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Are there counterfeit loupes?

ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

I was thinking I might use my ebay bucks from last quarter to invest in a nice loupe. With the price some of the Eisenbachs or Zeiss loupes sell for, are there Chinese knockoffs out there that we should be on the look out for?
If so, any stories?

Collector, occasional seller

Comments

  • CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Get a Belomo 10x made in Belarus. Best loupe I've ever used. You can find them for around $25-30 with or without a lanyard. You'll thank me later. The optics are amazing and they feel good in the hand to too.

    The more you VAM..
  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,531 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would not hesitate to buy four or five on ebay but just make sure they all have a return privilege. Then you'll have a few in hand to test and feel and get to know before you decide......

    bob ;)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CascadeChris said:
    Get a Belomo 10x made in Belarus. Best loupe I've ever used. You can find them for around $25-30 with or without a lanyard. You'll thank me later. The optics are amazing and they feel good in the hand to too.

    Funny you should mention Belomo, years ago I had one of those and I remember it being pretty good. No idea what ever happened to it.

    Collector, occasional seller

  • CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChrisH821 said:

    @CascadeChris said:
    Get a Belomo 10x made in Belarus. Best loupe I've ever used. You can find them for around $25-30 with or without a lanyard. You'll thank me later. The optics are amazing and they feel good in the hand to too.

    Funny you should mention Belomo, years ago I had one of those and I remember it being pretty good. No idea what ever happened to it.

    Well, then you've answered your own question haven't you ;)

    The more you VAM..
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have always been a fan of Zeiss..... I have used others and feel they are not as good. I have never used a Belomo, so cannot speak to that brand....Cheers, RickO

  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 16, 2017 7:56AM

    Belomo and a few other brands from eastern European countries are/were made from good glass using old Zeiss equipment - some of it salvaged from East Germany. There are also good optics from Ukraine that were made with Soviet copies of Zeiss.

    Glass & quartz take a polish not attainable with plastic.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When B&L stopped producing the 3X-4X-7X combo (My recommended glass for beginners) only the knock-offs were for sale on the net and supply companies. I bought up about a dozen "originals" from Geology supply stores. The reproductions do not have the B&L name and the powers on the wide center band of the case.

    I've used one of these plastic lens magnifiers for over three decades (first one given to me in a grading seminar) even though I own every B&L triplet made up to 20X. I can see an entire dollar all at once.

    BTW, the cost, power, maker, and type of hand lens is less important than the lighting and the PROPER WAY TO USE IT! :wink:

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    ...

    BTW, the cost, power, maker, and type of hand lens is less important than the lighting and the PROPER WAY TO USE IT! :wink:

    True to a certain degree, and it's one of the things we've taught at the ANA Summer Seminar, but if you have a crap magnifier, no lighting or technique will make up for it.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While true in most cases there are exceptions. On several occasions through the years I have seen a half dozen (name dropping) numismatists use "less than approved-by-the-general-public" hand lenses with excellent results.

    So, as I posted, I'll put my highly favored, $23 piece-of-crap, original B&L plastic hand lens up against any hand lens made in the world.

    Unfortunately, It probably won't be a fair test for the challenger as I've been looking at coins with a stereomicroscope at 7X-80X for over four decades and so I often know what I'm looking at using my crappy "plastic power" 7X in poor lighting conditions! Sorry, I'm in a pissed-off mood today - bad drive to work! :smiley:

    BTW The last time I was in a TPGS grading room I saw two of the graders using those square, pull-out, 5X plastic lenses to grade. At a later date, one of them told me that, "I don't wish to see too much on a coin." Made sense to me as many successful dealers don't even use a hand lens now that coins are in slabs.

  • tincuptincup Posts: 4,758 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've always used Bausch & Lomb triplet 7x. But then I picked up one of the Belomo 10x made in Belarus... and find I now tend to use that one more. I agree with the others that have recommended this one... I find it very useable. One feature I really like with the Belomo is that it seems to have a wider field of view... and decent size, and good construction. And cannot argue about the price.

    ----- kj
  • CascadeChrisCascadeChris Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tincup said:
    I've always used Bausch & Lomb triplet 7x. But then I picked up one of the Belomo 10x made in Belarus... and find I now tend to use that one more. I agree with the others that have recommended this one... I find it very useable. One feature I really like with the Belomo is that it seems to have a wider field of view... and decent size, and good construction. And cannot argue about the price.

    Exactly. I agree with all points the ONLY nega tive I would give on the Belomo is a minor one. You have to occasionally tighten the pivot screws with 2 flat head jewlers screwdrivers, or even your thumbnails will work in a pinch, depending on how often you pivot it in and out. But other than that it scores the highest overall marks of any loupe out there imo.

    The more you VAM..
  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Getting back to the OP's question about knock-offs, I'm not aware of Chinese copies made to look like famous brands, but there are less expensive loupes of the same construction. You can get a 10x Hastings Triplet not made by Bausch & Lomb for less than half the price. I've used one briefly and had no problem with it. Maybe 15 years ago, this wasn't the case. I recall trying out some inexpensive Chinese stereoscopes a long time ago, and they sucked. Today's stuff is probably much better.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BelOMO is the Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Organization. They produced the optics for cruise missiles, spy satellites, etc for the Soviet Union during the cold war era. They are the preferred brand for professional geologists and serious collectors of rock, minerals, gems and fossils. The 10X is the most popular magnification although they are made in higher and lower magnifications. They can be found on eBay, Amazon, and most coin and geology supply companies. As far as the screws coming loose, a little Loctite or clear fingernail polish on the screw threads will keep them tight.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • ScarsdaleCoinScarsdaleCoin Posts: 5,184 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I actually had an experience with picking up what was either a counterfeit or at least unauthorized Schneider L2 10X Achromatic Aplanatic Triplet Professional Jeweler's Loupe, 20MM Lens - Made in Germany. Schneider is a very expensive high quality loupe and Harald only has 1 or 2 authorized sellers in the USA, however some dealers get them from other countries and circumvent the authorized sales network. I actually was so disturbed by the seller that I spoke to Harald last year about it and this is how I know how is network works. Regarding which loupe... I think honestly its more a matter of sticking with 1 loupe and not jumping to different magnification every other month. I use a 10x which is probably too strong for most collectors but I do a lot with trimes which are smaller coins. The other oddball think I'll throw out is Im amazed at coin shows how many collectors forget to bring a loupe and ask to borrow one... I always keep a fold out 5x for them.... NEVER share yours unless you want to risk a eye infection.

    Jon Lerner - Scarsdale Coin - www.CoinHelp.com
  • OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,931 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are counterfeit loupes the best way to examine counterfeit coins?

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

  • coinpro76coinpro76 Posts: 366 ✭✭✭

    I have had cheap plastic, even metallic loupes fall apart in my hands.
    invest in a good loupe it is absolutely worth it, you will have it for a very long time

    all around collector of many fine things

  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought this loupe on Ebay a number of years ago as a spare. Very similar to the famed Ziess D36 which I've owned for years.

    Anyway, it looks much like a D36 and is labeled as a Carl Zeiss JENA 3x6x9. No country of origin.

    Two giveaways: the correct spelling is Ziess not Zeiss. Also 3x6x9 doesn't make sense. Jena is a line of Ziess lenses but doesn't look like they ever included loupes.

    Here is what the real deal actually looks like. Same size and shape.

    I'd say there are counterfeits out there.....the good news is that the knockoff actually has pretty good optics!

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cameonut said:
    I bought this loupe on Ebay a number of years ago as a spare. Very similar to the famed Ziess D36 which I've owned for years.

    Anyway, it looks much like a D36 and is labeled as a Carl Zeiss JENA 3x6x9. No country of origin.

    Two giveaways: the correct spelling is Ziess not Zeiss. Also 3x6x9 doesn't make sense. Jena is a line of Ziess lenses but doesn't look like they ever included loupes.

    Here is what the real deal actually looks like. Same size and shape.

    I'd say there are counterfeits out there.....the good news is that the knockoff actually has pretty good optics!

    That is a real Zeiss which is the correct spelling (NOT Ziess) . That was made in the original factory in Jena, East Germany. Another factory was built in West Germany. Both companies made high quality loupes.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 16, 2017 3:00PM

    Carl Zeiss GmbH located in Jena, Germany. This was the old-tooling remains of Carl Zeiss left after division of Germany. Much equipment was moved to Kiev for camera production in the USSR. East German products were usually labeled "Jena." The West German Zeiss products were labeled "Opton." The eastern lenses were superior.

    Back when I was using Hasselblad cameras, the golden goal was to get one of the Jena glass sets then have Western coatings added. The contrast and edge-to-edge sharpness were superior to anything else.

    [A little like getting a Swiss Hawk loupe today.]

    Just picked up a $29.89 BelOMO loupe from Azimuth Trade, LLC,

  • ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, so much information here. Thanks for the input and keep it coming.
    I decided to pick up the Belomo 5 loupe package that they have for sale on ebay (8, 10, 12, 15, and 20x, 4 left after I bought one). I offered 15 under and they accepted, maybe you can do better if interested.
    Looks like we don't have to worry too much about fake high end optics out there, for now.

    Collector, occasional seller

  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oops - my mistake on the spelling. I learned that the bargain loupe I bought on Ebay was indeed a decent deal. I think I paid about $40 for it.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cameonut said:
    Oops - my mistake on the spelling. I learned that the bargain loupe I bought on Ebay was indeed a decent deal. I think I paid about $40 for it.

    Did your Zeiss loupe come in a plastic case? I bought one on eBay that turned out to be a Chinese counterfeit with inferior optics so I returned it for a refund. I found the same exact loupe on aliexpress.com (Chinese version of Amazon). Zeiss loups come in a cardboard box rather than a plastic box.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @Cameonut said:
    Oops - my mistake on the spelling. I learned that the bargain loupe I bought on Ebay was indeed a decent deal. I think I paid about $40 for it.

    Did your Zeiss loupe come in a plastic case? I bought one on eBay that turned out to be a Chinese counterfeit with inferior optics so I returned it for a refund. I found the same exact loupe on aliexpress.com (Chinese version of Amazon). Zeiss loups come in a cardboard box rather than a plastic box.

    I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it came in a plastic box.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you want to know if something is being counterfeited by the Chinese, go to aliexpress.com and DHgate.com and do a search. These are the Chinese versions of Amazon. They are legitimate reliable web sites and they sell virtually everything that is being manufactured in China. For example check out their silver bars.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • OuthaulOuthaul Posts: 7,440 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChrisH821 said:

    @CascadeChris said:
    Get a Belomo 10x made in Belarus. Best loupe I've ever used. You can find them for around $25-30 with or without a lanyard. You'll thank me later. The optics are amazing and they feel good in the hand to too.

    Funny you should mention Belomo, years ago I had one of those and I remember it being pretty good. No idea what ever happened to it.

    You should have used the lanyard, then. :D

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