Pinhole and water drop

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by uhligfd, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. uhligfd

    uhligfd Member

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    Dear Pinholers,

    I have been thinking of trying to put a perfect ball/sphere of water (i.e., a nice waterdrop) onto my pinhole camera right at the hole.

    I expect to get some kind of fisheye view, should I not. As I see when I look at raindrops closely on a window pane ...

    My problem is to keep the water drop spherical, not running. I need some anti-soap type agent to keep that drop tightly round .... Any suggestions?
     
  2. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I'm not a pinhole shooter but...

    No... soap will decrease surface tension making things more difficult. Maybe a tiny drop of clear heavy weight oil instead? Just be aware that either way you will almost certainly ruin your pinhole.

    Err... after re-reading your post I see you said "anti-soap agent". Not sure what that is but maybe you're right. Still, the oil would be better... no evaporation to worry about changing the shape of the "lens" as you expose.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    A hydrophobic surface will support a lovely water droplet with no run. So... make your pinhole in some plastic e.g. acrylic or teflon or such. A black section of developed E6 film might do the trick.

    The "fisheye" effect will work, I recall seeing some examples some time ago. Of course the main problem is evaporation of the water. But pure water will have the right surface tension to produce a nice round ball.
     
  4. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    Try glycerol also commonly called glycerin. It is often sold in drug stores next to the hand lotions and is only a few dollars a bottle. If it is not there ask the Pharmacist. They may just give you a small amount form one of their stock bottles they use to compound drugs. It is much thicker than water and forms a nice drop. Also unlike water you don't have to worry about evaporation during a long exposure.
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    I would also think the size of the drop would affect its ability to remain stationery on a vertical surface of any kind. Just a thought. Think of your windshield. Small drops remain until more water increases its size and allows gravity to have more of an effect.
     
  6. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Christopher is right. Also, a pinhole may not see the entire surface of a large droplet. One just a tad larger than the pinhole is probably desirable. Brian's suggestion of glyerine is a good option, IMO.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Glycerol/glycerine has lower surface tension than water. It is used as a lubricant precisely because it is viscous but also spreads well on most surfaces.

    Some data...

    Liquid, Surface Tension γ (N.m-1)
    water (20°C) 0.073
    water (100°C) 0.059
    soapy water (20 °C 0.025
    alcohol 0.022
    glycerine 0.063
    turpentine 0.027
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2009
  8. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Perhaps some rudimentary calculations of the focal length of a spherical lens would interest you. Don't be surprised if the focal length is only a handful [or less] of millimetres. Thus, your film must be awfully close to the droplet. I imagine you can see where this is leading.
     
  9. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Hmm... maybe taping an ultra-thin piece of glass (microscope slide?) over the pinhole to place the droplet on is a good idea. This way you could use a high quality laser cut pinhole as many times as you like without damaging it. You could also get the centering exactly correct because you can move the piece of glass around.

    Now I'm really getting intrigued. One might be able to emulate the old Hypergon (sort of).
     
  10. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    But water won't stick to this surface and a water drop will just roll off as soon as the camera is placed upright.

    PS I have just placed a water drop and a glycerol drop on a plastic plate. When I tilted the plate upright the water ran down the plate. The Glycerol stayed in place and was a nice drop shape. A light bump to the plate did make it run however.

    A also agree that the drop should probally be just big enought to cover the hole. The smaller it is the less likey it will be to move.

    I don't know about focal legnth. That is something you will have to report on after you take a picture.
     
  11. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I really don't think you need to worry about FL. The pinhole will take care of DOF. You can experiment with droplet size and how it affects FL (view angle).
     
  12. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    I just had another thought. Since the refractive index of clear liquids differ the same size drop made of different liquids sould differ in focal legnth. It's like a lens with regular glass of HRI glass. I have a pinhole cap for my SLR. I may try this out with different liquids and see what I get.
     
  13. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Maybe make your micro-sphere lens with a drop of clear glue that will harden in the right shape.

    You can also get a very small plano-convex glass lens - the shape of an ideal water drop on a window pain - the usual source of overpriced lenses is http://www.edmundoptics.com/ , or you can make your own http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/glass/birm4.html, you can also take the lens out of a busted CD player.

    If you want to make a 'water-drop' spherical lens you might try Making a Van Leeuwenhoek Microscope Lens.

    Realize when you do this you will have a focal length of only a few mm.

    A fish-eye pinhole is a contradiction in terms, as a pinhole lens is rectilinear and a fish-eye is anything but.

    Door peep-hole viewers are another common DIY fish-eye adapter.

    Or you could use the eye of a fish ...
     
  14. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Nicholas... good ideas.
     
  15. uhligfd

    uhligfd Member

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    Thanks, guys. I had not looked for a few days and now I have a bunch of ideas for a) finding a higher than water surface tension clea liquid an b) a syringe to apply a smaaaaaall droplet. Fun to think about how to make this happen.

    In fact, a few years ago I stayed in a room during a wild storm and the window was dotted with little water halfballs. I shot through them and found small fisheye images on the film. I should have moved the lens closer for large fisheye images. So now i want to recreate this with pinholes, ca. 90 degree of view. Good luck to me and thanks to you!
     
  16. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    Why not place your pinhole camera so it is flat on the ground and looking directly towards the sky. Then place a drop of water over the pinhole. I assume it will stay in its place over the pinhole due to surface tension. Ideally I'd try this in the city with skyscrapers in frame. The fish-eye effect will be neat in this setting.

    All just thoughts as I have no experience with pinholes.
     
  17. autodafe

    autodafe Member

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