Mathieu Stern always surprises us with some unusual and rare lenses. And once again, he used a super-interesting lens in his video. Canon 65mm f/0.75 rare super-fast lens designed for X-Ray machines, and it’s one of the fastest lenses ever made. But other than being a low-light champion, it’s also very challenging to shoot with. Still, Mathieu came up with some solutions to modify it and he tested it out for both photo and video work. So let’s see how this strange lens performs.
At the very beginning of Mathieu’s video, you can see a short clip that he filmed with the Canon 65mm f/0.75 lens. Why didn’t he film a longer clip? Well, it’s because using this lens is a nightmare! It’s huge, hard to focus, impossible to carry around due to its 2kg weight, and it’s not a discreet option to shoot outside.
Since handholding wasn’t an option for video work, Mathieu had to improvise. He modified the lens by removing its rear part so he could get infinity focus. He attached it to a tripod with some gaff tape. The back of the lens is so huge that there was no way to connect it to a camera. So, he designed his own solution that allowed him to move the camera to focus since he couldn’t move the lens. He protected the camera sensor from dust with a glass adapter. And to prevent any light leaks, he placed a black cloth between the camera and the lens.
With the f/0.75, you can imagine how great this lens is in low-light. Mathieu only used a few candles and two small LumeCubes to light the scene, and you can see his result in the video.
Other than using it for the video, Mathieu also tested out the Canon 65mm f/0.75 lens for portrait photography. He tried it both outdoors and in the studio, and encountered some new challenges.
When shooting outdoors, getting a sharp photo with this lens is almost impossible. When the subject or the photographer moves even a little, the photo will turn out blurry. But if you’re into bokehlicious images, this lens will give you those, even though they’ll be unsharp. In a studio, with the camera and lens on a tripod, it gets easier to get sharp images. Still, they’re not super-sharp then either, and close-ups are very blurry.
The Canon 65mm f/0.75 is definitely not the sharpest lens in the world. Still, it could find its purpose. It could be great for shooting some dreamy or trippy scenes in videos, or some portraits where the blur is the creative choice. What do you think? Would you use it and when?
[Shooting a Video with an X-Ray Lens at F0.75 | Mathieu Stern]