Lensless photography and other methods of capturing images without a lens

Lensless photography and other methods of capturing images without a lens
8 April 2024 Comments Off on Lensless photography and other methods of capturing images without a lens Bez kategorii Cezary

Pictures taken using small hole instead of a lens – pinhole photos- are most popular technique of lensless photography. Pinhole apertures produces varies images depending on shape and thickness of metal sheet. But you can get an image without a lens using a zone plate or photon sieves.

Exploring Zone Plate Photography

In this post i will describe how zone plate work and what kind of effects it gives. I will also write also about other aspects of artistic experimental photography like Low-fi photography and lomography.

First- general question –what is zone plate and how it works. Zone plate is a device which allow to focus light and other electromagnetic radiation with wave nature like X-rays. It consists from series of opaque and transparent rings. Zone plate and photon sieves uses difraction to focus instead of reflection or refraction as in lenses or curved mirrors.

Photon sives has more complicated patterns – transparent circles consists of smaller rings.

Zone plates are mostly used for scientific equipment like microscopes and telescopes, but also might be used in photography instead of a lens. They produces really cool – blurry images with charateristic glow. Photon sieves produces very similar images, they may indicate some differnies in contrast and glow.

Professional zone plates designed to use with scintific equipment are made from very thin metal foil placed on glass plates. For lensless photography high contrast b&W film will be enough.

Creating Your Own Zone Plate Apertures

You can buy ready made zone plate aperture, but you can also try to do it yourself. Pattern might de designed in Pnhole Designer application (or similar). You to save it in enlargerd form and photograph it on high contrast film to get ready to use element.

I made my zone plates directly from unenlarged PDF on DTP processor using in offset printing company.

Pinhole and zone plate photography belongs to larger area of photography which include not only lensless techniques- this is also Lo-Fi photography and lomography.

There is many way to describe Lo -Fi photography and lomography. I want to highlight most important things.

Read also: what is a pinhole camera?

Enlarged pattern of zone plate. Original one has diameter around 0,6mm (outer ring)

Caherdaniel/Co. Kerry. Zone plate mounted on digital camera body (Nikon D-70).

What is Lo-Fi photography and what is lomography?

Shortly- best image quality is not our goal. We approving imperfections of gear used and intentionally use low quality cameras and lenses

Proffesional picture should be sharp, without any vignetting, scratches, light leaks. We agree to use pinhole or cheap plastic lenses to create interesting picture.

What is difference between Lomography and photography?

Lomography is a little opposite to mainstream photography. So, in lomography not important is the gear, materials or even our knowledge. Most important is creativity and pure joy of photography.

Here we use simple cameras with few or even one exposure time, with simple or primitive lenses. Photosensitive materials are also not so important- we can use cheap or expired films. General rule – is no rules. Lomography has roots in early 90′, when group of austrian photography entusiasts discovered cheap Lomo camera during their trip to Prague. They were intrigued and inspired with results of developed film.

Understanding the Essence of Lomography Cameras

After years lomography fans are counted in hundreds of tousands, they using hundreds of different cameras, so hard describe in one frase what is lomography camera and how does lomographic picture look. People using cheap cameras, with limeted exposure control, often disposable, also instant cameras. So pictures has many imperfections like vignetting, light falloff on the edges, flares etc. Lenses are often made from plastic, so pictures are not so sharp, are under- or overexposed. Many people also uses toy or diy lenses to create unusual effects. Possibilities are unlimited.

Crazy colours and image sharp only in the center. That picture was taken with €2 camera with plastic lens found on flea market

Is understood that pinhole, zone plate photography and other kinds of lo- fi photography produces low resolution images with many imperfections. But this way we can easy create photographs similar to paintings.

Vermeer cameras offer ready made pinhole cameras, zone plate versions are available as made to order.

To explore a wide selection of high-quality options, consider the opportunity to Buy pinhole camera from Vermeercamera, where you can find cameras suited for both beginners and seasoned photographers alike.

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