Using Magnification Devices

When working with magnification devices, it’s important to understand this general concept:

  1. The bigger the lens, the lower the magnification, the bigger the field of view, and the further away you need to hold the magnifier from your eyes.
  2. The smaller the lens, the stronger the magnification, the smaller the field of view, and the closer you need to hold the magnifier.

Understanding the Field of View Concept

If you were to look through a knot-hole in a wooden fence, would you stand back 6 or 8 inches, or would you put your eye as close to the hole as possible? Of course, you’d get as close as possible. This is because you can see more field of view by getting close to the hole. The same is true for many low vision aids. The closer the lens is to the eye, the larger the field of view becomes.

Below are general guidelines on how to use magnification devices. Please consult your user manual or low vision professional for specifics.Lady with Magazine

How to Use Hand held Magnifiers:

  • Hold the magnifier parallel to the object being viewed
  • Use it at the correct focal length [the focal length can be thought of as the distance a lens is held away from text or object at which it provides the maximum field of view while still being in focus]

View Eschenbach hand held magnifiers.
Free E-book: What to Look for in a Quality Magnifier  

How to Use Stand Magnifiers:scribolux

  • Hold the stand magnifier firmly against the object to be viewed
  • Position your eye(s) above the stand magnifier lens at the appropriate eye-to-lens distance
  • Move the stand magnifier across the page

View Eschenbach stand magnifiers.

How to Use Spectacle Magnifiers:

  • Hold the material at the focal length of the magnifying spectacles. [Tip: Noveswhile wearing your spectacle magnifiers, close your eyes and bring the reading material up until you feel it touch your nose. Open your eyes and move the reading material away from your nose out to the best focal point.]
  • Move the material across the field of view parallel to the spectacles rather than moving your head. [This side to side movement is much like how a typewriter functions. At the end of each line, back track to the beginning of the line just read and then drop down to the beginning of the next line.]

View Eschenbach spectacle magnifiers.

How to Use Video MagnifiersQuicklook

  • Turn on the device and locate the object to be viewed under the camera
  • Select the viewing mode that you prefer
  • Move the object or the camera to view the text or object

View Eschenbach video magnifiers.

How to Use Telescopic Devices

  1. Monocular Telescopes
  • Long Range Optical DeviceFirst view the object without the monocular telescope
  • Place the monocular telescope in front of the sighting eye
  • Locate the object to be viewed through the telescope
  • Focus on the object
  • When used for near reading tasks, move the material across the field of view parallel to the telescope rather than moving your head

This side to side movement is much like how a typewriter functions. At the end of each line, back track to the previous line and then drop down to the beginning of the next line.

  1. Binocular Telescopes:Man Reading
  • Locate the object to be viewed through the telescope
  • Close (or cover) the lesser seeing eye and focus the open eye
  • Repeat for the lesser seeing eye
  • When used for near reading tasks, move the material across the field of view parallel to the telescope rather than moving your head. [This side to side movement is much like how a typewriter functions. At the end of each line, back track to the previous line and then drop down to the beginning of the next line.]

View Eschenbach telescopes.

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