Ida (likeanew) Lupino : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello! Perhaps one of you esteemed experts can shed some light on the subject of loupes. I have been using a ubiquitous Agfa 8X loupe for focusing my 8x10. It works, but I'd like to get something easier to use that won't break the bank. I read that Ron Wisner uses a folding linen tester for focusing. It can get into the corners and folds away neatly---sounds like a winner. Toyo also has a ground glass magnifier that would fit into my budget(under $50) Has anyone had real world experience with either of these loupe? Can you recommend anything else in my price range? I wear bi-focals. Thank you!

-- John Kasaian (, February 28, 2002


I have been using the Toyo for several years with good success. It's enough magnification for almost any instance. Rubber coated on the end that you place on the ground glass. I just scoot it around for edge to edge or where ever I want to focus or de-focus. Great investment at $40 US.......Good Luck

-- F. William Baker (, February 28, 2002.

I like my tilting Silvestri--about $75.00 from the likes of B&H.

Tony Galt

-- Tony Galt (, February 28, 2002.


I have a Toyo 3.6X loupe. I like it. I don't think you can go wrong. I picked mine up used, an even better deal. Keep your eyes open for a used one.

-- Dave Karp (, February 28, 2002.


I forgot to mention. I have graduated lenses, essentially the same as your bifocals. The Toyo loupe can be adjusted so you can use it with your glasses on.

-- Dave Karp (, February 28, 2002.

I visited the B+H site, and was surprised to find some very inexpensive linen testers. I'm thinking of buying one or more of them, because I don't need color-corrected, APO-gizmonic, AF-S ED IF VR glass for focusing. Also, if I buy and carry several I don't need to worry about losing one.

-- Matthew Runde (, February 28, 2002.

A recent trip to my optometrist turned up a small folding magnifier that clips on to one side of my glasses. I used it last week for the first time with the camera, worked very well. The working distance is a little close for my taste, but with an ancient Deardorf, having both hands free is great. Steve

-- Steve Clark (, February 28, 2002.

I have the Toyo and a Peak 4X. The Toyo works fine but it's round, whereas the Peak is square. I like square much better since it is easier to use along the edges of the ground glass.

-- Brian Ellis (, February 28, 2002.

I had something makeshift until I purchased an ashperic Calumet (Rodenstock?) 4x. What a difference, it's fantastic. The image just springs into focus using this device.

One thing though, it are round, it are not square.

-- neil poulsen (, March 01, 2002.

I started out using a linen tester on 4x5 & 8x10, because I had one left over from work in textiles.

I gave up on it and started using an 8x loupe, because the magnification just isn't enough for me to be certain of sharpness. I see a real difference im my prints after the switch.

-- John O'Connell (, March 01, 2002.

I have a folding 7x loupe that's awesome-- nice and small, great quality glass, and folds into a metal case that's bombproof. Available for about forty bucks from Edmund Scientific:


-- chris jordan (, March 01, 2002.

Thank you all for the great advice! The folding magnifier that clips on to eyeglasses sound pretty slick. The Toyo sounds like a real deal for the price and the linen tester might be worth having in my war-bag as a back up(along with the spare cable release etc...) I'll have to check with my eye doctor to see how much those clip ons run. Your right, with a 'dorff it helps having both hands free. Thanks again.

-- John Kasaian (, March 01, 2002.

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