Acrylic magnifiers are extremely lightweight and durable. They are shatterproof and difficult to break. Acrylic material also makes it possible to have a smaller, more powerful magnifier inset in the larger lens. More than 90 percent of Carson’s magnifiers are made using acrylic lenses.
A Fresnel magnifier (pronounced “fre-nel”) is a flat magnifier that is produced by stamping a series of annular optical grooves onto a flat sheet of acrylic or PVC. Fresnel magnifiers use far less material than a typical double-convex magnifier lens, so they are typically very light and thin. The “flat” profile of a Fresnel lens makes it ideal for a purse or a wallet. Another added benefit of a Fresnel magnifier is the size of the actual lens. There are very few size constraints in producing Fresnel magnifiers than with other lens configurations. Because of this, Fresnel magnifiers can be made in page-size or larger. One disadvantage of Fresnel magnifiers is the “sharpness” of the image. Fresnel magnifiers generally cannot produce as sharp an image as a double-convex magnifier lens.