Lensbaby Obscura Lens Puts a Twist on Small-Format Pinhole Photography

Lensbaby Obscura Lens Puts a Twist on Small-Format Pinhole Photography


Portland, OR—The Lensbaby Obscura lens launched to add a twist on small-format pinhole photography. The camera obscura, ancestor of the photographic camera, is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side; an image is projected through the hole onto an opposite wall opposite. Dating back to the 4th century BCE, this experience is the earliest image projection technique.

Now, at a virtual launch party on June 21st, Lensbaby revealed its new Obscura lens. “The Lensbaby Obscura envelopes photographer and lens in an elegant dance between light and dark while bringing unique flare and image artifacts that aren’t possible to achieve in-camera with any standard camera lens,” Lensbaby announced.

© Hope Delarosa, 16mm pinhole
Lensbaby Obscura Key Features

Moreover, the company is offering the Lensbaby Obscura in three versions. The first is a 50mm pinhole/zone plate/pinhole sieve optic for the Lensbaby Optic Swap system. The second is a standalone 16mm pinhole/zone plate/pinhole sieve pancake lens (though pinholes are not technically lenses) for mirrorless cameras. Lastly, the Obscura 50 is a stand-alone 50mm lens with a pinhole/zone plate/pinhole sieve.

Lensbaby Obscura Optic

“Pinhole photography taught me to see composition, contrast, leading lines and the shape of things in ways that led me to make some of my most powerful images,” said Craig Strong, cofounder and chief creative officer at Lensbaby, Inc. “We created the Obscura so you could learn and grow while using a technologically advanced pinhole lens with options. It’s the Lensbaby twist to old-world imagery.

“Photographers and creators who connect most with using an Obscura are those who enjoy working with fewer choices; they are also willing to challenge themselves to redefine what it means to create photographic art.”

Lensbaby Obscura 50

The new Obscura lenses have the following suggested retail prices: Obscura Optic, $179.99; Obscura 16, $249.95; and Obscura 50, $279.95.


For more than 15 years, Lensbaby has manufactured high-quality creative effects lenses, optics as well as accessories for photographers and videographers.