What is a Fresnel Lens?
The Fresnel (Pronounced Freh-Nel) lens is a special kind of lens, developed by French Physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 19th Century. Fresnel lenses consist of a succession of concentric rings etched into glass or plastic. These rings use a combination of total internal reflection and refraction, to focus the light, allowing it to travel over greater distances. Though the Fresnel lens was originally designed for use in lighthouses, they have become a popular tool in the Film, Theatre and Photography industries. Especially if you need your lighting to travel over large distances.
PIXAPRO® Optical Fresnel Lens
The PiXAPRO Fresnel Lens is designed for use with Studio LED continuous lights, such as the Daylite60D, VL Series or ML60, and is a great starting point for trying out fresnel lenses to see if you enjoy using them or like the effects they produce. At around £85, the lens is much more cost effective than similar models on the market, and comes with barn doors, to control the spread of light, as well as a grid/honeycomb cover for maximum versatility. The lens uses a Bowens S-Type fitting as standard, meaning it fits a wide range of lighting equipment, and comes with an interchangeable speedring too.
Focusing the light beam through the fresnel lens can grant you an extra stop or two of effective light output, maximising your light output, and can be adjustable between 17-40°. However, as it is designed for LEDs, it isn't suitable for use with Halogen or Quartz lights.
Godox FLS Fresnel Series
Godox's new Fresnel Lenses, the FLS10 and FLS8 are LED Fresnel Lenses, with S-Type fittings, much like the PiXAPRO model, but with the capability to amplify your lighting by up to 19x. The beam angle range is also slightly different, going from 10-40° in the 8" model to allow for more control, but sitting at 10-35° in the 10" model.
A benefit of the Godox lenses is the wider versatility of the barndoors, which when bought with the lenses, comes in the 8-Leaf Barndoor design, which gives the user even more control over the shaping of their light. Whether bought with or without barndoors, however, the FLS lenses do come with a protective carry case, but have no option of grid/honeycomb filter.
As for pricing, the FLS series runs at around £152 for the 8" model or £190 for the 10" without barndoor attachments.
But what if you're wanting something else altogether? Optical snoots are a great alternative for if you're looking for that spotlight effect in a studio with a little more versatility. The Optical Snoot MKII with Lens is a great way to create the spotlight effect by focusing the light with the supplied lens, with the benefit of being able to be paired with strobe lights and used with the supplied mini gobos in order to project patterns onto your subject or background. To view our wider range of spotlights and snoots, click here.