Probably not the best place to ask this, but I couldn't see a more relevant forum.
A relative of mine, who is a keen photographer, has asked me to get a magnifying glass, 5-6x magnification, as a Christmas present for the purpose of making out fine detail, especially text, on old (pre-digital) photographs. This has put me in something of a quandry: it seems one can get glasses at this power very cheaply, or one can pay a great deal for one. The latter seem mainly aimed at people with visual impairments. Obviously I want to get something which will do the job required of it, and I'm happy to pay the higher cost if need be, but at the same time I don't want to be wasteful and spend a lot on a glass which is primarily designed for those with limited eyesight.
So, for the purpose of examining photo details, can anyone tell me what advantages a more expensive glass will offer? Or will a cheaper one suffice?
I bought one of theseon Ebay for about £25, not bad when it also included the base which is another £65. The resuts are fantastic as it projects light from all around the lens, the glass itself is a properly machined lens of high quality and will suit your requirements well. It's also good enough to clean sensors and have loads of light to do it!
There are several products like this around some better than others, you do get what you pay for, but Ebay is a better way than paying through the nose!
I have a similar one supplied when I bought the Compact english dictionary (well worth the money!) which is the complete dictionary reproduced micrographically. It's OK so long as you hold the magnifyer close to the page, as that's the focus point, and the illumination is limited. The larger ones allow you to hold the object in both hands and have the magnifying lens and lamps much further away. Have a look at this one which is similar money.