The Pinhole Pro is the world’s first multi aperture pinhole lens designed for DSLRs

May 23, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The Pinhole Pro is the world’s first multi aperture pinhole lens designed for DSLRs

May 23, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Pinhole photography has had an interesting life. It started off as the most basic fundamental way to capture an image. Despite becoming “obsolete” as lens technology developed, it’s still one of the first types of camera often taught to kids learning photography. They make their own from scratch and then go out and shoot with it. It’s photography at its most simple.

In the digital age, pinhole photography has started to make something of a comeback. Some make their own pinholes, while others buy modified DSLR body caps online. The Thingyfy Pinhole Pro, though, really takes pinhole photographer to the extreme. What makes it unique, and pretty cool, is that it features a variable aperture, with pinhole sizes ranging from 0.1 to 0.8mm in diameter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bozzou/pinhole-pro-professional-pinhole-lens-for-dslr-and

The lens is being funded through Kickstarter, although functional prototypes already exist, and there’s an example of some video shot with it on the D750 below. The project is already at almost four times its goal. Thingyfy also already own all the equipment to manufacture the Pinhole Pro themselves. So, as Kickstarter campaigns go, this looks to be a pretty safe bet.

The lens comes with a “standard” 50mm focal length. It’s made from anodised aluminium alloy and features a 58mm front filter thread. The pinhole diameter is adjustable by rotating a dial, which provides the variable aperture. It’s also available in a whole bunch of different mounts, too. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, Fuji X, Micro 4/3 (MFT) and Pentax K.

The pinhole diameters and apertures match up a little something like this.

  • 0.1mm – f/500
  • 0.15mm – f/333
  • 0.2mm – f/250
  • 0.25mm – f/200
  • 0.3mm – f/167
  • 0.35mm – f/143
  • 0.5mm – f/100
  • 0.8mm – f/62

With the smaller pinhole, you should get much sharper detail, although you will require a pretty immense amount of light. Even at ISO, f/500 probably isn’t going to be amazing. You can open this up to f/62, allowing for much lower ISO, but at the expense of detail. But, that these are adjustable, just like an aperture ring on a traditional glass lens, you can pick and choose on the fly.

Unlike many “gimmick” lenses that seem to be released lately, the price for these is extremely affordable. You can get yours for only CA$69 in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Fuji X, Micro 4/3 mounts or Pentax mounts. If you want Sony E, you’ll have to pay a little more at $119. But this certainly isn’t unreasonable.

Thingyfy Pinhole Pro makes a simple, small change – multiple pinholes, but that change allows for real-time experimentation and manipulation that just doesn’t exist in any other model. The unique properties of pinhole photography need to be exposed and played with. New uses discovered. With the products currently available on the market, all one can do is demo the principal at hand.

The aim for the Pinhole Pro is to make an aggressive attempt at re-introducing the viability and opportunity this lens affords to the professional and hobbyist photographers.

Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in playing with digital pinhole photography or video.

You can find out more about the Thingyfy Pinhole Pro and back the project on Kickstarter.

[via No Film School]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “The Pinhole Pro is the world’s first multi aperture pinhole lens designed for DSLRs”

  1. Allan Shpiljak Avatar
    Allan Shpiljak

    Matija Mika Miklaužić ovo je fora! :)

    1. Allan Shpiljak Avatar
      Allan Shpiljak

      mislim da bi bilo za filter naprijed:)

  2. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    What about diffraction though? With an old D100 I got OK results from a pinhole cap. A bit worse and worse as the sensors have gotten to higher resolutions. Last time I tried with a D800 nothing was worth keeping. I am guessing that using the wider aperture would help but not sure I want to even bother to try again.

  3. Tommy Bordenkircher Avatar
    Tommy Bordenkircher

    i don’t see any mention of it being dustless.. are they counting on people using a filter on these to keep the sensor clean?

    1. catlett Avatar
      catlett

      These have been around for over 10 years for sure. The difference in this one is the variable aperture.

  4. Laurent Roy Avatar
    Laurent Roy

    Good looking. Why didn’t they make a zoom ?

  5. guest Avatar
    guest

    Nice, BUT…
    There is a definite optimum pinhole size for a given focal length. Bigger is less sharp. Smaller is less sharp (due to diffraction). For 50mm this is in the 0.26-0.32mm range. Whithout a zooming option, variable hole size outside this range makes little sense, IMO.

    Ps. Optimum hole size for any focal lenth can be calculated as D=((F*l*k)/(1+M))^0.5, where: F is focal length; l (should be greek lambda, but I have no keyboard on this device …) is wavelength (usually set to approx 560nm for general photography, since this is close to the eyes peak sensitivity); k is a konstant, 3.6 acc. to Rayleigh, 2.44 acc. to Prober/Wellmann, anything in this range seems fine; M is magnification, ignore if distant object.