Definitive theory of the pinhole camera

James T

Registered User
In view of the considerable amount of technical discussion in the "On the shore line" thread in the pinhole forum, I thought it might be worth posting this: A paper "On pinhole photography" by Lord Rayleigh, published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1891:
WARNING: the maths is pretty heavy (as might be expected in a cutting edge theoretical paper from the late 19th century).

There are numerous articles accessible from here:

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I've had this downloaded for some time and you encouraged me to read it. My maths isn't up to Nobel laureate standards, either. It's sobering to find that so many of our non-software photographic problems were sorted out so long ago.

Seeing this induced me to search for other founding texts. Here is Hurter and Drifffield: