This is where Ian Burley, DPNow's editor and founder, shares his unique thoughts and impressions on subjects that he hopes will be of interest to others on the subjects of digital photography and other related or loosely related topics! You can follow DPNow Editor's blog on Facebook and Twitter, too.
A bit of pin hole fun with a digital camera
I've been meaning to do this for ages - mess around with a piece of aluminium foil in place of a camera lens to create a simple digital pin hole camera. It was sunny today, so I brought some foil with me to work, carefully punctured the centre with a pin and then placed the foil over the throat of an Olympus Pen camera and secured it with sticky tape. I tried my best to ensure the pin hole was central and that there were no light leaks. In future I will probably modify a camera body cap by drilling the centre out and fixing the pin hole foil to that.
The camera (an Olympus Pen E-PL3) clad in its aluminium foil 'lens'!
I then went outside, with the camera mounted on a tripod in anticipation of long exposures. I had set the camera to ISO 800 but to my surprise I was able to get exposures of 1/10th and 1/20th using ISO 200.
Above was my first attempt using manual exposure with settings based on what was displayed on the camera's screen. The exposure is quite good, I think. But there is very poor sharpness because the pin hole, despite my efforts, is clearly too large.
My second shot was taken using aperture priority auto exposure. Again, the sharpness is disappointing but the scene is certainly recognisable.
And above is shot number three. One thing that struck me was how little vignetting there was compared to what I was expecting and this is confirmed in the next shot of the same scene, taken with the cameras lens this time
This is the same viewpoint as the previous shot but taken with a kit zoom lens and the focal length adjusted to match the field of view of the pin hole 'lens'. I was quite pleased to find that the focal length I ended up with was 19mm, which is almost exactly the same as the flange/back distance (from the lens mount plane where the pin hole was situated to the sensor plane) which is what it should be in terms of optical theory.
Finally, the Olympus Pen E-PL3 has a pin hole effect Art Filter mode and this is what you get with it.
I'm sure I can improve on the sharpness, so I'll probably be back in the not too distant future to share more experimental digital pin hole camera results!
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