Help support TMP

"Health risk from using a magnifier for painting miniaturers" Topic

15 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the 28mm Sci-Fi Message Board

Back to the Painting Message Board

1,540 hits since 1 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

R Lee S01 Sep 2017 8:14 a.m. PST

I'm getting older and started using a head mounted magnifier to paint miniatures about a year ago. it's great I use it all the time. and recently decided to get a newer one perhaps with a light as the one I'm currently use dosn't have a light. So I starter to look at whats avaliable educating myself as to whats a good brand differances in lens strenght and so on and I came across this video.

YouTube link

In the video the presenter mention potential health issues that can arrise from over using these magnifiers. I've never heard of that before so decided to search the internet for studies about that very thing. I can't seem to find anything so decided to ask the TMP community about it. Do you use these magnifiers? how long? have you had any adverse health issues? but more importantly dose anyone have a link to any clinical studys on this isssue and the results of those studies. I really want to use thes magnifiers properly and not overuse them if there are health risks involved but they are very useful so I don't want to give them up entirely either

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

Consult your eye doctor. You should bd able to call and ask, free of charge. Cheers!

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

Using any magnifier is likely to cause extra stress on the eye, usually in proportion to the amount of magnification and the length of use. For magnifications less than about 2.5 short periods of continuous use (say 15-20 min) will probably do no harm, even if repeated a number of times in a day. Longer sessions can simply be split into shorter bits by tasks not needing the visor.

So much is likely to depend on the individual's eyesight and any other issues that they might have with optical health. The best guide is to use it sparingly to begin with and watch for symptoms of eye-strain. That way you can usually set a suitably practical limit for yourself.

Mick the Metalsmith01 Sep 2017 9:42 a.m. PST

As a jeweler, I can say as long as you use the twenty,twenty rule of looking at something 20 feet away, for a minute or two every 20 minutes allowing the eye muscles to relax a bit, you won't have any problems with a magnifier. Indeed you are more likely to suffer eye strain without it as you squint to focus.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 10:22 a.m. PST

Your sole source for concern is a YouTube video? Some guy talking to his camera? Not quoting sources? In this day and age we have to be a *lot* more critical of information sources. People sit in there rooms and say all kinds of things to their webcams. Some people produce some nice videos explaining that the Earth is flat.

Heres a better video: YouTube link

It was once thought that dependance eyeglasses would make eyesight worse, but that no looks like it's the opposite of true. Definitely talk to your doctor, but it seems like the behaviors that stress your eyes the least preserve your sight longest, and making your eyes "work harder" may accelerate deterioration.

So talk to your doctor, take breaks, get outside, use the magnifier, and quit taking YouTube too seriously.

R Lee S01 Sep 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Andrew Walters, as I mentioned in my oping post I want to find additional information which is why I posted here. I'd love to read some actual research on this subject. and thanks for that vido link, I apprectiate it

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

I was a little preachy there, sorry. Anyway, SciShow at least lists their sources under Show More.

Dynaman878901 Sep 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

I asked my eye doctor when I started needing glasses, she said that the idea that using reading glasses, or magnification, was harmful was equine manure.

bsrlee01 Sep 2017 1:58 p.m. PST

A bigger risk is leaving the magnifiers lying around in strong light which can lead to your house burning down – really.

Not just head mounted magnifiers, but all those 'handy to have' table top magnifiers can make scorch marks pretty quickly, most of us can smell the smoke before anything gets too far advanced.

So just put them away in their storage bag or box, don't leave them in the window 'for just a moment'.

microgeorge01 Sep 2017 3:39 p.m. PST

I've been using a lighted magnifier for several years to paint microarmor and 15s. I do use reading glasses. About a year ago I had a serious eye exam, and not at one of those retail eyeglass places. I went through several tests and was reassured that my eyes are about as healthy as a 57 year old who uses reading glasses can be. Although it cost a lot of money, the piece of mind was worth it. I know my account lacks any research to back it up, but I have not experienced any degeneration with my eyesight due to using a magnifier yet. Hope that helped.

ced110602 Sep 2017 12:00 a.m. PST

Do you use a strong light source, like an Ott light? I find I don't need to use a magnifier with a good light source, except with the occasional detail.

popeye02 Sep 2017 6:25 a.m. PST

Saw my optician this week, asked her the same question as I now use a magnifier and was worried if affected my vision, she said it was not a problem, to use it. So put my mind at ease

God wills it Inactive Member02 Sep 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

Nothing concerning painting miniatures will ever damage your eye sight, eye strain is likely to give you a head ache and thats all.

I tried a lamp based magnifying glass once, but It made me almost throw up (had to lay down)

I eventually took a 20mm figure to the optician's when I had my eyes tested. So she was able to get the correct lense for each eye at the distance I paint figures…they are very slightly magnified and now I could not paint without them and rather surprised why more people don't do the same.

Don't use a bright light to paint (daylight lamp is best) and put a non reflective cover/sheet where you paint.

PrivateSnafu03 Sep 2017 6:37 a.m. PST

I spoke with my optometrist about my miniature painting and glasses. He is also a friend of mine so I trust him.

He suggested that it is better to use a magnifier, such as a table top one, over wearable magnifiers (visor, magnifying glasses).

When you use a tabletop magnifier you are looking at a bigger image before the light enters your eye.

When using wearable magnifiers the image is enlarged inside the eye as it is projected onto the retina.

I use a tabletop magnifier and wear my reading glasses.

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

I am sure that using magnification will not damage your eyes, it may be that extended use may make your eye muscles tired, and ache, but that is not damaging.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.