Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7

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Lens on display during the Stanley Kubrick exhibition.
Lens attached to camera as used for Kubrick's Barry Lyndon

The Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 is one of the largest relative aperture (fastest) lenses in the history of photography.[1] The lens was designed and made specifically for the NASA Apollo lunar program to capture the far side of the Moon in 1966.[2][3][better source needed]

Stanley Kubrick used these lenses when shooting his film Barry Lyndon, which allowed him to shoot scenes lit only by candlelight.[4][5]

In total there were only 10 lenses made. One was kept by Carl Zeiss, six were sold to NASA, and three were sold to Kubrick.[1]


  1. ^ a b "World's fastest lens: Zeiss 50mm f/0.7", Ogiroux, Google, archived from the original on 2009-03-09.
  2. ^ Hollywood, NASA, and the chip industry put their trust in Carl Zeiss
  3. ^ Kämmerer, Dr. J. "When is it advisable to improve the quality of camera lenses?" (PDF). Optics & Photography Symposium (excerpt from a lecture). Les Baux. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  4. ^ DiGiulio, Ed, "Two Special Lenses for Barry Lyndon", American Cinematographer, Visual memory, How the stringent demands of a purist-perfectionist film-maker led to the development of two valuable new cinematographic tools.
  5. ^ This Month's Object: the Zeiss lens f/0.7 Archived February 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

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