A Problem That is Becoming Magnified

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Mountain Man, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Aha! Got your attention, didn't I?

    OK - I'm a guy who, thanks to cataract surgery, now has fixed 20/20 vision. Why is that a problem, you say?

    Because, in the bad old, good old days when my vision was 20/400, I could take off my glasses, bring an N-scale figure right up to my eye and see every breathtaking detail. Now, I have to hold it at arms length to see the figure at all and close-up work is HARD! Modifying the figures is harder still.

    The question: What magnification aids have you tried, and how well have they worked?

    My own experience:

    1. a set of those headband gadgets with fixed magnifying lenses and a swivel down lens to boost one eye.

    2. one of thoose clamp-on, lighted, 2x and 4x magnifiers for hands free working.

    Results: those are still @#$%&* small figures!

    As always, your kind and thoughtful consideration and suggestions would be deeply appreciated, and may save the life of countless generations of little people as yet unborn, but waiting quietly in their packaging for their time in the light.

    Is the Hubble still available? :confused:
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I started with a pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store, but promptly lost them...! hamr

    I now have an inexpensive magnifying "visor" that allows stereoscopic vision at ~2x and a flip down for 4x. It works really well, as long as you keep it clean, and you have good lighting at your workspace.

    I also have a magnifying light, but it is a cheap-o version with the bulb to one side instead of the cirular fluorescent bulb. Not so good...

    Hope that helps.

  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    OK, got all that, the visor, the lamp - got the one with the circular flourescent tube (who says I never learn from my mistakes?..Oh yeah, the wife...) and of course, the mandatory reading glasses from WalMart.


    The problem is that I am anticipating the magnification of errors that occurs during close-up photography, which I would like to avoid by getting it more or less 'right' when I make it.

    What do those guys use who do all the miniature metal working with mini-lathes and so forth? What do the guys use who make the N and Z-scale miniatures masters and paint the finished items?
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Forgot to mention... I am working in HO, so have the advantage of a larger scale to start...! ;)

    I also forgot to add that "bare eyes" work better with the above devices. Even though they are sized/can be used with glasses, I find it is better not to do so.

    'Course that may be your experience too...

  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Not much experience there - I only recently and involuntarily acquired my "bare eyes". While I enjoy the new "fresh air" look and the ability to wear simple sunglasses, it plays total havoc with my work and hobbies.

    So far, I have not tried to wear reading glasses while peering through layers of magnification, reasoning that life is difficult enough without trying to make it harder.

    I guess I will just do my best and not post any pictures that do not make my work look properly magnificent! (That will mean the majority of them, I imagine - :mrgreen:)
  6. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    I can sympathize with your dilemma, having had cataract surgery a couple of years ago.
    I tried reading glasses, but even with 6 pairs, I could never find where I put them!

    I now wear bifocals again (the upper parts being clear glass), and I have a pair of glasses that would be considered the trifocal portion of a lens for my computer work.

    With the bifocals, I find I can use my desk magnifiers for that N scale work and still be able to see what I need. Even though the vision is 20/20, I still find that all the parts keep getting smaller, while the fingers get clumsier.

    My wife hopes I never get this layout finished, because I have told her that my next layout will be 1 : 1 scale to make detailing easier!
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    That sounds like the best solution of all!

    I know what you mean about losing the reading glasses. I have lost at least two pair, and the dogs ate one. Currently, I use my wife's spare pair - she's farsighted and we use the same reading correction. Of course, being farsighted, she's absolutely no help at all with the tiny, fiddly little bits and I know better than to ask any question beginning with the forbidden words "Honey, have you seen...?"
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    That's what I did!! Switched over to "G" because i couldn't see "N" anymore :D 1:1 isn't that far away!!! :D :D :D

    No surgery so far :) just getting old !!!!
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Unfortunately, I can't do that for both space and budgetary reasons. :sad:

    Maybe I could train my parrot. :rolleyes:
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I had cataract surgery in only one eye -- after a retina detachment. I now have the most mismatched pair of eyes you could find. I didn't get perfect vision in the replacement, and there's a second problem.
    I have a set of graduated bifocals for normal wear. They are useless for most closeup work because the near bit is right at the bottom. I have a set of reading glasses with the one end of the prescription. I do a lot of reading with no glasses on.
    I have the headband magnifier, a set of clipons from MicroMart, and a lamp with a magnifier built in.
    The magnifiers don't work with the reading glasses. The reading glasses by themselves give a reasonable vision for modelling most things,
    The headband and the clipons are good but they focus between 4 and 6 inches away -- I always seem to have my nose in my work.
    The lamp with the magnifier is generally not useful.
  11. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Don't need any visual help in seeing or modeling....YET!
    But I feel my time will come.
  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Before this discussion goes any further, I want to thank you all for your input. This is a new problem for me, having been extremely myopic almost all of my life (4th grade), so I appreciate the willingness of everyone to share their experience and recommendations.

    When my surgery became necessary, I was looking forward to getting rid of the cataracts and being able to see clearly again. I never envisioned a new and different problem...well, two, actually. The other one is that I keep setting down my reading glasses and forgetting where I left them. :oops:

    And before anyone recommends one of those cords to suspend them around my neck...I work with power tools including a table saw. Not...a...good...idea.
  13. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Would Never have thought of doing that..... Take it from one who tried the cords... They irritated my neck ... But - having the cord attached to the glasses DID make it easier to find them.. :eek: wall1 :eek:
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Hah, the old "can't find my glasses" routine. Been there, done that. My solution is simple. I just need reading glasses that I can find at most any drugstore for around $10. I've got several pair in my den, one or two in the bathroom, a few more near the bed, in the kitchen and anywhere else I might need them. Note that I said "several pair" because frequently, I'll pick up one pair and it winds up somewhere else.

    As far as magnification, I use a desk magnifier for my n scale work, a throwback from when we had our electronic manufacturing company. My hands and eyes still work good enough at that scale, but regardless, I doubt that I have the patience to detail an n scale figure.
  15. abutt

    abutt Member

    Don...Years ago I found a neat combination unit that has a large 5" dia. mag. glass plus a light that can take up to 100 watts. Both on flex tubing that allows me to move it all over the place. I've never seen it advertised again...but my almost 80-year old eyes love it!
  16. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Great thread. I too have trouble seeing details, and have been suffering in silence. Nice to have a +support" group :)

    I had surgery in both eyes for retina detachment. Mt right eye still has a clamp on it to hold it to a specific shape. The vision in this eye is poor. This was 11 years ago. I could still see to work on detail pretty well (without my glasses, and really really close to my eyes!) till 3 years ago. I'm 56. I'm told that although they could provide a lens strong enough to give 20/20 that it would be disorienting. I have graduated bifocals amd my distance vision is fine, but it's been getting hard to read, and that apparently has to do with floaters in my good eye. Surgery could remove the floaters, but speed up development of a cataract. This from a visit I made just last week to the surgeon.

    Like Jess, my thought is to now visit the eyeglass shop and get some "specialty glasses". I'll bring some small details and let them flip thru lenses till I can see what I need from a distance I like. I don't care if I think the room is swirling when I look up! And I don't think I'll lose them. I've been wearing glasses for 35 years, haven't lost any. Except that one time I forgot to take them off when I went in the ocean. :)

    I've been working on an engine servicing facility. I choose one of the Walthers wood coaling tower kits. They supply pulleys for the mech that lifts and lowers the chutes, and you can rig the lines. Well, you can if you can see to do it!

    It's been a struggle, and like Mountain Man said, I guess I just won't be posting many photos!
  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    One of these dilimajobbers does the trick for me...so far.

    ...and this is what N scale bricks look like through the glass...
  18. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I just had cataract surgery last week so it's a bit premature for me to offer any advice. When I used to do modeling and tooling work for a living, I used a combination of magnifiers depending on what I was working on. Painting figures usually requires the ability to have hands free, so maybe the work area mounted magnifier with flouresent light is a good idea. Thats what my wife used for detail work when she was making porcelain dolls.
  19. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    My best vision (at age 62) is about three feet away. Unfortunately, my arms are about two feet long. I looked into having longer arms installed but the cost was prohibitive, not to mention the difficulty in finding clothes that fit and a whole host of additional problems having the longer arms would entail.

    I have opted for most of the traditional methods mentioned above. I use a lighted magnifier on a swing arm. I have a headband magnifier with two levels of magnification plus a super lens for one eye. It also has headlights but I don't use them much. I have multiple pairs of reading glasses that all wind up in the same pile. (Once a week I redistribute them to the appropriate location.) I use two different strengths so I left the labels on so I know what goes where. I did save some money by purchasing mine at the dollar store rather than Walmart.

    My vision is good enough that I don't need glasses for driving so I also have a couple pairs of sunglasses (not that I could ever forget them somewhere) plus a pair in the storage compartment in the car.

    Oh, yeah. One more thing. Next spring my wife and I are starting a G scale layout in the back yard. :yep:

  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I forgot: the more powerful the magnifier, the closer you have to hold the work. If you leave the lenses on, you can end up waving glue bushes and soldering irons just beyond the end of your nose.
    Did I mention that the magnifying lenses don't work with my reading glasses?
    My dentist has a pair of glasses with binoculars in the middle of the lens. Must ask her where they come from.

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