This Insane Full-Frame 50mm Lens Has an Aperture of f/0.35

This Insane Full-Frame 50mm Lens Has an Aperture of f/0.35

We dream of huge apertures that can give us incredible subject separation and whip up the world’s creamiest bokeh. Imagine my excitement when I was invited to spend an hour playing with the world’s first f/0.35 50mm autofocus prime lens, a lens so secret that I can’t even tell you the mount, never mind who makes it. Check out the amazing images that this lens can produce.

Due for release in 2020, this beast of a lens is being developed in secret by a Japanese manufacturer. Weighing in at an incredible 37 lb (17 kg), its aperture sucks in so much light that rooms get visibly darker when you remove the lens cap. Shooting in daylight at your lowest ISO will require shutter speeds in excess of 1/100,000th of a second, necessitating a new generation of cameras that are yet to hit the market.

With a depth of field slimmer than a gnat’s testicle, trying to grab focus can be a real challenge. Fortunately, this incredible lens has autofocus to help the process, though this comes with a few restrictions. Firstly, the autofocus motor has to do so much work that it requires its own power supply in the shape of a diesel generator. Secondly, autofocusing this amount of glass is a slow process, taking in excess of 30 seconds to slide all of the elements into place. During this time, you will need to ask your model not to breathe as the slightest movement means having to start over. Blinking can also be problematic, as can any low-level seismic activity.

World's first f/0.35 lens

Look at that smooth transition between the model's left shoulder and the trees behind him. So buttery.

I’m excited to present some of my results. As you can see, the shallow depth of field is spectacular. It’s tricky to get both eyes sharp at the same time but this ability to focus the viewer’s attention on just a single iris really allows you to be creative in how you portray your subject. The eye is truly a window to the soul and being able to isolate it so completely really opens up the possibilities.

This lens is also perfect for those moments when you want to make it difficult to figure out where your subject ends and the background begins, blending it all into one beautifully buttery goop. The shallowness is truly liberating, making backgrounds much less of a concern. No longer do you need to find context — just stand your model wherever you want. Got a telegraph pole or a tree coming out of their head? Not a problem. And thanks to the lens’s 29 aperture blades, bokeh balls are completely round with not an onion skin in sight.

Beautiful bokeh at f/0.35

From one tiny highlight where the sun was glinting through the trees, we get an insanely huge, incredibly round bokeh ball. The rest of the photo is a mess, but just focus on the bokeh ball instead, please.

I hope to have more news about this lens in the near future. If you'd like to try and guess the manufacturer, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Lead image by Riley Bowden.

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32 Comments

Robert Tran's picture

Fantastic job, Andy though I would have expected more pupil - cornea separation ;)

Benton Lam's picture

I'm sure a LASIK surgeon could help :p

Andy Day's picture

Thanks! 😊

Wes Jones's picture

Oh yes.

Awesome 04/01 posting, to be honest, had me for a few seconds

Alan Brown's picture

Hmmm - wondering if it will come out exactly a year from now......

BOABDL!!! LOVE IT!

Still ah DWL!

Michael Jin's picture

Exclusively for Sony E-Mount.

Funny.

And I didn't know that gnats had testicles.

So, a laugh and a learning experience.

*slow clap*

When I first heard about this lens (interestingly, exactly a year ago today), the tester was able to use the rolling shutter effect of his test camera at 1/100,000th second to get larger areas in focus by selecting manual focus and very (very!) quickly turning the focus ring during the exposure.

Ariel Martini's picture

i clicked 🤦‍♂️

JetCity Ninja's picture

this blog post has a focal length of stupid.

It's funny, how on April Fool's Day, fools react with so called sarcasm to every April fools article. See Lens Capping.

Rod Kestel's picture

Totally last century. The newer version will be powered by solar panels.

April first

still waiting my dream lense 50mm f-0.5

April is a good month to tell everything, sometimes kind of craps

Tim Gallo's picture

had to sell mine for a box of vodka. now everything looks f0.35 to me.

Reading this on the 3th of April, this is a total mind-f*.
April 1 jokes should be removed at April 1 23:59. :D

Boudewijn Kegels's picture

Shure it's a Nikon, but not shure if it is the new mirrorless mount or still the old DSLR mout.

Graham Glover's picture

Why in the world is an April Fool's post the top featured post on April 3?! I almost "get it" on April Fool's Day, though I stopped reading posts that were even marginally questionable. Now this is absurd. Turn into a humor site if you want. I'm interested in photography.

Andy Day's picture

Hi Graham,

I understand your anger. It must be very, very frustrating. To stop seeing the featured posts, just scroll down a bit and they will disappear.

Michael B. Stuart's picture

I'm a bit surprised I'm not seeing more and more profile pics featuring this massively artistic DOF. Bokeh bandits better buck up.

Pedro Pulido's picture

hahahahaha. this is too good! hilarious!

Why is it so many photographers think they are comedians?

Dave Dundas's picture

I'm still trying to figure out why so many people think they're photographers! 🤣🤣

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