Zone plates

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Rolleiflexible, May 21, 2007.

  1. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I'm building an 8x10 pinhole camera from a dilapidated Kodak Metalview camera. I've come across some intriguing images online made with "zone plates." They seem to work well with hign-contrast subjects and bright specular highlights. A quick search of APUG, however, uncovers no discussions about them.

    Anybody here using zone plates for pinhole work? I've located posts on other sites via Google, but I was wondering whether anyone on APUG has first-hand experience using them.

    Sanders McNew
    prenatal pinholer
     
  2. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Stricly speaking a zone plate is not a pinhole, but both zone plates and pinholes fit under the umbrella of lensless photography.

    F295 is a site that has a forum and galleries dedicated to lensless photography and adapted cameras and optics:

    http://www.f295.org/

    If you can get over to a Borders bookstore, there is a book called Adventures with Pinhole and Homemade Cameras. the Borders here has it on the shelf from time to time and it has a nice section on zone plates, slit plates and pinholes.

    This is a link to a page at Zero Camera listing Zone plates, adaptors for copal shutters and other pinhole accessories.

    http://www.zeroimage.com/web2003/EntryPage/entryFrameset.htm
     
  3. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've tried one - put it on a lensboard for an old Speed Graphic so I can use the focal plane shutter. I got a zone plate of 120mm - close enough to the Speed's original 127mm for me to use the focusing scale and not have to try to see the ground glass at f/80.

    I've made only a few images with it and don't quite know what to do with it. I'm sure something will come to me. The images are not very sharp, so the choice of lighting and subject matter is important.
    juan
     
  4. erikg

    erikg Member

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    They have a real glowy kind of effect, like a true soft focus lens, so backlight really helps. Here is another resource for info and places to get stuff: http://www.pinholeresource.com/
     
  5. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Juan, is f/80 about where these things have to be exposed?

    Sanders
     
  6. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    However, a pinhole is technically a zone plate with the number of zones reduced to 1.

    The effective aperture for any zone plate is f/90 when matched to the proper focal length.

    A few images I shot long ago using 2475 Recording Film follow. The first two are blue-toned silverprints, the third hand-colored, and then an unmanipulated zone plate print image:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Using high-speed recording film enabled me to hand-hold a 35mm using f/90 in bright daylight. Plus, I always liked the extended red sensitivity and graininess of that film. Nudes on 2475 printed on Ektalure G were very tactile and my favorite combination. Sigh...

    Zone plates always worked best for me in high contrast lighting situations and once in awhile specular highlights added to the effect.

    Joe
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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  8. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Joe, your second image captures what I thought the zone plate would produce with figure work, properly lit against a dark background. Interesting. Sanders
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I bought my Zone Plate from Pinhole Resource and they say f/80 is the proper stop. I usually compute exposure at f/90, as that is easier to figure. I use BTZS and the Palm program, and exposures work out as well for the Zone Plate as they do for a lens.

    The images are different - I plan to do more experimenting to learn how to best use the features.
    juan
     
  10. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Zone plate pic

    This is what I found when shooting a subject with hardish, contrasty edges. It seems typical of zone plate results.

    Regards - Ross
     

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  11. tpersin

    tpersin Member

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  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Are there photos around made in parallel by using a pin-hole and a zone plate?
     
  13. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    A zone plate is a series of concentric circles with a single center apeture. The center serves basically as a pinhole IIRC.