Lensbaby Obscura 16mm Mirrorless Pancake Lens for Sony E Mount ($249.95 from B&H Photo | Amazon). This 16mm Pinhole/Zone Plate/Pinhole Sieve pancake lens for mirrorless cameras is unusual with a versatile range of three selectable styles. It is a fixed-focus lens with selectable pinhole style that each provide a different, soft, and surreal rendering.
The pinhole is not technically a lens, but it is a clear round hole photolithographically etched on a multicoated optical glass surface. It has an effective maximum aperture of f/90.
The pinhole sieve is a field of 203 pinholes, with the center pinhole being the largest and increasingly smaller pinholes radiating away from the center. It has an effective maximum aperture of f/45.
The zone plate is a series of 29 clear circular rings surrounding a center hole with each of the clear zones equaling the area of the pinhole in the center, resulting in increasingly thinner zones when moving away from the center of the zone plate. It has an effective maximum aperture of f/22.
The zone plate has a curved field of focus, creating a center sweet spot with falloff in the corners. The pinhole and pinhole sieve have much more consistent resolving power at the corners of the image as they do in the center.
The zone plate and pinhole sieve options produce more detail than the pinhole option. Raising contrast and increasing vibrance and/or saturation setting in the camera can bring a zone plate or pinhole sieve image to life.
The Obscura’s pinhole, zone plate, and pinhole sieve are made up of three layers of photolithographically-applied chrome with a total thickness of 0.00014mm deposited on 1.5mm thick glass element, with a resolution of 128K dpi. This photolithography process not only makes true zone plates with excellent light transmission, but it also produces perfectly round pinholes and precision circular zone plate zones.
The glass features anti-reflective coating and can be cleaned like any camera lens, without fear of destroying any of the three imaging options.
Minimum focus distance:
• Pinhole: 2″ / 5cm
• Pinhole Sieve: 12″ / 30.5cm
• Zone Plate: 23″ / 60cm