Lenses form an image through the operation of refraction; pinholes form an image by diffraction (which lenses want to avoid). A well made pinhole cannot form an image as sharp as a good lens but it is nearly the equal of the optical system composing the human eye. It has many advantages including cost (nearly free), no maintenance, perfectly rectilinear and nearly infinite depth of field as well as depth of focus (behind the pinhole, i.e., inside the camera). A wide angle 8x10 inch pinhole camera made of cardboard might cost as much as $10 - whereas an 8x10 camera with a wide angle lens is likely to start at about $3,000.
Mr. Fuzzy probably has close to a dozen pinhole cameras or adapters, made by friends as gifts, made by friends as prototypes to be tested, commercial products and those made by Himself. There are several 8x10 cameras, adapters to use on standard view cameras of various sizes, adapters for 35mm cameras & digital equivalents, a 5x7 camera made by Mr. Fuzzy (a real favorite), several 4x5 cameras and several 6x9 cm cameras. The latter use 120 roll film and allow six exposures without reloading - that plus easy portability caused Mr. Fuzzy to opt for two of them for World Wide Pinhole Day, always the last Sunday in May.
WWPD is a remarkable event: world wide, unjuried, free, and the images are posted forever on the WWPD web site (www.pinholeday.org). Most of the images therein are rather pedestrian but perhaps 1 in 100 makes your search worthwhile.
Mr. Fuzzy made this image with a curved film plane 6x9 camera which covers a very wide angle, perhaps 120 degrees. The lower portion of the image is about 18 inches from the camera.
The following image is also 6x9 cm but the film plane is flat thus it covers a much smaller angle and is about a normal angle, or 45 degrees. This image is not as sharp as the one above because the pinhole I made is not as perfect as it might be. This camera was made by a dear friend in Scotland, Peter Goldsmith, and it has been a pleasure to use for almost a decade. Peter, thanks again for the wonderful gift!
Mr. Fuzzy gave a short lecture to a class at the local arts centre immediately preceding WWPD. The students are so excited that they have asked the arts centre to provide space for a pinhole club to meet - and the answer from the director was in the affirmative. A pinhole camera club will be formed forthwith!