I've reached the age where looking at tiny things just doesn't work that well with the naked eye, and I am looking for a quality magnifying lamp with a good glass lens and LED lighting. If I were doing micro-electronics work I'd be looking at a microscope but I'm more in a position where I recently purchased a used CPU and it arrived with bent pins - and while I could see that they didn't all reflect the same way so they were bent - I couldn't see them well enough with a pair of reading glasses to fix it myself as I did in the past. I don't need the best tool in the world, but if I'm buying something why not buy something good?
I assume that many of the units I see on TradeMe or other sites are going to be junky poor lenses and built poorly - that may be true or not. Looking around, I see that Jaycar and a couple other electronics sites do sell something like I'm envisioning for $400, and they don't seem to have as much magnification as what I see in online reviews from overseas. Are a 3x magnifier with a good-sized lens good enough to use, and are they the right mix of function and quality? I'm aware that some sellers (and many manufacturers) may promise huge 10x magnification but have a terrible lens and I don't want to get stuck in that trap, but if there were an option of something that gave you the option of better magnification wouldn't we usually choose that if there weren't trade-offs?
Does anyone have experience or recommendations? I'm thinking I want a lamp that can be bolted to the workbench with a swinging arm rather than a little desk lamp, and frankly as large and good a magnifier as is practical. I appreciate any thoughts you might have.