Can the New Thingify Pinhole Pro Max Modernize the Pinhole?

Pinhole photography is as old as photography itself. But the latest invention coming from Ontario-based incubator Thingify aims to bring modern features to a classic lens. The Thingify Pinhole Pro Max is the first pinhole lens that combines both a variable aperture and a variable zoom into a single optic. The Pinhole Pro Max began funding on Kickstarter today, March 29th, continuing the launch trend of the Pinhole Pro and Pinhole Pro X, which raised nearly $800,000 combined on Kickstarter. The new pinhole lens has already tripled its funding goal in the first few hours of the campaign.

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Thingify Pinhole Pro Max key features

The Thingify Pinhole Pro Max has six aperture or pinhole sizes, from .15 to .5mm. The lens can also zoom from 18mm to 35mm. Here are the key features Thingify is parading:

  • Pinhole sizes: .1mm, .15mm, .2mm, .25mm, .3mm, .36mm, .5mm, .8mm
  • Lens mounts: Canon EOS/EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, Fujifilm X, Micro 4/3, Pentax K. Thingify also says that the lens will work with Nikon Z and Canon RF mounts.
  • Designed with anodized aluminum alloy
  • The Kickstarter launch price is $259 for a limited time.
  • Threads: 58mm
  • Front diameter: 62.2mm
  • Total depth: 50mm
  • Weight: 171g (DSLR version), 161.5g (mirrorless version)

The Pinhole Meets Modern Convenience

Sample images provided by Thingify

Modern camera lenses prioritize sharpness and aim to eliminate imperfections like aberrations and flare. While the newest lenses are often close to technical perfection, they are sometimes frankly a bit boring. The pinhole is the exact opposite. Where modern lenses are sharp, pinhole lenses are soft. Where modern lenses control aberration, the pinhole creates blooming highlights. Where modern lenses are technically superb, pinhole lenses are dreamy and ethereal. 

What Thingify is doing is bringing that classic look to modern camera mounts. But, Thingify already did that with the Pinhole Pro and Pinhole Pro X. Photographers can even DIY a pinhole look with current gear for next to nothing. Creating a pinhole on a modern camera isn’t new or impossible.

What the Pinhole Pro Max does is mix a soft pinhole effect with the convenience of modern lenses. The Pinhole Pro Max allows photographers to use that soft look, but still use zoom. The versatility of zoom is paired with the option to adjust the size of the pinhole. Larger pinholes are brighter and softer than smaller ones. With six options, photographers should have more control over how strong the pinhole effect is. 

That flexibility could entice photographers who have never tried pinhole photography to give it a chance. I’m seeing more and more intentional blur filling my feeds — the Pinhole Pro Max could be coming at just the right time. With the soft look trending, the Thingify Pro Max and its modern convenience could entice more photographers. It also works for recording video.

The lens uses a universal mount, which means it uses an add-on to fit different systems. It allows Thingify to make one lens that can be used by several different camera systems. Typically, this would create issues with autofocus and sharpness. Those are both non-issues on a pinhole lens’ fixed focus and intentional lack of sharpness. however.

The soft pinhole look may not be right for every photographer. But, for photographers experimenting with blur, the Thingify Pinhole Max could be worth a shot. It’s launching on Kickstarter, which does come with a set of risks for early investors. And early pledges start at $259.

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