Nikon once said that "a photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures." Not strictly true of course, someone with a good eye can work magic with even the most basic equipment. And you can't get much more basic than a pinhole camera setup. Canada's Thingyfy is looking to marry the simple charm of pinhole photography with modern digital cameras with the launch of the Pinhole Pro S series of wide angle, glass-free lenses.
The S series follows a successful crowdfunding effort earlier in the year for Thingyfy's original Pinhole Pro lens, which caught the eye of nearly 2,000 backers and raised CAD 189,051 in production funds. The company says it's now responding to supporter feedback by launching a Kickstarter for a wide-angle version.
Pinhole imagery is as old as the hills, with light passing through a small hole in the side of a box (tent, screen or even a room) and rendering an inverted, reversed color image on a surface opposite. In a pinhole camera, that image can be exposed onto 35 mm photographic film, producing wonderfully vintage-looking photos when developed.
Popping a Pinhole Pro S lens onto a modern digital camera is promised to result in "stunning and timeless" photos and videos with a similar retro look. Thingyfy uses a robot-controlled micro drill to create a precision pinhole aperture for optimum image quality. The company has also managed to achieve up to 120° field of view from an aperture of just 0.14 mm in one of the two new lenses.
The S lenses are being produced in 11 mm and 37 mm focal lengths and are designed to support seven different camera mounts, including Nikon's F, Canon EF, Sony E and Fuji X. The single aperture (0.14 mm) Pinhole Pro S11 is for use on mirrorless cameras, is 58 mm in diameter and offers 120° field of view. The Pinhole Pro S37 has an aperture size of 0.26 mm and has been designed for DSLR/SLR cameras, offering a 60° field of view.
Thingyfy has launched on Kickstarter to raise production funds, and has already exceeded its campaign target with almost a month left to run. Pledges start at CAD 49 (US$38), and if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in March 2018. The pitch video below has more on the project.