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pinhole / zoneplate

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pinhole / zoneplate posted by vcryan7736 November 22, 2009 06:35AM reply | quote
posted by vcryan7736
I am new to the lensbaby system, and am at the stage of playing with all my new toys. I have the composer, and am currently investigating how to use the pinhole/ zoneplate. I am clueless. The suggested site to go to comes up with no text, just a blank grey screen. So I am free floating, I have the lens on, but can see nothing to focus or to compose for that matter, just squeezing the release and hoping. that cannot be the correct strategy???????
Any help would be great.
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by ranfoto November 22, 2009 10:01AM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

Well, the Lenscap was off.....right ? Hey don't laugh....it happens !
Since these optics require significant light to see with, you better go where there's plenty of it to start with.
Next ......maybe bolt the camera down on a tripod or something that you can do some long exposures without moving.

Start making some test exposures, doesn't matter where you start......too dark or too light make the corrections to get the exposure time in the ballpark .

If you want to test inside, try using some off camera flash .....hopefully you have a flash that is not built into your camera......flat lighting is too boring for makiing aRt with.

This should get you going .
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by etherize February 11, 2010 09:13AM reply | quote
posted by etherize


I'm having a similar problem of not being able to see either through the viewfinder or using live view. At most, I can just *barely* make out a vague general shape by cupping one hand around the viewfinder--but this is really awkward. And still the subject is almost completely black.

I shot the attached photo outside in the afternoon under fairly bright overcast skies, with a 2 second exposure. I didn't use a tripod because I was just trying to determine if I could see anything to shoot.

You can see the exposure is pretty good, straight out of the camera--so I'm not sure why I can't see the subject before I shoot it.

When I first got the optic, I peered through the pinhole and it looked like there was some kind of film over it. Should I stick a pin in there to make sure it's really a pinhole? lol
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by Michael from Lensbaby (Admin) February 15, 2010 04:05AM reply | quote
Hi etherize,
Nice 2 s. exposture; that's pretty sharp for not using a tripod!
In response to your question, don't stick anything through the pinhole. The transparent film over it helps keep out dust and moisture. Try composing your shots with the optic in zone plate mode or practice sighting across the hot shoe on top of your camera.
Have fun!
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by mvuori February 18, 2010 11:12PM reply | quote
posted by mvuori
Nowadays it would be best to use a live view camera that can amplify the image on the LCD during composing, perhaps using a special brightness boosting mode. For example, Olympus E-P1 can a show a reasonably bright view with a pinhole.
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by jWebb February 19, 2010 06:10AM reply | quote
posted by jWebb

The way I shoot pinholes is take a test shot and check it in the "Review." I adjust the shot (both the framing and exposure) and shoot again, repeating until I have adjusted into the shot I visualized. It usually requires 4 or 5 shots to arrive at the exposure and framing I want. It requires more patience and more time than other shots, but the results are worth it.
Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by slithy-toves February 27, 2010 12:50AM reply | quote
posted by slithy-toves

Part of the fun of pinhole is the guesswork! You're not supposed to be able to see what's going on. Luckily, with digital you get almost instant gratification and can experiment and adjust to your heart's content.
The pinhole setting will require loooooong exposure times. Just keep upping the time until something appears.
The zoneplate is much more light sensitive, and you might actually be able to see a bit of what will appear. It gives everything a surreal hazy feel, don't expect to get much focus at all.

Re: pinhole / zoneplate posted by Emma_THS February 28, 2010 04:57AM reply | quote
posted by Emma_THS

Note, if your camera is like mine (I love a Pentax), it will only go to a 30 second speed. I got used to metering for a box pinhole camera in college, and unless you're working with extremely bright/direct sun or with a studio-lit setup, you might need to use the Bulb setting on your camera--so get acquainted with that and maybe the possibility of buying a remote release depending on the shake. (Or, a universal remote--DIY style.)


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