Another Lensbaby Post – the Zoneplate

Following up on an earlier post, I realised I hadn’t covered the use of one of the more esoteric lensbaby lenses (are there any other sort?) – the Zoneplate.

It’s not really a lens as there’s no glass – more a sophisticated pinhole. The effective aperture is f19 (according to their website). Not that it matters that much as you can’t change the aperture anyway.

The ‘hole’ bit is on a small sliding metal plate which also has a pinhole cut into it at the other end, so you’ll get 2 ‘lenses’ in one. I haven’t used the pinhole much but I’ll make sure I do next time we have a bright day in the UK. I’ll need a lot of light – the pinhole’s effective aperture is f177 – yes f177.

There’s no focussing required, and it produces images which are very different – dreamy and ‘sort of ‘ in focus but not.

Maybe an example :-

Edge of the Woods

As there’s no detail at all, simple, bold shapes with lots of contrast are the best subjects. Even with live view, it’s all very ‘hit and miss’ which I rather like!

I found centre weighted metering, aperture priority to be the best exposure mode, shooting in raw and spending a lot of time postprocessing.

Lonely House

So there you have it – lots of hard work, lots of reject shots, but the ‘keepers’ are unique!

I must start using this lens again.


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