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I've come back to building after a lay off of around 6 years. Bought a Tamiya Subaru '98 Wrc to build with my Son, he's 5 now and showing an interest, albeit small, to build a model. Just tried to do a little detail painting on the gearbox using a fine brush and I'm struggling to see. My eyes have definitely gotten worse in the six years I've been away. Does anyone use a magnifier/glasses of some type to help to see close up stuff? If you can recommend a good one I'd be most grateful..

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I have used an Optivisor, brand name not the copies, for around 10 years and find it excellent.

 

The only issue these things have is the higher the magnification the shallower the depth of field and the closer to your face the work needs to be held, for most work I use a 2 1/2 x magnification, DA5 I think is the Optivisor code.

 

The Optivisor uses glass lenses of high quality and durability.

 

I use it the whole time when working over my prescription glasses, it also fits well over my mask straps when spraying and sanding. Seeing what you do is the foundation of doing good work.

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Thanks guys, I'll take a look at the Optivisor that you mention. I am at the stage where to see close up at all, I must remove my prescription glasses. If I leave them on everything is blurred. I'm hoping the magnifier will give me that 'bit extra help' so that I can paint the details like I used to be able to. Getting older is a pain!!

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The Optivisor is certainly good, but I find it heavy to wear and a bit clumsy.  I prefer a lighter neater set which is just a plastic spectacle frame with detachable lenses of different strengths.  It is called the Lightcraft 5 Lens Magnifier - I think I bought it from Hobbycraft but you can check for it on-line.

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I too use the Lightcraft (or at least another version of if) and much prefer to the Optivisor - more comfortable, better field of vision. I use it over glasses. You can easily flip the lens out of line of sight and find I often forget I'm wearing it until my wife reminds me,

 

I don't find the built in LED light much use (but I do have good workroom lighting) so prefer to leave out the batteries for a little more weight saving and comfort.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I visited Hobbycraft this afternoon and purchased the Lightcraft spectacle type magnifier with the 5 lenses. I find 2x magnification is perfect and allows me to see the parts up close and be able to paint them perfectly. Thanks for all the help, very much appreciated. I can get back to building the Subaru now without my eyes failing me 🙂

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Glad you're happy.  I should add that for those who normally wear spectacles you can buy clip-on flip-up lenses, rather than have another frame.  These are perhaps a little clumsy but cheaper still.   I normally exchange the Lightcraft at +4 for my normal bifocals (+1/+3) for really close work, but last night actually put it on over my bifocals and it worked very well.  Once you know what you want, Boots sell spectacles at a range of different magnifications for as low as £10 a pair.  These do proved a much wider range of view than the various lenses can give, which can help.  But they don't flip up to get out of the way.

 

My Lightcraft doesn't have an LED light, but my Optivisor had and I agree with Colin that it isn't a lot of help given proper lighting.  I must admit to having two normal light bulbs over my shoulder in the ceiling, another Lightcraft (or at least Hobbycraft) product clamped to the side of the workbench having two arms swinging over the surface for close work, plus a large LED unit sitting on a shelf on the other side of the workbench and providing light over the whole bench.  There really is no substitute for good lighting, and if anyone is starting to have problems with detail work then this the the first thing to improve.

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I find I can use the Lightcraft on it's own without my prescription glasses. I use my glasses for distance, so my eyes are better without my glasses at closer range. However the magnifying glasses have really helped to bring things a lot closer. Just been looking at the gearbox part on the Subaru I'm building and could see where I'd missed a few spots earlier. 

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Steve,

 

Great to see you have a solution.

 

I have an optivisor, but when modelling away from home (the normal) and not having it with me, I started using a selection of different strength reading glasses, a+2.0, +3.5 and two taped together for +6.0. I have come to really like these. Just swap them over depending on the desired focal length needed. Easy to do. 

 

Magnification 1

 

One advantage for me is that I just have mature age presbyopia and do not need glasses for any other correction. If that was the case then the  Optivisor style would probably of been necessary.

 

Ray

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have tried several, an optivisor (DA5), reading glasses, a headband with a set of plastic lenses - the best is the optivisor - but it is mot perfect by any means.

 

The main problem is that it’s fine looking at the work, but when you peer at the desk to pick up a file, or wash rinse your brush everything is blurry.

 

I’ve tried vaifocals - they don’t work because they can’t be made with the range of magnification required - I mean you can’t have a high magnification in the reading part and much lower magnification in the intermediate and distance.  I took my optivisor used for details, some glasses that work for more general desk work and even some examples of the wargaming figures that I paint into the optician.  They produced some - they were fine for the desk but the detail portion was far too weak - when I rejected them, the optician said that was the most extreme they could achieve with varifocals. 

 

Going to try some occupational bi-focals when the lockdown lifts.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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Hi Nigel @nheather,

The reason I have come to like different strength reading glasses, per my earlier post, is that I then have the magnification in the lower half and still can easily look over the top. Thankfully this works for me. I found with optivisors I was locked into a certain magnification. Even though I could hinge them up. Luckily, as mentioned, I do not need glasses for other correction. 

Ray

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4 hours ago, Ray_W said:

Hi Nigel @nheather,

The reason I have come to like different strength reading glasses, per my earlier post, is that I then have the magnification in the lower half and still can easily look over the top. Thankfully this works for me. I found with optivisors I was locked into a certain magnification. Even though I could hinge them up. Luckily, as mentioned, I do not need glasses for other correction. 

Ray


Agreed.  I find optivisors are great when dedicated to detail work.  But glance up to look away from the work and you can’t see a thing.  Sure you can flip them up and down as required but that gets a little tedious.  Oh for young eyes again.  Hoping the bifocals work.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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I've got varifocals and use a version of the optivisor. I took the nose bridge and arms off, use the headband. Not the most comfortable given how heavy the light unit can be and the hard edges but I manage to "look over" the lenses for the stuff on the cutting mat.

 

When I go in the loft for the xmas decs I will rummage in my old cricket gear for a headband I used to have, see if that makes a difference.

 

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