Optical Magnifiers

Advantages:

– Very lightweight

– Portable – in handbag or pocket

– Simple technology

– Familiar to older people

– Reasonably cheap

 

Optical Magnifier

Optical Magnifier

 

Disadvantages:

– Not very strong magnification; 3x – 12x

– Field of view decreases as  magnification increases, meaning fewer words can be seen at higher magnification

– At higher magnification the magnifier and object need to be held close to the face. Not easy for some people.

– Curving and distortion at edges

– Poor contrast

– High glare

Optical magnifier being used to read a book

Optical magnifier and book

 

 

 

Electronic Magnifiers – Hand Held

Advantages:

– Variable magnification levels

– Increased field of view

– No distortion

– Range of display options to reduce glare or increase contrast

Hand held electonic magnifier showing negative high contrast

Electronic Magnifiers – Hand Held

 

 

Disadvantages:

 

– More expensive

 

However, the most important thing you need to do is try them out. Everybody is unique and what suits your friend or neighbour will not necessarily suit you. Here is a simulation of reading a newspaper using an optical magnifier and an electronic magnifier.

 

Example of newspaper text at original size

Newspaper and headline text original size

 

 

Newspaper text viewed with a 3x optical magnifier

Newspaper text viewed with a 3x optical magnifier

 

 

Newspaper text viewed with a 3X electronic magnifier in reverse contrast

Newspaper text viewed at 3x with an electronic magnifier

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