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How the demands of a Stanley Kubrick led to two new cinematographic tools (visual-memory.co.uk)
47 points by redial on June 24, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

While not built for his demand, Kubrick was also one of the first to use the Steadicam for full effect in The Shining.

I think he is a good example of someone who didn't want to settle with a "bigger horse".

I've seen his collection of film and foto equipment in the film museum in Berlin and it filled the complete main room of the museum. Kubrick was a true nerd for the technology he used, but usually used it for effect, not just for fun.

This is one of the candlelit scenes Kubrik shot with those lenses.


F/0.7!!??!! Wow.

F/0.7 at 36mm, at that.

Probably wouldn't have worked terribly well in a 35mm still camera. (35mm stills have the long side aligned with the sprockets, (864mm^2 total usable area) 35 motion photography has the short side aligned with the sprockets, and the usable area is reduced still further by optical sound encoding. (352mm^2)

I, of course, haven't used the lens in question; (nor, uh, seen the movie) but it almost certainly doesn't cast a wide enough optical circle to be used with a 35mm still camera, and probably isn't enormously sharp when stopped wide open.

EDIT: Looking into the world of ultrafast lenses, something I hadn't previously investigated with any real rigour, due to not being a Microsoft stockholder; and it appears that a f/0.7 lens for a 35mm still camera is not a thing that can be purchased for love or money. References to such lenses tend to be of discontinued models, or for 35 motion cameras.

My wild guess is that the manufacturers got tired of people inhaling their drink when told the price, then bursting into laughter when they actually see the (lack) of sharpness.

For an example, the Leica Noctilux-M Normal ASPH 50 mm F/1.0 .[1] For a lens that's not anywhere as wide angle as the article's lens, and a full f/stop slower, you have the enormous privilege of paying US$7,700. Don't drop it! You'd be really, really sorry!

You can find plenty of ultrafast wide-angle lenses for C-mount or Micro four-thirds, because the flange focal distance is smaller,[2] the throat size is smaller, and the frame size is smaller, all of which make the engineering problem easier to solve. Here's a F/1.0 3-8mm zoom[3] that's positively affordable! That's because they solve two completely different problems, as you may have noticed by the $6,650 difference in price.

1: http://cgi.ebay.com/Leica-Noctilux-M-Normal-ASPH-50-mm-F-1-0...

2: This means the focal plane is physically closer, so it doesn't have to throw the image as far, and doesn't have to focus over as large of a range.

3: http://cgi.ebay.com/3-0MM-8-MM-CCTV-IR-CS-Lens-manual-Iris-F...

i really need to start working on lensdb again. blah!

Which of several Stanley Kubricks made these demands?

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