Reading some small tips and advice before purchasing your Loupe or Magnifier can make the experience more enjoyable. You will find some advice on purchasing a Magnifier here. Scroll down to find the Loupe Categories that interest you.
The magnification of a loupe is given next to an X. It describes the magnification level. For example if you have a loupe with 3x magnification it will make the object appear three times its actual size, though you should note that the larger the magnification the viewing field should be smaller. Be aware of loupes being sold on eBay for little money, especially those with very high magnification (i.e. 30x and 21mm viewing field, they are probably 10x or less).
Triplet and Doublet Lenses
The best loupes and magnifiers are made out of two (Doublet) or three (Triplet) lenses. Such a lens combination provides crisper images with its correct colours. The combined lenses correct the the chromatic aberation. Triplet Loupes are the better bet than the Doublets. Triplet Loupes have become an industry standard in many professions.
Lookout for the lens type in our products descriptions where we explain the differences and advantages.
10x magnification is the most recommended use and this goes for most professions such as Jewellers, Geologists, Biologists and Engineers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States requires for instance that stone grading must be done with 10X magnification. The FTC standard states that any flaws that do not show up under 10X magnification are considered nonexistent for jewelry grading purposes. See Gemologists for more information on this.
These loupes come in masses in the market, but only few are worth their money. As with 30x loupes the resolution and the magnification is not always what it promises. Here is some advice on how to spot these: There are many 20x loupes being sold that are actually 10x magnification or less. The give-away is the large, 20 to 21 mm lens diameter. This is technically not feasible. If you need 20x magnification, buy a branded loupe (i.e. Schweizer, Belomo) and please be prepared to pay a bit more. Please read Do I really need a 20x magnification?.
The larger the magnification does not mean better results or detail. In General you would like to stay away from the 30x magnification foldable loupes, if you can ever find one, unless you are quite an experienced user and you know what you are buying. It is appealing to go for a higher magnification, but an often made rooky mistake - please do not be mislead by nice adverts and high numbers. Also, there are many 30x Triplet Loupes out in the market (especially eBay) and you would also be best ignoring these, as their viewing field are far too large for this. A give-away is the high lens diameter of around 20mm- these are fakes as it is technically not feasible. Important would be to make sure it is a Triplet or other branded (i.e Schweizer) loupe and that the viewing field is at least below 15 mm.
Gemologists and Jewellers
Gemologists inspect their diamonds for diamond clarity and want to determine the inclusions (flaws) and impurities of the diamond. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States recommends that they use no higher than a 10x magnification level and we up that by recommending the Jeweler that their magnifier be a Triplet Loupe, which is generally accepted in the industry. The FTC They say that any imperfections that cannot be identified by the 10x magnification are not to be considered for jewelry grading purposes.
As a hobby or professional Geologist you will be looking for a Loupe that has a maximum magnification of 10x . A normal hand held classic loupe is not right for the job as they do not have a good resolution and they are of a normal loupe lens. To test if you have a good lens, lay it down on a white, plain piece of paper and see if the lens adds any other colours. If it does you would need to replace it with a Triplet Loupe.
Triplet Loupes consist of three lenses providing corrected colours (achromatic) and sharp, crisp edges all round (aplanatic).
These Triplet Loupes need to be held close to your eye while pulling the object in focus range (See Loupe Handling Picture below). This is the only way to properly inspect your rocks and minerals.
Biologists and Siology Students will need a nice robust Magnifier ranging between 5x and 10x Magnification. A Triplet Loupe is not necessary. A normal classic magnifier with a large viewing field would be very appropriate. A Biologist Student would want to go no smaller than a 30mm viewing field.
Watchmakers/ Model Makers
These professions work while carefully using their hands. Holding a magnifier is the last thing on their mind so they where their loupes on their head either in form of Spectacle Loupes or Headband, even Surgical Loupes. The required magnification would be around 2x to a maximum of 5x depending on use.
The Loupe Store's clients mainly prefer to use the Spectacle Loupe providing 3 different prisms covering the magnification from 1.5x, 2.5x and 3.5x with varying working distances.
The weight is essential and make sure you can still wear your own prescription spectacles. We do not recommend fitted lights for the same reasons stated in Illuminating Loupes.
Enthusiastic Watchmakers and Model Makers even go for our Surgical Loupes which provide far better quality in resolution and can last for life if properly maintained. Find three links below that will take you to your Loupes.