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Is loupe a loupe a loupe?

  1. cvrle1

    cvrle1 Feb 25, 2017

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    Quick, stupid question of the day. Are all loupes generally made the same, or is there a big difference between $5 ebay special and $150 Omega made ones? Same magnification models of course (ex 10X)

    Thanks
     
  2. alam

    alam Feb 25, 2017

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  3. marcnorth

    marcnorth Feb 25, 2017

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    For infrequent use, a 10x triplet from a maker comparable to Bausch & Lomb is probably as far as you're likely to want (or need) to go. After that you'll be chasing superlative qualities up into a cost region where you're unlikely to actually experience benefit in most day to day situations. Spending around $40 USD gets you a great 10x triplet, more than adequate for watch inspection. I posted in another thread that shows how to do a simple test on a loupe for optical aberations: https://omegaforums.net/threads/in-the-loupe.53349/#post-647975

    If you're expecting to need binocular magnification for sustained work, using something like an optivisor, I'd definitely say don't scrimp on that. I do metalwork in my garage on the weekends where I can spend hours on end with sustained 3x magnification, and I was honestly shocked how much better it was on my eyes when I switched to a more premium optivisor over a cheapie I'd had for ages. Far less fatigue, better focus, more comfortable to wear, etc.
     
  4. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Feb 26, 2017

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    For short duration inspection (few minutes) you don't need to spend a lot of money. But if you are using a loupe all day, every day (like me), or even just for a few hours, then you need to purchase something of quality to reduce eye fatigue. I use 4X for general assembly work where not a lot of magnification is required - I have a good quality flip down single loupe (Behr) that mounts to a pair of reading glasses, like you see sitting on my bench here:

    [​IMG]

    For more detailed tasks I use a 10X loupe on a wire that goes around my head, and that is an aplanatic loupe - this type reduces spherical aberration in the field of view, so the view is clear and undistorted out to the very edges - this reduces eye strain a great deal compared to a regular loupe.

    Then for even more detailed work (oiling co-axial escapements for example) I use this:

    [​IMG]

    52X magnification, very clear optics, illumination above and below that can be adjusted independently, and lots of working distance. This is the same scope I used at Omega to train on the co-axial, so I knew it would work well for those, but of course I use if for many other tasks as well.

    Cheers, Al
     
  5. night0wl

    night0wl Feb 27, 2017

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    Archer, do you prefer a white bench mat over a green ? I thought the green was supposed to reduce glare ? Just noticed the white from your pictures and was curious.
     
  6. cvrle1

    cvrle1 Feb 27, 2017

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    Thanks Al and co for great feedback. I am looking for 1 just for few minutes use here and there. Inspect a watch before purchase for example or just to look at mine from time to time.
     
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  7. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Feb 27, 2017

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    I've also used my iPhone when out without my BelOMO.

    Open the camera, swipe to increase zoom to max, hold the watch in/on the fingers of your left hand with the iPhone resting against the "Mount of Venus" (the pad on your palm at the base of your thumb).

    You can move the watch around quite easily and bring any area of concern into focus by moving your fingers as needed. Also handy for snaps for later reference.
     
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  8. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Feb 27, 2017

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    It's actually grey, not white. I don't have any issues with glare from the bench mat. The mat is actually green on the other side, but I prefer the grey side. The material is Borco - there are other names for it but it's the material use to cover drafting tables.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  9. cchen

    cchen Feb 27, 2017

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    You can also enable the magnifier function under accessibility shortcut, which offers higher magnification than using the camera
     
  10. cchen

    cchen Feb 27, 2017

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  11. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Feb 27, 2017

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    Nope! Not a stupid question at all, and some really interesting answers from Archer and others. I've been wondering about this for a while now.
    When you consider how much of this watch malarky comes down to the observation of fine detail, the ability to see that detail clearly is so important.

    I read one of the posts on 'concentric sub dial circles last night and started panicking because I couldn't see them on my brown dial, mid 60's, 321, Speedy.:eek:

    I did the phone camera 'zoom thing' as mentioned by JiminOz, spotted the circles on all three sub dials and managed to calm myself down.
    Jeeeez!!!::shy:: I checked out the above article in the link by alum and I'm going to save myself any further stress by buying a triplet loupe tomorrow.

    Thankyou for raising this one and to all who contributed.
     
    20170226_134744-1.jpg
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  12. marcnorth

    marcnorth Feb 27, 2017

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    There may be specific use cases for when one of these makes sense. For me though, this:

    IMG_9986.jpg

    Costs around $40 for a good one that lasts pretty much forever and can fit in this:

    jeans_pocket.jpg


    And can be easily held in front of a smartphone to produce these (iPhone 7 plus rear camera, 2x optical before a 10x hastings triplet):

    IMG_9988.jpg


    IMG_9987.jpg
    For me personally, my set up works well for the types of use cases in which I find myself most often.

    Did you buy the loupe system, and can you share some of your images you've shot with it?

    Marc
     
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  13. cchen

    cchen Feb 27, 2017

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    I did not. Too much $$$$. I'd like one in the future though.... the pictures from it are amazing, no distortion at all around the edges.

    i currently use a nikon pocket loupe i bought from japan
     
  14. maecenas

    maecenas Feb 27, 2017

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    I have the 10x one. It was a gift (albeit one that I might have angled for for while...) so I'll pretend that gets me off the hook from the money angle.

    I like it quite a bit for the fact that the field of view is very nice. Pretty easy to hold to the phone to take pictures, and being fully rubberized means you won't accidentally scratch the watch.

    I dislike it for the fact that it's big and inconvenient. Doesn't fit in my pocket. Fits "ok" in a jacket pocket. That's a bit frustrating- when I'm going out and about and might happen to pop into a watch shop, it's really inconvenient. I have to be in serious watch mood to take it along.

    On the other hand, no one will question your WIS street cred when you pop that bad boy out in a shop...

    One more thing, with an asterisk*: I can see now why they have a light accessory, because at least at 10x, you get *really* close and it's hard to get good lighting.
    * Holy $*@&, just saw the light accessory is another $300... that's "professional use only" in my opinion, making money off of magnified watch photos...
     
  15. DaveK

    DaveK Jun 16, 2019

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    With much theatrical flair, my loupe self-destructed when I took it out of my pocket in a pawn shop last week :(. Who knew that one loupe was made of so many pieces?! I am now seeking a replacement that is quality and portable (I carry one 24/7 in my pack). My question is, is there a thinner or super-portable loupe that folks have been enjoying? I don’t see the benefit in a LED loupe, so a straight forward loupe is what I am envisioning. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     
  16. JwRosenthal

    JwRosenthal Jun 16, 2019

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    That triplet is about as good as it can get for the occasional pocket carry use. $35 at Amazon,
    Just dropped one into my wish list
     
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  17. padders

    padders Jun 16, 2019

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    marco, Eve and DaveK like this.
  18. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Jun 16, 2019

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    I also use them a daily. Usually a 5x loop is adequate for the job, but when you really need to get down to it a Mitutoyo series 183 with a number 5 reticle gets the job done. When I pull it out to look some sample circuit board over and tell the engineer his traces are over by 0.002" it usually get a dropped jaw or two.
    183-131.jpg 51CZoWfESbL._SX342_.jpg page0439.jpg
     
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  19. JwRosenthal

    JwRosenthal Jun 16, 2019

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    I still use my photographic loupes (Peak, Toyo, Schneider) regularly for work and what I like about them is the clear sides that allow light to come in.
    You can use a flashlight or desk lamp off to the side and it illuminates perfectly even when you’re on top of the subject
     
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  20. Canuck

    Canuck Jun 16, 2019

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    One type of lens that is preferred by many is called an aplanatic lens. A loupe with an aplanatic lens looks pretty much like any loupe. But an aplanatic lens is more money. The benefit with these lenses is lack of distortion of the image for the full breadth of field. Many lenses give sharp focus at the center of the lens, but less sharp around the perimeter of the image. Aplanatic lenses solve that problem. Gemologists often use aplanatic lenses in their work.

    A good example of distortion created by a lens that is not aplanatic is an image earlier in this thread. Notice how the centre of the image is well focussed, while the perimeter is blurred.

    04AEF1FB-6700-462D-B658-10EB51B64701.jpeg
     
    Edited Jun 16, 2019
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