Need recommendation on magnifier work bench lamp

12-02-2013, 09:43 AM
I have a clamp-on table lamp with lights that has a 5X magnifying glass. I need a more powerfull magnifier for the small stuff (1/35 scale). Any recommendations where to get a powerfull one? There are a couple 10X clamp-on type lamp on ebay but will like to gather recommendations in here based on your modeling experience. Is there anyting out there better than 10X? Any recommendations with LED lights and with a powerfull magnifier lense will be greatly appreciated. Don't like the head lamps. Thanks for reading my post. Have a great day.

12-03-2013, 03:03 PM
I've been looking for something better myself and did quite a bit of research when my bulb blew out awhile ago. Currently I'm using this:

but I'd like something with a higher magnification. This one has a little 1" inset of about 5X, but you can really only use that with one eye, and you can't detail paint with it since you have no depth perception. A clamp-on light also won't really work for me; must have a desktop as my workbench is too thick and doesn't offer a good clamping surface.

I tried this one:

but it was extremely heavy and the lens had a lot of distortion at the outer edges, which they say is inescapable with the higher mags. I'd be happy just to get a decent 5X light if I could, so will be watching here for recommendations...


12-03-2013, 08:43 PM
Greetings zonic! have you ever considered Donegans Optivisor? It comes in many mag power and it is very comfy to use even with eyeglasses. They have optional light attachments. Using one for like 10 years now, cant do without them. Check it out.

12-03-2013, 10:07 PM
I've tried a couple of different magnifier desk lamps and found they were too obstructive. I hate the things. Ricrosar has the right idea!

The Optivisor has been around for 40 years and makes you look like a dork BUT it works great!. I've answered the door forgetting I was wearing it the thing is so comfortable. While working, my brain forgets the magnifier is there because it's attached to my head. I don't have to keep adjusting to look through a portal window that's always dusty and out of focus.

If you get one make sure you go with glass lenses (light blue) and a #5 lens. More power makes the focal length too short to be practical. Optivisor sells the lenses separate if you want to have an assortment but I use the 5 and don't need anything else. (

12-04-2013, 07:46 AM
Another enthusiastic recommendation for the Optivisor. Much, much better than a lamp mounted magnifier.

12-04-2013, 08:14 AM
I'm at the point where I need something, I'm getting the Optivisor also.

12-04-2013, 08:28 AM
Greetings zonic! have you ever considered Donegans Optivisor? It comes in many mag power and it is very comfy to use even with eyeglasses. They have optional light attachments. Using one for like 10 years now, cant do without them. Check it out.

Thanks ricrosar for the recommendation. I bought one of those visors about 3 years ago and they were very unconfortable, don't know what brand name tho. But maybe I can try this brand and see if they fit better. Thanks again my fellow PR friend.

12-04-2013, 08:30 AM
Too all: Thanks for the visor recommendation.

12-04-2013, 08:39 AM
How confortable are these Optivisors? Is it easy to change the lenses? What made you buy this brand name (Donegan)? Is the #5 lense a good starting point? Let me know guys.

12-04-2013, 08:56 AM
A couple more questions... should I get the light system for it? Or will it add too much weight? Of the lights, which one you all recommend... Quasar (LED lights) or Donegan single light system?

12-04-2013, 09:56 AM
Hi zonic, as CrateCruncher said the #5 (DA-5) is a the best all around power because you dont have to be too close to the object, 2.5 times mag power doesn't sound like much but believe me you will see a new world. I've added the optiloupe and use it just to verify my work in more detail. I dont have their lights so can't comment about those, just a table mounted one. The lenses are easy to swap if you need to, but #5 is the only one I've ever needed. I also find myself walking around the house wearing them, flipped up of course. :lol:

Have a good one!

12-05-2013, 04:48 PM
I've found having the light source attached to the work surface works best for me. That way I can change the direction of the light so that I can look at surface smoothness, gaps, sanding progress and such. If the light is attached to my head it always strikes the work parallel to my eyes. I like the halogen desk lamps with the counterweight on one end. Halogen is very bright, easy to adjust, and not very bulky. The filament does generate a bit of heat in the summer though.

There are several head-mounted magnifiers on the market but none of the newer ones match the Optivisor in function or ergonomics. Read some of the Amazon reviews. Bausche & Lomb has really bad reviews for example.

Try to get the glass lens version (it has the translucent blue plastic surround) instead of the acrylic. I hear the acrylic tends to scratch if you aren't careful with it.

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