Thingyfy Pinhole Pro Max lens review: Vintage photography goes digital

First of all, a pinhole lens differs from almost all other lenses on the market by not using any internal glass elements. The only thing that transfers light to the film or camera sensor is a small hole, which usually provides a dark, less sharp image. This presents many limitations during the photographic process, but can also provide a unique look.

Despite these drawbacks, pinholes hold an important place in the history of photography. This type of lens was used by the first devices that could be functionally called cameras. The earliest recorded use of pinhole cameras dates back to ancient China, around 500 BC (via UC Berkely). When combined with a rudimentary darkroom, it became known as the camera obscura. Users stood inside the camera and could see an image of the outside world projected upside down onto the darkroom wall. Around 1,000 years later, the camera obscura was commonly used by Renaissance artists to view and plot realistic reference images (via BBC).

Around the same time, users began to realize that they could invert the projection using mirrors, and they could place glass elements in front of the pinhole to produce a more faithful image. Skip to the mid-1800s, and scientists were experimenting with light-sensitive chemicals. Place them behind the lens to capture the image projected by the camera obscura. Thus, the modern art of photography was born (via PBS).


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