Multiple Magnification Loupes: 1987 to Today

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ErgoPractice News – August 2017

How Various Past Designs Led to the Development of SurgiTel’s Multisight Loupe System

Innovation & SurgiTel

Innovation has always been important to SurgiTel. Throughout our 25+ year history, we were the first to design and build many never-before-seen products. Some of our first patents have since passed into common use and are being used successfully by companies throughout the world. The majority of SurgiTel patents however are still owned by SurgiTel and only our products feature these innovations.1

A shortlist of SurgiTel’s first-to-the-market designs include:

  • Ergonomic, fully adjustable front-lens-mounted loupes with the adjustable vertical position – for truly custom declination angles
  • Loupe-mounted halogen headlights – for more comfort than headband mounted lights
  • Ergo (1.0) frames with double nose pads – for enhanced Through-the-Lens ergonomics
  • The first loupe-mounted digital video camera – for recording and sharing procedures
  • LED headlights with a multi-lens, achromatic beam system – for better color accuracy and eye safety
  • Touch-free LED headlight activation – for no cross-contamination
  • Ergo Max frames with ‘low placement’ mounting option – for the ultimate in TTL ergonomics

Multiple Magnification: A decades-long design challenge

Multiple Magnification loupes are not a new concept. Since loupes were invented, designers were chasing an easy and effective way for clinicians to change magnification on one pair of loupes. Many products were prototyped, and several were released into the market. None of these designs were without major drawbacks. SurgiTel itself considered many designs, including a prototype zooming system which was far too heavy and expensive.

In 1987 a patent was filed by Paralax, Inc. of Arlington Texas.2 Their design had a housing build into the frames and then separate pairs of oculars mounted into those housings. Unfortunately, this product was not successful. Seeing promise, however, SurgiTel purchased this patent from the patent holder and released our version in the 1990s.3 Yet our models were no more successful.

There were several inherent design flaws we found with this design:

  1. Creating a clear alignment of several sets of oculars was difficult, both for new loupes and repairs – increasing cost
  2. Even if the alignment was achieved in our facility, removing and reattaching the oculars disturbed the alignment over time – leading to eye strain, poor quality images, and a large number of repairs
  3. When the repairs did come in, many clinicians were missing a backup pair – which they would have had with a different magnification loupe
  4. Limited declination angle – poorer ergonomics

SurgiTel’s Multiple Magnification System: Multisight

In the early 1990s, SurgiTel developed our working distance cap system for all our loupe designs. This allowed our users to change their working distance to fit their work. They could do this by changing a cap on the front of their loupes which contained the outer lens. Before this innovation, the entire loupe would need to be remade!

Immediately, the implication of adjustable magnification was apparent. By changing the working distance of a loupe to just a few inches closer, the achieved magnification was greatly increased!4

And so we began recommending to our customers who wished to swap between a greater field-of-view and a greater magnification these working distance caps. We call this SurgiTel’s “Multisight System.”

Benefits of this system include:

  • Available for all SurgiTel loupes
  • Inexpensive to purchase and replace working distance adjustment caps
  • Protects inner lenses from debris and damage

Multiple Magnification: A continual challenge

In conclusion, please be careful when choosing your multiple magnification options. Long-term consequences of the most innovative designs sometimes appear after only a system has been in the market for a while and repair issues become apparent. Issues of weight were common issues with recent models5 and swapping oculars have had their own issues.2,3

Currently, every one of our loupes can change achieved magnification by changing their working distance caps.

If you or someone you know are looking for a multiple magnification system, please contact your local SurgiTel rep for more information!


  1. Schwartz, Karl M. “SurgiTel – About Us / Our Patents.” SurgiTel – About Us. Accessed August 24, 2017.
  2. Vansaghi, R. (1987). VISUAL AID DEVICE. 4,834,525.
  3. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Reel 8989, Frame 0521
  4. Chang, BJ, 2 Uses of SurgiTel Working Distance Caps, ErgoPractice News, September 2016;
  5. Krzyzostaniak, Lauren. “I Use That: OmniOptic.” Dental Products Report. June 26, 2017. Accessed August 24, 2017.