My eyes aren't what they used to be. Well, to be honest, my eyes were never that good, but I managed. Now I'm finding doing tasks that involve small things to be a bit problematic, it was time to do something about it.
Enter the $10 magnifier, complete with LED lights.
I've used head-mounted magnifiers before -- such as the Optivisor -- but once you add the loupe and the light, the package is over $100. I have one, but I find the light bulky, and it doesn't even use LEDs, but instead xenon bulbs.
I've seen a number of cheaper alternatives but tended to shy away. "Buy cheap, buy twice," and all that. Then I noticed that my UK electronic supplier -- RS Components -- had a cheap magnifier that came with the loupe and a handy LED light, for about $10. I've seen them about for a few years, but seeing it here gave me hope of it being a decent product.
After all, this supplier doesn't, as a rule, sell rubbish because people would send things back. So I paid my money and took a chance.
And I was blown away by how good it was.
- The headband is comfortable, and fits my huge head
- The twin-LED lights powered by two AAA batteries is bright, and I can pan it left and right, and angle it downwards, depending on what I'm doing
- It's got three lenses (a fixed 1.9x stereo lens, a drop-down 1.9x stereo lens, and a 4.5x loupe) allowing for four magnifications up to 8.3x
- The lenses are high quality and distortion-free
- It's lightweight (which initially makes it feel cheap), but durable
- And it's available on Amazon for $10!
I've used mine now for a couple of months and I have no complaints. I really love the pan and tilt LEDs, that allows me to get the light exactly on what I'm doing.
Highly recommended! My only regret is having not bought one years ago.