Looking for a loupe, and now my head is spinning
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?
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?
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).
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.
Originally Posted by LoganCAdams
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 !
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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.
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.
Originally Posted by LoganCAdams
I'd advise you to try several different loupes if you can before settling on one.
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.
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.
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.