viewing negatives on a light box with cataracts

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by David Brown, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    This is good news in a less-than-good situation. I am starting to grow cataracts. They are in the early stages, of course - way too early for surgery. The left eye is unaffected to date, but the right eye has reached the point in the last couple of years that it can only be corrected to 20/40 since everything is just a bit fuzzy in that eye. It's like looking through wax paper. Not a problem for the most part.

    However, my right eye was my focusing eye! So, I've switched to the left eye and that is working for cameras and even the grain focuser in the darkroom. But, it has gotten to the point that using a loupe on a light table for negatives just wasn't working. The right eye was fuzzy, of course, and the left eye is just too far sighted, even with glasses, and I couldn't focus. My loupe is not adjustable.

    Solution: my Optivisor:

    http://www.doneganoptical.com/products/optivisor

    I've had this for decades - don't even remember what I originally bought it for (probably not photography). Mine came with the 2.5x lens, and that seems to work the best right now. I had purchased a 1.75x and 3.5X lens along the way, but the middle one is still the best overall. Most of my work is 120. The stronger one works for 35mm, but won't "cover" 120 negatives and it's too much trouble to switch the lenses out for that little bit of gain between formats. If I was doing something requiring really close up work, it would be worth it.

    Anyway, this is something to bear in mind if you are getting to the same point.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  2. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    It only keeps progressing. I got so I couldn't focus my camera. Finally had the lens implants, and could see better than when I was a kid (always had bad eyes). Of course you don't do it until it's really needed, but boy, is it good.
    My Wife got the new focusing implants this Spring, and really loves them. When the time comes, think about that.
     
  3. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I ended up giving my father an auto focus camera instead with an eyepiece magnifier as he also has cataracts in his focusing eye. He is going for the removal and implant surgery within the next few months. But is having a hard time deciding on the standard monofocal lens or the newer multifocal option. The doctor said the newer option can be done but some patients don't adjust well. I've done a bit of research and much of it points out that with the multifocals most things are not sharp at any distance. If you dont mind sharing what option did you and your wife end up choosing?
     
  4. al5256

    al5256 Member

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    Hi,
    I had a retinal detachment at my right eye and got the cataracts surgery mandatorily when I was 50. That was the year I restarted 35mm film developing and printing after digital. I was so concerned at the beginning and I stopped using Nikon FE and purchased a N65 for auto focus. Anyway now my right eye became better than the left; I started medium format. First I bought a Mamiya 645 with a FK402 finder (+5 to -5 diopter adjustable) then I purchased a RB67 and even use it with WLF finder with no problems. Cataracts surgery is a very simple operation that takes only 15minutes. If you have the problem get the surgery as soon as possible. Good luck for all of us who has cataracts.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    That's one of the ironies of having cataracts. You can't get them fixed until they get bad enough. Trust me, when "the time comes" I'm doing it.
     
  6. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Yeah, the doctor has been monitoring mine with annual exams. They are apparently a very slow growing variety, for about 6 or 7 years now, I've gone for an exam thinking "this is gonna be it" and so far, not yet. I suppose there is some modest element of risk that influences the idea of waiting, but I think I would opt for sooner rather than later given a choice.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Cats are irritating things. My Mumsy had her cats removed in 15 minutes after putting the surgery off for a few years. She's 94. Wore a patch for one week with frequent eye drops and after 3 weeks, vision as good as new (!). Recently went back for her other eye, and now that too, is good as new. We've come a long way in fixing this quickly, effectivelly and painlessly.

    I don't have cats but I have normal age-related vision deterioration and get by (adequately!) with 1.5D magnifiers, even though an optometrist has measured my specs needs at +2.25D for detail work. But
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    My father only had sight in one eye after a retina detachment when he was young. The 'good' eye was very short sighted requiring a glasses lens which only had actual lens in the centre. If it carried on to the edge it would have been a couple of inches thick. Later he had a contact lens which was two or three Dioptres stronger than the manufacturer officially made them.

    After a cataract operation in which the old lens is ultrasonically destroyed then removed by syringe and a new lens implanted - all through a 2mm cut, he had perfect vision from arm's length to infinity and only needed reading glasses. He spent several months just walking around looking at things seeing them clearer than he had for fifty years.

    I don't think that's the case any more.


    Steve.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    viewing negatives on a light box with cataracts

    How did your lightbox develop cateracts ? :D
     
  10. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    This may be just one more case where insurance coverage, rather than best practices, determines eligibility.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Perhaps in your country!


    Steve.
     
  12. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    No, as has been mentioned, most eye doctors consider the risks of the surgery to be enough to not do the surgery until the situation is bad enough. Anecdotally, most people say afterward that they wish they had done it sooner. However, these are not the very few who had things go wrong. Fortunately, it is very, very few. The point is, cataract surgery is surgery, and one does not do it without due consideration of all factors, including potential risks. Just having 20/40 vision in one eye and having to use the other eye for focusing cameras is not enough. I have had a retinal tear in one eye and a detachment in the other. Both were repaired totally. But, I'm still not looking forward to the next time a surgeon takes a needle, scalpel, or even a laser to one of my eyeballs.

    And seriously, guys, I just wanted to suggest using a visor if one has a similar problem. Discussions of insurance and national health care issues is an unwanted, unintended consequence; and quite frankly, is soap box stuff.. Give it a rest.
     
  13. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    It is very difficult to determine whether there's any ulterior motivation behind opthalmologists' aversion to early cataract surgery. That a procedure might not be reimbursable could easily influence what course of action (or inaction) is recommended.

    The way this thread developed is a natural consequence of its topic. I see no reason to avoid addressing others' posts and don't plan to do so.