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Loupe

A Simple Guide to Choosing Loupe Magnification

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Whether you’re an ophthalmologist, OBGYN, neuro surgery, ENT, or any other medical discipline, choosing the right loupe magnification is a very big deal. At Keeler, we manufacture an entire family of Keeler Surgical loupes with a range of magnifications — spanning from 2.5x SL up to 5.5x XL loupe magnification. 

In either case, you’ll enjoy surgical loupes with the best resolution and are free of distortion and color fringing. Let’s take a look at the two general types of loupes and a quick overview of each of the different loupe magnification levels. 

Galilean vs Prismatic Loupes

What Are Galilean Loupes?

Loupes with the Galilean lens system will feature a set of lenses — a convex objective lens and a concave eyepiece lens. These two lenses work together to deliver a much clearer image than what would be offered by a single lens, while offering superior depth of field and sufficient width of field. Galilean loupes are offered in magnifications ranging from 2.0 up to 3.0x. The affordability, adaptability, and lightweight design of Galilean loupes make them ideal for surgical, dental, and ophthalmology professions. 

What Are Prismatic Loupes? 

Also known as Keplerian loupes, prismatic loupes boast greater clarity and higher magnifications. The prismatic variety of loupes feature two or more positive convex lenses. While these loupes are typically designed for magnifications that range from 3.5x up to 6.0x range, there are Keplerian varieties that offer up to 8.0x loupe magnification. 

Which Loupes Should I Purchase? 

In most instances, Galilean loupes will be sufficient for first time users. They offer substantially lower magnification and are more forgiving than prismatic loupes. 

Taking a Closer Look at Different Loupe Magnifications

Galilean Loupe Magnification 2.5

Loupes with a 2.5x magnification are typically the go-to solution for first-time users as well as to practitioners who may be sensitive to the weight of heavier loupes. With 2.5x loupe magnification, you’ll still be able to see intricate details of your work and enjoy the widest field of view, so you can monitor a larger work area. Due to the greater depth of fields, surgical loupes with 2.5x magnification offer enhanced freedom of movement. 

As the entry-level magnification, the 2.5x loupe magnification is used by practitioners and residents in:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Ear Nose Throat
  • Neuro Surgery
  • OB-GYN
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Plastics
  • Urology
  • Dental Hygienists
  • And more

Galilean Surgical Loupes with 2.5x Loupe Magnification

You can choose from two different units with 2.5x loupe magnification:

  1. SuperVu SL Mini Gallilean System 2.5x is designed to be comfortable and ultra light with minimal compromise in field of view. 
  2. SuperVu SL Standard Gallilean System 2.5x is highlighted by ease of use, facilitating mobility, and delivering consistent focal clarity. It has an individual pupillary adjustment and lightweight aluminum bar that provides optimal focal alignment and mounted loupes to help reduce eyestrain and eliminate headache. These loupes are ideal for retinal procedures and ocular plastic. 

Galilean Loupe Magnification 3.0x 

The loupe magnification 3.0x is an intermediate level that is suitable for users who are familiar with loupes but have a real need for additional magnification. As the most common level to increase from a 2.5, loupe magnification 3.0x offers a slightly smaller field of view than what is offered on the previous magnification level. The 3.0x loupe magnification is used by the same professionals as the 2.5x loupe magnification.  

Galilean Surgical Loupes with 3.0x Loupe Magnification

Keeler’s SuperVu SL Hi Resolution Galilean System 3.0x loupe systems boast greater definition as well as a 15% increase in field of view over standard Galilean loupes. The innovative Hi-Res five element system delivers a true 3x magnification in a convenient, lightweight system. 

Prismatic Loupe Magnification 3.5x 

As a more powerful system, loupes with 3.5x magnification are heavier and offer more depth of field. Because of the increased magnification, the field of view is slightly reduced in comparison with the 3.0x loupe magnification. This field of view is commonly used by users who need a smaller working field, such as specialists. However, without proper lighting the image can be darker, so these surgical loupes will typically include a light. When you move up to the 3.5x loupe magnification, you’ll move into Prismatic loupes instead of Galilean loupes. The 3.5x XL prismatic loupes are typically used by attendees in:

  • Cardiovascular
  • ENT
  • Neuro Surgery
  • OBGYN
  • Orthopedics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Dental Technics
  • Endodontics
  • Maxillo-Facial Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery

Prismatic Surgical Loupes with 3.5x Loupe Magnification

The SuperVu XL Prismatic System 3.5x Surgical Loupes & Lights are engineered for advanced surgical procedures and offer higher magnification. These loupes boast precise color rendition and edge-to-edge clarity — both of which are imperative to complex surgical applications. The prismatic quality guarantees a true image. The XL’s precise lenses are enhanced by an anti-reflective coating that helps produce superior images every time. 

Prismatic Loupe Magnification 4.5x 

Prismatic loupes with a 4.5x magnification provide higher levels of precision, ideally for procedures involving blood vessel repair or tendon repair. Because these loupes have more powerful magnification and provide much more detail, they are naturally heavier and offer a narrower field of view. 

However, prismatic loupes with 4.5x magnification, will provide brilliant color vibrancy and sharpness. Prismatic loupes with a 4.5x magnification are typically used by attendees in the following specialties:

  • Ear Nose Throat
  • Neuro Surgery
  • OG-GYN
  • Orthopedics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Urology

Prismatic Surgical Loupes with 4.5x Loupe Magnification

SuperVu XL Prismatic System 4.5x are uniquely designed for more advanced surgical procedures. The prismatic quality boasts higher magnification as well as a true image, which is ideal for surgeons. These loupes boast exact color rendition and edge-to-edge clarity — both of which are imperative to complex surgical applications. The prismatic quality guarantees a true image. The XL’s precise lenses are enhanced by an anti-reflective coating that helps produce superior images every time. 

Prismatic Loupe Magnification 5.5

5.5x loupe magnification is the most powerful magnification offered by Keeler as well as the heaviest. These precise loupes are uniquely engineered for professionals who perform exacting procedures, such as orthopedics attendees. In some instances, a prismatic loupe 5.5x magnification can be used in the place of a surgical microscope. 

Prismatic Surgical Loupes with 5.5x Loupe Magnification

SuperVu XL Prismatic System 5.5x offers high magnification for advanced surgical procedures. You’ll enjoy a precise color rendition and edge-to-edge clarity for intricate surgical applications. The XL also features an anti-reflective coating that helps produce a superior image. 

Contact Keeler for the Best Surgical Loupes

For more than 100 years, Keeler has been manufacturing the best surgical loupes across a generous span of magnifications. Contact Keeler today for assistance choosing the best loupe magnification. 

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.