I view my 35mm slides using a projector and a light table with a loupe, but I had this very simple and portable device when I was a child but I don't know what it was called.

You just loaded a slide into it (one at a time), and looked into the box (it had openings for both eyes) and positioned the box to allow light to come into in through a matte wall. Inside the box, the matte wall illuminated the slides. Internal lenses provided magnification, so the image filled all field of view.

I searched the internet for slide viewer, but all I get are results about some awful devices that are powered and project the slide onto a 1.5'' ground glass. Not what I want at all.

Does anyone know what is the name of the device that I want, and where can I find one?

  • 2
    The ones I've seen with two eye pieces are usually for stereoscopic slides, are you sure that's the structure? There are slide magnifiers that have a single, larger, viewport that are still very portable.
    – Joanne C
    Apr 17, 2016 at 16:24
  • I'm sure the one I had had two eye pieces, but was for only one slide, so not stereoscopic. That being said, I don't even know how the ones with a single eye pieces are called! Apr 17, 2016 at 16:35
  • Loupes or magnifiers are common terms.
    – Joanne C
    Apr 17, 2016 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Googling around, it looks like you might be thinking of a Sawyer Bi-Lens 35mm slide viewer. Some were stereoscopes, some weren't, and apparently, some came with a built-in light and some didn't. It looks like there are a number for sale on eBay and the like (mostly with the built-in light and not the diffusion panel on the back), but as these are '50s / '60s era vintage, you're unlikely to find one new.

  • I bought one. It's much better than a though. There is no distortion, and no visible aberration. And unlike my Schneider 4x loupe, it's less picky about exact center pupil position, albeit magnification is lower than with my loupe. The light source is very warm, but I suspect I can replace it with a modern bulb of the correct temperature. Apr 29, 2016 at 8:22

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