Does anyone use an 8X focussing loupe? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a Toyo 3.6X loupe and a Schneider 4X loupe. I am nearsighted, and even with glasses on under the darkcloth (a hassle) I have trouble with fine focussing of distant objects with both of these loupes. I am thinking of using an 8X loupe. Canon makes one with a wide (30mm) opening. The Schneider 8X has a 15mm eyepiece. I use a Canham DLC 4x5. Does anyone use an 8X ??? Any advice or comments ?

-- John Costo (, August 13, 1998


John, I use a Peak 8x loupe. It's cheap, but then I do landscape photography, always seem to be in a rush, and so the poor thing takes a beating. But it seems to work OK. I haven't tried a 4x, but I've been told that they are better because you don't get confused with the texture of the screen. I don't really know if that's true, but I do know that few people use more than 6x loupes. Perhaps you could borrow an 8x to see if it helps you.

One trick for focusing that I learned from someone is to look at a black mark on your ground glass. The black mark will appear to be sharpest when the background around it is sharpest, i.e., in focus. This is easy for me because my camera has a black grid on the glass over the bright screen. You can make a regular series of small black dots with a grease pencil if your view finder lacks such marks. It takes some getting used to, but it really does work.

Best wishes, Bruce

-- Bruce M. Herman (, August 13, 1998.

I use a no-name 8x jeweller's loupe, which happens to be the right size when reversed to focus on the ground side of the GG. It's fine, except for the edges of the frame when using a very wide angle. I also use +4 dioptre reading glasses to help judge the entire image.

-- Alan Gibson (, August 13, 1998.

If you do want to use a high magnification loupe, consider the 9x model which Edmund Scientific sells as a "graphic arts comparator." It's a 3-element coated model available in various configurations-- the one you want would be the model with the opaque apron. For the price (a lot less than the Schneider or Rodenstock loupes), it's a wonderful piece of glass. I don't use it for focussing, but do use it for checking chromes on the light box.

-- Rob Rothman (, September 23, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ