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Thread: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

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    Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting used for still photography, what look this achieves etc, used as a main light and used as a rim light?

    Thank!
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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    A Fresnel lens is a lens used to focus light in a concentrated manner , similar to a spot, was originally developed by a French physicist Augustin-Jean_Fresnel. and was a lens used commonly in lighthouse applications . More popular in photography in the 40,s & 50's , photographers such as George Hurrell used fresnel lens to create a vey concentrated and contrasty look some say was tagged as a film noir look. Check out classic shots of Greta Garbow, Katheine Hepburn & Marlene Detrich for classic examples.

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Look through one. If you donot have one, buy a little plastic Fresnel lens sold at many craft stores. It is like a magnifying glass (and hence would concentrate light).

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    It is a very even light but a hard light source at the same time thus creating hard shadows without a distinct hot spot. I like it a lot for portraiture when wanting hard shadows but even illumination at the same time.

    The bigger the fresnel, the better. Also, you can focus it from spot (a concentrated area of even illumination) to flood (a broad area of even illumination). Use with barndoors is advised to better control it (the spill).
    Keeping film photography and printing alive!

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting used for still photography, what look this achieves etc, used as a main light and used as a rim light?

    Thank!
    The point to using a lens in still (or motion) photography lighting units is to modify the direction, spread and quality of the light. Simple spherical lenses run hot and risk cracking (even exploding) when used for long periods of time with hot lights.

    A Fresnel lens is simply a spherical or parabolic lens which has had the meat of the glass cut out of its interior so that it is thinner and runs a lot cooler when you pour a lot of light through it. It's the curved surface, in sections, that does the refraction to focus the light. The more steps, the thinner and lighter they become, the easier they are to work with, and the cooler they run.

    G

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    A Fresnel lens can be converted to a flash and used as a modifier so this is still used in photography. You can learn it form the shown below..
    www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=-hq4n0dLmjg
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    Thumbs up Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    This photo shoot and cover shoot was entirely lit with an Eli S35 spot mod.

    This was done over the summer, the stylist was

    amazing.

    ISSUU - The Daily Summer by DAILY FRONT ROW INC
    Ciao,
    Giorgio Niro
    www.giorgioniro.com

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Fresnel lenses were first used to focus the beam of light in lighthouse lamps. These plastic lenses are used where a concentrated light is required. The Fresnel lens serves the same purpose in your Overhead Projector where a concentrated beam of light is required to project your image on to a screen or wall.
    You can read full article on Fresnel Lens on www[dot]ezinearticles.com/?What-is-a-Fresnel-Lens?&id=144956

    Article Source: What is a Fresnel Lens?

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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    With a Fresnel light, the actual rays of light are parallel (the term is collamated light). It give you hard light. There is a very defined, sharp edge between shadow and highlight. You can compare that light to the soft light from a softbox, which bounces around inside the softbox so the rays of light are no longer parallel, then they go through a diffuser. That light has a very gradual edge between shadow and highlight on the subject.

    I love using Fresnel in the studio, particularly with my high school seniors. I usually think black and white as the finished print. However, you have to be rather exact with placement and it takes more time to set-up than a simple softbox modifer.
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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    I have 3 fresnels modified for strobe... 2- 8" and a 10" that I use almost daily. They provide a beautiful directional light with a hard edge. Mixed with my other light sources, they're a perfect compliment for the food work that I do.

    Mine are Norman branded but based on the Barewell-McCallister design and wired for Speedotron.
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    Re: Can anyone explain Fresnel lens in lighting?

    Originally applied to Tungsten lighting, Fresnels were carried forward into strobe use for their specific quality of directional light ... sometimes referred to as portable sunlight. There are two types available for strobe work ... clip on Fresnels that fit existing strobe heads or mono-lights ... and free standing Fresnel strobe heads ... the latter being a bit more true to the original Fresnel units and somewhat more versatile because they have the internal moving reflector and light source.

    I use a Hensel Fresnel strobe head ... which differs from the clip on type lens for standard strobe heads in that it has the internal moving reflector and light source and can be focused like a true Fresnel. The much larger Hensel Fresnel strobe heads are actually converted ARRI Tungsten Fresnels (they don't even bother to cover the ARRI logo).

    Here's a few snaps of the Hensel ... one with the top vented plate removed to show the internal moving mirror and light set-up.

    Hope this helps a little.

    - Marc
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