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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Designs For Vision Loupe and Light Review

The most recent pair of loupes that I was able to try out were the Designs For Vision 3.5x magnification Galilean loupes with the Nike Pounce frame. Overall, I felt like this was an decent combination but far from my favorite.


I would have to say that the actual loupes (the optics portion) were my least favorite part about this package. They are 3.5x magnification which means that they are going to have a smaller field of view and shorter depth of field but this was not the problem. The problem for me was the clarity of the optics. I started off by trying the loupes on and holding out my thumbs. At this point everything seemed fine and dandy. However, when I looked into the oral cavity I had difficulty getting a clear image. The tooth was in focus but only in the center of the optics. The edges seemed to be blurry. This is something that I have not noticed in any other pairs of loupes, even Design For Visions 2.5x magnification. I used these loupes for a few weeks but the lack of clarity continued to bother me. It may just be me but clarity is a must. That is why I gave Designs For Visions 3.5x Galilean loupes a B-.

Rating: 8/10


The frame that I tried was Designs For Vision Nike Pounce. This seemed to be much more sturdy and less likely to break than the Nike Skylon  Ace frame. Overall, the frame was light weight, durable, and most importantly comfortable. The nose pad did seem to put a little more pressure on my nose than the Orascoptics Rudy Project Rydon frame and the Oakley Frame by Surgitel but it was still a comfortable fit. In addition to being comfortable and sturdy the Pounce frame gives an intelligent look to the dentist. So if you are looking for comfort and a good clean look then this frame is perfect.

I would also like to note that the lenses on these frames never fogged up while using them. Anyone who has had lenses fog up on them during a procedure knows how frustrating that can be. In addition, like Orascoptic, Design For Vision sent me these little plastic piece that twists around the temple arm to fasten the loupe light wire on. This is super uncomfortable. I would recommend asking for an elastic piece that snaps together.

Rating: 9/10


The LED DayLite Mini was fantastic. It is not the lightest weight loupe light that I have tried but definitely light enough to use comfortably. However, this light is probably one of the more well built and durable light of any that I have tried. Everything from the light it self, to the cable, to the battery was built to last.

Compared to the Orascoptic Neon Endeavor light that I just reviewed the light was actually more diffuse and covered a wider area (less concentrated). However, I do not feel like this hindered the performance of the light.

The battery pack was not all that appealing to the eye but it did the job. Instead, of having a built on belt clip it came with a separate carrying case that can clip onto your belt. The advantage of this is that if the belt clip breaks you do not have to replace the entire battery but the down fall is that it makes the battery a little bit more bulky while clipped to your belt. In addition, this battery back did not have any high tech fancy touch switch to turn the battery on or adjust the levels of brightness. It simply had an on/off switch and a twisty nob that allowed for you to adjust the light between 0 and 4,400 footcandles.

Perhaps one of the only negative things that I can say about this light is that it gets a bit warm after only a short period of use. So if you plan on having this light on for any length of time be careful when handling the light afterwards. I am not saying that it gets boiling lava hot or anything but it does warm up.

Rating: 8.5/10


Like any of the major loupe companies these loupes are expensive. The nice thing about Design For Vision is they do not charge you an arm and a leg to upgrade from 2.5x Galilean to a 3.5x Galilean (maybe $50-$75). The unfortunate part is that by upgrading to a 3.5x you seem to get a lesser quality optic.

Rating: 7.5/10

Overall Rating

Overall, Designs For Vision 3.5x Galilean loupe with the Nike Pounce frame earned a flat B in this review.
The frames and light were nice but with a sub-par optic and a hefty price tag this is not a purchase that makes sense in my book. In addition, I was not offered any kind of larger carrying case that would carry both the loupes and the light. Seems like something that should be included when buying both as a package. However, the nice thing is is that you can contact a local representative and try them out for yourself.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

That is my review of the Designs For Vision loupe and light. Hopefully you were able find something helpful.Feel free to ask questions or make your own comments.


  1. It's interesting to read other's reviews of loupes. Nice job on your reviews, very well put together. For some reason to me the optics of DFV were superior to that of Orascoptic and Surgitel. I ordered some 3.5 DFV a week or so ago and have yet to use them so once I do I goes that will be the real determinant. Ill keep you posted.

  2. Thanks. It is great to get opinions on which loupes to buy from either classmates or fellow dentists. However, you just won't know what you like and what you don't until you try them for yourself. I have several classmates that really like their DFV loupes. There was just those little things that kept me from really liking them.

    Let us know what you think when you get them. Feel free to let everyone know what you agree with and disagree with in my review. That is what this is here for.

  3. Another dental student site, this is great! Good presentation and break down of the loupes. If I might add, it is a great idea to try out the loupes for a couple weeks before you commit to buying them. Most companies will allow you to do this - just ask!
    Check out my break down of loupes here as well:
    Part I- http://www.stu-dentdiaries.com/2011/12/in-loupe-dental-loupes-i.html
    Part II - http://www.stu-dentdiaries.com/2011/12/in-loupe-dental-loupes-ii.html

    PS: FYI, let's talk - email me: patrice@stu-dentdiaries.com


  4. My co-worker and I are very disappointed in the Design for Vision LED Daylite UltraMini Headlight. In less than two years of using the product, both of us needed to replace the cable because it was shorting out. The original cost of the light was very expensive and one would think it should last longer than under two years. The cost for the cable replacement is $50 which is outrageously over priced. My light was bought in Feb 2012 which had a black cable and I noticed the picture shows a blue cable, which was my replacement one. We will see how long the blue one lasts! Dental hygienists beware. Next time I am looking at Orascoptics.

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