Pushing Gear to Extremes: Having Fun With an f/0.95 Lens and Flash

Sometimes, half the fun of having gear with extreme capabilities is purposely pushing it to the absolute limit. This fun video follows a photographer as he shoots at a crazy aperture in heavy daylight with flash.

Coming to you from Manny Ortiz, this video shows him shooting at an ultra-wide aperture and using high-speed sync to combine it with flash. In the video, Ortiz is using the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95, an insanely wide lens. Of course, the problem with shooting that wide during the middle of the day is that the amount of light the lens will let in is very high, and that makes it impossible to use normal flash without resorting to ND filters. Ortiz uses the Godox AD200, which allows him to take advantage of high-speed sync, but even then, he absolutely maxes out his settings, shooting at ISO 50 and 1/8,000 s with the strobe at full power to get the proper exposure with the flash and ambient light balanced. Nonetheless, the results are worth the effort, as he gets some very unique and interesting shots. If you're someone who likes to push gear to its limits, you'll definitely enjoy the video and the results he gets. 

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15 Comments

William Faucher's picture

I'm a complete lighting noob, so please correct me if I am wrong, but would it not have been simpler to simply use an ND filter instead of going nuts on the shutter speed at 1/8000th + ISO 50?

I was under the impression that using HSS ultimately brings the power output of the light down somewhat.

Alex Cooke's picture

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Yes, you lose power with HSS, but it can be difficult to focus with ND filters.

Adam Palmer's picture

focusing at .95 with a 5 stop ND should provide about the same amount of light as focusing at 5.6. And it will be much easier on the flashes. (Faster recycle, less overheating.) SOrry-- just read the same comment down lower.

William Faucher's picture

That makes sense, thanks for clarifying!

Bill Larkin's picture

I agree with Alex Cooke - I find it difficult in many lighting situations to focus perfectly with an ND on a non-static subject. Even though a person can sit (mostly) still, humans move slightly and at these apertures, moving a half inch could ruin your focus,

Rifki Syahputra's picture

I prefer the more "traditional" ND way too.. since I don't have the HSS :p
focusing is not a problem with a mirrorless or live view in DSLR

Deleted Account's picture

It's also not as much a problem with a f/0.95 lens. Even a 4-stop ND filter would be like focusing with an f/4 lens (if my math is right), allowing him to shoot at the base iso (100) and 1/2000th of a second. I think. Of course, you'd still need HSS.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Alex Cooke's picture

Close. It'd be like an f/4 lens and shooting at ISO 100 and 1/1,000 s.

Deleted Account's picture

I'll take "close"! :-)

Alex Cooke's picture

That lens is a lot of fun!

Gary Smith's picture

An $11k toy, if you go for the Leica version. :|

Arun Hegden's picture

Fast forward to 2:30 and thank me later 😅

Tom Jensen's picture

Thanks!!

Walker Anderson's picture

lost my attention as soon as that stand fell over

Vincent Mallet's picture

Hi Fstoppers,
Your link to Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 is misleading, it links to the $11,000 Leica lens @B&H
Regards