Why Pinhole

I’m interested in all kinds of photography. I love to shoot film, trying out ancient techniques like wet plate collodion photos, cyanotype prints, and I also use digital. Every method has it’s own pros and cons, so you have to know the tool and what you can expect from it. Let’s take a look why you should use pinhole cameras.

Cheap

You can create pinhole camera from almost anything from a matchbox to a gift box of a Hungarian spirit like this and it doesn’t cost too much. The only thing you need is some basic tools (WD40 if something does not move and duct tape if it does 🙂 and free time.

akamera0001

You can use film or photographic paper to preserve the moment, but you can easily convert your DSLR into a pinhole camera, too. The Unicum Camera above has a 4×5 inch film holder in it, so you can get a fairly big negative to scan or making contact prints.

Everything is in focus

Using a pinhole camera you will get an image what has (almost) infinite depth of field but all the image is slightly blurred. You do not need focusing with a pinhole. Just shoot.

This is great for subjects that are far from each other like mugs on a coffee table and the interior of a coffee shop.

No. 18. Castle. Törökbálint Hungary
No. 18. Castle. Törökbálint Hungary – Everything is in focus from the cracks on the concrete in the foreground to the tower of the castle in the back.

Long Exposure

You can easily get rid of tourist, even in a crowded place, if you use pinhole camera. The F number of a pinhole camera is around F200 which is 3-4 stop more than an ordinary lens has. If you use photo paper you can easily multiple the exposure time.

No. 13. Synagogue at Budapest, Hungary
No. 13. Synagogue at Budapest, Hungary – No tourists at all…

Some people like to create extreme long (half year) exposures to transform the path of the sun into light curves.

Distortion Free

No lens, no distortion. You cannot worry about parallels even in extreme view angles. The focal length of Unicum Camera is about 70mm (it is around 18mm in Leica format) and there is no barrel or other distortion.

No. 22. Station of the Air rescue team. Törökbálint, Hungary.
No. 22. Station of the Air rescue team. Törökbálint, Hungary

Unless you want it…

Projection Experiments

If you need distortion, you are free to create any projection not just the boring flat one. You can project your image into a cylindrical surface or even to inside of a cube surface.

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This image was taken with a self made 35mm film panoramic pinhole camera. See the curve at the bottom of the wall of the temple.

Go Large

If that would not be enough, you can transform a whole room or a tent into a pinhole. Check out the outstanding works of Abelardo Morell.