Impressioning light

At the impressioning championships in Germany at Wendt, organised by SSD e.V., I noticed somebody using a light I had not seen before. Since my own light/loupe is incredibly old and almost falls apart, I decided to buy one as well. It’s the “Maginon Tischlupe TL-120”. I bought one for €27.32 including shipping from Germany, with that price it’s worth to give it a shot.

I set up a little working space to compare my old light, which has a TL light, and the new light, which uses LED.

Both are flexible. The Maginon has a nice heavy base, but you can also attach it to a table clamp (included with the light). Apart from the small loupe, there is also a bigger loupe but that does not offer the same magnification. The little ‘eye’ in the old loupe has the most magnification. The LED of the Maginon is attached just below the loupe, you can see some LEDs shining through the glass in the picture above. The LEDs can be shivelled from shining horizontally to almost vertically.

What is nice about the Maginon is that it can be battery operated (3 batteries included), or you can power it via USB-C (adapter and cable also included). The button switches between no, medium or high illumination. So I went on and filed a key, looking for marks using both loupes.

Unfortunately, I was not able to make decent pictures on the old loupe. The above one shows a distorted key which is due to the little loupe and camera interfering. In reality, the marks were visible very well.

Using the Maginon, what I first noticed was the fact that it does not magnify as much. I prefer my old loupe as far as magnification is concerned. I had to play a bit with the angle at which the LEDs are places. Shining horizontally doesn’t work well as it doesn’t illuminate the whole surface in a uniform way. Shining almost vertically causes a lot of areas to shimmer which also doesn’t work well. Putting the LEDs in about a 45 degree angle gave the best results.

Interestingly, sometimes I saw a mark better on the Maginon than on my old loupe, but the reverse also happened. The marks of the pins riding over the key were certainly easier to spot with the Maginon. In the above picture, clear marks can be seen.

The light of the Maginon, being LED, is whiter and more unnatural than the TL light of my old loupe. The key under the Maginon shows all sorts of colourful artefacts. In the end, I prefer my old loupe, mainly because of the higher magnification. The selling points of the Maginon are its price and wireless operation. The selling points of the old loupe are the maginifaction and the natural light. In the end, I filed a working key.

I will probably take the Maginon with me to upcoming competitions, both as a backup (always make sure you have backups!) and as a device to give me a second opinion, when I doubt a mark I am seeing on the old loupe. Having a second loupe at the table could provide the mark that is needed to continue.

CCBY4.0 Walter Belgers Toool Blackbag

One Response to “Impressioning light”

  1. Greenish says:

    Having used a led loupe before, and now using a loupe with a fluorescent lamp, I agree with your comments about the light quality. For me the led light is too harsh, and unpleasant to the eyes.