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Carson 3 in 1 Hobby Magnifier

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Carson 3 in 1 Hobby Magnifier Carson 3 in 1 Hobby Magnifier
A LED Lighted Hands-Free Magnifier Set
Model Number: HM-30
From: Carson Optical

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - August 30, 2010

The Carson 3 in 1 Hobby Magnifier is a unique lighted magnifier set that comes with three different, interchangeable lenses. The lenses that comes with set include a rimless 2X powered round acrylic lens, a 4X powered round, dual acrylic lens, and 2.5X powered acrylic Fresnel lens with a 3X powered spot lens. The lenses snap into a little box shaped gizmo that works as the set's LED lighted base. It is about the size of a cell phone. This gizmo fits into a base stand, and includes a movable light that can be directed onto your work service. If you remove the magnifier, this gizmo can also be used as a 'stand-alone' book light. The light requires the use of 3 AAA batteries, which are not included with this set.

The lenses measure 4.3" (rimless magnifier), 3.5" (4X magnifier), and 5" (Fresnel lens) across, providing a wide field of vision on each. Both of the round acrylic lenses offer crystal clear viewing. However, you may find that items viewed through the acrylic Fresnel lenses are a bit fuzzy, but not overly so. This is because Fresnel lenses are made by grinding lines into a rather flat piece of plastic or glass. This allows for a very thin and light weight magnifier, but in a trade-off for this thinness you do not get a crystal clear image because the lines remain visible. After you get use to using a Fresnel lense, you'll find that you will learn to ignore the lines.

When set up, this hand-free magnifier provides you with about 3.5 - 4.5 inches of clearance between your table and the lens. The variation in the clearance is dependent upon which magnifier you are using, with the Fresnel lense providing the most clearance. This is sufficient room to use this stand magnifier for doing hobby activities and in performing various grooming activities, such as painting your finger nails or giving your self a manicure.

As a stand magnifier it does, however, have its limitations. In part this is due to the limited clearance between your table top and the lenses, as well as in the awkwardness inherent in a stand magnifier if you were to try using it to read a book or perform a similar action where the magnifier would need to be moved on a constant basis. However, the clearance issue can be easily addressed by using the magnifiers with the adjustable neck strap that is included with this set. The use of the neck strap gives you extra flexibility in how you use these magnifiers, by allowing you to use the magnifiers totally hands-free, on hobby activities such as knitting, quilting, and even reading!

The Carson 3 in 1 Hobby Magnifier is ideal for those with low vision as well as general hobbyist looking for either a free-standing magnifier or a hands-free magnifier. In addition, the inclusion of three different lenses will help to ensure that you have the right lens for your needs, and as a bonus, you can use this lighted magnifier set as a book light as well. This is a very practical product!

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