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Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions?

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Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by RHWeiner July 20, 2011 05:03AM reply | quote
posted by RHWeiner

Hi all LBers,
I bought the Pinhole/Zone Plate optic for my Composer but find that looking through the viewfinder of my Canon 20D I can hardly see anything in the ZP setting and darn near nothing when it's set up in the Ph setting. So I ask this question of those of you using this optic...what do you do to alleviate this?

I had initially thought that using a camera with the LiveView feature would help, but after talking with Kirstin at LB and thinking about it, whether through the viewfinder or that LCD screen on the back, the light is still coming into the camera in Real Time so having LiveView really wouldn't make any difference. Kirstin suggested that it's really going to be a crap shoot and you have to rely upon 'Happy Accidents' (okay, so that's what I call them).

Still I wonder if there's anything I can do to 'tweak' my composing/focusing? I thought either (1) shine a VERY bright light on the subject [hard to light up a landscape] or (2) remove the optic, insert another, focus and compose with this other optic, lock the Composer and camera so there's no movement and then remove the other optic and insert the Ph/ZP [too much possibility of the lens/camera moving].

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Richard W.

[Attached images taken with the optic and probably in ZP mode...can't remember]

RHW...Surrey, BC, CANADA
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by David Morel July 20, 2011 05:07AM reply | quote
posted by David Morel

nope...you just need to compose, shoot, review, compose, shoot, review, compose, shoot, review, compose, shoot, review...till you get it how you want it.

David L. Morel
www.davidmorelphoto.com
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by LincolnF July 20, 2011 05:34AM reply | quote
posted by LincolnF
Voigtlander and Leica and other manufacturers make viewfinders that are mounted on the flash hotshoe. Unfortunately, they start at $169... Just a few are useful in this case that of a normal lens, since they were intended to cover the lenses difficult for a rangefinder camera to handle, the wides and the teles.

The optics needed can be found in those little plastic picture viewers [some of us] had as kids or as adult in keychain holders. Hint to the Lensbaby folks, this might be another useful product. Many film pin-hole photographers using wooden boxes to shoot 4x5 would also find such a viewfinder useful.
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by LincolnF July 20, 2011 06:34AM reply | quote
posted by LincolnF
On further research, found that Olympus has the VF-1 View Finder for their 17mm F2.8 lens for the E-P1 family of cameras. The 17mm is equivalent of 34mm on 35mm cameras. The price on ebay is $55.
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by Michael from Lensbaby (Admin) July 20, 2011 06:59AM reply | quote
Good photos Richard. I especially like the 2nd one!
Here's my thoughts on the pinhole/ZP...
Framing your shot with an add-on viewfinder or a different optic is always an option but one of the things I like best about the pinhole is that it's helped me to frame the shot in my head.
Try it out! Aim your camera & pinhole optic at your subject and don't even try to look through the viewfinder - just look at the scene and estimate (guess) where the edges of your frame are. If you're not sure how to get started just sight along the top of the camera / hot shoe to find the center of your frame then imagine how far the edges are from there.
Now take your photo. Did you estimate the edges of the frame correctly? Either way, keep practicing! You'll get better and start to develop an intuitive sense of what your camera is capturing which is a great photo skill no matter what lens you're using.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 07:09AM by Michael from Lensbaby.
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by Bender July 20, 2011 11:03AM reply | quote
posted by Bender

Exactly what Michael said. Just frame it in your head. You have the luxury of instant feedback since it's digital. Try shooting with film like I'm doing now, you have to wait forever to find out if you were successful or not. And yet I still manage to get some good stuff with pinhole cameras.

Great ZP photos btw! :)

.................
Peter
Re: Issues seeing with Pinhole/Zone optic...suggestions? posted by RHWeiner July 20, 2011 01:16PM reply | quote
posted by RHWeiner

It's good to know that I'm not alone in this. :) So I'll not get discouraged but keep trying. Of course these problems only increase when tilting the lens as well. Thanks for the feedback.

RHW...Surrey, BC, CANADA

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