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Recommendation for Loupe and Lightbox
Old 08-19-2005   #1
skimmel
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Recommendation for Loupe and Lightbox

I have recently started to shoot 35mm slide film and have been really enjoying it. I am looking for recommendations for a good (but not huge) light box and loupe. My plan is to use them to identify slides to later scan and print.

Some specific questions (I have no experience at all here, so hopefully these questions are even on-point):
1) What multiplication factor for the loupe?
2) Any brands in particular?
3) How important is the quality of the lightbox?
4) Any other advice?

Thanks in advance for all advice.
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Old 08-19-2005   #2
back alley
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i've never had a decent lightbox so i can't help there.

i do have a very nice nikon loupe made for the 35mm size and it works great, crystal clear.

i also have a cheap loupe made for 120 and it works ok.
i tend to use it to read medicine bottles and ingredients on packages.
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Old 08-19-2005   #3
XAos
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I just got mine, here's what I found out.

Dont worry about color corrected unless you're doing 1) slides 2) have to be accurate with your colors - like ad work. That said - most of them are color corrected. Be careful when you look at them online - many of the less expensive light boxes run on batteries and do not include an AC adapter, which will jack up the price.

Price up to 5x7 is reasonable. If you absolutely got to have 8x10 or larger it'll cost more. It is handy for viewing a whole sheet of negatives though, but I can live with sliding the page around.

The Porta Trace 5x7 thin panel is $30 at B&H and includes the AC adapter. Loupe's I'm not as happy with. I bought a generic 8x loupe and didn't have it out of the box for 10 minutes before I horribly scratched it and didn't even realize when or how. It's REALLY soft acrylic. I have a Canon which is probably acrylic as well but I keep it in its little box religiously when it's not actually in my hand on the light box. You don't need a focusing loupe - nor zoom. You do want something that'll cover a 35mm negative though - and 8x is about the limit. Now I need something for my 6x7's and I'm not sure what to get either. At least they're big enough to see if you like it with the naked eye - so it still serves the purpose of assessing whether or not it's even worth scanning.
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Old 08-19-2005   #4
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I have the 8x10 two light color correct one that KEH sells for about $30. Fits in a laptop case I found. You want color correction...For a loupe you can use a 50mm lens reversed to start with but thats kinda high powered. I use a Raynox 100mm F2.8 flat field projector lens as my loupe also reversed. I tried those new style thin battery operated ones and the colors were too pink.
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Old 08-19-2005   #5
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OOPs Portatrace is the brand name one I have. I also use 2 of them to make a color correct light source for tabletop macro stuff. Gives nice soft color correct lighting.
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Old 08-20-2005   #6
Poptart
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My bad eyesight is the best loupe ever!
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Old 08-20-2005   #7
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The Schneider 4X loupe is the standard for 35mm work. Optics are made of glass with an adjustable eyepiece. Great for slides or viewing negatives. I personally use an old Leitz 5X magnifier originally made for the Visoflex I. Plastic loupes are ok if you have nothing else but a good loupe is easier on ther eyes.
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Old 08-20-2005   #8
aizan
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i have a 4x mamiya loupe and an 8x10 cabin. i don't have much experience with other models, but compared to what they had at the store, they're pretty good.
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Old 08-21-2005   #9
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I've been pleased with a Kaiser ProLite 5000 and a Schneider 4x (although never compared them to others).
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Old 08-21-2005   #10
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another low-cost and convenient alternative is a handheld slide viewer.. I didn't even know they existed until my father handed me one a week ago.. they typically run on a pair of "C" batteries and have a 4X magnification screen on them.. you can get them very cheap on ebay.. I just picked up a Vivitar brand unit for $7 including shipping

http://cgi.ebay.com/VIVITAR-35-MM-SL...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pana-Vue-Lighted...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sears-Lighted-2-...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/slide-viewer-Opt...QQcmdZViewItem

keep in mind that these aren't exactly color-corrected or high quality optics.. but they are handy for quickly viewing slides in order to find a particular one to scan, or to show someone else without having to set up a projector
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Old 08-21-2005   #11
StuartR
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I wound up with a Cabin 8x10 light panel that I bought with a rebate from my mamiya 7ii...it is fantastic. I like the slim profile, and the color corrected light really makes a difference when you are trying to judge slides. As for a loupe, I have a leica 5x that I use for slide viewing and also for ground glass focusing on a 4x5 camera. It is fantastic, but for overall use the Pentax 5.5x SMC is excellent. It is not quite as flat of field as the leica, but it gives you ample room to see the entire slide at 5.5x, and it is much cheaper than the leica loupe. It gives you enough to see most of the frame of a 6x6 negative. I liked the Pentax better than the Mamiya 4x or the Mamiya zoom loupe, though both are very good as well.

If you are looking for a viewer for large negatives, Bill Maxwell at Maxwell Precision Optics makes one. I have not used it, but his focusing screens are outstanding, so I would imagine the loupes are as well.
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