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  1. #1
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Focusing Lupe Comparisons including "New" Lupe

    Well, I wanted to let everyone know that I received the Schneider 8X Lupe. First of all, I was in error the housing does appear to be made out of plastic. The lupe is smaller than I would have thought, has good optics, and weighs a remarkable 1.2 oz including the neck strap.

    I have run some non scientific tests of this lupe and a series of others that may be of interest to read. First I set up my Linhof Technikardan 45S with a new Satin Snow GG and a grid overlay, Linhof Fresnel, with a hybrid BlackJacket Dark cloth, mounted on one of my smaller Gitzo Carbon fiber tripods- the 1257LVL. The camera was mounted via 2 Arca 3" QR plates to a Kirk 2 1/2" Arca Type QR which was attached to a Markins M20. Let me make comment however that in the tests I did not lock the controls of the camera.

    I used 3 lenses to test the set-up a Rodenstock f6.8 90mm Grandagon N MC, Rodenstock f9.0 300mm Apo Ronar, and a Nikon f11.0 500mm ED T Telephoto lens. All lenses were used wide open to check the ease of use of a series of lupes with these slower optics. Most of the tests were conducted using the Rodenstock f9.0 300mm Apo Ronar and the Nikon f11.0 500mm ED T Telephoto.

    I compared the focus and ease of focus of the following lupes: 1) Schneider Kreuznach 8X Lupe, 2) Wista 7X Hood Lupe, 3) 5X Leica Universal Lupe, 4) Fujifilm Professional 4X Lupe, 5) Rodenstock 4X Lupe, 6) Horizon 4X Lupe, and 7) Rodenstock 6x6 3X Lupe.

    I am quite near sited and wear glasses, but frequently will focus my cameras including my Technikardan 45S without them. All the tests were focused with my left eye without glasses.

    I focused on several items outside, one the key hole of a lock to an outside door to my garage that was about 2/3 out from the center and a set of shutters on the house behind my home which were between center and about 1/3 out from the center.

    I found that the Schneider 8X lupe is usable with these lenses, but with some difficulty. This narrow field Lupe optics are sharp, but it did pick up more grain of the ground glass and the Fresnel Lens. This is short with low eye relief and requires the viewer to be looking right down the lens axis otherwise there are abberation problems. I have to decide for myself how I want to use this new lupe, I may carry it on ocassion and/or for the lightest weight backpacking lupe.

    I was unable to adjust the focus of my Rodenstock 6 x 6 3X lupe for ground glass focusing.

    The Wista 7X Hood Lupe which has been my go to Lupe for years performed quite well with a good distance from the ground glass, but relatively narrow field of view. The optics are sharp, but picked up less grain from the ground glass and the Fresnel Lens that the 8X Lupe but a little more than the 5X and the 4X Lupes.

    The performance of the Rodenstock and the Fujifilm Professional 4X Lupe were similar but not up to the performance of the Horizon 4X and the Leica 5X Lupes. The Horizon and the Leica seemed close in performance, the Leica perhaps slightly better. Of all the Lupes the Leica is the most expensive and probably the best constructed.

    The surprise of all the Lupes is the Horizon which was a gift from one of my friends at Bogen Photo (they used to be the distributor) and this one needed the skirt to be glued back in place. The Leica Lupe may be slightly more magnification at 5X than the Horizon at 4X. From what I was told by my friends at Bogen, and I can not confirm this, this Russian Lupe is actually made from Zeiss Jena optics. Judging from the performance, I believe it. This is a great inexpensive Lupe (plastic housing) if anyone is looking for one. It has a Square skirt and a tremendous field of view. The image was quite bright, extremely sharp and contrasty with very good color, and quite detailed.

    For me at this point, I believe that my first choice for lupes will either be my Horizon 4X or my Wista 7X Hood Lupe, with the Schneider 8X lupe selected primarily for light weight backpacking or to supplement the Horizon. Now all I have to do is to make a neck strap for the Horizon and I am in business.
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

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    Serious loop action. I suspect being near sighted you can see more cleary close up than most people. Do you have problems with the naked eye close up on the gg? I'm dreadfully near sighted and I don't use a loop because thats where my vision sings!

  3. #3
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrigan
    Serious loop action. I suspect being near sighted you can see more cleary close up than most people. Do you have problems with the naked eye close up on the gg? I'm dreadfully near sighted and I don't use a loop because thats where my vision sings!
    Harrigan,

    No I do not have a problem. To take in the whole screen I have to step back. But to assure focus, and to maintain focus for the entire image and to try to maintain focus through the image, I rely on a Lupe or Loupe for focusing confirmation. You have to understand that much of my work can be enlarged to 24" x 30" and even 40" x 50" via a Chromira or LightJet printer. In the case of a 56mm x 112mm Horseman reducing back, we have the ability to print 4' x 8' (but I have no idea how anyone would frame this size).

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  4. #4

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    wow, so a 'lupe' is not just a magnifying glass?

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    My goodness! I've never seen anyone take focusing loupes so seriously! HAHA!

    Personally, I've never seen the purpose of using one because I see just look at the ground glass and see if its in focus or not. If its a hair off, I always stop down the lens so its never a problem.

    Maybe I will try using one the next time in the field, see if my prints come out sharper or if it helps. I just really dont want to carry extra crap in the field with me.

  6. #6
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
    My goodness! I've never seen anyone take focusing loupes so seriously! HAHA!

    Personally, I've never seen the purpose of using one because I see just look at the ground glass and see if its in focus or not. If its a hair off, I always stop down the lens so its never a problem.

    Maybe I will try using one the next time in the field, see if my prints come out sharper or if it helps. I just really dont want to carry extra crap in the field with me.
    Ryan,

    I can appreciate the idea of not wanting to carry any additional stuff or weight into the field. You and the UL and 8X10 photographers carry a tremendous amount of weight without a doubt.

    I too try to stop down, but I try to get the focus as accurately as I can and If I can use tilts to maintain the focus, so much the better. If not then I generally use the trusty Linhof guide included with my Technikardan 45S to maintain focus if needed. If I do not want to maintain focus...... And don't forget with making such large prints from 4X5 I want to be as close to dead on focus as I can.

    And by the way, that Horizon Lupe weighs only about 3.6 oz., not that much additional weight for 8X10 and ULF shooters. But if you are only contact printing, focus is not quite as important.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  7. #7

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    I'm actually going to be shooting some 4x5 on my upcoming trip to Iceland with the intentions of enlarging them to 16x20. I have not shot 4x5 for many years, so it's become somewhat difficult to view such a tiny image on a tiny ground glass. The idea of using a loupe might be a good idea, since I want very sharp negatives for enlarging (ACK!).

    I'm not sure what a decent loupe costs, so any suggestions for a very basic one that just "does the job", so to say?

  8. #8

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    Ryan the toyo loupe is excellent. That is the one I use. Jim from Midwest is where I got mine. I am planning on gettting another.

  9. #9
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
    I'm actually going to be shooting some 4x5 on my upcoming trip to Iceland with the intentions of enlarging them to 16x20. I have not shot 4x5 for many years, so it's become somewhat difficult to view such a tiny image on a tiny ground glass. The idea of using a loupe might be a good idea, since I want very sharp negatives for enlarging (ACK!).

    I'm not sure what a decent loupe costs, so any suggestions for a very basic one that just "does the job", so to say?
    Ryan,

    The Horizon 4X Lupe that I discussed above probably has much better optics than the Toyo 3.6X Lupe. It is not as tall as the Toyo, and has a B&H Photo price of only $41.95.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  10. #10

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    My vision sucks big time but the only time I can utilize my amplified near sighted clarity is for focusing the gg and for spotting. Regardless if you are worried about it then use a lope. As Rich has noted lupes are not equal and it really takes some good optical design to make a good lupe. I must admit I do own one but I've not used it for focus on any format in years. I shoot 4x5 commercial architecture and my images get drum scanned or topaz scanned and blow up very large at times.

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