Modeling can often involve working with – and straining to see – extremely small parts. Detailing instrument panels. Drilling out gun barrels. Rigging biplanes. We’re often faced with bits that can measure mere fractions of a millimeter. Even with my solid eyesight, I find myself going cross-eyed at times.
The answer, of course, is magnification. Since coming back to modeling, I’ve tried a few magnifying tricks. The desk lamp with a magnifier hood – decent – but you have to get so close with it that it’s constantly impeding tweezers, pliers and paintbrushes. And fogging up as I breathe expletives at it.
I also tried some magnifiers that clip on to my glasses. And found that to see anything I had to hold the parts inches from my face. Not useful.
So when I stumbled upon some dental binocular loupes on eBay – claiming 3.5X magnification and a 420mm working distance – I had to try them. At $53, they weren’t cheap, but they weren’t ridiculous, either.
The loupes come in a little foam-padded case and, to my surprise, come mounted to a pair of glasses. They sure won’t be winning any fashion contests, but functional?
You bet. The 420mm working distance is actually as advertised, meaning you can actually sit like a normal human and see what you’re doing, all gloriously magnified.
Something I really like about these over an Optivisor is that the loupes occupy only a portion of your field of view, so you can actually see to pick up a tool, then “zoom in” on the detail work that needs doing just by glancing slightly down.
I’m a bit far along in my current builds to take full advantage of these, but so far I’m very impressed, and will be putting them through their paces soon.
Purchased on eBay courtesy of my wallet.