I love the micro four thirds camera format for a number of reasons: I love the fact that you can get a really large sensor in cameras with small bodies. I love the small lenses. I love that you can get lens adapters for pretty much every lens mount in existence. But most of all, I love that there’s people out there making some pretty creative lenses for it, like the Pinwide from Wanderlust. Since micro four thirds cameras are mirror-less, you can recess the lens into the body slightly, making a wider pinhole ‘lens’ than you can by simply pocking a hole into the body lens cap. That may sound kind of trivial, but trust me, that’s pretty cool!
I can’t remember how I came across this project on Kickstarter, but I think they had my $39 before the page even finished loading! I’ve always wanted to play with pinhole photography, but I’d just never found the time to find the right tin can and figure out how to do it myself. This provided the perfect option for me. You get all the advantages of a digital camera, with the cool lo-fi look of a pinhole camera.
When my Pinwide arrived last week, I took it for a trip to the in-laws at the lake to put it through it’s paces.
Right off the bat, it’s really fun to play with, and you get some vintage looking shots right out of the camera. No processing necessary if you’re going for that faded, vintage lomo/polaroid look. There’s some crazy vignetting, some wacky purple colour shifts, and really soft looking photos. I was kind of hoping with an advertised aperture of between f/96 and f/128 that the image would be a little bit crisper than it is, but I can’t really complain. The look is really unique!
With an aperture that small, there’s pretty much only one situation where you can use this lens: Outdoors in bright sunlight. If you’re willing to play around with some longer exposures, you can probably get some cool effects as well in lower light situations, but I haven’t had a chance to test that just yet.
The quality of the pinwide it’s self is really great, and it fits snugly on my GH2. The build quality is great, and the pinhole it’s self is EXTREMELY small. It looks like the pinhole it’s self is actually a separate piece of metal, held into the outer plastic with some sort of glue or epoxy. That might degrade over time, but it looks like a solid build to me. It’s extremely wide angle at around 22mm, and it seems like the best focus range is within a meter of the lens it’s self. After that, everything gets a bit blurrier. If you’re expecting “pin” sharp images, you’re not going to find them here.
If you want to check out these images at a higher resolution, you can take a look at them on my flickr feed.
I’m not really sure what else to say about this lens! There’s no options what-so-ever, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! If you have any comments or questions, let me know!