Suggestions for buying a loupe

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by sterioma, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Hi,

    I would like to buy a loupe to evaluate my negatives/slides (35mm).

    I am not sure which magnification factor I should be looking for: 4x/5x/10x?

    Suggestions?

    -Stefano
     
  2. sparx

    sparx Member

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    I have a 4x magnification loupe which seems more than enough for me. I suppose it's dependant on how much detail you want.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I agree. It is a mistake to go for the biggest magnification. You wind up seeing just the grain or ground glass texture instead of the image. 4x has always worked best for me.
     
  4. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I only shoot 35mm film, and for standard viewing of my self-processed negatives I use a sharp, vignetting-free Schneider 4x loupe with my lightbox. However, I find it essential to also use my Schneider 10x loupe to truly determine how sharp my shots are before I attempt to print them. I say this because some times I've printed a negative after viewing it with my 4x only and have seen on the print that it is not sharp afterall. Thus, my 10x confirms via previewing that that which I choose to print is worth printing in terms of acceptable sharpness. I recommend that you bring a negative or a slide to your chosen retailer and try the various loupes they have in stock, because quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    4x is pretty common in the publishing world and something in the 4x-6x range is usually a good choice for 35mm

    10x or more is handy for checking sharpness, if you want to decide whether to make a big enlargement.

    Whatever you decide, don't skimp on a loupe. Those cheap plastic 8x Agfa-type loupes will tell you less about your slides and will cause more eye strain than a high-quality 4x loupe. I use a Schneider 4x. If you don't have the budget for a Schneider or Rodenstock, the Peak loupes and the Pentax 5.5X have good reputations.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    One of the best loupes I have is actually a finger print analyzer that I got out of an estate that I liquidated for a law professor, sharp, no distortion and about 8x, really allows you to see sharpness and I also use for my fine focus on large format, they normlly run about 10 bucks now if you can find one, but is beats my $200.00 Rodenstock, I love it.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I use an 8x but then my eyes are aging faster than I am. As Dave says it really shows the sharp ones from the dreaded missed ones.
     
  8. mark

    mark Member

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    I've been using a calumet loupe for a couple of years and have not had any eye strain problems at all. they are pretty cheap too. Cheap and good is a bonus in my book.
     
  9. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    I have used 4x and 8x loupes before. The one I like best is a Peak 4X. Very good loupe at a good price point, covers the entire area for a 35mm slide, although I do move it around while analyzing the slides.
     
  10. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    For an inexpensive loupe that has great quality, take your 50mm lens off the camera turn it upside down and use it. I'm not sure what magnification it gives... (my guess is around 4x)

    Like anything, you usually get what you pay for... Look at it as an investment.

    joe :smile:
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Has anybody used the Adox loupe that JandC sells? That looks like a nice 4x at a resonable price. They don't mention how many elements though.
     
  12. jandc

    jandc Member

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  13. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    As already mentioned, it's tempting to go higher mag than 4x - but don't do it for viewing ground glass, you'll definately get interference on the image from the glass surface.

    For viewing 35mm slides and negs I would recommend a 6X or 8X mag lupe to view the fine enough details required for print enlargement.
    best, John.
     
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  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    John,

    I beg to differ a bit on the ground glass magnification, I have been using higher than 4x for over 20 years now and never encountered interference, could you explain a little further please.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
    Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass
     
  16. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    I haven't been viewing Ground Glass images for as long Dave, and having now read your previous post, I could have been more diplomatic with my suggestion (pls excuse that). My experience is; of buying a quality 8x loupe (the Rodenstock) with my 4x5 field camera. The GG that it came with did not give a bright enough image for my preference of low light landscape subjects so I changed it for one of those well-marketed Fresnel Lens GG's. The image now seemed at least a stop brighter, however it came with a compromise of significantly increased interference from the glass surface. Sufficient that my lovely Rodstk 8x loupe has been relegated from my camera bag to the light box at home, and replaced by a 4x loupe instead.
    I understand that the Satin Snow GG has quite a different surface than that of the Fresnel(?)
     
  17. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Hi John,

    I complety understand what your saying about the fresnel, higher magnification with a fresnel can really bring out some things that make focusing very difficult, the concentric lines of the fresnel under high magnification have a very strong tendancy to interfere with actually seeing what your focusing on., before I perfected the process we are currently using, I had actually stopped using my fresnels in favor of seeing the whole image under higher magnification.

    I am sorry, I did not mean to sound smug or anything, was just trying to understand what you were saying, I actually enjoy using my 8x Rodenstock now and love using my 10x at times because of the detail I can see.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Good shooting

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
    Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass
     
  18. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Dave - you are able to use and 8 & 10X mag on your ground glass?
     
  19. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Hi John,

    Feel free to take a look at my testimonials page, these are all real feedback from my customers, it is located at:

    http://www.satinsnowglass.com/html/testimonials.html

    Also you may want to take a look at the feedback I have received on ebay, as that has been one of the areas we have sold a lot of screens on, our user ID is:

    montanaphotoguy

    and Yes, I use both an 8x and a 10x on my screens with no problem.

    Thanks again.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
    Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I tend to agree with John. the higher the magnification, the more the granularity of the GG competes with the image. My personal preference is to use the lowest magnification that allows critical focusing of the image.

    If only somebody would make and market a Ground Glass with a significantly smoother texture. Oh well... No sense in dreaming crazy dreams. :smile:
     
  21. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    :tongue: Ya know! I recon that Satin Snow stuff would be worth a crack! D#mm, wish I hadn't spent the budget on the Fresnel.
     
  22. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Joe, this is what I've been doing so far. :smile:
    But it feels awkward to do so after a while, and I would like to be able to see the whole negative (or most of it) at the same time.

    Since I am a bit on a budget, on some catalogue I have found a few very cheap "general purpose" loupes (I don't think they are strictly targeted to the photographer, but more to somebody who works on tiny objects like clocks, etc... ) And they are available at those magnifications that I have mentioned before.

    From your contributions, 4X seems to be a good starting point, while I guess that for a 10X the optical quality should be more critical.

    -Stefano
     
  23. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I can see you have not focused through one of our screens have you?

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
    Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass
     
  24. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    If I know anything about the Floating Flotsam - he was out to get a giggle with a little note of facetiousness :D. Your good reputation is preceeding you.
     
  25. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    John,

    I was really just pulling his chain, that is all, thanks..

    Dave
     
  26. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Thanks John,
    I assumed that it was a triplet but the description didn't mention it.