What loupe to use for lf?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by david_dukeman|1, May 19, 2005.

  1. Thanks in advance for any help on this issue. Have heard several
    different recommendations on the right lupe to focus with, 8x, 4x
    etc... I have a Calumet 45N and using a Fujinon 150mm f/5.6 lens.
    What are your thoughts on magnification, brand etc... I know that a
    quality lupe is easier on the eye other than that not quite sure.
    Did a search but not much out there specifically on what people
    prefer to use for lupes. Thanks again.
  2. I use a Mamiya 4x; my ground glass is too coarse for me to get meaningful benefit from an
    8x or 10x, I think. If your ground glass is finer, the larger magnification probably makes
    more sense. The Mamiya is a very good loupe, by the way.
  3. I use a Schneider 4x loupe & it also has both an opaque black bottom ring along with a transparent bottom ring.

    The black or opaque rings help to isolate the image at hand better on a GG & the transparent ring helps to allow light to enter if not on a GG or lightbox but rather to view a coin or stamp, etc. w/ambient light.
  4. Certainly a personal preferance issue. Lots of decent loupes out there. I use a long barrel Horseman 6x. Lots of people prefer 3x and 4x. Seems folks rarely use 8x or longer. Lots of people also go with the cheaper loupes. Again, personal preference.
  5. I also use the Schneider 4x loupe. It is not cheap but the quality and the sharpness on the gg as viewed through this is less tiring on the eyes. Without the fresnel lens the image really snaps in and out of focus.

    The interchangable clear, solid bottm section enable you to also us it to view transparencies on a light box and prints.

    This lupe is slso the "standard" of the art directors in advertising agencies
  6. Toyo 4x.
  7. Thanks for all the help, there certainly are several to choose from but it looks like something around a 4x is the best overall magnification.
  8. I don't use a loupe at all. I wear an Optivisor on my head with the #10 lens, equal to about
    a 4x. I can use both eyes most of the time, and have both hands free to work the camera.
    It's freedom!
  9. The Cabin 4x is the exact same as the Mamiya 4x at a much lower price.
  10. Toyo 4x did not work well for my eyes. Non adjustable focus so I have to hold it slightly away from the glass.

    Replaced it with the Mamiya 8x for $70. Adjustable focus solves my problem. This time I checked it out at the store first.
  11. i have three... rodenstock 4x, fuji 4x, and silvestri 6x.

    i find focusing with the silvestri 6x easiest.

    of the 4x loupes, i prefer the fuji to the rodenstock. it's all metal and feel like a quality tool.
  12. One of the very few advantages of being extremely nearsighted: I simply remove my glasses and get real close to the gg. ...better than a lupe for me.

  13. The Schneider 4x works great. You can focus it, and as another poster wrote, it comes with two bases. One is clear for viewing prints, the other opaque for transparencies or focusing screen duty. It's also tack sharp from the center to the edge, which is more than can be said for most loupes.
  14. David,

    I have a few loupes: Sylvestri 4x (with tilt), Toyo 4x, Leica Magnifier, and the Kodak
    adjustable loupe..

    Toyo 4x ------60%

    Sylvestri 4x--- 10%

    Leica --------5%

    Kodak ------ 25%

    So... simple answer is Toyo 4x followed by the small Kodak loupe. Personally, I find the
    Sylvestri too small and awkward to use. But, that's just my personal opinion. :)

  15. David as a general rule you don't want too much magnification or else the ground glass grain gets confused with image sharpness. Too little magnification is frustrating. So I found more than 7x is too much; less than 4x is too little. So personal preferences will determine something between 4x and 7x.

    For me a long loupe is essential to viewing comfort - keeps your head a bit further out from the glass and hood (if one is fitted).

    Silvestri and Wista make good quality long loupes. I originally used my Mamiya 5x loupe I use for checking 35mm negs on a light box but I wanted a bit more magnification and a longer structure as my face was too close to the ground glass.
  16. Hello David,

    I like to use a SKS 10X engineering loupe. The note about a fine quality ground glass is very true. I have been updating my cameras with SatinSnow glass. This combination of excellent groundglass and high quality optics allow me to focus on pine needles and the wires of field fence at infinity. I find a 4X insufficient for my old eyes.

    ps: It helps to have lenses up front that can resolve the pine needles and field fencing at infinity too!

    Just my two pennies! Paul
  17. For ground glass viewing I prefer loupes that are square (such as those made by Peak) rather than the more common round ones. The square shape helps get into the corners of the ground glass (if they aren't cut out) and to view along the edges of the ground glass where the problems often lie. Most loupes, especially the ones that cost more than $50 or so, aren't made for use on a ground glass, they're made for viewing slides on a light box. For that purpose high quality optics are important but not when the loupe is just being used as a magnifier on ground glass. So don't go overboard on cost by paying for optical quality you don't need.
  18. syd


    Pentax 5.5 ...
  19. cxc


    I'm one of the few who prefer a stronger loupe, a 7x. I feel like I can be more precise with it. Lately my tilts have been in focus, so it seems to work for me.
  20. I am using a Calumet 7X loupe, which isn't available on Calumet's online store anymore. I think I paid around forty dollars for it a year ago.
  21. Brian,

    In order for a square loupe to be useful in the corners of the ground glass, it has to have good resolution from the center to the corner. It's only the high quality loupes that do that. In fact, it's center to corner resolution that makes the expensive loupes worth the extra money.
  22. Sorry Peter but based on my 10 or so years of usage I have to disagree. I have three Peak loupes, all square. IIRC they cost about $50-$75 each. They're great in the corners and along the edges.
  23. For most field work a loupe is just a hindrance. I find that 3x reading glasses allow me to
    fine focus quite exactly. If one is doing macro work or something in the studio with
    complex movements ... table top work .... a loupe is indespensible but in the field with just
    a front tilt or some rise ... why bother? But then I never shoot wider than f/22 either.
  24. I made my own. I took the front element out of an old, non-functional Minolta Himatic camera (Rokkor 45mm f1.7). I mounted it in a piece of PVC pipe with some ABS glue.

    Works like a charm and is very very nice optically. The magnification is probably something like 3x. My bet is that it performs quite well compared to expensive high-end loupes...except for how it looks :)

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