Good magnifier for transparencies

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erian

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What would be a good magnifier to view transparencies on the light table?

I have two of them and I am not really satisfied. Enlargement feels very small and the covering area is rather small.
 

AgX

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Likely the cheapest solution would be a 50mm F1.4-2 lens at hand.
 

Sirius Glass

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Likely the cheapest solution would be a 50mm F1.4-2 lens at hand.

I was going to say that. Open up the iris and look though the front of the lens with the lens mount towards the slides.
 

macfred

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I have an old Mamiya 3x loupe (covering up to 6x7) from the 70's my father hands down to me. It's a pleasure to use and I can really recommend it for medium format slides.
You can find those on ebay = quite expensive (saw it for about 180-200 US $). I remember my father using a chimney finder for watching transparencies.
For 35mm you will need another magnification - I use a Peak Stand Loupe (8x) and sometimes a no-name Slide Viewer (2x) - find it awkward to use and prefer the Peak loupe.
 
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Match the viewing field to the size of the slides you are using. 6x6 and 6x7 loupés vary in price and quality, but the el cheapies are hobbled by all-plastic viewing components, which really should be avoided. The best of these products are corrected for chroma, curvature, astigmatism, dioptric correction/focus and light fall-off, and as a general rule the more highly corrected a loupé is, the more you will be paying for it.

Cabin, Schneider, Zeiss (just three that come to mind) make excellent loupés, but you must set a price point vs features list: for some the sky truly is the limit.

Lenses are OK as a stop-gap measure, but a proper loupé is an investment in convenience and quality.
 
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chip j

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I have them all, and Leica 5X is the best. Nikon 4X is also very good.
 

elmontanero

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I had a donor give me one of these with a small light table. Dorky - you bet! Awesome clarity looking at the negs and variable magnification. I use it for camera repairs and cleaning, lens inspection and seeing things my weary eyes need to see. (pictures from Amazon) LINK
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benjiboy

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You neglect to mention what size slides you are viewing on a light table because most loupes designed to cover 35mm slides will not cover medium format ones because the magnification is too great to see the whole image.
 
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craigclu

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I own some high end loupes but I find myself grabbing an old Hexanon 50mm that seems somehow easier to use...? It was a broken lens (mechanism) so i removed the post extension. They're well corrected and provide a great view of 35mm negatives and slides.
 
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erian

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You neglect to mention what size slides you are viewing on a light table because most loupes designed to cover 35mm slides will not cover medium format ones because the magnification is too great to see the whole image.

Good point. I do not necessarily want to see the whole image but details but it would be mix of 35mm and medium format 645 up to 6x9 and hopefully some 4x5 and 8x10. So mix of everything.

I have currently small ADOX branded loupe that claims to be 10x but goes completely blurry when I try to turn it into full magnification (I think it does it approximately in the middle).
 

Sirius Glass

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Likely the cheapest solution would be a 50mm F1.4-2 lens at hand.

I was going to say that. Open up the iris and look though the front of the lens with the lens mount towards the slides.

You neglect to mention what size slides you are viewing on a light table because most loupes designed to cover 35mm slides will not cover medium format ones because the magnification is too great to see the whole image.

See the two quoted posts above yours.
 

shashinzukuri

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The Leica 5X is excellent, but see if you can avoid the Red Dot Tax and get one marked "EMO Macromax" instead of "Leica". Leica started doing their distribution (and I think bought out the company eventually), but even on the used market they're the same loupes at half the price (and ~$400 less than new). The Macromax is, however, built for 35mm, so while its coverage is generous there it will likely not be enough for your tastes in MF/LF viewing.

I went through a series of Mamiya/Cabin medium-format loupes, which were excellent and remain reasonably available on eBay.

The best that I've found, though, is Bill Maxwell's 4.5x magnifier. After I got that one I sold or gave away most of the others (save my Macromax, which remains my loupe of choice for ground-glass focusing). The big caveat is that the Maxwell magnifier is enormous compared to any other and can be pretty awkward to store.
 
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