Lensbaby has announced a new Obscura lens. A camera obscure, ancestor of the photographic camera, is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side, through which an image is projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole. Dating back to the 4th century BCE, this experience is the earliest image projection technique known to the industry.
The Lensbaby lens comes in two versions — a 50mm Pinhole/Zone Plate/Pinhole Sieve optic for the Optic Swap System, as well as a standalone 16mm Pinhole/Zone Plate/Pinhole Sieve pancake lens for mirrorless cameras.
The Obscura’s pinhole, zone plate and pinhole sieve are made up of three layers of chrome with a total thickness of 0.00014mm deposited on 1.5mm thick glass before anti-reflective coating is applied. With a resolution of 128K dpi, this photolithography process not only makes true zone plates with excellent light transmission, it produces perfectly round pinholes and precision zone plate zones. Photographers can clean the Obscura’s glass as they would any camera lens, without fear of destroying any of the three imaging options.
“Pinhole photography taught me to see composition, contrast, leading lines and the shape of things in ways that led me to make some of my most powerful images,” says Craig Strong, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Lensbaby, Inc. “We created the Obscura so that you could learn and grow while using a technologically advanced pinhole lens with options. It’s the Lensbaby twist to old-world imagery.”
Photographers and creators who connect most with using an Obscura are those who enjoy working with fewer choices and are willing to challenge themselves to redefine what it means to create photographic art.