Weird pinhole lens: an idle review

So, I got bored, went to the charity shop and found this:


(The lens, not the camera). It’s a pinhole lens (specifically a wanderlust pinwide), and it was cheap, so I picked it up as an experiment, to play around with it;

I’m not going to pretend to have tested it much, or got much out, but, my observations so far:


  • It was cheap
  • It’s pretty wide-angle; According to the website, it should be around and about 11mm (22mm equivalent on 35mm)
  • It’s compact; about as compact as you can get, really. it’s basically bodycap with hole in it (although it does have a little bit of plastic or something to cover that up)
  • It’s weird, and interesting to play around with. It’s tough to get a decent picture out of (I haven’t managed it yet) but the limitations make you think about things a bit, and it gives an interesting effect.


  • It’s really narrow aperture (obviously); you really need a good amount of light to use it, like, outside, on a decently sunny day. Either that, or you need a tripod and patience (haven’t tested this approach yet). Inside, even with the lights on, mostly showed up as pitch black.
  • The focus… isn’t. You can probably get sharper pics than the ones shown here (I didn’t know the focal length when I was shooting these, so I turned the stabiliser off) but it’s always going to have a sort of out-of-focus haze.
  • There’s no real control. Yet again, kind of obvious: it’s a hole. That’s about all there is to it. You can’t really change it; it just is; you’re stuck with playing the ISO and shutter speeds to get what you want.
  • It kind of feels odd in the hand. Usually, with my camera, there’s a chunk of lens stuck out the front to grab hold of and twist around the place. With a lens as stubby as this, you get nothing, and it leaves my left hand confused and unwanted.
  • It’s a bit painful to put on the camera. When you put the lens on, it feels kind of graunchy, to the point that I stopped, and measured it up a bit to make sure it was all correct for the camera (it was). Basically, the lens is sufficiently insubstantial that you notice things like the spring on the locking pin and the contact pins far more that with something that isn’t just a glorified lens cap, so it feels a lot worse than it is.

So, overall verdict; would i buy one new? No, because I’m a cheapskate student who doesn’t have the disposable income to spend £30 on a piece of plastic like this. Would I buy one that someone else bought for £30, got bored of, then donated to a charity shop? The evidence would suggest so.

Anyhow, in other news;

  • The violin has attained physical form! Sounds a bit naff at the minute though, and the stepper is misbehaving. More on that in a future post, though. EDIT: I just wasn’t giving it enough current. my bad. In other news, jumper leads don’t like the same amounts of current that steppers like…
  • I finally did an order for a load of parts for the tug; namely, a ridiculously small 148W brushless outrunner, a small (but less ridiculous) 4-cell battery, and assorted ESCs, receivers, and the like. More on that when I get of my rear and do something with them, but plans are slowly rolling.
  • I feel, considering the timings, I should probably put a footnote regarding the Westminster attacks; I don’t have anything really to comment on with it, bar, just, can people please just stop killing people? It doesn’t help anyone. My sympathy goes to all those caught up in the fallout, direct or indirect.

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