fresnel lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I recently purchased a Zone VI 4x5 and it has no fresnel, what do I need and where should I get it? j zarick cinn ohio

-- joe zarick (, November 10, 2001


I would recommend spending your money on a good focusing cloth and a quality 4x or 6x loupe. While a Fresnel screen will brighten the overall image on the ground glass, it many times will not do so evenly. The concentric line pattern can often be confusing to some and interfere with accurate focusing as well. If you feel compelled to buy a Fresnel anyway, get an after market type that fits between the gg and your eyes. that way you won't run into gg/film plane alignment problems and you can also remove the screen if you decide you don't like it! Or, you can visit some of the threads on this forum that discuss other types of quality ground glass screens that others have used and investigate those. Boss and Maxwell screens come to mind, but again, others have posted specific comments on these. Good luck.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, November 10, 2001.

Another vote for no fresnal. Just had a student take a view camera workshop this past week, and I found the fresnal screen in his camera just as annoying as I remember them. A well made hood-style focusing cloth and a plain ground glass is the way to

-- Carl Weese (, November 10, 2001.

You guys may have Superman vision, but I can't see to use a GG without a Fresnel screen. The best solution is to install one of the "bright screens" incorporating a Fresnel, such as Beattie, Maxwell, or Linhof's Super Screen which is sold cheap by midwest Photo (check the archives for their addresses). The other option, nearly as good and quite inexpensive, is to buy a Fresnel at an art supply story (or Barnes & Noble) and cut it to fit your 4x5 GG. As far as I am concerned using a GG without a Fresnel is medieval, akin to wearing a photographic hair shirt.

-- Wilhelm (, November 10, 2001.

Try the camera without a fresnel for a while. You may come to like a plain gg better. I used to think I needed a fresnel. After I worked without one for a month, I came to like the plain glass better. Now, I avoid cameras with permanetly installed fresnels. I hate fresnels.

-- William Marderness (, November 10, 2001.

If you decide to try a fresnel, mount it so that the ground glass is between the fresnel lens and the camera lens.

There are exceptions, where the camera is designed to place the fresnel between the ground glass and the camera lens, but I'm pretty sure that this isn't the case with the Zone VI.

-- neil poulsen (, November 11, 2001.

I use Beatties on all my cameras and like them alot. They have gotten me out of jams in low light shooting MANY times. Highly recommend them. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, November 13, 2001.

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