Lo-Fi Photography

Zero Image 45

Posted in Gear by Ray on 12.13.2009

My foray into lens-less photography was through a Zero Image 45, probaly made in a sweatshop in Hong Kong, but I’d like to think it was carefully hand crafted by elves during Santa’s off season.

Look ma, no lens! Just a hole for the light to expose the film. This is the oldest and most basic form of photography. The concept was used as far back as the 4th century B.C. by the Greeks such as Aristotle and Euclid. Since there’s no sensors or fancy electronic doodads, I use a hand held light meter and the Force.

While most people would probably use large format negative film. My affinity for Polaroids led me to mount a Polaroid 545i back (secured by rubber bands) and use 4″x5″ Polaroid sheet film. Let’s just take an archaic form of photography and add a discontinued film format.

This is the camera in action under the pier at Coney Island. The sheet film is fed into the back then the paper sleeve (sticking out) is pulled out of the back and the film is left inside ready to be exposed (quite a simple, yet sophisticated system).

This is the result from under the pier at Coney Island. The images are ultra wide, given a focal length of just 25mm and a large format image size of 4″x5″, which can lead to some truly unexpected results. Mine also comes with an extra 25mm extension frame which when sandwiched in would increase the focal length to 50mm (still wide, just not ridiculous). The pinhole is around 0.2mm so effectively an f/138 which even in sunny conditions would require about a 1 second exposure.


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