Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wanderlust Pinwide - what to do with this.... cap?

I've always considered pinhole photography to be a mere curiosity, quite useless for any serious photographer. But when Wanderlust Cameras announced the Pinwide, a pinhole cap for micro 4:3 cameras, I just couldn't resist. What the heck, why not give it a try? People are using software on the iPhone to simulate trendy optical aberrations. I am going to do it the old fashioned way.

So now I have a funny looking cap with a precision engineered hole in it. It neatly generates images on the sensor surface, being roughly equivalent to a f/96 aperture on a 22 mm lens. Cool! Infinite depth of field! But this actually only means that the image is uniformly blurred, independently on the subject distance.  OK, sharpness has never been a characteristic of pinhole photography. The appeal of the whole thing is the unreal, dream-like quality of the images. Or so they say.

My first tests just confirmed the obvious: I need to use a tripod, even in daylight and at high ISO. Otherwise I'll just be adding a lot of shake blur to already very "lo-fi" images. The result is just more than I can handle.

I will keep testing the thing, in the hope that something interesting might come out. I'm not expecting much, though. But it will be refreshing to start looking at photos without questioning lens performance. The images will have to be powerful enough to stand by themselves despite the dreadful technical quality. Stay tuned, who knows what might happen?

Olympus E-P2 + Wanderlust Pinwide
(handheld, ISO 3200)

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