... only to regret it.
A few months ago, I bought a US-Made Aven Diopter lens and lamp for my workbench. Love it. The magnifying lens is sharp and clear with wide viewing angle, and precise optics. I never realized how easy it is working on soldering or PCB stuffing looking through a big magnifying glass (as big as your face).
It was also pretty expensive. But I like it very much.
While browsing eBay, I saw a *similar* looking lamp... and it costs 1/4 of what I paid for the Aven. Hmmm.... THAT's A GOOD DEAL! (I thought.) So I bought one as a spare. And just kept it packed in the box.
Unfortunately, yesterday, my Aven broke. Some metal rod/hook snapped and now the lamp wouldn't stay upright. I was pretty upset about this. It's only a few months old. But good news... It comes with a 5 YEAR warranty (from the US company based in Michigan)! I called the manufacturer, and she gave me an RMA and their UPS account # so it will be shipped on their tab. They'll either fix it or replace it. That's fine with me. Happy about the service too.
So now I'm out of a lens/lamp... I need to do some soldering so I hooked up my eBay find to my workbench. I was expecting it to be the same quality.
BOY, was I mistaken. IT WAS CRAP! The construction was bad, it doesn't move as smoothly as my Aven, I can see the washers in the thing are crooked and rippled... and the WORST THING OF ALL.... the LENS... the LENS is total CRAP, unusable. Mind you, the lens is as big as my Aven, but the focusing area is probably just as big as my fist (and only in the dead center)... and only if it's within maybe 3-4" away... beyond that, it's severely distorted, totally unusable, giving you a headache when you look through it.
NOW I KNOW WHY the Aven costs 4x as much. The diopter lens on the AVen could magnify things, with a wide field angle and deep depth of field. You could be working hours looking through it and not get a headache.
The eBay lens is kinda like... hmmm... do you know those toy magnifying glass made of plastic that's only good for burning matches via solar rays?... but doing any serious visual magnifying work on it is out of the question? That's the quality of the eBay lamp I bought.
You think I would learn my lesson now, huh?....
Well, let me tell you about this digital scale I bought on eBay. If you put your hand 1" over the weighing plate, the digital scale registers a scale reading!!!! I called the US distributor of this China crap.... and the girl said "Do you have anti-static spray? You should spray the weighing scale. It's static electricity that causes the numbers to move when you put your hand 1" over the top of the plate." And she said... while we include an AC Adapter, it's recommended you use the battery. Otherwise, the numbers jump up and down using the AC adapter." I said I want to return it for a refund.
She said "okay, remove the battery holder door, mail it to us and we'll give you a refund." I said "What about the unit? Don't you want it back?"
She said ..."No, just chuck it in the trash."
CRAP. Just plain crap.