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Jon Grepstad Pinhole photography Moneta Camera Obscura Digital Camera Obscura Why pinhole camera

An open letter from Ivica Kis

Dear Pinholers,

Really why pinhole camera?

After centuries of development of various sophisticated cameras, what is the use of pinhole camera? The pinhole camera (Engl.), Lochkamera (Germ.) or camera obscura (Ital.) is rural tool for basic (central) projection (to a image) of any motive (interesting to human eye). First described in 7-th century b.c. in China, improoved and developed in 16-th century in useful tool of painters, astronomers and gunners, camera obscura was established as mother of all kind of (photographic, movie, television, video) cameras.

All kind of cameras were developed for their specific purpose, and by the time pinhole camera was more and more ignored and main qualities of the pinhole camera were forgotten, but there are (as far as I know) 5 unreplaceable qualities of the pinhole camera.
  1. Continuous depth sharpness of the projection for all distances (for any motive in front of the pinhole, as well as for the film inside the camera).

  2. Compression of time (take s of long time processes with a single long lasting shot to one image).

  3. Very wide (undisturbed) angle of takes, on plate as well as on cylindrical or spherical "films".

  4. Exact (undisturbed) prospective projection (on projection plane, cylinder or sphere).

  5. Total throughput for all intensities and frequencies of electromagnetic radiations (for human eye visible and not visible areas of light spectrum).
(explanation in Croatian)
All those 5 qualities has none of modern sophisticated cameras (of any kind).

With sincerely regards,
Ivica Kis

The letter was published in:

  1. on the American site: pinhole gallery, a Gallery of Contemporary Pinhole Photography in the introduction, on the subject; " Why Pinhole? Why Indeed!
  2. book "Camera Obscura" in , that I wrote for my colleges teachers, and students (published in 2007. by `kolska Knjiga Zagreb Croatia; ISBN 978-953-0-50815-6)
  3. most of my pinhole surveys and works published in my gallery on the site

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