FAQ

FAQs

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Which should I buy: an LED or an incandescent reading light?

LED reading lights generally cost a little more than incandescent reading lights, but LED reading lights are well worth the investment. LED reading lights last for a long time: on average, about fifty times longer than the bulb of an incandescent reading light. LED lights are resistant to shock, but incandescent reading lights can break easily. The most important consideration is energy use: LED reading lights use very little battery power and operate at a low temperature. Incandescent reading lights consume a great deal of battery power and thus are much more expensive to operate than LED reading lights.

What features should I look for in a reading light?

There are several features to consider when purchasing an LED reading light. Some of the factors are clearly visible in the package, but others are not. Below, you will find details on most of the important things you should consider when purchasing a reading light. For more information on Carson LED reading lights, please visit the Lighting section.

Are all LEDs created the same?

LEDs are not all created equally. In general, more LEDs create more light. However, it is certainly possible that a single, well-constructed LED can outshine a group of poor quality LEDs. LEDs vary considerably in terms of brightness, color, and lifespan. Since there is no real industry standard to test LEDs, Carson generally tests them ourselves. We compare LEDs from many manufacturing facilities before constructing our reading lights. We test for brightness, durability, and lifespan. We then select the lights that will create the best value for our customers.

Do the digital microscopes work with tablets or phones?

No, these devices are not supported.

Where can I download the software for my digital microscope?

Please visit the Software Download Page.

My digital microscope doesn’t reach the resolution on the product page. What can I do?

To achieve the maximum resolution in picture mode, open the software, go to settings, and select the maximum resolution. The software initially defaults to a lower resolution. Also, please note that the video resolution may be lower than the picture resolution.

What is my digital microscope’s resolution?

Please check each product page for specific information about each microscope’s resolution. However, do note that there may be two resolution specifications: one for picture mode and one for video mode.

How does Carson determine the magnification for a digital microscope?

Carson determines the magnification as the total effective magnification based upon a 21″ monitor. To calculate the effective magnification when the image is displayed on your monitor, multiply the screen size by the factor listed on your digital microscope’s product page. Please note: The effective magnification is a combination of the optical system and a high-powered digital zoom.

What is best for a kids’ magnifier?

It is important to keep a few items in mind when looking for a kids’ magnifier. The magnifier should have a large viewing lens, yet still be lightweight enough for a child to use. The BigEye is ideal for kids because it has an oversized acrylic lens, which makes it lightweight and safer than glass.

My child is fascinated with bugs. Any recommendations?

It is important to encourage outdoor play in children that are fascinated with bugs. Carson Optical has a variety of products to that will help your child explore nature. The BugView will allow your child to catch bugs, examine them, and release them when they’re done.

What should I look for in binoculars for kids?

A kid’s binocular should be durable and lightweight, and it should aid in exploration and outdoor fun. The Carson’s Hawk binoculars (HU-530) fit all these criteria.

What type of binoculars are best for sporting events?

This age-old question really comes down to personal preference. Do you want to carry heavy, bulky binoculars from your car to the stadium? Do you prefer the added brightness that a full-sized binocular will offer? Or is the convenience of putting the binoculars in your jacket pocket more important to you? The jury is split between full-sized binocular brightness and compact binocular portability. Whether you choose compact or full-sized binoculars, there are a few other factors to consider. If you are watching a fast-moving sporting event, do not opt for binoculars that are too powerful (8x magnification is ideal). Higher magnification means a smaller field of view, so it will be harder to follow the action. Also, make certain that the optical configuration of the binoculars offers a sufficiently wide field of view. Keep in mind, however, that you may sacrifice binocular edge definition or binocular eye relief with a wide field of view. In conclusion, it is important to compare every feature a binocular offers before you make your decision.

What is the best binocular magnification for me?

The magnification of a binocular describes how many times closer an object appears through the binocular than with the naked eye. An 8×21 mm binocular magnifies the image to eight times its normal size. Typical binocular magnifications range from powers of 7x to 10x; however, they are also available in much higher magnifications. Keep in mind that binoculars with higher power gather less light, and the viewing field will be reduced, as well. It is also very difficult to keep an image steady at very high magnifications using a handheld binocular. A tripod is usually necessary to steady an image at higher magnifications.

Which binoculars are best for me?

There are many factors to consider in choosing the right binocular for an individual’s needs, including price, color, and style. The most important factor in this decision relates to how you intend to use the binoculars. To most people, binoculars are a simple optical device, but in reality they are complex and precise optical instruments.

Does a binocular’s lens size make a difference?

The amount of light passing through the different lenses of the binocular depends on the diameter of those lenses. The objective lenses are located at the front of the binocular. The diameter of the objective lenses is measured in millimeters. An 8×21 mm binocular has an objective lens diameter of 21 millimeters. The larger the diameter of the lens, the more light they will gather. More light means a brighter image of greater detail and clarity. The size of the binocular’s exit pupil also affects the brightness of an image. The exit pupil is the diameter of the beam of light, in millimeters, that passes through the binocular’s eyepieces (or oculars). The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the binocular image becomes. Keep in mind, however, that larger binocular lenses means larger binoculars.

What is the importance of a binocular’s field of view?

The field of view is the size of the area that can be viewed through the binoculars. Field of view is measured in two ways: angular field of view and linear field of view. The angular field of view of a binocular is measured in degrees. Linear field of view is the width of the area, in feet, that is visible at one thousand yards. Remember that the higher the power of your binocular, the smaller the field of view will be. In most cases, the larger the field of view is, the more the image clarity will decrease, especially around the edges. Bear this in mind when making your choice. Bigger does not always mean better!

Does the type of prism used in binoculars make a difference?

There are prisms located inside binoculars that function to flip an inverted image upright. There are two common styles of prisms used in binoculars: the BK-7 and the BAK-4. The BAK-4 prism is made of a higher-density glass and can produce sharper images than a BK-7 prism can. If you are unsure as to which prism is being used, hold the binoculars out in front of you and look through the eyepiece. If you see a square shaped beam of light, chances are a BK-7 prism is being used. A round beam of light indicates the use of a BAK-4 prism.

What is the purpose of binocular lens coatings?

All the optical components of binoculars (lenses and prisms) should be coated to minimize light loss and reflection problems inside the binocular. A poorly-coated binocular can lose up to 50% of the light initially gathered through the objective lens, resulting in a poor quality image. By coating the optical components with a fine film of chemicals, light loss can be greatly decreased. The highest quality binoculars have multiple coatings on all the optical components. These are known as “fully multi-coated” binoculars. These binoculars have the least loss of light and the result is a higher quality image.

How do I focus my binoculars properly?

There are several steps you should take to focus your binoculars. The first step is to close your right eye and look through the left eyepiece of the binocular. Turn the center focusing wheel until you see a sharp image. Then, close your left eye and look through the right eyepiece. Turn the diopter eyepiece until you see a sharp image in your right eye. Lastly, look through both eyepieces. Use the center focusing wheel only to correct the focus when you begin looking at different objects. Now you are ready to fully enjoy your binoculars.

What is binocular eye relief?

Eye relief is the distance, in millimeters, that a binocular can be held away from the eye and still see the entire field of view. If you wear glasses, a longer eye relief would be advantageous since the glasses prevent your eyes from getting as close to the eyepiece as possible.

What steps can I take to maintain my binoculars?

Make sure your lenses are clean at all times and keep them free of fingerprints, dirt, and debris. Use a Stuff-It microfiber lens cloth or a C6 Lens Cleaner to clean your lenses quickly and safely. Never use chemicals on your lenses; it can harm the optical coating. When not in use, always replace the lens caps and store your binoculars in a case. For more cleaning options, visit the Lens and Screen Care section of our website.

What type of binoculars is best for bird watching?

8×42 mm binoculars are the most popular optical configuration for bird watching. A 42 mm objective lens provides sufficient light gathering capabilities in low light conditions, and an 8x magnification allows the user to “steady” the binoculars much more readily than with higher powers, making the task of bird-identification a little easier. Look for 8×42 mm binoculars with high light transmission capabilities like our 3D/ED Series.

What type of binoculars is best for hunting?

Some informal industry surveys suggest that 40% of all binoculars that are sold in the United States are sold to hunters. The most popular style of binoculars sold are 10×42 mm. What is so special about 10×42 mm binoculars? Deer are most active at dawn or dusk, so brightness is critical. Full-sized 10×42 mm binoculars gather more light than their compact counterparts, so 10×42 mm binoculars are an obvious choice. They are ideal for hunting because of their superior light-gathering capabilities.

What are the advantages of glass magnifying lenses?

Glass magnifiers allow for very high light transmission, which provides a very clear and precise image. Glass magnifiers are also durable and extremely difficult to scratch. There are many grades of glass available; however, the best grade of glass magnifying lenses is better than the best grade of acrylic lenses. Glass magnifiers typically magnify slightly more than acrylic magnifiers as a result of the material density. The most popular glass magnifier from Carson is the SG-10 SureGrip Magnifier.

Glass magnifiers have declined in popularity over the years. Twenty years ago, nearly all the magnifiers sold in the United States were made from glass. Today, however, more than 90% of the magnifiers sold in the U.S. are made from acrylic.

What things should I consider when purchasing a lighted magnifier?

Lighted magnifiers come in a wide variety of styles and shapes. The most important consideration when purchasing a lighted magnifier is the type of lighting. Lighted magnifiers come in LED and incandescent styles. Generally speaking, a lighted magnifier with an incandescent bulb will be less expensive than an LED lighted magnifier. However, LED magnifiers are generally brighter and use far less power than an incandescent bulb. When you consider the cost of batteries, LED magnifiers are typically a cost-effective investment.

In recent years, magnifiers have shrunk in size. LED magnifiers are often powered by button-cell batteries, thus allowing for sleeker and more compact designs. Products like Carson’s Lighted Rimless Magnifier and Lighted MagRX could never have been made without the use of LED lights.

What types of magnifiers are best for needlepoint?

Carson manufactures a number of hands-free magnifiers for crafting and needlepoint. They are often referred to as “around-the-neck” magnifiers because they are positioned just below the chest of the user and are suspended by a cord around the user’s neck. These “around-the-neck” magnifiers provide the user with free use of both hands, which is ideal for needlepoint. Caron’s LumiCraft (model LC-15), MagniFree (model HF-25), and MagniShine (model HF-66) are all examples of “around-the-neck” magnifiers. Visit Carson’s Handsfree Magnifier section to view more products.

Another type of magnifier that is designed largely for crafts is the MagniCraft Magnifier (model MC-10). The MagniCraft has magnets that are embedded into this Bar Magnifier. This works very well for needlepoint patterns. The user can place the pattern on a metal stand. The Bar Magnifier’s magnets will hold the pattern in place and magnify the appropriate line on the pattern. Visit the Sheet and Bar section to see all of Carson’s Bar Magnifiers.

Is a magnifier with the highest power the best choice?

Not necessarily: the higher the magnification, the shorter the focal distance. In order to use a high-powered magnifier, you would need to put your head very close to the object you are viewing. In addition, a magnifier that is too powerful will distort the image, making it difficult to read. Lastly, a high-powered magnifier has a very small viewing area. If the magnification is too high, it becomes difficult to use the Magnifier as you end up focusing on a very small part of the page. Don’t get too caught up with magnification. Regretfully, we are in an industry where some companies exaggerate magnification. Buyer beware!

What are the advantages of acrylic magnifying lenses?

Acrylic magnifiers are extremely lightweight and durable. They are shatterproof and difficult to break. Acrylic material also makes it possible to have a smaller, more powerful magnifier inset in the larger lens. More than 90 percent of Carson’s magnifiers are made using acrylic lenses.

A Fresnel magnifier (pronounced “fre-nel”) is a flat magnifier that is produced by stamping a series of annular optical grooves onto a flat sheet of acrylic or PVC. Fresnel magnifiers use far less material than a typical double-convex magnifier lens, so they are typically very light and thin. The “flat” profile of a Fresnel lens makes it ideal for a purse or a wallet. Another added benefit of a Fresnel magnifier is the size of the actual lens. There are very few size constraints in producing Fresnel magnifiers than with other lens configurations. Because of this, Fresnel magnifiers can be made in page-size or larger. One disadvantage of Fresnel magnifiers is the “sharpness” of the image. Fresnel magnifiers generally cannot produce as sharp an image as a double-convex magnifier lens.

How does Carson measure magnification?

Magnification, also referred to as magnifying power, depends on the focal length of the lenses used in an optical device. At Carson Optical, we calculate the magnification based on measurements of the actual product, not the theoretical properties of the lenses. We use optical measurement equipment, such as a lensometer or lens clock, to measure the power of a lens. This provides the user with much more accurate results of magnification compared to other methods which are based upon the lens mold or intended design that might not correspond to the real life product.

Our advertised magnifying power (MP) is based upon the standard industry equation (also referred to as “trade magnification”) for the maximum magnifying power corresponding to ideal viewing conditions and depends on the diopters of a lens or lens system. The diopters of a lens are equivalent to the inverse of the focal length in meters.

MP = D/4 + 1

The above magnifying power is related to the nominal magnifying power as follows: MPnominal=MP-1=D/4. The diopter value (D) used for these calculations is based on empirical measurements from actual samples of the individual lens or lens system, using a lensometer and/or lens meter with a confirmed zero and calibrated to at least two points using known reference standards. The diopter measurement is made according to the back focal length (BFL) specified by the directionality of actual usage of the lens or lens system. The testing is repeated over a sufficiently large sample set to calculate the average actual magnification. The results are converted to magnifying power and rounded to the nearest half power. For example, magnifying powers

What is a linen tester?

A linen tester, often referred to as a “thread counter,” is most commonly known for its association with the garment trade. Historically, linen testers were used to count the number of threads within a fixed area of fabric. Linen testers have a measuring scale on their base and they typically fold flat for storage. Today, they are used in the printing industry to see how inks lay on a printed surface. Linen testers are sold in varying magnifications or optical configurations.