Optivisor Questions

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Forum topic by rustynails posted 12-10-2011 06:11 PM 3267 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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807 posts in 2765 days

12-10-2011 06:11 PM

These questions are for people that own an Optivisor made by the Donegan Company.

1. What lens Magnification are you using? Or find to be the most useful or do you have multiple lenses?

2. Do any of you have or have use the Quasar LS lighting system? It’s the one that uses the Led lights that surrounds the lens. And if so what kind of batteries does it use and how long do they last? And do you like it as far as lighting up the area properly?

3. Or are use using the single light system and how does that one work as well?

4. Also is anyone using the Optiloupe? If so what are your thoughts of that?

5. Also have you used a magnifying lamp instead (like the ones mounted to a bench) before and like using the visor better or vice versa?

6. Where did you purchase your visor in regards to the best price?

Thanks Richard

4 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5261 posts in 3480 days

#1 posted 12-10-2011 06:19 PM

Depends on what kind of work you are doing. I use the strongest lens available because I do a lot of precision metal working at 1000’s of an inch. I also use an eye loupe for extreme closeup. An intense light source is also necessary. Don’t remember where I bought them; it’s been a long time.

View rustynails's profile


807 posts in 2765 days

#2 posted 12-10-2011 07:23 PM

The work I was going to use it for mostly would be inlay, parquetry and getting a tight fit on small boxes with adornments.

View Planeman40's profile


1330 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 12-11-2011 12:11 AM

First, I want to say I too do a lot of small work and do a good bit of precision metal work with metal lathe and mill and I do a lot of model making. I have had over the years or still have:

An Optivisor
A circular fluorescent light with a magnifier lens in the middle
Jeweler’s loupes
An expensive set of binocular loupes like dentists wear
And an industrial stereo-zoom inspection microscope

And what have I settled on for every day wear around the shop for close work? A cheap $5.99 Optivisor imitation sold by Harbor Freight!

I have found it is as good as anything and better than most. The magnification is 2X with a flip-down extra-magnification lens for 4X (or a flip-down loupe).

The jeweler’s loupes magnify too much and have a tiny field of view. The ring-light lamp with the magnifying lens has too much distortion around the edges which I find to be distracting and it isn’t portable. The binocular loupes (set at 2X) take a LOT of getting used to, are heavy on the nose, and are very expensive, and their field of view is limited. The stereo-zoom microscope is set for a minimum of 10X which is too much for general work, but it has an excellent field of view and depth of field. It is not portable though and it is even more expensive than the binocular loupes. The Optivisor is very good, but why pay $40 for something that you can equal for $5.99? And remember, given time, you are going to scratch up the plastic lens or somehow mess it up.

I keep three of the HF magnifying visors at key places in my shop where I will need them. When I really need higher magnification like when examining sharp tool edges or I am working with micro electronics I move to the stereo-zoom microscope, but only because I have it. It usually isn’t necessary.

”you pays your money and takes your choice!”


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View horologist's profile


104 posts in 3976 days

#4 posted 12-11-2011 02:07 AM

I do clock and watch work and find my two Optivisors to be invaluable. One has a lens plate #4 (2X with 10” focal length) this is the one I use the most for general magnification. For up close viewing I have one with lens plate #10 (3 1/2 X with 4” focal length). I do have the flip down Optiloupe attachment and have found it to be fairly useless. It does give you 2X but the distortion it creates makes it difficult to use. I very rarely use this accessory.

You could try to save money by buying one frame and a number of lenses but I would recommend buying complete Optivisors. I switch back and forth between my two frequently enough that having to stop and change the lens plates would be very frustrating.

I have never seen a magnifying bench lamp that was very useful. I’m also not to fond of the cheaper Optivisor knock offs, the ones I have tried get very uncomfortable after a while. Something to consider if you plan to wear it for an extended time.

You will want to match the focal length to your work. When I made a set of clock hands with a piercing saw and bench block I found the magnification of the #10 to be nice but it forced me to get so close that the saw frame kept hitting the Optivisor. In this case I found a pair Woodcraft magnifying safety glasses to be very helpful.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

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