Regina11235

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Oct 29, 2010
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Hey all, I'm a D1 student and I see many students around me buying the loupe/light combos. I was wondering if anyone is selling their loupes/ lights (I prefer 2.5X since that's what was recommended for us) All input and suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping to attend the Greater NY Dental Conference and try a few of them on before making a final decision. If anyone is selling, please message me.
 

sgv

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Sep 5, 2013
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Never get 2.5x. Never. They're a waste of money. All the sales rep. want to convince you to buy them because in about a month, you'll be itching for higher magnification, at least 3.5x. Then you'll either return the 2.5x or be suckered into buying another pair of loupes at higher magnification. They're trying to make more money off of you. Don't buy into their BS about needing 2.5x in order to get used to wearing loupes. BS! You only need about an hour of working on a mannequin to get used to any magnification. You also need a light for magnifications greater than 3.0x. A loupe and light package might be the best deal. Aftermarket loupe lights are Ultralight and Lumadent.

I prefer through the lens loupes because they're sturdier with less mechanical movement and less chance of breaking, they're lighter, and they're closer to your eyes, giving you a larger image. If you're going to get through the lens, you need a frame that is large enough for you to look over the cylinders in order to look at the patient using normal vision. That means sporty frames won't cut it. The plastic sporty frames also won't hold onto large 3.5x cylinders as well and cannot be fitted with sharpest angle of declination. Sporty frames will also warp when you tighten the headband tight enough and do not provide enough eye or face protection for my comfort. The sporty frames didn't seem like they would hold up to the duration of my career. On the other hand, I've heard dentists who bought DFV's yeoman frame in the 70's are still using the same pair today. Whatever you do, get the sharpest angle of declination because it'll force you to have good ergonomic habits. Save your back and neck! They'll figure out your working distance and interpupillary lengths for you.

If you're an optics fanatic, Zeiss and Heine loupe lenses are considered the best. However, they only come in flip up frames, which I dislike. They're also the most expensive and come in limited working distances. Heine and Zeiss are both sold by Henry Schein and in my area, they do not have sales representatives regularly come to my school in case my loupes need adjustment, be returned, be delivered to me, etc.

You can't go wrong with Designs for Vision 3.5x expanded field on the Yeoman frames with their loupe and light package. If you don't want to think about loupes and read reviews too much, DFV 3.5x expanded field on Yeoman frame is good choice. The frame is aluminum and both the cylinder and frame are large. They can be kind of heavy but the trick is to tie the included headband tightly around your head and rest the nose pads of your glasses on your mask's metal nose band. This takes the weight off your nose and distributes it around your head. Both Orascoptic and Surgitel have comparable large, metal (titanium) frames but I liked DFV's lifetime warranty on their frames. Orascoptic and Surgitel also advertise their magnifications higher than they really are so take that into consideration. Of the three, I like Orascoptic's lenses the best. Surgitel sells the best light right now. I've read DFV had the best customer service and I have to agree with them. My loupes were scheduled to be delivered in a couple days but since I had a practical on the day before the scheduled delivery, I called them up, explained the situation, and they expedited the shipment at no extra cost. This brings up the problem with getting aftermarket loupes from Ultralight or Lumadent. If Ultralight's light needs to get fixed, you'd have to send it to California. You'd have to send Lumadent back to Nevada. Depending on where you live, this could suck. Buying the loupe and light package from either DFV, Orascoptic, or Surgitel makes it convenient to have a sales representative who regularly comes to your school, in case your light or battery breaks down.

There are two types of lenses: Galilean and prism (expanded field). Always get prism (expanded field) lenses. They're larger and more expensive but they give you a wider field of view than the Galilean (all 2.5x are Galilean). For general dentistry, being able to see at least half an arch is sufficient. A full arch is best. With DFV 3.5x expanded field and Orascoptic's 4.3x, I could see the whole arch.

Remember, you're using loupes everyday, for the rest of your career. This is not something you want to skimp on.
 
Last edited:

oreoson

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Apr 16, 2008
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As SGV already said, DFV x3.5 YEO EF and lumadent/featherlight is a good choice, especially if they are your first pair.
I would also recommend researching the company reps, customer satisfaction and warranty, not just loupe specs.
Initially I was tempted to go with European brands like Zeiss or Heine for better optical quality, but I am glad I went with a US company because you are going to need to make adjustment to your loupes depending on your needs. In first year, I didn't use my loupes that much, and most of the work was done on benchtop, so I didn't mind the small things that bugged me like the height of nose pads. But in second year preclinics, they kept on sliding off my face looking down on manikins and couldn't maintain the visual focus. So I got "Asian nose drilling" on my loupes and telescopes adjusted for my Asian eyes. Again, when I started clinics, I had to have the working distance reduced because the height of clinic chairs were different than the preclinic manikin posts. Although my warranty period for adjustments has expired long long time ago, they were nice to do it for free and it took me only only a week to get it back in time for practicals. But for some of my colleagues, getting a hold of their reps was a challenge, and they weren't very helpful. The only downside of DFV X3.5 would be the weight (100g). But if you pull up your mask underneath the nose pads, I don't think weight will be a big issue for you.
 

gryffindor

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I bought loupes my first year in dental school. Orascoptic, through the lens, 2.5x. I pretended to use them in dental school and was never really sure what the point was. After graduation, I never touched them. So for about the last 8 years, my loupes sat around collecting dust.

Earlier this year I met some younger dentists and saw all of them had a small light hanging off their loupes. I learned it was a headlight. I don't think they made these corresponding headlights for loupes back when I bought them because I had never seen one until that point. I bought myself a headlight from Orascoptic. Wow, that made a HUGE difference. Now I actually use my loupes regularly, and I am an orthodontist so I'm not even doing daily procedures nearly as precise as a general dentist or some of the other specialists. The light made all the difference. Thought I bought it from Orascoptic, I found the same exact one being sold by a dental student on eBay soon after. Since I was within the return period from Orascoptic, I returned it and saved myself a few bucks. But I would've kept the full price one from Orascoptic as well.

I did recently work in an operatory that had a really good newer Adec overhead light and didn't end up needing the Orascoptic headlight in that scenario, but for most other places I work with usually older equipment, the light is what makes the loupes useful for me.
 

txaggie03

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Any magnification over 2.5 that isnt prismatic lenses will suffer horribly in both the depth of field and field of view departments.

I can nearly guarantee that the advice about 'never get 2.5x' was using a cheap set of loupes. Not all 2.5 loupes are made the same. If I would have bought the 2.5x models from surgitel or oroscopic or designs for vision I would be preaching the same thing. I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of 2.5x Heine loupes and I was hooked. Yes I will get a second pair of higher magnification when I finally get to do more endo, but those will likely be Zeiss's 5x prismatics (unless I can find something better).

Glass is very, very different from one piece to the next. Ask your manufacture if they cast the lenses or grind the lenses from optical grade Schott glass. The only two manufactures that will do that are Heine and Zeiss.

Zeiss has been in the optics business since 1846. Heine has been in the optics business since 1946.

You might not want to shell out the coin for the best glass, but you at least owe it to yourself to look through a pair so you know why you got such a 'better deal.'


They are one tool of many you'll use as a dentist. You are never married to a single tool. And just because you purchase one, doesnt mean you cant switch later, sell it, keep it, toss it, etc.
 

txaggie03

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Furthermore, loupes are just specialized optics. Look at the broad spectrum of the different fields of optics:
cheap simmons hunting scope vs a schmidt and bender
cheap tasco binoculars vs a swarovski
cheap no-name camera lens vs the equivalent nikkor

cheaper may get the job done, but for a tool I plan to use everyday, i want the nearly 8 inches depth of field and non-distorted clarity from edge to edge my heine's give me.
 

sgv

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Sep 5, 2013
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Any magnification over 2.5 that isnt prismatic lenses will suffer horribly in both the depth of field and field of view departments.

I can nearly guarantee that the advice about 'never get 2.5x' was using a cheap set of loupes. Not all 2.5 loupes are made the same. If I would have bought the 2.5x models from surgitel or oroscopic or designs for vision I would be preaching the same thing. I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of 2.5x Heine loupes and I was hooked. Yes I will get a second pair of higher magnification when I finally get to do more endo, but those will likely be Zeiss's 5x prismatics (unless I can find something better).

Glass is very, very different from one piece to the next. Ask your manufacture if they cast the lenses or grind the lenses from optical grade Schott glass. The only two manufactures that will do that are Heine and Zeiss.

Zeiss has been in the optics business since 1846. Heine has been in the optics business since 1946.

You might not want to shell out the coin for the best glass, but you at least owe it to yourself to look through a pair so you know why you got such a 'better deal.'


They are one tool of many you'll use as a dentist. You are never married to a single tool. And just because you purchase one, doesnt mean you cant switch later, sell it, keep it, toss it, etc.
Actually, I had the 2.5x Heine before I got the 3.5x EF DFV. In fact, the reason why I got Heine in the first place was because I read some old threads with your same comments from years ago. I thought greater depth of field would be a plus with the Heine but crappy depth of field forces you to have good ergonomics since you can't bend over as much. 2.5x, even from Heine, didn't cut it for enough magnification and I would've gone with Heine 3.5x but they only come in 16 inch working distance.
I also would've gone with Zeiss but they looked like a pain in the ass to flip up and down, wear all day, fit in Rx, install light system myself, and deal with Henry Schein. I'd rather get a scope than keep buying higher and higher magnification loupes.
 

txaggie03

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Just so I am understanding you, you're saying that you would rather have crummy depth of field and less clarity to force you to sit better?
 

sgv

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Just so I am understanding you, you're saying that you would rather have crummy depth of field and less clarity to force you to sit better?
Most def., especially with not having to deal with flip ups.

Clarity is negligible and my preps and restorations are unaffected. If my work is neither better nor worse, I as might as well save my back, neck, wallet, and sanity from adjusting and flipping the cylinders up and down.
 

Bereno

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I like having a narrow depth of field, but just like all things in life the key here is moderation (not too narrow). Just about every student in my class with a 2.5x has horrible posture. Isnt the intent of the loupes to save your back and neck by improving posture? I think a little more zoom and a little less depth of field really improves my posture. However, it can go too far where the depth of field is too narrow, but I do not think a 3.5-4.5x is too narrow (my 3.8x have a 2.5 inch depth; enough to see canine to molar easily). I loved the Heine lenses (never looked through Zeiss) but the magnification was just lacking... If they made a 3.5x prismatic TTL I would jump on that regardless of the cost haha.

TLDR: a narrow depth of field is not "crappy" to me, rather I find it useful
 
Dec 2, 2013
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The sporty frames didn't seem like they would hold up to the duration of my career. On the other hand, I've heard dentists who bought DFV's yeoman frame in the 70's are still using the same pair today. Whatever you do, get the sharpest angle of declination because it'll force you to have good ergonomic habits. Save your back and neck! They'll figure out your working distance and interpupillary lengths for you.
 

txaggie03

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Most def., especially with not having to deal with flip ups.
If ergonomics are your top priority, why not stick with the flip ups? Wont flip-ups always have a steeper angle of declination than TTL?