We live in a culture culture where the magnifying glass is the symbol of mystery and investigation. On the other hand, you might need one for reading, travel, or exquisite crafts. So let’s see the best magnifying glass picks of the year and put them to good use!
When we think about magnifying glasses, I imagine we are all guilty of conjuring up images of Sherlock Holmes with his pipe, his hat, and the best magnifying glass the super sleuth could find.
While it is true that a magnifying glass would be a handy tool if you are investigating a crime in the Victorian age, in reality, you are most likely needing help with seeing your crossword or newspaper. Perhaps you have a craft project with exquisite detail, and your eyes just aren’t up to the job. If you want a quick refresh on how magnifying glasses work, check out our complete guide on optical concepts!
There are many reasons that you could be looking for the best magnifying glass to meet your needs. Nevertheless, you need to consider a few things before you buy one. We also crafted a buyer’s guide at the end of the article to guide you through the terminology and different options available. So let’s today what is the best magnifying glass for reading (depending on your needs), what is the best magnifying glass for coins if you are in numismatics, or the best magnifying glass with light for various purposes. Read the reviews below and make the best choice!
|Product Name||Best For||Magnification||Lens Diameter||Latest Price|
|MagniPro 3X Full Page Magnifier||Night Reading||3X||4.35 x 2.7 inches||Check Latest Price|
|iMagnify LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set||Versatility||5X, 10X||3.5, 2 inches||Check Latest Price|
|Fancii LED Lighted Slide Our Pocket Magnifying Glass||Portability||10X, 20X, 30X||1, 0.5, 0.3 inches||Check Latest Price|
|Cmoredetail 3 Loupe Bundle||Professionals & Hobbyists||3X, 10X, 20X, 30X, 40X, 45X||3, 1, 0.5, 0.3, 0.75, 0.75 inches||Check Latest Price|
|Learning Resources Primary Science Jumbo Magnifiers||Kids' Safety||4.5X||4.5 inches||Check Latest Price|
Best Magnifying Glass for Reading
We begin our quest of finding the best magnifying glass with instruments dedicated to book lovers and crosswords enthusiasts – not that such items are not useful to sudoku aficionados or puzzle makers, on the contrary.
We included what we considered – and others vouched for – the best magnifying glass products for reading. Let’s give them a go, shall we?
1 MagniPro 3X Full Page Magnifying Glass for Reading
To begin properly, let’s start with the MagniPro 3X magnifying glass for reading. Specially designed with book lovers in mind, it features a widescreen. In other words, there is no need to keep moving your arm back and forth across the screen. It is lined with LED lights so you can read in bed without any worries. It is a very popular magnifying glass with light and one of the best handheld magnifying glass options on the market!
|BEST FOR Night reading|
|Item Weight||10 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches|
|Item Size||10 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches|
|Lens Diameter||4.35 x 2.7 inches|
|Special Features||3X magnification; Anti-glare; Led lights; Dimmer; Wide field of view; Handheld|
Why choose the MagniPro 3X Full Page Magnifying Glass for Reading?
The MagniPro is the best magnifying glass for reading at night. It provides a comfortable experience that will not take a toll on your vision or your hands. Its rectangular shape and lightweight design make it easy to hold with no need to move around the page. But it comes with other interesting features, so here they are!
- The lighting is controlled by a dimmer switch, allowing you to customize the lighting conditions to your needs.
- Even at full brightness, these lights won’t cause any glare thanks to a unique technology included in the design of the lights.
- Made of optical grade acrylic which is light, scratch-resistant, and shatterproof.
- Magnifies up to 3X (300%) without optical distortion.
- Clinically proven to be efficient for anyone who strains their eyes.
- The roller dimmer allows easy adjustments of the brightness level (peaks at 600 lumen) with the tap of a finger.
- The energy-efficient LED lights are designed to last more than 100,000 hours without burning out or overheating.
- Powered by 3 AAA batteries.
|Wide field of view|
|Great price for the specs|
|Some testers say that the on/off switch can be tricky|
This magnifying glass for reading is an excellent option if you are looking for an alternative to powerful reading glasses. It will allow you to read your book anywhere without a care. The widescreen is a real selling point for all book buffs out there. It makes a much more natural reading experience for kids, adults, and elders alike. Its versatility and excellent price are definitely compelling! If you would be looking for some type of telescope for indoor reading late at night, this magnifier would be it!
2 Carson DeskBrite Magnifying Glass for Reading
The Carson DeskBrite is the only free-standing magnifying glass on our list. If you are looking for a hands-free experience, this is the one you will want to check out. It is basically a desk lamp with a magnifier. It has an adjustable neck so that you can still get it into the right position.It makes one of the best gifts for kids who love reading, as it does not force their young eyes or little hands. As you can easily figure out, it makes an excellent reading tool and accessory for adults and seniors alike.
|BEST FOR Hands-free Use|
|Item Weight||35.2 ounces|
|Item Size||20.1 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches inches|
|Special Features||LED lights; Freestanding ; Flexible neck; 5X auxiliary loupe; Mains Adapter|
Why Choose Carson DeskBrite Magnifying Glass for Reading?
The DeskBrite is the best magnifying glass for those that need hands-free magnification. Perfect for intricate work with tools or those who can’t hold a magnifier for long periods. But let’s see other features, shall we?
- It has a 2X magnification and an auxiliary 5X loupe.
- The LED lights give a clear and evenly lit view.
- It can even be powered with a mains adapter so there is no need for batteries, although it can be powered with 3 AAA’s if required;
- The Flexible Neck allows users to adjust the lens to the position that fits their needs the best;
- The Crystal Clear Acrylic Lens diameter is 4 inches;
- The product comes with Carson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
|2 magnification strengths|
|Very comfortable to use|
|Can be powered by plug or batteries|
|The light can be dim for some|
The DeskBrite is best for those that need hands-free magnification. It is the ideal choice for low vision reading aide for books, menus, magazines, etc. Moreover, it can be your trusted partner and co-worker if you are into hobbies, crafts, or work requiring the utmost attention to detail: model building, soldering, jewelry design, needlepoint, sewing, and more. It also works great if you are into the building of circuits and robots with your Arduino kit, as it allows you to perform the most refined circuitry operations with excellent magnification power and no need for extra hands.
Best Magnifying Glass for Seniors
The second category we picked for you today is the best magnifying glass for seniors. Macular degeneration and other problems regarding vision functions need addressing. One way to help a family member dealing with such health issues is to get them a particular type of magnifying glass to improve their quality of life. What is the best magnifying glass you ask? If a senior member of your family needs some help, here are some of the best magnifying glasses that are both powerful and affordable!
3 iMagnify Set LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass for Seniors
The iMagnify Set LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass for seniors is terrific for those suffering from vision problems. The high-powered lights and choice of magnification strengths make them the ideal magnifying reading glasses for age-related macular degeneration. They are also easy to use and quite versatile, allowing any senior to make the best out of them with no effort.
|BEST FOR Versatility|
|Item Weight||8 ounces|
|Item Size||8.6 x 4.8 x 2 inches|
|Lens Diameter||3.5, 2 inches|
|Special features||LED Lights; Interchangeable lenses|
Why choose the Why Choose iMagnify LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass?
The iMagnify LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass is perfect for senior users. Its easy-grip handle makes it a top choice for those who struggle with grip or arm fatigue. It comes with two different magnification strengths, 5X and 10X, so it will suit most day to day uses, even for those with vision impairments. These are interchangeable, so there is no need to carry two separate magnifiers.
There is also the option to add another lens, taking the magnification up to 16X!
But let’s see other advantages and great features of this magnifying glass:
- The built-in, elegant, and energy efficient LED lights on the handle deliver an ideal amount of light when you need to read or work in the dark without disturbing your asleep partner;
- According to users, this is the best magnifying glass for reading small print without effort;
- This magnifying glass features a perfect balance of weight and size, also allowing you to switch lenses depending on the situation;
- Another amazing selling point is the replacement of the item for free for life!
|Best magnifying glass for versatility of use|
|In some cases, the lenses can be distorted|
The iMagnify is a top choice for senior readers who suffer from vision impairments. The interchangeable lenses and LED lights make it easy to see fine details without carrying several magnifying glasses. Moreover, the lifetime guarantee and the specs make this item a crowd favorite and probably the best magnifying glass of its type in its price range.
4Bulex 30X High Power Handheld Magnifying Glass for Seniors
The Bulex 30X High Powered Handheld Magnifying Glass is another top choice for our senior readers out there. It has a 30X magnification to make the smallest writing clearly visible. It is encircled with bright LED lights to make viewing even more comfortable. It comes equipped with double real glass lenses that make the surface durable and scratch-resistant.
|BEST FOR Macular Degeneration|
|Item Weight||12 ounces|
|Item Size||205 x 106 x 27mm|
|Lens Diameter||3.1 inches|
|Special Features||LED lights; Large easy-grip handle; Powerful magnification|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty / 30-day money back guarantee|
Why choose the Bulex 30X High Power Handheld Magnifying Glass?
The 30X Power High Power Handheld Magnifying Glass is the best magnifying glass for seniors with pronounced vision problems. The high magnification is a top-selling point. The lens is a glass doublet (see buyers guide for description) creating a crystal-clear image with 30X magnification.
The high powered lights around the frame give an evenly lit reading frame. This is why it is one of the top choices for those dealing with vision impairments such as macular degeneration. But let’s see other reasons why this magnifying glass is so compelling:
- This handheld magnifier features 12 pcs LED lights for impeccable viewing;
- It requires just two AA batteries;
- Extremely durable with scratch-resistant surface.
|Best magnifying glass for macular degeneration|
|Great battery life|
|12 LED lights|
|Some customers have said the magnification is not as strong as 30X|
The 30X High Power Handheld Magnifying Glass is an exceptional addition to the list. Its simple design makes it the perfect choice for elderly readers. It is ideal for examining fine prints in reading newspapers, documents, maps, coins, stamps, electronic parts, photos, jewelry and crafts, needlework, plants and so on. The doublet glass lenses and the bright LED lights reinforce this product as one of the top favorites for those with vision problems. The product comes with enthusiast customer reviews and excellent customer support should you want to replace the product for some reason. The price is also incredible.
Best Magnifying Glass for Travel
If you wonder why one would need a magnifying glass for travel, we have one word for you: adventure! Are you a hiker using a map for orientation at night? You need the best magnifying glass for travel! Are you an amateur archeologist or naturalist? You need a magnifying glass to see the finest details. In this category, we have two items and it’s time to check them out!
5 Fancii 5.5-inch Handheld Magnifying Glass for Travel
The Fancii 5.5-inch Magnifying Glass is a dream came true for travelers, explorers, adventurers, and almost anybody who enjoys the great outdoors and solving the mysteries of the world. In fact, Sherlock would have loved this item if it had been available back in his day.
The main viewing field has a 2X magnification, but the item also comes with 4X and 10X loupes, making it the perfect choice for maps and fine prints/details. The energy-efficient LED lights also mean that you can still navigate at night and follow your hobby no matter how dark the place is. Put this product on the list as the best magnifying glass for reading small print indoors and outdoors.
|BEST FOR Maps and documents|
|Item Weight||4.5 ounces|
|Item Size||1.6 x 9.1 x 3.9 inches|
|Magnification||2X, 4X, 10X|
|Lens Diameter||5.5, 1, 0.8 inches|
|Special Features||Jumbo-sized; Large handle ; LED lights; Multiple magnification levels|
Why choose the Fancii 5.5-inch Handheld Magnifying Glass?
This is one of the best magnifying glasses for those who travel. A 3-in-1 magnifying glass with light is already tremendous but also consider that the 3 magnification strengths will allow you to see and navigate with your map easy as a breeze. But let’s see why this magnifying glass would even make Sherlock squeal and Hercule Poirot reconsider his position on dropping on his fours to find lost clues in the grass.
- The lightweight design and ergonomic handle make it comfortable to use for extended periods.
- The LED lights are embedded around the frame to provide excellent lighting in any conditions.
- You can also use it as a handy flashlight.
- This is a 5.5 inch oversized handheld magnifying glass with 2X, 4X and 10X scratch-resistant high power lens.
- The clear distortion-free magnifying lens with comfortable ergonomic handle makes this product suitable for children, adults, seniors, hobbyists, and professionals.
- Comes with a velvet pouch and a lens cleaning cloth.
- You can turn ON and OFF the LED lights with a simple button switch.
- Powered by three AAA batteries (not included).
|Impressive size and tech specs|
|Excellent tool for travel, adventure, explorations, hobbies, crafts, etc.|
|Work great for all ages and activities|
|• Auxiliary lenses are tiny|
If you need some assistance with your map at any time during your adventure, this is the best magnifying glass you can find in its price range. The numerous magnification powers give some versatility in use, and the LED lights allow you to use it in any conditions. The large, comfortable handle also makes it easier to grip and keep hold of no matter where your steps carry you. The best part is that anyone in the family can use it for a diverse range of needs and activities. It is the perfect choice for anyone who want to see fine details in books, newspapers, magazines, maps, electronics, miniatures, jewelry, pill bottles, hobbies and crafts.
6 Fancii LED Lighted Slide Our Pocket Magnifying Glass
Next on our list of the best magnifying glasses for travel is another Fancii model. This magnifying glass is perfect if you don’t want to carry around a big magnifier. It has a more discrete appearance and a nifty slide-out design, an excellent choice for exploring the finest details of the world around you. Of course, it does not work as well as the finest microscope out there, but it will nevertheless impress you with its magnifying power.
While some say it works best for jewelry, diamonds, gems, coins, stamps, or rocks, the research we did strongly suggests it is an amazing tool for boy scouts, outdoor adventurers, hobby mystery solvers, and so on.
| BEST FOR Portability|
|Item Weight||1.6 ounces|
|Item Size||3.2 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches|
|Magnification||10X, 20X, 30X|
|Lens Diameter||1, 0.5, 0.3 inches|
|Special Features||UV backlight; Protective case with a slide-out design; Auto-powers on when extended; Multiple magnification strengths|
|Warranty||Upon manufacturer request|
Why choose the Fancii LED Lighted Slide Out Pocket Magnifying Glass ?
This particular item is the best choice for adventurers who want a more discrete, lighter, and more portable magnifying glass. The slide-out design keeps it compact and protected. It can fit in virtually any pocket and can even check the authenticity of banknotes while you are on your journeys.
When fully extended, the LED lights are automatically triggered, so there is no need to fumble around with light switches. It offers 10X, 20X and 30X magnification, so it is exceptionally versatile for such a small magnifier.
So let’s resume its other great features:
- Built-in LED lights and UV blacklight;
- Powerful zoom combined with a sharp distortion-free view;
- Fits in any purse, shirt and pants pocket (leather travel sleeve included).
|Auto-powered LED lights|
|Some say that the lighting is at a bad angle, so all you can see are shadows|
This magnifying glass with light and UV blacklight is our top pick for travel buffs and explorers, due to its lightweight and compact design. With an auto-on feature and multiple magnification strengths, it doesn’t sacrifice function for size. So, whether you are searching for a handy magnifier for daily use or you need something quick and easy while traveling, this is the one to check out!
Best Magnifying Glass for Coins
What is the use of getting the best metal detector for coins if you do not have the proper tools to examine your treasure? Welcome to our next category, where you will find two items that we are sure will meet your research needs and exceed your numismatics expectations!
7 Cmoredetail 3 Loupe Bundle
The 3-loupe bundle makes a splendid investment if you are looking for some versatility in your magnification strengths. This set contains 6 different lenses in total and includes the strongest magnification power on our list.
You get 3X magnifying glass with light & 45X coin loupe + lighted slide-out pocket geologist loupe with 10X, 20X & 30X lenses + lighted 40X jewelers loupe, all at an incredible price. If this is not a bargain, we don’t know what is!
| BEST FOR Professionals and Hobbyists|
|Item Weight||19.2 ounces|
|Item Size||10.9 x 1.5 x 5.8 inches|
|Magnification||3X, 10X, 20X, 30X, 40X, 45X|
|Lens Diameter||3, 1, 0.5, 0.3, 0.75, 0.75 inches|
|Special Features||Range of magnification powers; Handheld magnifier; Pocket magnifier; Jeweler’s loupe; LED lights; Batteries included|
|Warranty||100% Money Back Guarantee|
Why choose the Cmoredetail 3 Loupe Bundle Magnifying Glass?
This magnifying bundle is great for versatility all professionals need in their life. If you are a jeweler, a hobby treasure hunter, a numismatist, a researcher, librarian, archeologist, and so on, it will have you covered no matter what life throws at you. Now let’s discuss its other amazing features!
- The set includes a 3X handheld magnifier with an auxiliary 45X loupe for coins, a compact pocket magnifier with 10X, 20X and 30X magnification, and a metal jewelers’ loupe with a 40X magnification.
- Each of these have LED lights attached to help you see more clearly (batteries included).
- The package includes a free bonus as well – Cmoredetail CREDIT CARD SIZE 3X MAGNIFIER, perfect as a magnifying glass for reading, which fits inside pockets, purses or flat in a wallet credit card slot.
- The package also includes instructions for downloading 3 FREE Far Outside the Ordinary Coloring Books for kids and even adults to enjoy!
|Best magnifying glass for coin hunters, professionals, numismatists, stamp collectors, and more|
|Impressive range of magnification|
|All batteries included|
|Unbeatable price for the bundle + bonuses|
|Some lenses are very small|
The bundle is great for a variety of purposes and is very cost-effective. Whether you are looking for high-powered magnification or magnifying glasses to cover a wide range of uses and scenarios, this will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. All three magnifiers are ideal for better and detailed viewing of electronic circuits, coins, rocks, currency, stamps, gems, and jewelry, including watches. As some customers said, “these magnifying glasses work magnificently!”
8 Tamehom Handheld 12 LED Large Magnifying Glass
The Tamehom Handheld 12 LED Large Magnifying Glass is another fantastic choice for coins. The simple yet durable design makes it comfortable to use. Moreover, its 30X magnification means that it packs quite a big punch. So even if the coins you hunt with your metal detector seem to lack details, take this big boy out and unravel a little piece of historic mystery!
| BEST FOR All Family Members|
|Item Weight||11.2 ounces|
|Item Size||8.3 x 4.4 x 1.2 inches|
|Lens Material||Environmentally friendly plastic|
|Lens Diameter||3.15 inches|
|Special Features||12 built-in energy-saving LEDs|
|Warranty||Upon manufacturer request|
Why choose the Tamehom Handheld 12 LED Large Magnifying Glass for Coins?
While it is a simple tool, it is one sturdy magnifying glass. It magnifies objects to 30 times their size and has 12 energy-efficient LED lights around the rim to help you see better in any conditions. It is perfect if you are looking for a no-fuss experience with high-quality magnification. But let’s see other things that make it great!
- The ergonomic handle provides comfort and reduces arm fatigue.
- The double glazing lenses and frames are scratch-resistant.
- Only 2 AA batteries are required (not included).
- Great for kids to explore nature, adults to read anything, and all elders with low vision or visual impairments.
|Simple and ergonomic design for all age groups|
|Great price for the specs|
|Comes with a raised button switch on the magnifier handle for easy pushing|
|If you move fast, you can enjoy the massive discount|
|Some customers reported issues with the LED lights|
Do we have to tell you this item is a terrific choice of magnifying glass if you are looking for strong magnification to pick up on subtle details?
Ideal for reading and viewing books, investigating coins, working with photos, maps, miniatures, and jewelry, understanding medicine prospects and labels, or creating models and fine details of various crafts, this magnifying glass is something to have around at all times.
Its simple design makes it easy to use, and the LED lights offer even lighting for best quality magnification. The price is also more than affordable!
Best Magnifying Glass for Kids
Now we have reached our final – and favorite – category: the best magnifying glass for kids. Sure, the little ones love their microscopes and we bet they adore their telescopes, but a magnifying glass comes with more portability, more versatility in use, and a flair of mystery and secrecy that fascinates all kids.
So, let’s pick the best magnifying glass for your little detective, nature lover, explorer, circuit board wizard, or researcher!
9 Illuminate Magnifier Magnifying Glass 3X for Kids
Our next addition to the best magnifying glass list of reviews and recommendations is the Illuminate Magnifier magnifying Glass 3X. Its simple design, non-slip handle, and large lens make it the perfect choice for all children’s activities, hobbies, and school projects. Made from injection molding glass without distortions and coming in vibrant color, this magnifying glass is too fun and too useful to not keep it around.
| BEST FOR Ease of Use by All Kids|
|Item Weight||8.8 ounces|
|Item Size||22.9 x 11.7 x 2 inches|
|Lens Diameter||4 inches|
|Special Features||Rubber handle; Simple design; Scratch-resistant lenses with anti-glare function|
|Warranty||Replacement or money-back guarantee|
Why choose the Illuminate Magnifier Magnifying Glass 3X for Kids?
This product has made the list of best magnifying glasses for kids due to its safe and straightforward design. Its sizeable 4-inch lens offers 3X magnification.You have to realize it is more than enough magnification for exploring the finer details of nature in your back garden, or inspecting gemstones, coins, and jewelry.
There is no lighting on this model, but that just makes it safer traveling in the hands of kids. Its rubber handle also offers better grip, so they are less likely to drop it. But let’s see other features!
- It passed precision optical testing.
- Made from injection molding glass without distortions.
- It boasts features such as scratch resistance and anti-glare function.
- It also will help elders to regain their crystal clear vision when reading books, papers, prescriptions or small prints on the screen.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee: the manufacturer delivers no-hassle replacement or money back guarantee.
- It is an ideal choice of gift for kids to get outside and explore and a must for seniors to read the finest things.
|Excellent tool for reading and natural exploring|
|Easy to use, versatile, and fun|
|Comfortable to use by kids and elders alike|
|Some say the item is flimsy|
This magnifying glass is a top-notch choice for anyone in the family from young kids to grandma and grandpa. The design is durable and reliable with its large lens and non-slip handle, making it safe in the hands of anyone. The 100mm large glass lens, the non-slip soft rubber handle, the optical precision, the anti-glare function, the fantastic customers’ reviews, and the discounted price are all compelling reasons to buy this magnifying glass.
10 Learning Resources Primary Science Jumbo Magnifiers
We have talked about the Learning Resources brand when we discussed the best science kits for kids a while ago. It is only fitting to conclude our best magnifying glass top with their Primary Science Jumbo Magnifying Glass for Kids.
The Learning Resources Primary Science Jumbo Magnifiers are a set of six colorful magnifying glasses. The optical tools in the set are made entirely of safety plastic and are harmless in the hands of anyone ages three and up. They support inquiry-based investigation and hands-on observations, making them an incredible learning and educational tool as well.
| BEST FOR Safety|
|Item Weight||39.2 ounces|
|Item Size||5.8 x 9.2 x 8.5 inches|
|Lens Diameter||4.5 inches|
|Special Features||Jumbo size; Thick handle; Safe plastic design; Fold-out stand; Holding stand|
|Warranty||Upon manufacturer request|
Why choose the Learning Resources Primary Science Jumbo Magnifiers for Kids?
These are perfect for young kids and will keep them entertained in the tiny wonders of the world for hours. They come in a set of 6 magnifiers, so they are ideal for group exploration. Each magnifier is 4.5X and will be able to capture small details of leaves, rocks, gems – anything that your youngster is interested in. They are made of safe plastic and therefore, shatterproof.
They also have a handle designed to be held by younger users, so they are less likely to be dropped. But let’s see what can these magnifying glasses can do!
- Inspire an early love of learning about science and nature through observation. Next thing you know, your young science buff will soon ask for the best microscope for kids to further quench their insatiable quest for knowledge and passion for research.
- This set of 6 magnifiers include red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple magnifying glasses and comes with a stand to keep the classroom, science lab, or home neat and tidy.
- The entire set is amazing for viewing leaves, feathers, fabric, rocks, and much more interesting stuff that keep kids passionate about learning and exploring.
- As a reliable educational toy and science kit for the little ones, the flip-out stand allows hands-free viewing, so children can use their hands to turn and manipulate the items they are viewing.
|Set of 6|
|Very enthusiast parents' reviews|
|The stand feels flimsy|
Safe in the hands of anyone ages 3 and up, this is great for inspiring younger kids to discover and enjoy science. Fun and easy to use, it will keep the kids entertained in the tiny wonders of the world. It also makes an excellent educational tool for parents to introduce the little ones to the science of optics. You know what they say: today the best magnifying glass to see the insects, tomorrow the best telescope to see the stars!
How to Pick the Best Magnifying Glass for Your Needs: A Short Guide
Before you buy any magnifying glass – or any optical instrument for that matter – you should know a few things beforehand. Let’s delve into the details, shall we?
In this buyers’ guide, we will start with the basics. Before we go on about all the specs of magnifying glasses, we need to cover magnification. So, what is it? In short, it means making something appear larger. If optics interest you, check out this guide on how telescopes (and similar optical tools in general) work!
Simply put, a lens is a transparent material that bends light rays. You most likely know that there are lenses in many things other than magnifying glasses, such as cameras, microscopes, and telescopes. These use lenses to bend light to change how we see things.
What is a Magnifying Glass?
A magnifying glass is an optical lens. It means that when we look through it, it makes objects appear larger. When we look at objects, we can see them because light rays bounce off the object and into our eyes. When we place a convex lens, such as a magnifying glass, between our eye and the object, it causes the light to bend before reaching the eye. This, in turn, causes the image to appear larger.
How to Use a Magnifying Glass?
The first thing to do before using your magnifying glass is to make sure that there is enough light for you to see.
- The better the lighting, the better you are going to be able to see and pick out those fine details.
- Most of the magnifying glasses on our list come with lights built in to make it easier.
A regular handheld magnifying glass (like most of the ones on our list) is held mid-way between your eye and the object.
- You will then need to move the magnifier back and forth towards you and the object to find the best focus.
- You will know when you reach the sweet spot; all the details will be sharp and clear to see.
Another kind of magnifying glass is the loupe (pronounced loop).
These are the kind that you see jewelers use by holding it in place with their eye. These are designed to be used closer to the eye, hence why jewelers do that. Loupes give better magnification and more precise images, allowing you to use tools without getting in the way.
It only seems logical that magnifying glasses are made of glass, but many manufacturers will use acrylic. Like most things, the best option is more of a personal choice. Each has its benefits and shortcomings.
- Glass magnifying glasses are more massive and more expensive, but provide a superior level of magnification and clarity.
- They are great if you need the fine details and don’t mind supporting their weight.
- On the other hand, if you are looking to read the newspaper or generally need to see a little better, acrylic might be the way to go.
- Acrylic magnifying glasses are scratch and shatter-resistant, so they are a safer option. They still provide proper magnification and clarity, just not as excellent as glass. For most users, it is more than adequate.
Strength means how many times larger objects will appear; for example, 10X magnification will make items appear ten times larger than they are.
Higher magnification levels cause a reduction in clarity. As a result, the field of view is small and can be challenging to use.
Field of View
The field of view is the area of the lens that has a bright, magnified image. On high-quality magnifying glasses, it is the size of the lens that matters.
- The larger the magnification is, the more interference occurs towards the edges of the lens. This leaves a small area to be in focus – the field of view.
Working Distance (also known as Focal Length)
The working distance of the magnifier is how far away from the object, the lens can still focus.
- If you are using the magnifier for reading, you will be okay with a low working distance.
- If you want to use tools or hold it at length for whatever reason, you will need to look for one with a higher working distance.
Depth of Field
The range of distance that the object will remain in focus. It is easy to confuse it with working distance. The difference is that the depth of field is the distance for the sharpest view.
There are a few different ways that lenses can be arranged to give better magnification and clarity.
- There is a simple lens, a single lens that you look through. It is good for basic magnifications but can suffer from color distortion at the edge of the field of view.
- T here are also doublet and triplet lenses. These are either two or three simple lenses. When combined with the addition of each lens, the magnification and clarity increase.
Regular lenses are positive, meaning that they cause the light rays to bend towards one another. If we add this to a negative lens (causing light rays to bend away from each other), this causes even better magnification. These are called achromatic lenses.
It means the loss of clarity at the edges of the field of view. A type of distortion known as color distortion is the prism effect of colors that appear at the viewing field edges.
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