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Wednesday, 01 April 2015


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I have never heard of a "Deep Field" lens before. How the 'eck would it achieve deeper depth of field without just stopping down?

Thank you, very interesting.

Kubrick's famous 50mm lens lives on in spirit in the Nikon 1 32mm f1.2, a bit cheaper too! Both are similarly modified Planar lenses with an integrated condenser.

You should have seen the Kubrick exhibit at LACMA last year! They had tons of hardware he used plus the fisheye used as HAL in 2001. And you would have learned that Weegee was the set photographer on Dr. Strangelove and his accent was used as the model for Peter Sellars character.
There is a video tour of the exhibit here:

Obviously Stanley Kubrick had not heard of one lens, one camera movement. Sad. So sad

I'm curious about the deep focus lens. Can anyone expand on this?

Kubrick was an even more manic lens explorer than me! Love it!

My knowledge of a "deep field" lens refers to a wide angle lens designed to enable simultaneous sharp close-ups while providing sharp backgrounds at wide apertures. Keep in mind that, as this is typically a filmmakers challenge these lenses must also do their stuff in anamorphic aspect ratios.

I don't think immediately of Kubrick for examples (although I'm sure he had them) but, rather, John Frankenheimer. His "Seven Days in May" featured several shots that must have been done with a deep field lens. (Ex: Kirk Douglas's initial meeting with Frederick March and the desert diner scene come to mind. His film "The Train" also comes to mind.)

I think theses lenses basically work a bit like a tilt lens by allowing a slightly angled film (image) plane with reference to the lens's primary axis.

The deepest deep focus lens would be a pinhole.

Whilst watching, On The Waterfront, with my Wife last Sunday. I paused it when it came to the scene where Terry Malloy is on the roof with the pigeons. I then went and fetched my copy of Drama & Shadows. I shown Kubrick's shots of the shoeshine boy with his pigeons to my wife, and she was amazed by the comparisons. She'd not seen the film or the pictures before

A double treat

After a quick Google search, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Cooke optical company is still in business & thriving, only about 70 miles from where I live in the UK. The web site is full of interesting information & film clips, including mention of a Cooke Convertible lens used by Ansel Adams on his 10x8 camera. The company is linked with Taylor Hobson, of course.

At the risk of making someone's head explode, here's my Instagram photo looking through the Fairchild-Curtis 160 degree lens that Jim mentioned in a previous comment (the one used to shoot the HAL POV scenes in "2001 A Space Odyssey"). I saw it, and many others, at the Kubrick retrospective at LACMA a couple of years ago (also mentioned by Jim):


More on the 50 & the camera it was used on...


Mike, it looks as though the video has been removed?

Video is gone and miss my chance to see it.

BTW, heard about that lens due to advertisement of metabones booster of BMPCC that can push you to that level. :-)

Interesting video for us camera geeks.

Many years ago I bought a early version Deep Field Panchro and had it adapted to fit onto an EOS film camera system. I wasn't aware of the depth of field quality of the lens, I had just read that it was supposed to be a great optic. I gather that it was such a great optic that Cooke didn't change the design of it for years unlike, say, the difference between the original and series II Speed Panchros.

Much to my disappointment, I couldn't see anything special about it. Maybe that was down to my limited talents rather than the lens. Either way, I sold it off without any regrets.

Kinoptik lenses intrigue me but they are mind boggingly expensive even second-hand.

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