Here is a look at the f/0.7 lenses that Stanley Kubrick used

Jul 17, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Jul 17, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Have you ever seen an f/0.7 lens? Stanley Kubrick used one regularly.

If you are lucky enough to be in San Francisco right now, you can pay a visit to the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition (it’s curently playing at the contemporary jewish museum). If not, former Mythbuster Adam Savage takes you on a filmed tour.

YouTube video

There is some interesting trivia about this lens. But first we need to see what camera the lens connects to. The lens connects to a Mitchell 35mm camera that Kubrick bought when he was filming Barry Lyndon. Here is the thing, Kubrick wanted to shoot it all with natural light, including the interior candle light scenes, so he needed a really fast lens. Sadly, the only lenses fast enough were NASA ‘s 0.7 lenses. So Kubrick went ahead and bought a Mitchell 35mm and had the camera reworked to fit those NASA f/0.7 lenses. No other film camera could work those lenses.

Kubrick-07-lens-02

But even at f/0.7 Kubrick needed extra light and created special fast and bright burning candles to produce more light.

I know what you are thinking, f/0.7, how the heck did the actors move, there is just about zero DOF there. Well, Kubrick trained his actors to move laterally, from side to side, so they kept in focus.

This is quite an amazing piece of gear and dedication, if the show happens to come across your town, be sure to visit.

[Adam Savage Visits the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition | Tested]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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6 responses to “Here is a look at the f/0.7 lenses that Stanley Kubrick used”

  1. Diegoom UR Avatar
    Diegoom UR

    Jens Wassmuth :O

    1. Jens Wassmuth Avatar
      Jens Wassmuth

      Used with the Nikon D5 one can leave the lens cap on it and you’ll still making good pictures…hahaha

    2. Diegoom UR Avatar
      Diegoom UR

      >:o

  2. Thomas Jakob Brablec Avatar
    Thomas Jakob Brablec

    I’m going to be honest and say I’m only clicking because I saw Adam Savage.

  3. Whatdoyknow Avatar
    Whatdoyknow

    If the show is not coming across my town it will be out of focus and that would be a pity.

  4. Aaron Hunt Avatar
    Aaron Hunt

    A small thing… The plan was never to entirely use available light. The candle light scenes indeed are all candle, but daylight interiors were definitely supplemented with HMI’s/Additional lighting.