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Optivisor


dhdove
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Hi Guys

Just wondering if anyone uses one of these?

I started my 1/48 F9F-5 Panther today and was looking at some cockpit images online. I was amazed at the detail that other modellers had achieved which made me think I was building a different model!

I dug out a hand-held magnifying glass and sure enough my kit has the same detail. I just couldn't see it!

My 55 year old eyes aren't great, with a massive astigmatism in on eye, I wear varifocal specs all the time plus need reading glasses, which I use for modelling......but I didn't realise that they were that bad.

I'm seriously thinking about investing in one of these probably #5 2.5 X with 8" focal length, or possibly #4 2.0X with 10" focal length.

So, does any one else here use one of these and do you think they are a good investment?

Current prices inc. VAT seem to be about £50.00 so not a cheap thing to buy.

Hope someone can advise me?

Best Regards

TonyS

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Tony

I invested in the DA5 earlier this year and the effect it had was quite startling, the biggest problem I had was changing my posture slightly so I didn't hunch over the workbench.

They're not inexpensive but are definitely worth the money.

HTH

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I use one all of the time, regardless of the scale. I use them during the build and for detail painting. Here lately, though, it seems I have them on throughout the entire build process. They help me notice decal silvering and paint imperfections. I don't start a kit without one. I have also found my handling of parts with tweezers has drastically improved with the visor. I was rubbish with tweezers before. Get the visor and spend enough for a decent one that is distortion free.

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You can get them a lot cheaper than that. I got mine for £7.50 [including postage] off ebay. They can still be found for around the £10 mark.

Mine has two fold down magnifiers [i think each is +4], which can be used separately or together, it also has a single-eye swing in +10 lupe. Plus it has a directional LED light.

I only use mine occasionally, but I like to have it in my armoury, I mainly use it when painting very fine details - obvious use really.

I mostly use reading glasses as magnifiers.

Yup, get one, good investment, helps to see those small bits, saves eye-strain.

Edit; Here's one on ebay; £12.20.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-LED-Reading-Drawing-Jewelry-Dentist-Sewing-Optical-Magnifying-Visor-Torch-RO-/300947848023?pt=UK_Crafts_JewelleryMaking_GL&hash=item4611e3bb57

Price of one model kit; get one at this price to see if it suits your needs. Not a great sum of £ wasted if you dont like it.

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I have one which I use regularly as my scales are 1:144 aircraft (with cockpit detailing), and 1:1200 ship models.

I have found it to be one of the best tools ever, however each to their own when it comes to what is best for 'seeing'. I have heard, and suspect to be true, that really good lighting is better; mainly because our eyes do not draw in as much light for recognising small items as we get older. I have invested in two powerful photography lamps, which sit on the desk either side (to prevent shadows) of where I do my work, and they really improve the clarity.

HTH

Mike

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I use an illuminated magnifier for both modelmaking and flytying (and for blearing over micro-sized print at work!) and that works for me. It isn't necessarily cheaper but it's an alternative.

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I have the optvisor and can't really do without it now for the detail work.It's handy to also check the model over after primer to find inperfections before you paint.

Only draw back though is you have what your working on fairly close due to the lack of depth of field when using one

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I use a 'generic' Optivisor that cost me the equivalent of about five quid 14 years ago, from an electronics shop.

It has a flip down 'extra strong' lens that I have never used as I find the depth of field too small.

I wear it all the time when modelling - which can be 10 or so hours a day (the joys of retirement!),- and I cant see without it. Despite the low price I have had no problems with it, and it still looks as good as new.

Lighting is important too. I have a 'bankers light' that I use for area lighting while doing general work, but move close to me when doing detail work.

Unless money is no object to you I would suggest checking out the 'generics' before splashing out on the real thing.

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We find the lighter weight ones are becoming very popular.

Had a new one in last week, we are selling them for £13.

Tried it and it works very well.

Fives lenses (in case), up to 3.5x magnification.

Specification Magnification Working Distance mm/inches 1.0x 250-350mm (10-14") 1.5x 200-300mm (8-12") 2.0x 175-275mm (7-11") 2.5x 125-250mm (5-10") 3.5x 75-125mm (3-5")

Integrated & movable 2 led illumination.

Lightweight with straight arms ( should be able to keep your glasses on while using it.

headmagnifier.jpg

Ta,

Paul

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You can get them a lot cheaper than that. I got mine for £7.50 [including postage] off ebay. They can still be found for around the £10 mark.

Mine has two fold down magnifiers [i think each is +4], which can be used separately or together, it also has a single-eye swing in +10 lupe. Plus it has a directional LED light.

Edit; Here's one on ebay; £12.20.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-LED-Reading-Drawing-Jewelry-Dentist-Sewing-Optical-Magnifying-Visor-Torch-RO-/300947848023?pt=UK_Crafts_JewelleryMaking_GL&hash=item4611e3bb57

We find the lighter weight ones are becoming very popular.

Had a new one in last week, we are selling them for £13.

Tried it and it works very well.

Fives lenses (in case), up to 3.5x magnification.

Specification

Magnification

Working Distance mm/inches

1.0x

250-350mm (10-14")

1.5x

200-300mm (8-12")

2.0x

175-275mm (7-11")

2.5x

125-250mm (5-10")

3.5x

75-125mm (3-5")

Integrated & movable 2 led illumination.

Lightweight with straight arms ( should be able to keep your glasses on while using it.

Can anyone comment on the Optivisor magnification vs focal length? I bought a similar device to the items mentioned by Paul and Black Knight; integral LED, many interchangeable lenses, etc. Massive magnification, BUT: unless the thing you're working on is right under your beak, it ain't in focus! May be OK if you're examining coins, stamps, etc. but for working on the tiny stuff you end up hunched right over it with whatever tool you're using halfway up your nose. (OK, that sounds a bit WRONG...) This may be why the Optivisor is a few $s more?

Paul's item looks very sexy (actually, that came out even more WRONG!); if that works at a decent distance (12" or so) from the 'target', I'm in for one.

Any insights welcome.

Edited by AngstROM
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In theory all magnifications will be the same working distance as the mag is dependent on the lens focal length, which are all the same. A simple lens has no 'depth of field' or 'depth of focus' - that will depend on your eye. In very bright light your pupil closes and will give you greater depth of focus, poor light will keep the pupil open and limit that DoF.

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I won't model without my Optivisor anymore, as it's so bloody useful :) I don't rate the cheaper/lighter versions because they aren't glass lenses. One of the reasons the OV is heavy is that the lenses are optical quality glass, and the hardware is built to last. It's one of those times when if you buy cheap, you might just end up buying twice. :shrug:

I use the 2.5x lens, as it gives a good balance of mag versus focal length, and because I can wear my glasses with it, when my prescription changes, the view through the OV stays the same :coolio:

Just don't answer the door in it. You'll look ridiculous :nerd:

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I use what is commonly referred to in Japan as a 'head loup' and it seems to wourk very well.

It has a built-in light and 4 easily interchangable lenses (1.2X, 1.8X, 2.5X, 3.5X) and wasn't particularly expensive... Maybe 20 quid.

It looks exactly like this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rolson-Tools-60390-Loupe-Magnifier/sim/B001MJ0JW2/2

Anthony.

Thanks everyone for the great range of rapid replies. I suspect that the vast price differences reflects the quality of the lenses? Maybe not but I can't think of any other reason. However......

Anthony, thanks so much for that link, my local Maplins has that model in stock, on offer at £9.95!!!

I can buy that before committing to the Optivisor and if it's terrible can afford to write it off!

Also I can look at it and try it on in the shop.

On Amazon it gets good reviews, with the odd one star, which is par for the course and makes buying off the net so difficult!

I do like the tilting design where you can swivel the whole magnifying lenses up and out of the way as per the Optivisor.

Little Cars....thanks for your input too, I'll bear your option in mind if the Maplins set doesn't work out.

I must admit that I am a believer that generally you get what you pay for and would like to think the quality of the Optivisor lenses reflects this, I can see no point in buying something cheap that distorts your view and looks like a magnifying glass out of a Christmas Cracker......... time will tell.

Once again, thanks for the great responses, clearly this is an issue for many of us older, returning modellers........

As a thought...........do we have the facility to do a Britmodeller test review on a selection of those magnifying options/items that are available to members? I think this would be of great benefit to many members.

Please keep the advice and comments coming!

Best Regards and thanks

TonyS

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I won't model without my Optivisor anymore, as it's so bloody useful :) I don't rate the cheaper/lighter versions because they aren't glass lenses. One of the reasons the OV is heavy is that the lenses are optical quality glass, and the hardware is built to last. It's one of those times when if you buy cheap, you might just end up buying twice. :shrug:

I use the 2.5x lens, as it gives a good balance of mag versus focal length, and because I can wear my glasses with it, when my prescription changes, the view through the OV stays the same :coolio:

Just don't answer the door in it. You'll look ridiculous :nerd:

Sorry Mike

Our posts crossed....

......do you think that the glass lenses in the optivisor are worth the 5X cost? They may well be, as I know from my own spectacle prescriptions that generally cheap is not good enough and for something that you wear everyday and rely on for good sight quality is paramount and cannot be beaten by cheapness!

TonyS

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The working distances for each lens of the one I stock is listed in the post.

Optivisor stated distances;

x1.5 20"

x1.75 14"

x2 10"

x2.5 8"

x2.75 6"

x3.5 4"

Paul

Got it! Many thanks. Looks like I may need to try this option; I don't think I could wear the Optivisor for any length of time.

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So, I got one!

Bought from Maplins. The price was £17.99 not less than ten pounds! Maybe I made a mistake or the offer ended. But you know how it is, I was there, it was in my hand, I had the money.......this is it

c9f5402901ccc81eefaa1242d8744524.jpg

I haven't used it in anger yet, but have fitted the 2.5 lenses and tried it out. The friction locks on the visor seem a bit iffy, but whilst the lenses are plastic the seem to be optically good. Taking advice I haven't fitted the batteries so as to reduce front end weight (I have a good daylight desk light)

Seems to work fine over my specs but do remember to wear reading glasses not varifocals, no matter how much you lift your head you won't see the target!!!!!

66649f76b9a217dd48d02eb0203df682.jpg

I'll let you all know how it performs soonest.

Regards

TonyS

Edited by dhdove
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REVIEW

So, I've used my new Rolson Magnifying Visor a couple of times and here are my thoughts.....

The major plus - the magnification is brilliant!

Not just for painting but I'm finding I wear it more and more, pretty much for everything in fact. I know I won't be modelling without one in future - I'm seeing things I just COULDN'T see before. My detail painting has improved immeasurably.

Despite being plastic the optics are good tho I'm a little worried about cleaning them especially if I accidentally get adhesive or paint on them.

I wouldn't want to go bigger than 2.5 tho as the focal length is just adequate at about seven to eight inches or less.

I may go down one to 1.8 and see if it's still enough detail in exchange for a slightly longer focal length.

It's a big plus that with the Rolson you get FOUR sets of lenses of varying power thus allowing you to try out different settings.

The bad point and it's a big one......The friction locks on each side which allow the visor to be lifted in the up position are VERY poor. They need tightening every time the visor is moved and I'm really not confidant as to how long they will work for, being a cheap design. Bear in mind I have not fitted the batteries for the light into the lifting part of the visor to reduce the weight of the visor.......

Maybe that's why you pay more than twice as much for an Optivisor? If their design is of better quality and proves to be robust then I'd say it's worth the extra money, even if it is more than double.....you're only going to buy once after all. I suspect I'll end up buying twice before I'm done.

Perhaps an Optivisor owner could comment?

So overall - a huge YES to magnified modelling but the jury's still out on whether the Rolson is good value for money or just cheap and maybe nasty.

Best

TonyS

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Glad you're enjoying it - just watch for paint splashes & such, as any solvents would eat into the plastic (I think?). That's where the glass really comes into its own, as it's pretty much solvent proof. When you have a cap blow off your airbrush spattering you in paint, you don't need to worry about your lenses. Why do I mention it? It's happened to me at least twice :blush:

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Mike

Do you have an optivisor?

How are the visor friction locks?

TonyS

PS do you really have over a million posts.................?

Edited by dhdove
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:lol: No - they are a pigment of my imagination. One of the perks of having the keys to the forum :wicked:

Yes, they're great if you mean the swing-arm pivots? Very firm, but maybe tweak them every now and again just to make sure. One of mine fell off once, but I found all the parts. They have a sprung washer keeping them tight, which makes the job easier. If you mean the lock that holds the band in position to match the size of your scone, that's superb. Never had cause to mess with it in 6 or more years, even though the Boy likes to play with it when he visits me in the workshop :)

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