Peak 8X Loupe

Ian-Barber

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I need to think about a better loupe, I seem to be struggling a bit using a reversed 50mm lens.

Anyone any experience with a Peak 8x loupe for 5x4 work

1533
 

JimW

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I have a Nikon branded item that looks remarkably similar..... Works well enough for me. The knurled area around the lens rotates, thus adjusting focus for your eyes.
 

David M

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I think the Nikon version was a rebranded Peak. I bought mine for viewing slides.
It should work well, but there are some small points to observe.
1: Many people find that 8X is just a bit too much as it magnifies the grain of the screen and fresnel grooves, which can interfere with seeing the image itself clearly. This is entirely personal and needs a trial.
2: The mechanics of holding a relatively short loupe against the screen, under the cloth can give you a crick in the neck. Depending on the detailed shape of your face, your nose may get uncomfortably close to the screen. Again, it's a matter for personal trial. The model that Joanna suggests is longer, as are most dedicated LF ones.
3: Although many LF loupes are provided with an opaque skirt, a clear one presents no difficulty because you are already operating in the dark. If you prefer to focus without a cloth, then you will need an opaque one.

A pair of the cheap reading glasses that most chemists sell can work well, unless you already wear a pair, in in which case you'll have an uncomfortable scrabble when changing from one to the other. (This was my experience, but I may simply be very clumsy.)
Jim mentions an important point. You really do need a model that can be adjusted to focus exactly on the ground surface of the screen.
 

Alan Clark

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I have a 4x Horizon linen tester which I have used for many years and like a lot. I had to glue strips of felt to the base which sits on the ground glass - to get it to focus as David has said.
I think 4x is a good level of magnification.

Alan
 

Ian-Barber

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Thanks, the one I was really looking for was the Schneider 4x loupe but these have become hard to find at a reasonable price. Will keep looking
 

James T

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A pair of the cheap reading glasses that most chemists sell can work well, unless you already wear a pair, in in which case you'll have an uncomfortable scrabble when changing from one to the other. (This was my experience, but I may simply be very clumsy.)
Jim mentions an important point. You really do need a model that can be adjusted to focus exactly on the ground surface of the screen.
Is is possible to get clip on magnifying glasses, which save a lot of hassle -- they're mainly sold for model makers and the like. I use a 4x pair which seem OK. (There's also good heritage -- that is the solution adopted by Ansel Adams!)
 

David M

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Ian,
Just to satisfy my curiosity, could you say why you asked about something that you weren't really looking for?
The Schneider is excellent, by the way. Alas, none of them are cheap. Best of luck with the search.
 

jerry bodine

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When I first started with 4x5 I bought a short focusing Schneider 8x (no skirt) and it worked very well with my excellent eyesight at the time, although I soon found that in cold conditions with my nose close to the groundglass that my breath would condense on the screen very quickly, making it impossible to see the image well enough to focus. Nowadays, I use a slightly taller Wista 5X (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/63453-REG/Wista_211046_5x_Standard_Focusing_Loupe.html), and when it's cold I don a bandana to direct my breath downward away from the screen. The Wista may not be easy to find now, but there is another option that's fairly popular among folks using 4x5 cameras with folding hoods for the screen; it's 4X about 4" long and is necessary with the hood but is not focusing. They show up occasionally. Here's one available now in near mint condition:
 

Ian-Barber

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Ian,
Just to satisfy my curiosity, could you say why you asked about something that you weren't really looking for?
The Schneider is excellent, by the way. Alas, none of them are cheap. Best of luck with the search.
Not sure what you mean David. I am looking for a Loupe and saw the Peak at a good price but wanted any opinions before buying it
 

David M

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I understand. Thank you. A good loupe can be surprisingly expensive, so it's not a pocket-money purchase. Mine was given to me, because it looked so scruffy.
A cheap linen-tester will work quite well until you find one that suits, and it will certainly be easier to carry and use than a 50 mm lens.
You could try those very cheap 3- or 4-dioptre reading glasses. They suit some people very well and both your hands will be free, which is a great advantage, particularly if there's any wind. If you do use them, a cord to go round your neck is useful, as you can't push them up onto your forehead under the cloth.

The thing about magnification is that the texture of the ground glass screen limits the detail you can see. Once you can resolve the texture, greater magnification is no help and can be a hinderance. Most people find that 4x or 6x is suitable. 8x would be bit high for most people, but everyone's eyes differ.
I suppose in today's world we might liken this to blowing up an image until we see the pixels.
Naturally, the detail on the film is much better resolved, as the grain of film is so much finer than the grain of the screen. There is an inverse relationship between screen brightness and fineness. A finer screen can show more detail, but a finer screen is closer to being transparent, so the image is dimmer. The Other Ian may well have more information on this.

I'm speculating that if you can save the weight of a 50mm lens, you might be able to carry another dark-slide. Or a generous slice of fruit cake. The choice will be yours.
 
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