When you think pinhole lenses, you probably think cheap, low-fi lenses created by hand for DIY photography projects. Zero Optik takes things in the opposite direction: it’s a new line of high-quality pinhole lenses that are designed for professionals.
“Pinhole photography is, by nature, primitive,” founder Alexander Nelson tells PetaPixel. “Unfortunately, most people take that to mean that the equipment itself should, by default, be cheap and crude, made of re-purposed body caps, or quaint, with brass and wood construction.”
“I have designed and manufactured a pinhole lens purpose-built for cinematography.”
Nelson’s goal was to create pinhole lenses that have the same built quality and standards as the best motion-picture lenses on the market, and lenses “designed to take advantage of the rapidly-increasing sensitivity of digital sensors.”
Zero Optik lenses feature an aerospace-grade aluminum body, a stainless steel PL mount, and support for matteboxes and 86mm threaded filters. The initial 35mm lens will have 3 laser-drilled pinholes that you can swap in and out quickly: f/87.5, f/175, and f/350.
Here’s a sample video that was shot using a Zero Optik lens on a Sony a7S II:
Some still frames captured through Zero Optik lenses: