I can barely see a 28mm miniature, let alone any detail on said miniature. For painting, I found the Carson Optical Pro Series MagniVisor head-worn magnifier. This pair of magnifiers is simply excellent and easy to use.
Previously, I used an articulated-arm magnifier like this V-Light. While it works for helping me see my miniatures as I paint, it is not very convenient. The arm is never exactly where I want it, and setup is a hassle since I don’t have a dedicated painting station. The V-Light does provide plenty of light, however.
I recently found and purchased the Carson head-worn magnifier, and it is perfect for my needs, giving me eagle-eye vision. The mount is adjustable, fitting me, as well as my children (13 and 11 years old). I even tried them out on a six-year-old nephew with some success. The magnifier comes with four interchangeable lenses with magnifications 1.5X, 2X, 2.5X, and 3X. The lenses are easy to swap out and they come in a protective case with an included lens wipe to clean them up after you handle them. The lenses can be flipped up to allow for normal vision and making you look pretty darn cool.
I usually go for the gusto and magnify my work with the 3X, figuring if I can make my miniature look OK at 3X magnification, then when it’s sitting on the gaming table two or more feet away from everyone, it will look excellent.
The Carson magnifier comes with a light that mounts above the eyepieces so you can light up your work. This light is fine for lighting up about one miniature, but it is not very bright. It’s the one place the articulated arm magnifying situation does better than the Carson. I instead usually paint in a bright room, so the extra light is not as necessary. The light can be removed, though, and placed where you want to light up a subject. It even has a magnet on the bottom allowing you to attach it to any metal surface for illumination.
The Carson Optical Pro Series MagniVisor head-worn magnifier is not my most important painting supply (that would have to be the paints and brushes), but it’s the most beneficial to my painting. It is an excellent and easy-to-use accessory for any type of detail work.