When I was having trouble with the widest setting on the 4x5 Pinhole Lab Camera, I said I wasn’t too perturbed because I didn’t particularly like the most extreme wide angles of view. Whenever I hear myself say something like that, I end up worrying that it’s because I haven’t really given it a proper try. I decided I should see if I could experience the charm of the ultra wide angle. It did not go well.
I had intended the widest option on the Pinhole Lab Camera to be 36mm but I messed up when cutting and glueing the guides which make up the slots the film plane slides into. The last one had to be trimmed a little to fit. The image plane in that slot ended up being only 30mm away from the pinhole.
Also, when I glued the shutter on the outside, I didn’t quite get it positioned so the pinholes were exactly in the center of the opening. One side of the shutter blocked part of the image. I pried it off and reglued it more carefully so the pinhole was in the center, but that doesn’t seemed to have solved anything.
In my youth, my favorite lens was my Canon FD 20mm f2.8, so I have some idea of what was then considered ultra-wide angle. This thing would be equivalent to a 9mm lens on a 35mm camera.
At 30mm on a 4x5 (100 x125mm) negative, Mr. Pinhole says the image circle is only 2.25 inches (60mm). That’s some pretty extreme vignetting especially when using black and white photographic paper which can be very high contrast. Another thing I forgot about was the spectral response of the paper. Mickey and Minnie’s red car, under a spotlight, wasn’t the best choice to try things out.