PetaPixel

A Homemade Camera That Uses Twenty Separate Lenses

Guerin Pinhole Lens 1

What’s cooler than a multi-cell pinhole camera? How about a multi-cell pinhole camera upgraded to a lensed version? That’s exactly what James Guerin has put together as a follow-up to a previous lens-less camera experiment.

“When I saw the effects I could achieve with the pinhole multi-cell I decided to go and build a lensed version. I thought that the in focus and blurred areas would add another dimension and open up a world of original portraits,” says Guerin.

Simultaneously, the camera shoots twenty images with twenty lenses in twenty compartments. That’s a whole lot of twenties!

Guerin Pinhole Lens 2

The added lenses (made of cheap plastic double convex) feature a focal length of 150mm, which are arranged in a grid, according to Guerin. “Due to the nested box design concertina style focusing is possible from a distance of 300mm (where 1:1 magnification is achieved) to approximately 550mm (overlapping of cells occurs).”

Guerin Pinhole Lens 3

Guerin Pinhole Lens 4

Guerin says that “accurate focusing is achieved with the aid of a simple ‘ground glass’  (perspex and scotch tape) and the shutter is a simple sliding plate.”

“I vary the aperture by placing custom ‘aperture plates’ that slide in front of the lenses. Of course the aperture changes depending on the focus draw, therefore I calculate my aperture for each shot by dividing the distance from lens to film by the diameter of my aperture disc (simple steel washers).”

Camera-to-subject distance of 300mm yields 1:1 magnification, thus a “normal” picture, but longer distances produce rather interesting effects.

Guerin Pinhole Lens 5

Guerin Pinhole Lens 6

Guerin Pinhole Lens 8

Guerin says that most of the pictures he’s taken on the camera so far have been on photographic paper. He hopes to shoot portraits using 8×10 x-ray film in the near future.


Image credits: Photographs by James Guerin and used with permission