Many photographers love using vintage lenses for their unique character. With Thorium-coated “radioactive lenses,” their yellowish tint is what gives them a distinct look. However, the downside is that the color intensifies with time, turning the lens’ “character” into something that’s more of a nuisance.
It’s been 3 years since the giant, more than 36 000-ton New Safe Confinement, better known as the Arch, was put over the old sarcophagus, which was damaged and collapsing. In a way, this symbolic moment also summed up my 10 years of work documenting the Chernobyl Zone, which result in the release of the photo album HALF-LIFE: from Chernobyl to Fukushima. However, just as the building of the new sarcophagus did not finish the work inside related to eliminating the radioactive threat, I still have a reason to come here. This time, I was taking advantage of the fact that in July of this year the French contractor transferred the Arch to its owner, i.e. the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, I sought permission to enter and photograph this gigantic structure.
If you use vintage lenses, you might have heard that some of them are radioactive. As a matter of fact, many lenses produced between the 1940s and the 1970s emit a measurable amount of radioactivity. It comes from the element named Thorium, which was used in the glass elements of the lenses. But should this concern you? Could your precious collection of vintage lenses damage your health? Mathieu Stern decided to find it out. He did some “tests” to check whether the radioactivity of the vintage lenses is harmful to the health, and it seems he even had some serious fun while he filmed the video.
Less than a month after a camera-equipped drone carrying trace amounts of radioactive substances was discovered on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s office, legislators are starting to crack down on radio-controlled aerial devices.
Drones have been banned in all 81 of Tokyo’s public parks and gardens, and additional legislation is in the works and will ban using them above “important facilities” such as government buildings, embassies, the Imperial Palace and the Supreme Court.
Now that drones have made headlines in the country and attracted the attention of lawmakers, it is expected that even more laws will be implemented ahead of the G7 Summit in 2016 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.