5x Loupe

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I just learned about the availability of 5x loupes with built in diopters. Before I commit myself, I wondered if anyone has any positive or negative comments about this class of loupes. The Leica 5x loupe seems to provide superb resolution, but costs a lot more and is much heavier than the 4x Rodenstock loupe that I now have, and will require capping to protect the glass at the ground glass end when in storage. I examined another brand that was comparable in compactness and weight to the 4x loupe and nearly matches it in price, but seems to lack the diopter range that I need. I have not tried any 5x loupe on a ground glass. Is it easier to focus on ground glass with a 5x than a 4x loupe? Many of the web articles indicate a strong preference for a 4x loupe, but occasionally I see references to 6, 8 or 10x preferences. I have never seen any comparison of 5x loupe with

-- David Caldwell (caldw@aol.com), August 25, 2000


I've never used a 5x loupe. I have, however, tried an 8x and a 10x. Both were, for me, not very workable. Everything seemed to be so enlarged that it was hard to tell what was in focus and what wasn't. So I've stuck with a 4x loupe (Toyo and Peak - actually I think the Toyo is a little less than 4x). If all you're planning to do is use the loupe for focusing on a ground glass, I don't think you need the ultra high quality (and price) of some of the more exotic loupes that are designed with professional slide viewing on a light box in mind. Optical experts (which I am definitely not) may correct me on this however. One thing to consider, that you don't see mentioned a lot, is the shape of the loupe. Loupes like the Peak loupe and probably others are square, which makes it a lot easier to look at the corners and edges of the ground glass than a round loupe. I like the Toyo (which is round) and use it occasionally but Im always frustrated when I try to look in the corners and along the edges. Obviously, however, many people use round loupes on the ground glass and like them fine.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis@tampabay.rr.com), August 26, 2000.

Isn't there something to be said for diopter loupes as they allow you to focus "beyond" the contact point and directly at the ground glass plane?

I've used an ancient 8x Agfa loupe for a zillion years that is in sharp focus directly at the point of contact (perfect for slides). I often turn it around backwards and focus so I can see the ground glass plane. This is clumsy at best.

-- Bruce Gavin (doc@compudox.com), August 27, 2000.

I use the Wista 5x loupe which has a fairly wide focus range via a helical mount for the top element. I would think that the focus range would be sufficient for all but the strongest required diopter correction. You just have to try it I think. Other info about this one : It has a smaller image circle than the Rodenstock or Schneider 4x loupes (perhaps 1/2 the area?) which actually lets one get closer to the corners on the glass. It uses good optical quality glass, and has a decent image over most of it image circle. It is not coated, however, but I have rarely noticed any drawback to this. Perhaps with the sun at your back when not using a focus cloth. I have personally compared focusing against both 4x and 8x loupes and find the 5x to be pretty similar to using a 4x loupe, while the 8x makes things definitely more difficult on my camera (Wista with combined ground glass/fresnel). I like it because it works well, is small and relatively cheap (~$50).

-- Richard Ross (ross@hrl.com), August 29, 2000.

"(Wista with combined ground glass/fresnel). I like it because it works well, is small and relatively cheap (~$50). "

Have you seen that Wista has a frame that fits the grounglass back of the Wista and a mount that the 5x screws into. The loupe can then be moved to any position on the frame by sliding and shifting the loupe. No need to hold on to the loupe.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), August 29, 2000.

I use a Horseman 6x with diopter correction. It's long enough to keep me from producing mist on the ground glass. Something worse considering are perhaps the Silvestri loupes. They can be orientated towards light source and therefore produce a better image in the corners or with movements.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), August 30, 2000.

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