What do you need a magnifier for?
Finding the best fit depends on the job or hobby you need a magnifier for. Visual impairment is also a major reason to consider having one. Unless you have already had a magnifier and need the same properties, you might need to try a bunch of them before you decide.
Some magnifiers offer a strong focus, while others provide a greater field of view. Trying to perform vastly different tasks, with the same magnifier, can prove difficult based on it's functions.
Working distance and eye relief are also very important to consider when picking your magnifier. Bigger working distance will give more space between your magnifier and the task you are working on, without getting in the way of your hands.
Higher eye relief allows you to look into the magnifier from farther away and still get its full efficiency. This can be beneficial as it strains your eyes less and also in some situations can help you keep a healthy posture.
Level of magnification is of great importance
When it comes to precision, you would require a higher level of magnification. The big handheld magnifying glasses that we can see, being carried around by detectives in old style crime movies, might prove weak if we need to inspect an object up close for tiny cracks and scratches.
Their magnification level usually comes up to 2X or 3X at most. While they are not optimal for in-depth inspection, they can be great for reading or sewing. There are also stronger variations of loupes which can go up to around 10X.
As the level of magnification goes higher up, the size of the lens of the magnifier becomes smaller. This is due to the fact that higher magnification requires bigger curvature of the lens, which leads to a smaller surface of the magnifier. This can make the magnifier tough to look through.
Choosing the right style of magnifier
The magnification level is of the greatest importance, but the style of your magnifier matters to a great extent as well. There are styles that will allow convenient use, in pretty much every environment and activity. Here are some of them:
- If your activities often require both of your hands to work efficiently you might benefit from a hands free magnifier. If you cannot afford using a handheld magnifier, you might want to consider a hands free one. In general they come with a stand or a head strap so you can work freely on your task.
- You need something compact to carry, when you are outside? Try foldable, necklace or keychain magnifiers. They are relatively seamless, easy to use and a great way to save space in your bag or pockets.
- Video magnifiers are a great way to balance between higher magnification and field of view. There are many versions which are available with over 10X magnification. Their screens come in different sizes allowing you to use comfortably and minimize the strain on your eyes.
- If you ever need additional light, you can always get an illuminated magnifier. They are a great way to focus light at the spot you are looking through your magnifier.
Those are just a few of the styles and you will find that many magnifiers can combine them. With that said, you have the basic information to help you pick the right magnifier to suit your needs.