DIY - desktop magnifying glass from old zoom lens

Sometimes lens can be used for parts only, and there is a nice way to reuse front element as a desktop magnifier glass. Typically front lens group has much more advanced view quality comparing to regular magnifier glass used for hobby tools.

Lens glass is multicoated and delivers excellent sharpness from border to border. 

For this DIY I’m using front group from Vivitar 80-200mm F4 (Kobori version).Mount ring is made of brass so it’s quite heavy and perfectly works as a required weight at the base of stand. Two brass pipes are secured to the mount ring. I’m also using two frames from cheap 55mm filters as a frame for detachable front lens group (it has 55mm outer thread. Aldo I’d like to preserve original lens naming ring, so adding it to the assembly as well. Finally I’m bending metal wire around brass pipes to make sliding stand leg. Here is the result:

Its very stable and delivers great view for precise work like soldering or unscrewing tiny lens bolts, or inspecting lens glass surface.

By sliding stand leg distance from magnifier to object can be regulated providing required zoom level. Below is 2.5x zoom level.

And 4x zoom level.

Alternatively it can be positioned vertically, to keep object in hands under the magnifier.