Loupe Recommendation

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Doc W, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    I shoot LF up to 8x10 and my eyes are ... old. You know how it goes. I have been using a five buck loupe and I think it is time to get a decent one.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. agnosticnikon

    agnosticnikon Member

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    There are lots of good loupes to choose from. It just depends on how much you want to spend. I use a 6X Nikon loupe on my 4x5 I bought used, and it's great. I have never seen one of these before, and I have no idea if they still make them. Otherwise, any of the German optics are usually wonderful, if a little pricy, also Peak makes nice loupes. I have two other loupes made in Russia by Horizon, a 4X for 120 viewing, and an 8X for 35mm. These are great loupes, very sharp, nice coatings, and very reasonably priced. I don't think these are available any more, but probably can be found used. Confused now? Hope it helps a little.
     
  3. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Just make sure that the loupe can be focused on the image on the ground glass.
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I know that you're looking to buy a higher-end commercial product, but I was able to make something that I find much easier to use than any loupe I've ever had. I took a +4 close-up lens from a set that was fairly large and attached it (with simple tape) to the end of a plastic tube cut to the focal length of that lens by itself (rough measure by focusing on fine print while sliding the lens along a ruler). The plastic tube I used was cut from a tube of painter's caulk I had just used up. The plastic is soft enough to put flat against the GG without worry and the lens shows a considerable enlargement of the screen without my having to put my eye down to view it–helps a lot with these progressive lens glasses I wear! It's a bit bulky to carry around, and a string around my neck isn't really very comfortable, but I keep it in the case with the 8x10 and have it there whenever I set up. Close-up diopters are a dime a dozen at most photo shows and the tube was free. Having one in each camera case is a pretty easy solution.

    Just sayin'.
     
  5. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

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    Whitey, how big is that thing? If I understand diopters correctly, +4 is a 250mm focal length.

    Neat idea.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do some people use the higher power reading glasses found in optical departments of chain stores?
     
  7. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I use my everyday reading glasses, and focus from the normal reading distance. I haven't used a loupe for focusing on the viewing screen for a number of years. But sometimes I carry one, just in case I lose the glasses. It's actually the front lens assembly from a small slide projector. Slide projector lens make excellent magnifying lenses. A spare enlarging lens may also work; ie 75mm etc. A decent loupe . . . I've never seen one of those. ;-)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2013
  8. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I bought a jewelers loupe at a general store that works well for me - I also have an old enlarging lens that travels with me but doesn't get used much.
     
  9. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I have heard you can use a regular 50mm lens from a 35mm camera and use it reversed as a loupe.

    Jon
     
  10. Ari

    Ari Advertiser Advertiser

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    I bought a 12x loupe from Edmund Optics; it's very high-quality and cost about $50.
    I bought it because I was worried that my 5x loupe was not cutting it any more, as my eyes get older.
    So now I use the 5x to get in the zone, and double-check with the 12x.

    I use it on both 4x5 and 8x10, and it's especially useful with wider lenses.

    If you order from Edmund, make sure you do so over the phone; doing it online will cause your order to be shipped to Canada via UPS.
    You will incur "brokerage fees" of up to 50% of your order.
    Call them, and ask for USPS shipping.
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I use a Peak 10x focussing loupe. With any loupe, it's important to be certain it's focussed on the texture of the groundglass. Do this by removing the lens and pointing the canera so the GG is illuminated, focus the loupe so the texture is clearly seen and either lock or tape the loupe at that setting.
    The trouble with reading glasses is that you cannot do this - do you really want to go to the trouble and expense of 8x10 (or any other format) and do half a job of focussing?

    I stated what I use, this works very well for me, my eyes, and my way of working. It may not work well at all for you. It's probably best to try as many different types and powers as you can.
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I use a drapers glass, but with any magnifying glass the quality is very important. Going for a cheap one is a false economy.
     
  13. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    I use a Horizon 8X model GHZ103 for critical focusing. It is a very good loupe and got good reviews when new. A pair of .5 to 1 power higher reading glasses on over your standard reading glasses works well also.
     
  14. jumbosilverette

    jumbosilverette Member

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    I've read this as well but have not yet tried it.
     
  15. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    I've not used it for focusing on ground glass as I'm not a LF guy, but reversing a 50mm lens does work rather well for viewing 35mm slides.
     
  16. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I have 40X Microscope loupe. It does have a very bright lamp , It can be focusable also. Its coming from Stamp Collectors online shop , its very cheap and high quality to check engravings on stamps and banknotes. But aligning your eye is difficult. Look for stamp shops , there are many options
     
  17. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

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    I use a Wista (#211046) and I think it's a nice moderately priced loupe. I don't ever use the clear skirt that came with it, but it's there if you need it. It has a diopter adjustment which is also handy.

    Mine was a gift, but if you shop around you should find a good price on it.
     
  18. Pinecreekboy

    Pinecreekboy Member

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    I've used many different loupes over the years and then I stumbled I to a deal on a Schneider 6X ASPH and I can't believe the difference. Worth well more than what I paid.
     
  19. gmfotografie

    gmfotografie Member

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    i recently bought a rodenstock 4x magnifier form ebay. very good and sharp loupe!
     
  20. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Thanks for all of these suggestions. I am looking around and may even try the homemade version.
     
  21. Salem

    Salem Member

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    I'm not fond of the focusing cloth, so I looked around for a loupe that would clear the the top of the toyo's pop-up hood so that the focusing cloth is no longer needed. The only one that I found to do this was Shenhao 6x loupe and it does so by a good couple of centimetres. It's made of metal and has a rubber ring in the front to protect the GG.
     
  22. mkillmer

    mkillmer Member

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    My favourite loupe for the 8x10 is made from a high quality slide viewer. I dismantled the slide holding section then taped the loupe into the middle a piece of very thick black paper (in a hole I cut out). The black paper allows me use the loupe without the dark cloth as it usually covers most of the glass.