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I'll be interested to see if anyone's using this type of magnifier, the different models vary in magnification and working distance.. I just dislike loupes, and tend to spend a lot of time with my microscope - which is great but not always ideal for everything.

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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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I invested in some Carl Zeiss binocular magnifiers some years ago. They are fairly adjustable, but if you have different doipter needs for each eye are useless. They are only 2.3x mag, compared to 3.5, 4, or 5x which is typical. The working distance is quite large though.

I put them on sometimes, but honestly if I'm the least bit struggling with my 3.5x loupe I slide over to the binocular microscope. Way easier. I highly recommend AO (american optical) scopes, they are under the radar and equivalent to modern Leitz and Nikon scopes. You can always get a dud though (true for any scope 30+ years old).

There are some new "magnivisor" type binocular loupes that have been coming out, with LED lights and everything that look kinda cool, but actually my biggest concern is the lighting, as it's often easier to assess something with a fixed light source.

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As a dentist, I have been using binocular loupes for almost 20 years. But it's just unnatural to use it for watch repair. When doing watch repair, I prefer to hunch up with the watch right in front of my nose, with wrist and elbow supports. I find that this gives me the best stability, especially after a cup of coffee.

And binocular loupes have many designs. The 1 in the picture might not be suitable for everyone. It offers adjustable interpupillary distance, but there is no adjustment for declination angle and optical plane height. So unless your face fit the frames perfectly, the loupes might not work for you.

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Thank you, everyone! A lot of good info to sift through. Again, I suffer from migraines and single loupes trigger them after a varying times of use. The microscopes are just not in my price realm, and I tend to be as @HectorLooi mentioned "hunch up with the watch right in front of my nose."

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I'm looking for recommendations based on everyone's experience for the optimal loupe magnification/focal length that works the best for pallet jewel or escape wheel lubrication with 9415 grease. Is 10X sufficient or does higher power work better; if the latter is true at what point is the focal length too close for practicality?

I've been using a hand-held 10X triplet lens for that one task but looking for an aplanatic eye loupe, and they're available as 10X, 12X, 14X. Any thoughts and experiences are appreciated.

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2 hours ago, fixermole said:

I'm looking for recommendations based on everyone's experience for the optimal loupe magnification/focal length that works the best for pallet jewel or escape wheel lubrication

What works for me may not work for you - personal preferences.

x10 is fine, anything more - you will have to get closer, less comfortable to work with.

I like using microscope. You may want to read this:

https://meijitechno.com/how-to-change-magnification-on-stereo-microscopes/

select EMZ-5 as an example with x10 eyepieces and note he working distance, etc.

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As said it's very personal. Myself for example can't use the eypiece without a band and dislike too high a magnification. To get to a next level look (pun intended) into a stereo microscope

 

 

 

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Hi guys 

i am about to start on replacing balance staffs and jewels over the next couple of months. I noticed in marks video on replacing staffs he use a eyeglass to check the rivet is ok. 

I have just tried my old eyeglass its a x7 and a x10 and they seem the same to me, To get any kind of vision through the x7 you need to be near enough to be touching what you want to view with the eyeglass and then the view is not big enough. so i used the x10 and its bigger from the same position than the x7 (nearness) but blurred as to be know use. so if i move back to get a clear view its just the same magnification as the x7 just further away.

So what am i missing and is there a solution.  more magnification x20 x40?

cheers

gary

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46 minutes ago, gary17 said:

Hi guys 

i am about to start on replacing balance staffs and jewels over the next couple of months. I noticed in marks video on replacing staffs he use a eyeglass to check the rivet is ok. 

I have just tried my old eyeglass its a x7 and a x10 and they seem the same to me, To get any kind of vision through the x7 you need to be near enough to be touching what you want to view with the eyeglass and then the view is not big enough. so i used the x10 and its bigger from the same position than the x7 (nearness) but blurred as to be know use. so if i move back to get a clear view its just the same magnification as the x7 just further away.

So what am i missing and is there a solution.  more magnification x20 x40?

cheers

gary

I have used these for years, x10 to start and x25 to finish teh pivots. Cheap and effective. I also remove one side for work where i am no afraid of scards of metal from the lathe.  Check out my lathe videos.

 

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There is a lot of difference between one manufacturer's x10 and another's. Same goes for any other magnification. In my experience, the whole thing is a bit of a minefield. You buy a handful of different magnifications, and discard the ones which are no use for one reason  or another, then guard the good ones with your life, whatever x-factor is written on the box.

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My favorite hi power loupes are Asco aplanetic (the achromats are awesome too). They aren't cheap but they're goood. I use them mostly for checking positioning of staffs on the jacot tool, or a quick check of things at the bench that don't warrant shifting to the microscope.  10x most of the time, 12x sometimes. There are loupes to 20x or more but I think they are a vestige of a time when binocular scopes in the 7-30x range were rare and expensive. I think somewhere I have a 30x loupe but I just got it as a curiosity.

 

I wouldn't work with one though, just for inspection. I've had a microscope over my lathe since I was in school last century, literally couldn't work without it. Ain't no loupe gonna help cutting a Piaget 9P staff at 1.60mm total length haha.

http://www.schurch-asco.com/e-shop/catalog/index.php?cPath=114_115_226&osCsid=604fcd0e090a4d4fefae3feb8ce1c5b6

 

 

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1 hour ago, jdrichard said:

These ones...forgot the picture

10A94C20-5ACC-423A-9611-0A9531BE16C0.jpeg

so you close one eye or the other back and forth? do your eyes get tired from this?

 

49 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

My favorite hi power loupes are Asco aplanetic

are they really that much clearer, or less distortion that a non aplantic loupe? curious about that..

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8 hours ago, MechanicMike said:

are they really that much clearer, or less distortion that a non aplantic loupe? curious about that..

I really notice a difference, they just have a nicer undistorted image. In the Schurch catalog they have their H2 loupes that look like regular loupes but are double lens and 10 or 14x; though they have larger lenses I find the distorted field around the central view pretty distracting and uncomfortable for the eye.

 

I have two every day loupes for general work that I go back and forth with, both were made by Wild Heerbrug who unfortanately don't make loupes like this anymore. One is a 3x simple double convex lens, the other a 5x with a pair of plano-convex lenses. Not many makers bothered to use a pair of lenses for 5x; I don't know if it's a true aplanatic but the image is great. Most of the time I just stick with the 3x.

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  • jdm changed the title to Loupe / eyeglass / eyepiece
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I use a microscope for jewels also.  Outside of that, I kinda built up my supplies on a shoestring budget.  I have some strong reading glasses for when I just need to see what I'm doing close-up. I also have a headset magnifier that Sarah got for me. I have a couple triplet loupes in my tool chest. But, this'll sound weird, the magnifier I seem to grab the most is a little lens array that I salvaged from an old video recorder. It's even more powerful than any loupe I have. I can even make out cracks in jewels (but I still use the microscope for a better look). It's ideal for initial inspections.  But generally, with my astigmatism and other eye issues, I like to keep a variety of things around and grab whichever one I need to, so as to get the view I desire.  I need lots of options.

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8 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

I really notice a difference, they just have a nicer undistorted image. In the Schurch catalog they have their H2 loupes that look like regular loupes but are double lens and 10 or 14x; though they have larger lenses I find the distorted field around the central view pretty distracting and uncomfortable for the eye.

 

I have two every day loupes for general work that I go back and forth with, both were made by Wild Heerbrug who unfortanately don't make loupes like this anymore. One is a 3x simple double convex lens, the other a 5x with a pair of plano-convex lenses. Not many makers bothered to use a pair of lenses for 5x; I don't know if it's a true aplanatic but the image is great. Most of the time I just stick with the 3x.

I may have to give a serious look. As I mentioned elsewhere, I always seem to be on a perpetual hunt for the perfect loupe, because my eyes have well... kept up with my age. True they are expensive but if it's the last one I would own, to me it's worth it.

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4 hours ago, rodabod said:

I find they are a bit like tweezers - you have to try several. Nowadays I mainly use an AF branded loupe for coarse work.

Peak microscope with 100x eyepiece for pivot/jewel work.

Yes, it depends on everyone's needs and comfort. I did those before :

1- Ordered 4x and 10x from Aliexpress. Very cheap, magnification of 10x feel like 5x and glass has some staining on the reflective coating.

2- Ordered an 4x aluminium and 10x H1 directly from Asco. They are great compared to the cheap ones but still struggling to use it comfortably with loupe holder.

3- While ordering a bunch of tools and supplies at a canadian material house, I stumbled on clip-on loupes which isn't expensive so I ordered a 4x clip-on. I also bought a 3.5x reading glasses at a drugstore. This is my perfect setup and view is great (3.5x glasses is good by itself for general work and with the 4x, I can get close enough even on the tiniest parts. I still use the Asco 10x for closer inspection.

4- I also bought a cheap electronic microscope from Amazon and while magnification is good enough, handling and illumination is something i really struggle as I need to look on my iPad for the view and the direction seems reversed both ways, making it hard to coordinate hand-eye movement under it.

I'm currently thinking about buying a stereo microscope for inspection to replace the cheap electronic microscope. Not sure which one is a good option.

 

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5 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

I use a microscope for jewels also.  Outside of that, I kinda built up my supplies on a shoestring budget.  I have some strong reading glasses for when I just need to see what I'm doing close-up. I also have a headset magnifier that Sarah got for me. I have a couple triplet loupes in my tool chest. But, this'll sound weird, the magnifier I seem to grab the most is a little lens array that I salvaged from an old video recorder. It's even more powerful than any loupe I have. I can even make out cracks in jewels (but I still use the microscope for a better look). It's ideal for initial inspections.  But generally, with my astigmatism and other eye issues, I like to keep a variety of things around and grab whichever one I need to, so as to get the view I desire.  I need lots of options.

This might just be true for me also. We'll see. Excuse unintended pun.

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