John Blalock

photo/video/instalation

My Zone Plate Came In The Mail

I finally get to put together my telephoto zone plate camera! I ordered a 300mm zone plate that I planed to mount onto my 4×5. And it just came in the mail!

Zone plates work like pinholes but use a fresnel pattern of concentric rings.

To achieve this the pattern is photographed onto copy film (a film the renders blacks and whites only–whats used for micro film). You can do it your self but making sure all the sizing comes together just right is pretty complex. I decided to buy mine for $20.

Zone plates are much faster than pinholes, also they need to be focused. For this I am mounting mine in an old gralfex shutter so I have more control over the exposure. To do this I first unscrewed the old lens, then popped it out of its mounting ring.


I made a backing for the zone plate out of black matte board, and used the protective brass plate for the front.


Now I have what should be a functioning telephoto zone plate camera!
All I need is a sunny day to start shooting–to bad I’ll never get one of those.

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2 Responses

  1. Jen says:

    you just need to move to Arizona!
    J

  2. grant says:

    i like your shirt. Where did you get that. Nordstroms? Macy’s? L.L. Bean?
    I’ll bet it was L.L. Bean.

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