Yesterday, I took a notion to make a pinhole lens for my camera. After taking the final swig from my zesty drink, I set about cutting out a piece of metal from the can. I straightened out this quarter-sized piece aluminum, and then used a dental tool to press a tiny dent into it. Next, I used a piece of super fine grit wet sanding paper to sand the peak off of the dent until an itsy bitty hole was formed. My caliper measures the final hole size as 0.0055 inches in diameter.
Using a 5/16″ drill bit, I drilled a hole in the measured center of my A7RII’s body cap. I had some leftover matte black 3M car vinyl that I cut out to fit inside the back of the cap. I used a hole punch to knock out the middle of the vinyl. The piece of aluminum with the tiny hole in it was then center over the hole in my body cap and secured in place using the piece of black vinyl.
Here, I backlit the cap with a flashlight as it sat on my frosted glass desk. I used the iPhone flashlight for front lighting.
Lens completed, I went out to my backyard where the kids were playing and fired away. What follows are the worst quality images I’ve ever shot with any camera/lens combination.
As I expected, the performance of this “lens” is awful. The color and contrast is terrible, lens flare is through the roof, and the tiny aperture calls for some seriously high ISO even in the bright outdoors. You know what? I don’t care. Nope, not one bit. I had such a great time playing with this setup! My “worst quality images” they may be but I enjoyed the heck out of the carefree experience. There was no fiddling with lens and camera doohickies trying to eek out every last bit of quality. No, it was all about just shooting for the fun and enjoyment of it. Weird perspectives, motion blur, odd subjects and compositions. It was an absolute freedom-ringing experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ditching all my real lenses but I think there is something to be learned from this: Photography is an art and I believe all forms of art should, as a requirement, give something back to the creator. Even when no one else values what is produced, if the artist/musician/dancer derives from it some internal reward then it is worthwhile pursuing. In my case, crappy as they are, I enjoy the images and the stripped-down process in achieving them. Win win!