In preparation of the upcoming Atlanta pen show, I following Richard Binder's suggestion and order a BelOMO 10x triplet loupe. Playing with it reminded me of my first magnifying glass (a very cheap plastic one that I got when I was about 6-years old). It simply opened a window into another world for me and I had been since fascinated by the close-up views of things. When I was really into photography back in college, I spent most of my weekends crawling on the ground with my 100mm micro lens to take pictures of various plant parts and fiddler crabs.
I tried the loupe many things other than fountain pen nibs and couldn't be happier about it. I think this is one of the most worthy toys that I've got. The optical and build quality is unbelievable considering the price.
One thing I tried was taking it out in the backyard and use it to view some tiny flowers. I was REALLY REALLY happy about doing this again; Ann said that I was acting like a kid and I take that as a great compliment. I tried to let the kids use it but I am not sure if they really got it. I also tried to got an ant under the loupe but that proved to be a rather difficult task. Every time we located an ant on the ground Nina just came by and lick it up. I think that our stupid dog is having an identity crisis, maybe she thinks that she is an anteater today.