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    A few years ago I started to need reading glasses. As we age we will all need them, in increasing strength over time. I started off with a pair of 1.0 strength, which I still use for the computer because it is a bit further than a book, but these days for general reading at about 30-40 cm I am using 1.50 strength.

    However on my painting table I have a pair of 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, and I am constantly swapping glasses depending on the detail of the work I want to do versus the eye strain I can handle.

    Loved the latest Conan paint tutorial, Universal Head – that is one of my future painting tasks. In that video I noticed you used a set of visor magnifiers.

    Can you share your experiences with those magnifiers?
    What strength are they? Brand?
    Do you also use a desk mounted magnifier? (I am thinking about the ring light ones)

    I’d love to hear about what everyone else is using to solve their age vs eyesight challenges.

    Universal Head

    I tried a desk mounted magnifier but I found it too difficult to use – keeping the mini in a certain spot and my head in a certain spot was annoying. I’ve been using the head loupe for ages now – it’s a pretty cheap Chinese-made one I got on Ebay with interchangeable lenses – and now I can’t paint without it. I’ve always used the x1.8 lens.

    When I first used it, it was quite weird, and you had to hold the mini at just the right spot, and allow your eyes to adjust to the small focal length (or whatever it is they adjust to). Now, I’m completely used to using it. I was worried that it might be making my eyesight worse (I use reading glasses), but I’ve asked a couple of optometrists and they don’t think it causes any damage.

    Hope they’re right!

    I actually think the close magnification gives me better painting results – but I can also sometimes take the loupe off, put on my glasses, and not even see the detail I was working on. You can overdo it!


    I use a desk mounted ring light magnifier and find that useful, but when I first used it to look at a miniature I had painted with just my eyes it was amazing how much detail I had missed.

    Relying on bright sunlight for my painting needs limited my ability to paint as bright sunlight is a rarity in the much of the UK year… greys skies not great for detail work

    With the ring light I can work on my miniatures whenever I get time.

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