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Bright Field Magnifiers!

Bright and easy!

Bright field magnifiers have been in use for centuries to provide an easy to use solution for magnifying text and other documents. Their ease of use and ability to effectively brighten a subject mean they have survived and are still used today to provide magnification in a range of settings. They are extremely popular for people with low vision, particularly children. Even with low vision, children can often focus very close, which allows them to get up to 6x magnification from bright field magnifiers. Eschenbach Optik have supplied bright field magnifiers for decades, making improvements along the way to make them even easier and better to use, so let's take this chance to explore these handy little tools.

The secret behind their ease of use and clarity is simple - They sit directly on the page which enables them to be used at any working distance. This means a user can achieve a longer comfortable working distance and still maintain magnification of up to 1.8x, or by moving closer a greater magnification of up to 6x can be achieved. Compare this to your more common handheld magnifiers, which have a constant magnification and optimum working distance and lose focus outside of these values, and you can quickly see the advantages of a bright field magnifier.

Additionally, these magnifiers also have the effect of condensing the available light and focusing it on the image. This creates a surface brightness approximately twice that of ambient light conditions, which is fantastic for people with low vision or working with less available light. It also means you can use them without access to batteries or a power source, so they can be used anywhere, anytime!  This effect is where these magnifiers get the bright field name.

Bright field magnifiers were originally made of glass and were dome shaped. Eschenbach still has a couple of these models available (models 1420 & 1421), and they provide 1.8X magnification. Eschenbach’s newer bright field magnifiers use PXM material, which is a lightweight, shatterproof plastic that provides maximum optical clarity. The optical clarity of PXM material allowed Eschenbach to design bright field magnifiers that were higher and wider, with a segment shape. The new height and shape help achieve the higher magnification of 2.2x. The next step in the evolution of bright field magnifiers was the addition of LED illumination. As mentioned, bright field magnifiers amplify the available light, but if you use them at a very close working distance, it's possible that the available light may be blocked. Eschenbach’s solution to this was to piggyback a battery housing and LED light onto the back of their bright field magnifier. The result is quite stunning due to the LED illumination being precisely focused on the page. Eschenbach are always looking for innovation in developing their magnifiers, and so decided they would add an additional lens to their segment bright field magnifier to achieve 3.6X magnification.

Bright field magnifiers are a simple but effective tool for providing magnification. The combination of easy to use magnification with a wide field and LED illumination, produces a high contrast image that really is extremely easy to use.

To find out more about Eschenbach’s bright field magnifiers give us a call on 03 8756 0900 or email us at

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