Don Ihde called the hypothesis being 'hyped' and referred to clear evidence about the use of optical tools by, ., Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci and others. As well the 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica  contains an extensive article on the camera obscura and cites Leon Battista Alberti as the first documented user of the device as early as 1437.  Ihde states abundant evidence for widespread use of various technical devices at least in the Renaissance and . in Early Netherlandish painting .  Jan van Eyck 's 1434 painting Arnolfini Portrait shows a convex mirror in the centre of the painting. Van Eyck also left his signature above this mirror,  showing the importance of the tool. The painting includes a crown glass window in the upper left side, a rather expensive luxury at the time. Van Eyck was rather fascinated by glass and its qualities, which was as well of high symbolic importance for his contemporaries.  Early optical instruments were comparatively expensive in the Medieval age and the Renaissance. 
Because the project lasts so long and delves extensively into its topic, the student should select a topic that is interesting and engaging. The creative student may, upon beginning research, discover that the chosen topic presents such a new idea to the field that no directly relevant research currently exists. In that case, the student must create the research from scratch. He or she should begin research by reading everything available that relates even indirectly to the field of study; for example, if the student is studying a Mesopotamian text upon which no one else has written, he or she may read journal articles and books that deal with other ancient texts from that location, language, or time period. This is called secondary research, and it aids the student in developing a voice of credibility. Secondary research provides an education in the terms, issues, history, and research authorities that belong specifically to that field of study, and the student who becomes conversant in all these areas can begin to write a masters thesis that can sway the opinions of experts in the field.
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