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Usb Microscopes Instead Of Loupes?


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I have two loupes one from goulet pens that has a wider viewing field and then I also have a Belomo that has more magnification. I often end up just rubberbanding the loupe to my cellphone and put my cellphone on a little tripod and then put my fountain pen / nib on a stand as well so I can free my hands. I know loupes are handy especially when on the move or for a quick look.

I often look at my nibs at my desk and often when I have plenty of time. That got me thinking instead of using loupes why not use a microscope, more specifically a USB Microscope. I've done some research and there seem to be a decent number of pretty well liked USB Digital Microscopes that can be purchased for around 20usd - 100usd depending on the features.

I can't be the only one who thought to use one of these or likes to be able to have their hands free while looking at their pen. Do any of you have experience with these USB microscopes?

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After reading a thread about USB microscopes here, I don't remember which section of the forum, I got one. It works but I don't use it much. It's much faster to grab the loupe when I get a new pen to check the nib then to drag out the microscope and hook it up.

 

This is the one I have https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XNYXQHE I think it could use a better arm to hold it for using with pens but it works.

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I have an inexpensive one, and my finding is that the scope itself is about the same as the expensive ones. The difference is in the stands. The stand for mine is, frankly, (bleep). If I get a 3-D printer, one of the first things I'll be making is a better adjustable stand.

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  • 2 years later...

Oh, It's my favorite gadget... simple and straightforward. You just plug this into your USB port on a PC or laptop, install the software supplied, or download the latest, and off you go. Magnification is something else. One tip - try zooming in and out all the way until you hit physical stop. I was amazed of magnification out of the box just to find out that pass that blurry focus loss is another new step of even greater magnification. So don't forget to max out on both ends.

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So, I have a loupe on my desk, a USB microscope and a document camera coming.  

 

I use them for different reasons.  

 

The loupe is faster so I grab it to look at something quickly. I use the microscope for taking pictures or cool videos.  For example, I was trying to capture the cool factor of gold shimmer filtering through the ink.

 

 I will update you on the document camera.

PXL_20220224_223714523.jpg

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

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13 hours ago, es9 said:

Has anyone tried one that plugs into a smart phone? 

I have a macro lens (Bully Eyes) that clips on my phone that I use for work.  It was inexpensive and works well. 

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This video is a useful overview of various microscope types, including some of the models in members' posts in the current thread.

 

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I should have looked at that before I bought a document camera and a plugable microscope. 

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a free iPhone app that combines magnifier and camera functions.  The magnification is not quite as great as some of the USB microscopes out there, but it's good enough for my purposes.  And I can transfer the photo to my desktop computer where the 23 in monitor gives the effect of even greater magnification.

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I’ve been using an old stereomicroscope for a while. While it’s great — especially for diagnosing problems with elusively scratchy nibs — it’s a little cumbersome. The idea of being able to see on a screen, take a pic, etc is very appealing. 

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16 hours ago, Monophoto said:

There is a free iPhone app that combines magnifier and camera functions.  The magnification is not quite as great as some of the USB microscopes out there, but it's good enough for my purposes.  And I can transfer the photo to my desktop computer where the 23 in monitor gives the effect of even greater magnification.

If your phone has a good camera, they're fantastic.

 

I use weZoom.

 

A nice addition to a phone is a macro lens. The one I have is from Black Eye and is quite decent.

 

Alex

---------------------------------------------------------

We use our phones more than our pens.....

and the world is a worse place for it. - markh

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Both are useful tools, for different purposes. The loupe is good for handy viewing of nibs, especially with good light, but difficult to use for photography. 

 

I don't use my microscope much, but when I need it, nothing will do quite as well. I mainly use mine for dip pens. When I'm trying to explain how these pens were ground, or the tight tolerances in the slit, or the different types of tips, then no loupe will get in quite as well and capture what I need to show. 

 

395387368_Est122Grind.thumb.jpg.6d66b2d90ab315f3897621003053aa19.jpg

 

 

1912094277_Est902OvalTiptop2.thumb.jpg.1b86225ea88f54f0e28cc1613d16bf8f.jpg

 

1341010503_Spencerianovaltip42.thumb.jpg.b555635fae81db5d424a48ab27efa4fb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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