: 1 1/2X, 1 3/4X, 2X, 2 1/2X, 2 3/4X, and 3 1/2X. The corresponding working distances are: 20”, 14”, 10”, 8”, 6”, and 4”. A swingaway side loupe can boost the power of any of the lens boards by 2 1/2X, but you lose the stereo vision, and the working distance is further decreased.
     
  15. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    The headsets are light plastic , as mentioned , any headaches are from poor quality optics or possibly using to much magnification for the focal point of the job.. Most think higher mag, is better! Not always... there is a sweet spot. Like most everything else..
     
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  16. Daniel

    Daniel

    Oct 3, 1998
    Get a USB microscope. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and have adjustable magnification. Plus, you can get screenshots
     
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  17. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I use custom prescription glasses (bifocal) with the correct focal point and magnification for the job at hand—plus I get the depth of field I’m looking for.

    I bring my gear to the doctor, and they find the correct power so that I can hold the object where I need to and see the detail I’m interested in. (I have several pair.)

    I don’t like extra things on my head.
     
  18. danbuff

    danbuff

    9
    May 28, 2017
    second on the USB microscope.
     
  19. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Annr, Alright, LOL , You asked
    , and I gave my Experience. LOL I don’t sell those things! LOL, take care!
     
  20. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I appreciate it! I’m very picky and look at stuff in the micron range —on and off—for what can be an extended period of time. This is what I found to be the only thing that I’m comfortable with. So they pay for themselves in usefulness and wearability. (A surgeon that I taught also uses custom prescription glasses for surgery.)

    I’m still going to research some of these other ideas…in case I missed something.
     

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