Mantaray:Medlite Prisma 3.5x & lighting ?s

Hey all,

I did some research last night for loupes & read through a lot of Mantaray’s posts who has written extensively about his DIY experience. I am impressed that this person who is a doctor was able to do so much on his own, & has given me hope and inspiration for solo DIY! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that Mantaray frequents these boards these days as he said that time is better spend electrolyzing!

Anyways, I’m looking at either the Medlite Prisma 3.5x or the regular Medlite 3.5x (the Prisma is $100 more expensive) & the main differences are that the Prisma has an adjustable working distance of 13.7", 17", or 21.7" & field of view of 3.8"~4.5" whereas the regular Medlite has a fixed working distance & field of view of 2.1"~2.5".

  1. Is the adjustable working distance worth it (if not I would probably go with the 17") with the larger field of view especially for $100 more?

  2. Are “Prisma” prismatic lens a higher quality lens i.e. with resolution, clarity, etc.?

With Galilean Loupes the image is sharpest within the central circle. Galilean Loupes are lightweight, affordable and easy to use.

Prismatic or Keplerian Loupes or Class IV Loupes are based on the Keplerian Design named after Johannes Kepler, the 17 Century astronomer. The Loupe consists of a compound system of several lenses. The advantages of prismatic lenses are a superior resolution over Galilean equivalents throughout the field of vision. Since there are more lenses in prismatic loupes they have longer telescopes and tend to be slightly heavier. [/b][/color][/u]

  1. I want to go with the 3.5x, but is the 4.5x better or is it just overkill for DIY work? Most people here seem to like 2.5-3.5x range though most seem to like the 3.5x more.

Regarding lighting — do I really need a loupe light to go with the Medlite loupe or should I just get a regular lamp? Some of these loupe lights are hitting $1000+!!!

Mantaray didn’t really specify what type of lighting system he uses though I think he bought some cheap LED headband light from a retail store in conjunction with a halogen lamp?

What are some good bang for the buck (not too cheap and not too expensive) loupe lights/lamps/etc. that you guys recommend for DIY body work?


I use a surgical telescope just like these. Do not go higher than 3.5X … you drop depth of field the higher you go, and you do NOT need more magnification than, say, 2.5 - 3.0. (I use a 2.6X)

I also got the fiber-optic clip-on lamp (more than $1,000) and it is a total waste of money … You want the thing? You can have it for free! Not enough light and it gets in your way. I use a dental lamp from Belmont/Takara … just got a new one 3 months ago. The new dental lamps are okay, but I somewhat prefer my old one that “broke” after 20+ years. The sturdy steel is now lightweight plastic; sort of flimsy. Not bad though: Price was $2,000.

On second thought, maybe mine aren’t exactly like the ones you are showing. I paid about $1,000 for mine and these are only $200?

Hummmm, maybe a bit “different?”

Hummmm, maybe a bit “different?”

I bought Medlite’s Prisma 4.5 pair. Obviously one should not expect a “Made in the USA” stamp for that money but… they’re ok. :grin:

I do a lot of peach fuzz cases. I couldn’t survive without custom made telescopic surgical loupes. My magnification is close to 5X and my working distance varies between 13" and 16". I own a pair of 2.5x, but they are not helpful for my vellus hair cases. Useless.

Cost for my loupes - $2,000. Worth every penny. No headaches or eyestrain after a 10 hour day. Ergonomically wonderful for the body. It is like looking into the secret world of hair.

Ha ha sure. I can pay some money for it too as I don’t want to trouble you.

They seem to get good reviews from dental students

They’re about $300 for the regular Medlite 3.5s & $400 for the Medlite Prisma 3.5s. Still a lot cheaper than the fancier Orascoptics. It seems for general use the Medlites are good (no distortion, blurring on edges, etc.) like a Honda Accord or Camry (whereas the Orascoptics are like a BMW, then you have the stereo microscopes like James Walker has which are like the Porsches in the optics world.

Hmmm… maybe the older lamps are better. A lot of things these days are lower quality than things in the past by using cheap brittle plastic to cut costs. My step-dad actually has this retro dental lamp from the 70s that may actually prove to be useful (& to think that we were about to throw away all his old equipment!)

Do you think that people who are shorter with shorter limbs find the shorter working distances more comfortable?

I’m not too worried about vellus hair, but I can understand if some people do. I don’t know why people care so much about vellus; I think it actually looks natural & innocuous. Coarse hairs are all I care about though.

I think if you’re a student they offer big discounts on the Orascoptics, but even then they’re $$$.

Students get about half off from Orascoptic, with three easy payments, unless they changed that generous offering. my 2.5 X’s cost $1,200, but I got them for $600 as a student.

People worry about vellus hair that is too long and that may stick out. Most don’t care about the smaller vellus hairs that lay close and follow the contour of the skin. Those that want every hair gone will never achieve that goal of being hair-free because a womans facial hair is not always stable. I never belittle or shame the clients who wants these hairs treated. If i can see them, I work in a determined manner to give them the service they pay for. So, it is the job of the electrologist to explain and be honest about the clients unrealistic expectations of being hair-free for this kind of facial hair. Do it early and often until they verbalize that they understand.

I have a picture to post later in regard to the kind of vellus hair I frequently work on. To me, it’s easy to see and treat, but it does take a lot of effort and time to tame the little beasts.

Oh, just checked and I’m using the 3.6X these work great for me.

I have to “hand it” to Dee … those “vellus hairs” are my Kryptonite.

Waiting for it with a great interest!

Here is the picture of a typical case of female vellus hairs that I treat. This is her first visit. What you see is about what the hair looks to me with my surgical loupes and my light. Actually, if you have an Ipad and expand the picture a bit with your thumb and fore finger, that would be more like what I see when I am working. I like Synchro thermolysis for these hairs, but if the client doesn’t like the sensation in some areas, I switch to PicoFlash or MultiPlex thermolysis. I will scan the area and get the longest hairs or the ones that stick out. I will leave the very tiny hairs alone.

This is what her hair looks like without magnification, prior to treatment:

Thank you for posting! I can only imagine how hairs look like for James with his 20x - 40x stereo microscope!

Thank God (or in my case the “Flying Spaghetti Monster”), that there are therapists that will do these “vellus hairs.” Indeed, I can see them but I won’t do it! Not that they shouldn’t be done, but I generally won’t do hairs that are less than “30 units.”

For me, I love doing the great big body hairs and beards. I’ve always had this passion and there is no greater pleasure than “taking them out.” And yes, I DO need a vacation.

I hope your patients understand that many treatments are necessary to remove “all” these “vellus” hairs. I often tell my clients: “I can complete your underarms — even your legs — MUCH faster than removing all your fine facial hairs.”

Good job Dee! Bravo! If I wore a hat, I’d be taking it off to you. I don’t have the patience.

BTW, Dee, what probe/needle do you usually use for these hairs?
And I guess that E.L. is a very small for them?

Size 3 and el’s are low, but just right for having the hairs release with no traction, while keeping the skin looking as if nothing happened. The skin was a little pink and there was slight peri-follicular edema that subsides within minutes to hours. I always use auto sensor so I can get in my zen mode and do anywhere from 600 - 900 insertions per hour. People want to see good progress.

Yes, Mike, my clients are honestly warned up front and in plain English that this kind of hair removal requires many hours on the table, so they must be patient if this is what they truly want. I have “completed” many cases like this one. It is a matter of thinning, thinning and more thinning until they reach a level where the hairs are barely noticeable. I take them outside in the daylight and mentally mark areas that need more attention or they mark their own faces with an eyebrow pencil where they want me to concentrate. I like big man hairs, too, but these fine blondies have become easier to do with a good setup and helpful strategies. I am very relaxed now with cases like this. Years ago, I was cursing in my head because I couldn’t see half of what the client was seeing in their horrid rear view car mirror. The solution: I increased my magnification and the world of peach fuzz opened right up to me. There is a disadvantage here. Once the client gets a taste if this, they want you to work for three to five hours or more. These blocks of time can be killers, so we electrologists have to remind ourselves to get up and move every 90 minutes, get some water, do some stretching. I don’t always follow my own advice, I must admit.

Ekade, James often says he does not like this kind of work, even with the aid of his colposcope. He would rather refer out to those of us that like these colorless,miniature hairs.

Thank you for your reply! What is your favorite needle for this type of work? Insulated or not?

I have used both and can make do with whatever I use. Insulated works nicely for shallow insertions, so I lean more toward using an insulated probe on the face especially. I worked on fine body hair yesterday for 4 hours and will continue on the same person today for five or six hours using a ballet 3 gold and a Laurier 3 IBP. I like to mix it up for the fun of it and comparative purposes.

It is important for clients to have realistic expectations about permanent removal of vellus hair. I stress it is an impossible task (and unnecessary) to remove all the hair and the best they can expect is an improvement. In spite of fair warning, some will be unhappy with the end result. Obsessing at home with a 10x magnifier (which makes every tiny hair look like a tree trunk) tends to destroy any confidence they have in their electrologist … and you cannot take the mirrors away from them!

Like Dee, I have no problem to remove these hairs “vellus”.
I only fear one thing. The peach fuzz from the ear of some girls, especially those of Indian origin. The rest is not a problem.

My dear little client “Luby” and her itsy-bitsy chin … a few vellus hairs here and there that were “impossible” to see. So, I asked her,” Luby, how do you see these?” She said, “I wait ‘til the sun comes up and then go out on my porch with my mirror.” I asked her to bring in her “mirror.”

I think the mirror (magnifying) could have been installed at Mount Palomar Observatory … I swear it was 2-feet in diameter! I still think about her in the morning with that gigantic mirror … looking for those “alien” hairs.