So this morning I came across a post on iPhoneography letting people know that Pinhole HD was free for a limited time in the app store. So I went over and grabbed the app, I played with it for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that it is just another LoMo app. Nothing really special about the app, and probably something I’ll never use again.
But the good news is that it got me thinking, I had heard about people turning their DSLRs into pinhole cameras and I decided that would be a fun thing to play around with this morning. Don’t do this if you are worried about breaking your camera, or getting dust on the sensor, or anything else that you think you may want to blame me for later, proceed with caution and at your own risk.
The first thing I did was scrounge around for the reversing ring I made last year. This was a pretty simple project I put together last year with an extra body cap and an unused filter. I cut the center out of the body cap and cleaned up the edges with a Dremel, then broke the glass out of the filter leaving only the threaded metal ring, then glued the two together.
After that I cut a small square of tin foil about 3″x3″, placed the reversing ring in the center and molded the tin foil around the ring trying to keep it as tight as possible.
The corners of the square tinfoil were just enough to wrap around the back side of the DIY reversing ring to hold the foil securely in place.
Using a small sharp sewing pin I used just the tip to pop a tiny hole in the center of the foil. It took me three times to get this dialed in. The first time I used a tack and made the hole by pushing the tack all the way in. This essentially made the aperture too big and nothing was anywhere close to in focus. The next iteration used just the tip of the tack, we were getting closer but still too soft. I found the sewing kit and a nice sharp pin and used just the very tip of the pin to puncture the aluminum and make a very small hole.After that I was on my way, I stuck around the yard and started off thinking I would respect the spirit of the project and not look at the LCD. With the tiny pinhole there is not enough light getting into the body to use the viewfinder for composition so I started off just sighting along the camera. It wasn’t long before I was worried about whether the exposure was going to be good so I caved and checked the LCD. My exposure was short at 5 seconds and ISO 400. I began to use the LCD to dial in my exposure and went everywhere from ISO200 @ 30 seconds to ISO 3200 at .5seconds.I continued to move around and work about 4 or 5 different scenes using the LCD for exposure and composition. I brought about 60 exposures back into Lightroom, I was shooting in raw so some level of processing was in order. I kept it simple with tonal adjustments and a vignette, because I was bummed there wasn’t a vignette right out of the camera. Below are the results.
I kept the camera on the tripod and activated it via remote the whole time with exposure times all too long to think about hand holding. I had a fun time and will probably pull this off the shelf again when the snow flies for some black and whites. Before this project I thought my sensor was pretty clean, but it seems that the tiny aperture of the pin hole revealed all the uglies lurking on the sensor. Have fun and feel free to ask questions here in the comments and to post some results on the Camera Campus Facebook page.