Looking for a loupe, and now my head is spinning

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by LoganCAdams, May 8, 2012.

  1. LoganCAdams

    LoganCAdams Member

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    Loupes. There are so damned many out there. I need one, but I can't figure out which one I need.

    So, what do you use? Are you happy with it? If I buy one, what is a fair price?
     
  2. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

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    A loupe for what purpose: ground glass focusing or looking at negatives and slides on a light box?

    I have a Toyo ground glass focusing loupe that I really like, very basic and solid with built-in lanyard. Also a big Cabin loupe that will cover a full 6x7 transparency on a light box. I've used both for years and found them to be well made and reliable, although what can go wrong with a loupe?

    Jonathan
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Peak 4x with the square viewing box. Lets you get into the corners of the GG nicely.

    Also, comes with a clear and a black base, allowing both GG and lightbox viewing, negating jcoldslabs' question.

    (I have used an 8x, but found it too powerful).
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Depends on what your planning to use it for, a focusing type for ground glass, or fixed for negatives on a light box, and what size medium you are using it for.

    I have been getting by with a cheapo Agfa 8x (lost of distortion on edges), and a Sears/Sekor 55mm 1.4 lens (pretty good but not magnified enough)they work fine for a quick check. I have also been pushing my iphone onto the loupe, and using a camera app, as well as a jailbreak to invert colors, while on the light box. It gives me a nice large magnified full screen view that is positive.

    For a even quicker check while drying, I have been increasing the screen brightness to max, and opening up a blank white web browser page and using the phone screen as a lightbox to quickly scan the negatives up and down while hanging.

    I would like to get a nice loupe for my MF negatives, but for now Ive been putting up with using the cheapo loupes.
     
  5. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    I had the same problem a few years ago.
    Unfortunately, I did not find the prices that I encountered, to be fair.
    And, I was always being outbid whenever I found one that I could appreciate.
    So, I made my own, I found a chintzy enlarger lens, and combined it with an
    1 1/2" PVC Trap Adapter, it just happened to be a perfect fit, to allow for the
    proper focus on the ground glass. Drilled a hole in one of the tabs, and attached
    an Op/Tech Strap, and slapped a PVC Cap on it for protection, and a wee bit
    O'Stylishness when it's not being used. Total cost was less than $10.00 !

    The Older I Get, The Frugaler I Get !


    Ron
    .
     

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  6. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    I recently purchased this Loupe. Here was the review I gave it which should be on the B&H site in 3-5 days:

    Given this loupe has such a high magnification power, the depth of field is very narrow (probably <0.5mm). This means if the loupe's lens isn't perfectly aligned in its carrier, that the optimal plane for the object will not be coplanar with the bottom perimeter of the loupe.

    This is the case with the one I purchased - it is slightly out of focus.

    You can check this out for yourself by placing a hair on a piece of clear sticky tape and sticking the tape tightly across the loupe's base in the field of view. By pushing the tape up or down you'll see it come more clearly in to focus if it wasn't already.

    The reason focus is so critical is because I use it on a light box where the negative is flat on the surface.
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I use a 10x Peak. I am happy with it and have been since 1988. I paid about $50 for it, new, from McMaster-Carr.
    I'd advise you to try several different loupes if you can before settling on one.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    I've used 50-something 1.8-ish lenses, any mount, for a long time. So-called "quality" loupes are extortionately priced, just like most cheaper ones for the "quality" they deliver.
     
  9. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Your head is spinning?!?

    Just think about poor us, who have to guess at what kind of loupe you're actually talking about. Insightful questions result in insightful answers – and then there's mine.

    I'll just take a wild ass stab at it is that you are in fact looking for an inspection device for your camera's GG, since this is under LF category. I have a TOYO Loupe, which I rarely use anymore. Like many, I have found 99¢ store 3.5 diopter eyeglasses to be more useful than a loupe, for that purpose. I now pretty much use the same thing when inspecting LF negatives on the light table, as well.

    Geezus.
     
  10. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    Years back I was looking for a quality loupe to check out slides and negatives on the light box. The best one I came across was tied to the light box on the counter at the photo lab I was using. Turned out it was provided by Fuji. I made him an offer he could not refuse, and it was mine. His customers were the losers, because he replaced it with a cheap Agfa loupe. I have one of those too, so I know just how good it ain't. Anyway that Fuji loupe is 4x with a sliding hood for the clear skirt, and I find it perfect for checking focus on the ground glass, more powerful loupes, like that Agfa, give you a great view of the grind on the glass which interferes with seeing the focus, at least for me it does.
     
  11. LoganCAdams

    LoganCAdams Member

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    Sorry for not being more clear. I'm looking for a loupe for viewing a ground glass.

    Also, I don't live anywhere near any place that sells loupes, so I have to buy online and hope I get a good one.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I've started using a magnifying glass instead.

    It's easier with glasses.

    It's easier to hold, and see the very edges of the ground glass.

    It doesn't need to sit on the surface you want to look at, and varying the distance between the magnifying glass and subject can vary the magnification.

    It fits easier in a pocket.

    They are available very I expensively, even locally.

    They can be used as a LF lens f you feel like it.
     
  13. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I bought a pair of +6 reading glasses. I've yet to try them but I'll bet they work very well.
     
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  15. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I use a 50mm lens for the lightbox, and an $8 Beseler loupe that i attached to a lanyard for GG focusing.
     
  16. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    Those cheap Agfa branded ones are good... I use and adjustable one from Calumet also... has sliding black sleeve and frosted base.
     
  17. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I have several loupes 4x to 15X, but the 10X Peak I use is a $19.95 model that is nice and small. I used to use it for chromes but lately have the base taped black and a lanyard taped on it to use with my 501CM with the finder off, it will be perfect for the 4x5.
     
  18. jon.oman

    jon.oman Member

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    Now, that is a great idea! I've got a pretty good enlarger lens I'm not currently using.........
     
  19. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    I am also looking to get a proper loupe for GG focussing. I've been using Jupiter-9 85mm lens but this is very cumbersome.

    So, sum it up ..
    There is no difference (in usage) between neg/slide loupe and GG focusing loupe, right?
    Anything that is about 4x mag or higher and long enough is good enough?
     
  20. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I just got done shooting a few sheets with my newly aquirred 180mm 5.6 Apo Symmar, I was using my 15x peak loupe until the 10x gets here. In the ground glass I could see the full bodies of ants on aspen trees some 20 feet away....maybe the 15x is the loupe after all.......
     
  21. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    I've always used the lens assemblies from the front of old slide-projectors for focusing on the focusing screen, and for viewing negatives on a light table. They come in various focal lengths.
     
  22. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    Not really. It is nicer to have an adjustable loupe for GG.
    Remember, the image appears on the lens side (or back side), of the GG.

    So, in reality, you need a loupe that has, or can adjust, a proper focus point
    beyond the surface of your GG, equal to the thickness of your GG.
    A loupe for the light table basically focuses on the surface of the table,
    not through the table glass, like a GG loupe needs to.

    With all of this in mind, I found that a pair of drug store cheaters,
    (reading glasses +2.50 or so), work fairly well for me. For more critical focusing, I wouldn't
    recommend common, non-adjustable loupes having more then about 4X-6X power.

    I have found the lower powered loupes make it easier to see the
    image 'snap' on the dull-grain, or back side of the GG.

    For me, with higher powered loupes, all I seem to see is the grain of the grind on the GG.
    Also, drug store cheaters worked better for me then 'linen tester' loupes that some may suggest.

    Marc
     
  23. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    Cheers Marc, that makes sense.
    Many online sellers don't know if their item is for GG or film.
    Safe to go with designated GG focussing loupe.
     
  24. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    My favorite, and most used loupe is an old Calumet 4X power model.
    The Calumet site doesn't seem to show a model exactly like the one I have anymore.
    Calumet often contracts with other manufacturers, to either make items to Calumet
    specification, or more commonly, just brand existing products with the Calumet name.

    Someone mentioned earlier that some loupes have a sliding skirt.
    These loupes are often said to be dual purpose; GG viewing and photo viewing.
    When viewing photos, you raise the skirt so light will illuminate the photo.
    You lower the skirt for GG and light table or slide viewing.

    My loupe has the skirt, but I have it taped in the lowered position for use on the GG in the field.
    I use a separate viewer at home for light table use that covers an entire 6 X 6 or 6 X 7 slide.

    Below are links to images of loupes very similar to what I use on my LF, GG.
    I found mine, used, for about $40 USD.
    The Calumet branded loupes, new or used, are usually far cheaper then the big name
    branded loupes, for basically the same identical model.

    Marc



    http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/calumet-4x-magnifier-loupe

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/736003

    http://www.viewcamerastore.com/servlet/the-131/Rodenstock-4x-Aspheric-Loupe/Detail
     
  25. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    Yeah that's kinda what I want. Light and compact.
    All I can see from the big auction site for 'designated GG loupe' is Toyo and other no-name loupes.
    They look big. Not much smaller than Jupiter 9 I am currently using.

    This Fuji looks good but the seller wasn't sure if I can use for GG focussing:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Fuji-Pro...637?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43af59dfd5
    Also, I can see a Peak 10x with Scale. Not sure this one is okay or not either. 10x is a bit too much but then my Jupiter is about that ...
     
  26. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I find a drapers glass very useful.