Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Sony A6000 + tinfoil = pinhole camera

The BBC posted some pictures taken using pinhole cameras, and it being a three day weekend in the UK I decided that would be a good project to try out.

So I took the lens off my Sony A6000 and replaced it with some tin-foil taped to the camera body. I then got the finest needle I could find and pierced the foil in the centre. Then I altered the settings to allow photos to be taken without a recognised lens being attached.

The first pictures were disappointing:
Very wide angle and very blurry (note have also used a sepia tone filter).

The problem is that the hole has to be very small, particularly if pinhole is close to the sensor, as noted in this Wikipedia article, so maybe further away would be better?

Therefore I attached the Commlite adapter to increase the distance from pinhole to sensor, cut a square of fresh tinfoil (top photo) and tried again. The results were indeed better:
Still not that sharp, but I guess that's why we uses lenses!
However it was an interesting effect and experiment to try out.


Anonymous said...

Is that dust on the sensor? I'm surprised the images are not clearer.

JP said...

I suspect that the black dots are indeed dust and so have been looking into sensor cleaning tools.

It could be that the pinhole created in tin foil doesn't have a smooth aperture as the tinfoil tears. I might look at ways to improve the hole and hence get shaper image.

Also the sensor size is APSC while the pinhole cameras of the 19th century had very much larger sensors to improve the overall resolution.

O Docker said...

This is evocative of the diffuse romanticism so common in late nineteenth century pictorialism.

Of course, it also evokes early morning visions of the Thames after one of Buff's more famous pub crawls.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought about the sensor size. Try spraying the inside of the foil black or use black paper rather than foil. The light reflected from the sensor and maybe other parts might be reflected back from the foil onto the sensor again. Just a thought.

And for creativity try multiple holes too, varying the grouping; might give some interesting effects.