The photography world certainly loves its wide-aperture lenses, with most full frame consumer lenses topping out at f/1.2 and a few extreme lenses pushing the limits at f/0.95. However, there is a world of lenses that go far beyond f/0.95, and this interesting video takes a look at that extreme glass.
Coming to you from Media Division, this fun and informative video takes a look at extreme aperture lenses. In it, they modify a Zeiss Biotar 100mm f/0.73 lens to shoot with. If you are wondering just how extreme f/0.73 is, it is about 1.88 stops faster than an f/1.4 lens. Even compared to some of the extreme f/0.95 lenses available today, it is about 0.76 stops faster. The 100mm f/0.73 is absolutely massive, weighing almost 18 lbs (8,100 g)! Generally, such lenses have a fixed aperture and fixed focus and were made for x-ray machines. There are other examples, however; for example, Stanley Kubrick used three Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 lenses to film "Barry Lyndon" in candlelight, the same lenses NASA used to film the far side of the moon. If you are interested in playing with such extreme optics, you can generally find used x-ray machine lenses on eBay. Check out the video above to learn more about this fascinating world.