You may not fancy yourself as a Holga wielding hipster, but do not worry; with or without a V-neck t-shirt and obligatory anchor tattoo you can still enjoy beautifully dreamy Lo-Fidelity photography, instantly! Digital photography grants instant pin-sharp images but seldom leaves anything to chance or even our imaginations; sometime it’s just nice to experiment, explore and maybe get a little lost. Miles Roberts, pinboxblog’s first contributor has been out in the field giving the pinwide pinhole lens for micro four third digital cameras a run for its money. Here’s how he got on:
Photography is seeing a resurgence of the analogue look, of Lo-Fi/Lomo. We enjoy the softness and strange coloured images that come from more basic technology. Yet you can take it one step further, you can remove the lens completely; Re-enter the pinhole. The pinhole camera is the oldest way of capturing an image and the same process is what allows camera obscura to function. The process of light passing through a tiny hole, a wholly natural process, was the beginning of our ability to view the world and eventually capture it.
I am a lover of the analogue, working often in 5×4 and medium format as well as lugging round my digital SLR, all of which is exhausting and not very kind on the back. Pinhole cameras can be incredibly small and light, but lets make a key assumption, you don’t want to shoot on film because its EXPENSIVE. If you do, and there’s plenty of reasons to want to, then I hope to be able to write some reviews of some of the brilliant commercially available pin hole cameras out there. For now let’s talk digital.
If you’re anything like me, I am always searching for ways to reduce the size of the kit that I carry around with me and the emergence of the Micro 4/3 Compact Camera Systems was a gift from the photographic heavens. I took the plunge and have adored it ever since. What made it even better is that very quickly a whole host of accessories hit the market. I suddenly had a digital Holga that was about the same weight as its toy counterpart but I wanted to make it a pinhole. I wanted to be able to whip it out on the go, a fun toy, a way to have take a pinhole into the street and as research tool for film re-shoots.
A google took me to the Wanderlust site. The Pinwide quickly seemed like the perfect solution. It is wide, offering an equivalent of 22mm on a 35mm body. So lets talk a little about the types of images you get from a pinhole shot.
- They will always be soft. In theory a pinhole has an infinite depth of field due their tiny aperture which is usually between f/100 and f/200 but the diffraction of light passing through the pinhole makes it soft.
- You will get weird and wonderful colours! They’re fun but I’m a hardcore black and white fan. Pin hole images give the sense of other worldliness and almost dream like. Experiment and see what works for you.
- With the Pinwide, remember you’re working on a relatively small sensor which limits the resolution of your Pinwide images. This is part of the compromise, but it’s worth it. The discreet size and ability to point it at most objects and people without them noticing is a bonus for the whole system.
- You get a lot of light fall off towards the edges of your images, similar to vignetting on a wide lens. It’s part of the charm – as are the rings of tone that you get in some images. There are caused by the diffraction of light.
Some tips for getting the most out of the Pinwide:
- Get close if you can. The closer you get to small objects the sharper they will be in you final image.
- Overexpose. I find that +1 stop gives a bit more to play with in the images. Remember the view on the screen on the camera is only an approximation.
- Play with your ISO and Shutter speed. You have rapid control of these
- Post process your images. It’s worth up-ing your detail slider and the contrast to give the images from the Pinwide a bit more punch. Be daring, playful and have a lot of fun.
In a nutshell its a great product for not a lot of money and its a great introduction to the world of Pinhole. Don’t expect pin sharp, think pin soft, think fun and expect to be surprised. Enjoy!
If you would like to view more or Miles’ wonderful photography please visit his site’s listed below:
More product info on the pinwide can be found here.
If you’re a photography aficionado, an advocate of analogue picture boxes and would be interested in contributing to pinboxblog please get in touch here.
Thanks for reading.