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Wanderlust Pinwide Pinhole Cap Review

The Pinwide is a wide-angle pinhole cap that replaces the lens on a Micro 4/3 camera from Olympus or Panasonic to convert it into a pinhole camera.

|  Wanderlust Pinwide in Interchangeable Lenses
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The Pinwide is a wide-angle pinhole cap that replaces the lens on a Micro 4/3 camera from Olympus or Panasonic to convert it into a pinhole camera.

Pinwide cap

Wanderlust Pinwide: Features

The Pinwide is a plastic cap reminiscent of Bakelite with a tiny (looks like brass) plate in the centre with a pinhole in the middle.

The pinhole plate is set in a recessed part of the cap so it's positioned inside the camera body closer to the sensor. This gives a wide angle lens effect equivalent to 11mm (22mm in 35mm format). Normal pinhole plates (converted body caps etc.) are less wide (around 50mm in 35mm format).

The outer ring is notched to make it look a little more interesting when on the camera. It's supplied in an attractive metal tin like an old cine reel storage can.

Pinwide and its metal case

Wanderlust Pinwide: Performance

I tried the Pinwide on my Olympus EP2. Although plastic it fits snugly and makes the body really slim to carry around.

Pinwide on Olympus EP2

It darkens the viewfinder and gives the usual vignette around the edge that you'd expect from a pinhole lens, and because it's recessed this vignette is even more realistic to the box camera style pinholes of yesteryear.

The metering was fooled and shots were coming out grossly underexposed so I found adjusting the exposure compensation to +3 gave most consistent results.

Also with a pinhole camera there's no control over depth of field...the aperture is the pinhole and that's the equivalent of about f/128. So depth of field is enormous - in fact I found stuff would be in focus from inches to infinity. Not great if you want subtle subject placement, but fine for the wacky pinhole effect.

With such a small aperture a tripod or support is essential even in good light shutter speeds are into seconds. In low light you're probably going to reach the limits of the shutter speed range.

While I was out using it the view became obstructed and I realised I must have had a speck of dust cover the hole. I gave it a blow and the problem was resolved.

Shooting into the sun was interesting...rainbow coloured flare dominates (read obliterates) the photo. If it's in a small part of the frame it can be made to look like one of those awful creative effects filters of the 80s, but for most cases it's better to avoid direct sun in shots.

cat face close up with pinwide
ncredible close focus is possible with the
Pinwide. The camera was an inch away from
the cat's nose!

goggles on patio with pinwide
A shot of goggles on the patio. The
pinwide wide-angle vignette works
well here.
vases in front of window blinds with pinwide
Glass vases in a window, softness is
quite welcome.
  landscape with pinwide
While on a landscape softness isn't
quite as welcome!
cross processed rope with pinwide
Combine the lens with some in camera art
filter gives interesting results. Here rope was
placed on the patio and the Olympus EP2's
cross processing mode was selected.
  grainy shadow with pinwide
And here the grain mode was selected to take this shadow on an old metal dustbin. Harsh contrast, heavy vignette and grain all go together to form a creative snap.
flowers with pinwide flowers with pinwide
Flowers against a blue sky. It was with these shots that I realised how dusty the EP2's sensor was. The pinwide creates results that show up the dust bunnies! Notice also the unusual colour patterns caused by the pinwide. One thing's for sure, you will either love or hate the results.

Wanderlust Pinwide: Verdict

Using the Pinwide was frustrating at times - especially when the results looked like badly underexposed and out of focus rubbish. But it was also exciting at other times when the subject content, light and distance came together.

You do need to work hard to get a shot that suits this technique, and when you do you'll soon realise the value of the gadget. It's one for the more artistic and technically less bothered photographer. At the price of a filter it's got to be worth a go!
At the price of a filter the Wanderlust Pinwide has got to be worth a go!

Wanderlust Pinwide: Pros

Super wide angle
More realistic pinhole effect
Well made
Attractive case
Incredible focus range
Creative effects

Wanderlust Pinwide: Cons

No control over depth of field
Difficult to get a good shot
Easy to get hole clogged up
Causes camera to underexpose (manual override needed)



The Wanderlust Pinwide is available from Wanderlust for $39.99
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- No control over depth of field
Thats not a con. Its just a principle of pinhole photography...

- Difficult to get a good shot
Is that really down to the equipment?
Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
15 Jun 2011 3:46PM

Quote:- No control over depth of field
Thats not a con. Its just a principle of pinhole photography...

True but if someone's reading this who doesn't know what pinhole photography is they may not have considered that.

- Difficult to get a good shot
Is that really down to the equipment?

Partly yes because you can't get sharp shots so you have to work much harder and overall it's part of the experience which is part of the review.
Paul Morgan 21 19.6k 6 England
16 Jun 2011 4:42PM
Seems a sound enough review to me, but how would you classify a lens like this.

Specialist or Toy.

If toy how about doing some kind of group review, there are now other lenses classified as toy made by Holga and SLR Magic for M4/3.
MarkWN 11 1
22 Jun 2011 10:59PM
Alternatively, drink a beer and use the can to make a camera - here's some stuff I need with the Cambridge homeless community (the bottom is a short film)-

Let me know what you think! Wink



Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
23 Jun 2011 12:23AM
Interesting articles and video Mark.
Wouldn't it be better to fix the print then wash and dry before scanning? I would have thought the scanning process would fog the film making the results unnecessarily grey?
MarkWN 11 1
23 Jun 2011 8:59AM
Thanks for your feedback Pete.
Good point. Scanning doesn't real make too much difference as the ISO for the paper is only around 4. In comparison to the sun, the scanner is relatively dim especially as it is only a short burst of light. After 3-6 months, the image is well burnt in, so it should make too much difference (especially with a little photoshop). Give it a go.

I am going to try the pinhole thing with my DSLRs. But I really like the beer can thing, especially with it challenging the stereotypes of the homeless.

Commercially I shoot digital, but there is something very special about the old school processes. I love teaching them, and seeing the reaction of those that are so used to digital. Wink

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