What to Know Before You Buy a Magnifying Glass

2 min read

When one thinks of a magnifying glass, they tend to think of the big Sherlock Holmes type lens. However, in actual use, you want a lightweight, and powerful magnifier that has impeccable optics and is simple to use. Utilizing the best magnifier for demanding jobs like inspecting diamonds and gemstones is essential to their occupation, while hobbyists who collect rocks and minerals just need to buy a decent magnifier that they can afford to lose.

How to Use a Magnifier

Hold the lens up next to your eyes while bringing the object close to it - about a few centimeters from your face. The idea is to focus your attention through the magnifying lens, the same way you look through eyeglasses. If you normally wear glasses, you will need to keep them on. A magnifier won't correct for astigmatism as well.

    How Many Times?

    The X (times) factor of a magnifying glass refers to how much it magnifies. An average magnifying glass makes objects look 2 or 3 times bigger, which means it magnifies 2X or 3X. Geologists often like to have 5X to 10X magnification; however, anything higher than 10X is difficult to use in the field because the lenses are too small.

    5X and 6X Lenses are the most popular choices for an average user as it offers higher magnification without sacrificing the field of vision (diameter of the lens). On the other hand, a 10X magnifier will reduce the field of vision significantly, but it will give you a closer look at tiny rocks, crystals, minerals, microfossils, etc.

      Some Flaws to Watch For

      1) Always check the lens for scratches

      2) Place the magnifying glass on a piece of white paper and see if the lens adds any color of its own. Then pick it up and examine other objects, specifically objects with more colors.

      The view through the magnifying lens should be crystal clear with no internal reflections. Highlights should be sharp and brilliant, with no colored fringes. The lens should be achromatic. A flat object should not look buckled or warped. A magnifier should not be loosely put together.

        Quality Is Important

        Given the same X (times) factor, a larger lens is always better. There are tons of cheap inferior magnifying glasses out there claiming 20X, 30X, and even 45X magnifications, yet they sell for less than $10. These are false claims as any magnifier over 20X magnification will have such a small field of vision that they are no longer considered magnifiers, but rather loupes. Higher quality lenses with high magnifications are also more difficult to produce, consequently they tend to be more expensive.

        Buying a brand name magnifier, while not always a guarantee of quality, means you can contact the manufacturer if anything goes wrong. Fancii Optics offer a 100% money back guarantee on all our magnifiers. If you are not satisfied with our product within 60 days of purchase, we will refund you your money back.

        5 Responses

        Nancy / December 29, 2021

        How much magnification does a 3 inch (diameter) magnifying glass offer?

        Ed Shephard
        Ed Shephard / April 16, 2021

        Good Morning, I have been trying to find out how to enlarge the field of view on the 5 glass magnifying system but have not received an answer after sending two pictures of the product as requested. Since it was done with your system it does not seem to give me a way of resending them at this time. Ed Shephard.

        Mr. J. McMillan
        Mr. J. McMillan / January 08, 2021

        I seek a magnifying glass to supplement my reading glasses but would like to try them out first. Where can I go to see and test before buying? My postal area is PE7 1QW.

        Candace m Grazioli
        Candace m Grazioli / October 27, 2020

        I wear prescription glasses and need magnifying glass with headset to practice calligraphy. Do I wear them over my eyeglasses or without?

        Charles R Colbert
        Charles R Colbert / March 20, 2020

        Hi, notice on Amazon there are a plethora of magnifying glasses to choose from and very little information about quality of lenses as you point out above. But instead of beauty related products, I am interested in magnifying maps with tiny font or doing close electronics work in a hands-free mode. Do I want a headset or a floor mounted magnifying lens? The search is about! Chas

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