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Loupe / eyeglass / eyepiece


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Honestly, for jewels I think you need a microscope. That's what I would use and I do plan on buying one soon. You can find cheap usb microscopes for as little as 10$ and they seem good. They don'

Eye loupes have a sort of standard progression of working distance/magnification. If you look at the image, the "value" is the working distance in inches. Your 10x has 1 inch, which is pretty tight, a

I've got a small monocular hand held microscope 80x mag, its a cheapie from maplins, cost a few quid and is perfect for quick inspections of jewels, hairsprings etc etc

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  • 7 months later...

Hello,

mostly of the time I use Bergeon 4x (2 1/2 inches focus) loupe while working on movements. I also have a loupe which do not have any markings on it, except number 1 (probably 1 inch focus). The loupe should magnify 10x, but I do not see big difference comparing it to my Bergeon loupe.

It is possible that the second loupe is kind of fake, but I am not sure. What would you recommend for loupe, when it comes to the pallet stones inspection or manipulating hair spring? 12x, 15x?

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I use an ancient B&L 4X loupe 99% of the time. I have a newer B&L 10X as well and there is a big difference in quality...

I hear around the dark alleys and dive bars I frequent that the current Bergeon 10X loupe is superior to the current B&L and that seems reasonable to me. 

Any more than 10X in a loupe and your nose oil will be contaminating the movement... Go to a microscope of some sort beyond 10X. I will use the ones at work (those go up to 1000X although 50X is usually plenty)

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  • 8 months later...

Hi guy's, my apologies if this has been discussed before 

I currently use an optivisor ( DA-7) which has a focal length of 6 inches and 2.75 X magnification 

However I would love to get into using eye loupes and train myself to do so, I have a x10 loupe but the focal distance is far too short to work comfortably and I use it solely for inspection 

I know it all comes down to personal preference but I would love to hear about the focal lengths / magnification that you seasoned guys prefer for general assembly / dissembly and or inspection of jewels / pallets 

 

Thanks in advance 

Ramone 

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Eye loupes have a sort of standard progression of working distance/magnification. If you look at the image, the "value" is the working distance in inches. Your 10x has 1 inch, which is pretty tight, and you'd only use that for inspection not general work. Most people use something between 2.5x and 5x for general work, I mostly use a 3x. As you go to higher powers it becomes more critical that the loupe be at the right distance, as your eye compensates for the little variations and the weaker the easier, so higher powers can be fatiguing.

If you get an unmarked loupe in an Ebay score or flea market, you can determine the focal length by focusing the sun (like we did as kids with a magnifying glass) and measuring the distance from lens to object. This is essentially the same as the working distance, and then you know the power.

loupe.jpg

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I tend to "double up" on 3x reading glasses with my normal reading prescription for general work, and use a 10x loupe for close up inspection of pivots and so forth.

Good light is as important as magnification, and I use an angle-poise desk mounted magnifying lamp in conjunction with the 3x reading glasses. I also have a very bright focus-able LED torch which I can clamp in place on the angle-poise and point at the area I want to see, which helps in some circumstances.

The reading glasses are just "pound shop" cheap ones, nothing fancy. You can, at a pinch wear three pairs one behind the other, but it does get a bit awkward. Using reading glasses in this way, I can go from about 3x to just under 10x magnification, but the higher the magnification, the lower the depth of focus, so things become more fiddly as the magnification improves.

One other trick is "indirect inspection" by using the macro on my camera in conjunction with the magnifying lamp to take pictures of things I am struggling to get a decent view of otherwise. I then transfer those to my laptop and zoom in on screen.

Edited by AndyHull
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3 hours ago, vinn3 said:

   I have used eye glasses for more years than I will admit.  problems and pain will occur  with magnification ,  see a opthomoligist.     vin

Thanks vinn3 for the advice, I will definitely look after my eyes,  I take breaks from time to time 

:)

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2 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Eye loupes have a sort of standard progression of working distance/magnification. If you look at the image, the "value" is the working distance in inches. Your 10x has 1 inch, which is pretty tight, and you'd only use that for inspection not general work. Most people use something between 2.5x and 5x for general work, I mostly use a 3x. As you go to higher powers it becomes more critical that the loupe be at the right distance, as your eye compensates for the little variations and the weaker the easier, so higher powers can be fatiguing.

If you get an unmarked loupe in an Ebay score or flea market, you can determine the focal length by focusing the sun (like we did as kids with a magnifying glass) and measuring the distance from lens to object. This is essentially the same as the working distance, and then you know the power.

loupe.jpg

Thanks nickelsilver 

This really explains it for me, I would definitely try out a 2.5X mag loupe It would be similar to the strength of the optivisor I'm using at the moment, I would probably have to be about 2 inches closer to the work which shouldn't be a problem 

Thanks for the picture of the ASCO loupes aswell 

I will use it as a reference for focal length and strength of magnification 

Thank you,  

 

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2 hours ago, AndyHull said:

I tend to "double up" on 3x reading glasses with my normal reading prescription for general work, and use a 10x loupe for close up inspection of pivots and so forth.

Good light is as important as magnification, and I use an angle-poise desk mounted magnifying lamp in conjunction with the 3x reading glasses. I also have a very bright focus-able LED torch which I can clamp in place on the angle-poise and point at the area I want to see, which helps in some circumstances.

The reading glasses are just "pound shop" cheap ones, nothing fancy. You can, at a pinch wear three pairs one behind the other, but it does get a bit awkward. Using reading glasses in this way, I can go from about 3x to just under 10x magnification, but the higher the magnification, the lower the depth of focus, so things become more fiddly as the magnification improves.

One other trick is "indirect inspection" by using the macro on my camera in conjunction with the magnifying lamp to take pictures of things I am struggling to get a decent view of otherwise. I then transfer those to my laptop and zoom in on screen.

Thank you Andy 

I will definitely need to upgrade my light I'm currently using a desk top reading lamp 

This is a poor light but I plan on getting something better,  I guess loupes are useless with no light 

I plan on using the 2.5X magnification loupe with a head spring 'holder' so I don't have to squint to keep it from falling 

 

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Just buy different loupe’s and find what you are comfortable with. Our eyesight is precious; you do not want to strain your sight.

If the loupe fogs up, drill a hole in the side.

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personally not a fan of eye loops i dont like using only one eye, i do use them for inspection and more tedious work, like staking a new staff, fitting jewels, escapement inspection, etc. Normal work i use a headband magnifier, up to 5x, because anything higher you have to get too close and head gear is banging into the table and blocking out my light. for extreme inspections like jewel holes, pivots, pivot polishing, i have a 4" led microscope from 50x up to 1000x. I can actually see surface texture of a pivot, i can even connect to computer monitor and take snap shots directly from the scope on an SD card. Purchased on ebay for $60 the best money i ever spent.

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AMScope also has a range of affordable stereo microscopes.  You might be able to get one in the range of $250USD, depending on what you want.  We have a couple at work that we use for PCB rework and research and they're fine.  Certainly not top quality, but functional.  I find I can work for hours using them without issue.

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4 hours ago, Ramone said:

Thank you Andy 

I will definitely need to upgrade my light I'm currently using a desk top reading lamp 

This is a poor light but I plan on getting something better,  I guess loupes are useless with no light 

I plan on using the 2.5X magnification loupe with a head spring 'holder' so I don't have to squint to keep it from falling 

 

  "head band  magnifier"   good idea.

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49 minutes ago, vinn3 said:

  "head band  magnifier"   good idea.

They are pretty useful too I have one in the office.

I think the order of usefulness of different magnifiers goes something like this.

With my naked eye, I can see the watch and tell the time.

With my reading glasses I can appreciate the texture of the dial, and do simple tasks, like fit a winding stem and hands.

With an additional pair of glasses I can lift and re-fit a balance, work with most bridges, align pivots and so forth.

With the illuminated desk magnifier and my reading glasses, and some fine tweezers and a couple of pins I can do more delicate work, like sorting out hairsprings.

RIMG0595.thumb.JPG.d4177590285a63c9cfa63dc44b6108f5.JPG
With 2 pairs of 3.5 reading glasses (or a head magnifier or better still the 10x loupe) I can examine the general state of the pivots, judge the level of dirt on the jewels.

RIMG0597.thumb.JPG.5a0f2c719758d64cd45e9324e11905b9.JPG

With my optical microscope at its lowest magnification I can examine the actual wear on the pivots, jewels etc.

RIMG0591.thumb.JPG.cb3e5f82ebb442113e8ce232c06b16bd.JPG


With the next stage, I can see the surface detail of the metal finish on individual watch teeth, and the smallest of debris, and globs of gunk trapped between the teeth.

RIMG0592.thumb.JPG.b46ea622bac88fc33c6b5fc73879a5b5.JPG

The maximum optical magnification lets me see the structure of the fungal spores on the surface of the dial. :D

RIMG0594.thumb.JPG.27d9fc4f4f4e3b9876437d9400ececbe.JPG

... and finally, with my naked eye I can see that this work area is in serious need of a tidy again. :P Fortunately this is generally *not* where I tend to work on the delicate stuff, but I know what my next task is.

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The microscope is just a fairly conventional, if slightly ancient optical microscope, but I can illuminate from both above and below, which helps to give good contrast.

I have an adapter that I fabricated a while back, which allows me to fix a Canon point and shoot camera in place of one of the eye pieces. It is in a box somewhere in the attic. I have yet to track it down following a house move over a year ago. :unsure:

Microscopes are another area where good controllable lighting is critical for good results.

If you want to know a little more about this particular microscope, -> click here <-

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12 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Just buy different loupe’s and find what you are comfortable with. Our eyesight is precious; you do not want to strain your sight.

If the loupe fogs up, drill a hole in the side.

Thank for the tip Hippy,  I have experienced fogging up of the lens before 

I'll drill a hole on the side for some ventilation 

Will be getting a number 4 (2.5X magnification)  loupe soon,  a bergeon 4422 

Will give it a shot 

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10 hours ago, saswatch88 said:

personally not a fan of eye loops i dont like using only one eye, i do use them for inspection and more tedious work, like staking a new staff, fitting jewels, escapement inspection, etc. Normal work i use a headband magnifier, up to 5x, because anything higher you have to get too close and head gear is banging into the table and blocking out my light. for extreme inspections like jewel holes, pivots, pivot polishing, i have a 4" led microscope from 50x up to 1000x. I can actually see surface texture of a pivot, i can even connect to computer monitor and take snap shots directly from the scope on an SD card. Purchased on ebay for $60 the best money i ever spent.

Thank you saswatch for the info 

I'm currently using a headband magnifier aswell ( optivisor)  but I would love to try out working with loupes 

 

The microscope must be amazing to use 

I'm sure the detail at even 40X magnification is crisp 

I'll definitely look at getting one in the future for inspection

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10 hours ago, Dpastl said:

AMScope also has a range of affordable stereo microscopes.  You might be able to get one in the range of $250USD, depending on what you want.  We have a couple at work that we use for PCB rework and research and they're fine.  Certainly not top quality, but functional.  I find I can work for hours using them without issue.

Thank you Dpastl 

I'll consider getting one in the future 

It would be a dream for inspection of jewels / pivots/ escapement 

 

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7 hours ago, AndyHull said:

They are pretty useful too I have one in the office.

I think the order of usefulness of different magnifiers goes something like this.

With my naked eye, I can see the watch and tell the time.

With my reading glasses I can appreciate the texture of the dial, and do simple tasks, like fit a winding stem and hands.

With an additional pair of glasses I can lift and re-fit a balance, work with most bridges, align pivots and so forth.

With the illuminated desk magnifier and my reading glasses, and some fine tweezers and a couple of pins I can do more delicate work, like sorting out hairsprings.

RIMG0595.thumb.JPG.d4177590285a63c9cfa63dc44b6108f5.JPG
With 2 pairs of 3.5 reading glasses (or a head magnifier or better still the 10x loupe) I can examine the general state of the pivots, judge the level of dirt on the jewels.

RIMG0597.thumb.JPG.5a0f2c719758d64cd45e9324e11905b9.JPG

With my optical microscope at its lowest magnification I can examine the actual wear on the pivots, jewels etc.

RIMG0591.thumb.JPG.cb3e5f82ebb442113e8ce232c06b16bd.JPG


With the next stage, I can see the surface detail of the metal finish on individual watch teeth, and the smallest of debris, and globs of gunk trapped between the teeth.

RIMG0592.thumb.JPG.b46ea622bac88fc33c6b5fc73879a5b5.JPG

The maximum optical magnification lets me see the structure of the fungal spores on the surface of the dial. :D

RIMG0594.thumb.JPG.27d9fc4f4f4e3b9876437d9400ececbe.JPG

... and finally, with my naked eye I can see that this work area is in serious need of a tidy again. :P Fortunately this is generally *not* where I tend to work on the delicate stuff, but I know what my next task is.

Thanks so much Andy 

Definitely a great set up in stages of magnification 

The microscope is awesome.  I look forward to building up my " magnification station " lol 

I guess if you can't see it,  you can't clean it 

Or repair it, this really teaches me the  importance of good lighting and magnification 

This is one aspect of repair where shortcuts don't help 

 

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