Daily Wire Tip August 2: Optivisors and Prescription Lenses

By on August 1, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
August 2, 2011


Regarding the Optivisor question, I have seen some that can also be used with your prescription glasses. Is this true? Will this make a big difference in the distance you’re holding your work? My neck is killing me!!

-Linda in Palatine, Illinois


Hi Linda, as I mentioned in the original discussion (Optivisor Distance and Magnification), many of my students use the Optivisor 1.75 lens with their prescription glasses! The choice will really be yours as everyone has different requirements for their eyes. Personally, sometimes I just use 300 power "cheater" glasses from a department store (and yes I wear prescription glasses for anything that is 18 inches away or closer). My decision depends on what I am doing! If I am working a live show and the producer wants to "see" my eyes, I have to use these glasses, but when I am in my studio or teaching a class and I am working on seriously detailed items for hours at a time I really need my optivisors.

My best advice here would be to take the time to visit an store that sells all types of magnifying glasses and try them by wearing them alone or with your prescription glasses, looking for the detail in something like the prongs on a ring you are wearing. You may also wish to consult with your personal optometrist. (I take my Optivisors to my eye doctor each yearly appointment.) Just remember, you have to take care of your eyes! We are not starfish and cannot "regenerate" our parts.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I actually use the “cheater glasses” in a magnification of 1.50 when working on my wire jewelry. I like the fact that they sit on my nose and at any time I can glance over the top of them and give my eyes a rest from working, which is very important. When working on my scrimshaw, a stereo zoom microscope is used and it does all the magnification work for me so I am comfortable working under it.

    If your neck is hurting you this is a common problem among people who use incorrect magnification. It is a result of your body tensing up as you try to keep things in focus using the optivisor. Which means that you probably do not have the right amount of magnification you are needing. This tensing up can go as far as making your shoulders hurt as well as your back and give you some really bad headaches simply because you are constantly adjusting your body and trying to keep things in focus as you work.

    Take Dale’s advise, try out and find the distance you are comfortable working at and the magnification needed.

    Scrimshaw Mary

  2. avatar


    August 2, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for your question Linda. It is exactly what I was planning to ask today! Dale–thanks for the info; it is very helpful.