20x Hand Lens recommendations?

Peter Werner pgwernerKILL at SPAMworldnet.att.net
Thu Oct 24 03:45:16 EST 2002

I want to get a high-quality 20x hand lens to use when my 10x hand lens
isn't powerful enough and am looking for recommendations. I will be
using it mainly to look at fine structures on mushrooms and insects.

Apparently, the best-quality optics are to be found in the Bausch and
Lomb Hastings Triplet - however, the 20x magnifier in this series has a
tiny lens, on the order of 7-8 mm, and hence has a tiny focal distance,
which makes it very difficult to use. 

I've been looking for alternatives. There are plenty of lower cost 20x
triplets with 18-21 mm lenses, but I'm not sure about the quality of
these. One company, GemOro, even makes a 20x magnifier in this size
which it refers to as a Hastings Triplet, but I unfortunately cannot
find a retailer who actually sells these.

advertises a 20x qaudruplet magnifier from a Japanese company called
JSP - it has a 14mm lens and apparently has aplanatic and achromatic
correction. Has anybody ever tried these?

Finally, I've read some brief mentions on one of these lists of a
high-end 20x lens sold under the name Iwamoto. Its supposed to be very
good quality and larger than the B&L 20x triplet. Unfortunately, a
Google search turns up absolutely nothing about this or any other
optical product under the brand name "Iwamoto". Can anybody give me
more details about this?

If anybody has any recommendations for a good-quality
achromatic/aplanatic 20x hand lens with a decent focal length, please
let me know.

Thanks in advance,

Peter Werner
Graduate Student, Mycology, San Francisco State University

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