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Donegan DA-2 OptiVISOR Headband Magnifier, 1.5X Magnification Glass Lens Plate, 20" Focal Length
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- Headband binocular visor with snap-in 1.5X magnifying lens plate for hands-free viewing
- Ground and polished glass prismatic lens for improved focus and reduced eye strain
- Visor size-adjustment knob for customized fit
- Visor tilts out of way when not needed
- 20" focal length for a variety of uses
|Number of Items||1|
|Is Assembly Required?||false|
|Item Weight||8.0 ounces|
|Size||1.5x Magnification, 20" Focal Length|
|Style||2 Diopter; DA-2|
Specification for this product family
|Brand Name||Donegan Optical|
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The Donegan OptiVISOR is a hands-free, headband binocular magnifier that has optical glass lenses that are ground and polished into prismatic lenses for quality and clarity, and is available in multiple dioptric strengths (indicated by the number in the model) which provide specific magnification power (X) at specific focal lengths, or distance from object. This magnifier enhances the size and resolution of an object or image, and is commonly used for a variety of applications such as jewelry-making, watch- making, needlework, artwork, electronic inspection, book-reading, print inspection, and stamp-collecting.
The OptiVISOR magnifier features replaceable binocular lenses that have beveled edges that are mounted in an interchangeable plastic frame. An adjustable headband with padded leather comfort band conforms to a variety of head sizes and provides comfort for hours of continuous use. It can be worn over prescription or safety eyeglasses. A durable, plastic visor tips up above the forehead when not in use. Spring-loaded pivot screws hold the headband in a raised or a forward-facing position. The magnifier weighs 0.67 lbs., and comes housed in a protective shell and carrying case. It has a one-year limited warranty.
Diopter (D) is a technical term for the measurement of the light curvature and thickness of a lens. A dioptric number and a magnification number are not the same thing. Diopter strength represents a specific magnification power (X). For example, a 5-diopter provides 2.5X magnification (at a distance of 8”). See the magnification chart. The higher the diopter, the more magnification a lens can provide. As magnification increases, distance to the object (focal length), and field of view (diameter, or narrowness of view) decreases. Magnifiers and prescription eyeglasses have a diopter value, such as 1.5 or 2. The dioptric strength of an accessory lens, such as prescription eyeglasses or an eye loupe, must be added to the dioptric strength of the magnifier to calculate total magnification.
Magnifiers are devices used to enlarge the visual appearance of an object or image. Magnifiers come in a variety of styles such as hand-held, headband, standing, clip-on, eye loupe, and those that hang in a necklace form, or fit in a trouser pocket. Magnifiers are commonly made of plastic or glass. They can have one or more lenses with varying magnification abilities, and can have a binocular configuration with a single lens, or two separate lenses. They are sometimes used with LED or fluorescent light sources to help control viewing capabilities. Magnifier ability is often expressed as magnification at a specific length. For example, 1.75X at 14” means that when a magnifier is held at 14” from a viewer’s eyes, the object will be magnified 1.75 times (X) its actual size. As magnification increases, viewing areas and focal length decrease. Magnifiers sometimes have a diopter number, expressed as + or -D, which is a measurement of strength (or power) of the lens. Some magnifiers are marked with a dioptric number on the lens. A high diopter number has a higher magnification than a low diopter number. Aspheric magnifiers, unlike spheric magnifiers, produce a sharp image to the edge of the lens for less distortion. Magnifiers are widely used in jewelry inspection and fabrication, watch-making, needlework, artwork, reading, print inspection, and stamp-collecting.
Donegan Optical manufactures and distributes precision visual devices for hobbyists and professionals in industry, home, office and crafts applications. The company was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas.
What’s in the Box?
- Fitted, plastic, carrying case
- Instruction manual
Size: 1.5x Magnification, 20" Focal Length
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Top customer reviews
The main decent quality choices seemed to be: Donegan Optivisor DA ($36 - glass lens - this review) or LX ($26 - acrylic lens), MagnifyLabs Headband Magnifier ($26 - glass lens) and less-known knock-offs, and Bausch & Lomb Magna Visor ($36 - acrylic lens). The Bausch & Lomb had too many bad reviews. The MagnifyLabs apparently has glass lenses like the Donegan DA and is cheaper and well-reviewed. But for only $10 more I preferred to go with the proven original - the Donegan DA. The headband has a huge adjustment range to accommodate a-n-y head size and is remarkably comfortable due to the padded forehead. The plastic adjusting size and flip-up tension knobs are hokey but they work.
DA vs. LX / AL
Regardless of misinformation by others, the Optivisor "DA" models have the two-piece glass-lens-in-blue-tinted-plastic-frame lens plates, while the cheaper Optivisor LX (= AL lens) models have the single-piece-all-clear-molded-in-acrylic-lens-plate. No idea why Donegan chose to confuse things by using Optivisor "LX" for the headband but "AL" for the lenses. My box said "DA-5" and I scratch-tested the lens - it's glass.
You can wear your glasses with this - plenty of room - or no, as the lens acts like near-sight glasses anyway. I prefer to wear my normal prescription glasses with these since they correct both my eyes for crystal clear starting vision, with two interesting side effects: 1) the overall magnification is noticeably greater due to the magnification added by my glasses (great!); and 2) the focused working distance is reduced - for me for the 2.5x lens from the nominal 8" to 5-6". So if you wear glasses, consider this in your lens power choice, as your glasses will add more magnification themselves, plus reduce your working distance further than the nominal number claimed.
For me, the 2.5x magnification lens (5 diopter) is perfect for general usage inspecting things like splinters, coins, golf club grooves, electronics, bugs, super-glueing very small stuff, etc., because it shows everything of possible interest while still allowing a comfortable 6-8" distance from the work and a reasonably broad and deep field of view. This is as opposed to, say, the highest 3x magnification (10 diopter) which makes you work excruciatingly close at 4" (or 3" with glasses) and also with a narrower field and depth of view. With a 3x lens at 4" you can't even get your fingers in there to do anything - only for specific professional use. So I think most would find opting for a comfortable working distance more important than trading that off for any extra magnification. A modern car key is about 4" long so try it - put a newspaper down and bend down until your glasses meet the car key and try to do anything in front of the lens. Plus you can just add a $10 OptiLoupe (see below) to a medium magnification lens for the rare times you want to scrunch down to 2" to check out something further at 4-5x.
OptiLoupe LP-1 ($10):
I added the separate 2.5x OptiLoupe for the occasional super-close-up. The loupe mounts on either side you prefer - just pull the original lens mounting screw or pin out on that side and shove the OptiLoupe on with its longer screw in its place. The loupe lens was maybe glass at one time but it definitely is acrylic now (I scratch-tested it), but that seems irrelevant given the perfect clarity. You have to close the other eye when using the loupe, but that works fine. (You can't use one for each eye because your eyes won't focus properly through both together.) Assuming you'll rarely need/use a super-close-up, this is a much better solution than having to switch a separate high power lens plate in and out of the headband. With my glasses on and this flipped down, the working distance is reduced to 2" but the clarity is great.
Quasar LS (Lighting System) model 6010 ($25) - not Donegan
You can see things with normal room lighting, but for serious views, actual detailed work, or long use, the more magnification, the more light required. The Quasar is very convenient - very bright lighting comes with you and I haven't felt the need to add external light. To add it on, you pull the two original lens mounting plate screws out, slap the Quasar LED frame on the front of the lens plate, and stick both back on with the longer plastic pins supplied. Then you just place the battery pack on the side of the headband and strap it on with the supplied velcro strap. Simple on-off switch on the side of the battery pack. Unnoticeable when mounted. Takes 2 AA batteries that come with it (nice surprise - Energizer alkalines!). Batteries claim 100+ hours of life, which given LEDs, seems likely. Fyi, works with the MagnifyLabs headband also. Donegan offers the VisorLIGHT, a single non-LED bulb alternative but it seems pretty lame in comparison given 5 hour battery life, $10 replacement Xenon bulbs, and review quality issues.
Additional/Replacement Lens Plates:
This is extremely confusing because of the supplier misinformation as of June 2016. So I talked with the manufacturer Donegan. They confirmed they do offer both glass and acrylic additional/replacement lens plates through their dealers (although, oddly, you can't find these on their manufacturer website). They confirmed their glass lenses are two-piece, with the lenses glued into a blue-tinted surrounding acrylic frame and designated LP-2/3/4/5 with "LP" standing for Lens Plate. Their acrylic lenses are a single-piece of clear acrylic, with the lenses molded directly into and as p[art of the overall acrylic frame and designated AL-2/3/4/5 with "AL" standing for Acrylic Lens. So glass lenses have a blue-tinted frame and acrylic lenses have a clear frame. Confusingly, all the "LP" lens plates currently listed on Amazon indicate in their details that they are acrylic, not glass, which conflicts with the "LP" designation. Counter-confusingly, the pictures show blue-tinted frames which would indicate glass lenses. So either they are glass and the "acrylic" in the detail description is wrong, or they are acrylic and the LP and picture are wrong. So check what you get accordingly - maybe they'll correct this corrected after our talk.
Optical Power (Diopter) vs. Magnification Power:
I did a little research to figure out what the Optical Power ("Diopter") vs. Magnification Power thing is all about. Turns out Optical Power ("Diopter") is the fundamental measurement optical professionals use because it integrates naturally with the compound optical equations typically required in their profession. Technically, the Optical Power (Diopter) of a lens equals the reciprocal of its Focal Length measured in meters. So, for example, a lens with a 20 centimeter focal length (1/5th of a meter) has a Diopter of 1 / [1/5] = 5, and a lens with a 10 cm focal length (1/10th of a meter) has a Diopter of 1 / [1/10] = 10. "Magnification Power" = the increased size of the image viewed, not the Focal Length, so it is not a one-to-one linear relationship, but is generally related to Diopter as follows: Magnification = [Diopter / 4] + 1. So, for example, a 5 Diopter lens has a Magnification Power of: [5/4] + 1 = 2.25x while a 10 Diopter lens = [10/4] + 1 = 3.5x magnification. Usefully, you can add Optical Powers (Diopters) to understand the Magnification result, but not Magnification Powers. So adding a 5 Diopter OptiLoupe (2.5x) to my 5 Diopter headband (2.5x) = 10 Diopters => which converting = [10/4] + 1 = 3.5x overall magnification ... similar to the maximum 10 diopter 3.5x lens plate option.
The 2.5x with a focal length of 8" is a good start but after using these for a few days I am ordering some of the other lenses.
They are much to my amazement very comfortable. They are easy to adjust. It will take some practice to learn how to use these.
The headband is great but if you happen to be taller than me 6'7" you just might find them to be too small. (tall=large head)
I imagine though since this is a USA company that they can make special order headbands.
I like that I can wear my other magnification glasses with it. Sometime when I am doing small hobby work I use my 4.0 or 5.0 glasses but then suddenly need more magnification. With these on my head I can just swivel it down and I am ready to work...or conversely when I no longer need ultra magnification I can just swivel them up and not worry about changing glasses and revert to my 5.0 glasses.
A real hands free plus.
The lenses have an amazing clarity about them. They are very wide so you do not have some of the issues you run into when using Eisehbach Near Sight glasses. Plus you don't have to remove them to pick up your coffee cup or change over to larger items.
This item is made in the USA! Kansas which while a great state is just not as cultured and refined as Oklahoma! :)
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