f0.3 – The Impossible Lens – Building a Large Format DoF movie camera – Epic Episode #18

A few years ago, Nikolas Moldenhauer of Media Division showed us how he and Kolari Vision modified and used an ultra-fast f/0.7 lens. And now, Nikolas and his team have gone even further and built something “impossible.” It’s an f/0.3 lens, faster than any lens you’ve ever seen.

In a video, Nikolas shares the entire process behind this incredible piece of gear. What’s more, Media Division also filmed a short film on it to show you its capabilities.

f0.3 – The Impossible Lens – Building a Large Format DoF movie camera – Epic Episode #18

When I think of an ultra-fast lens, Staley Kubrick’s candlelight scene from Barry Lyndon is the first thing that comes to mind. And it was impossible for me to imagine the insane depth of field of an f/0.3 lens. Nikolas used a Leitz Hektor 300mm f/2.8 lens for 6/7 medium format projectors to build his, and he gives all of the details in the video.

Using their “impossible lens,” Nikolas and his team filmed an experimental short film The Iron Sea. The effect of the super-shallow depth of field is just insane, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

The Iron Sea – A short shot with f0.3 equivalent depth of field – HDR Version


The video is a rather long one, lasting almost an hour, which is why I didn’t break it down as I normally do. It’s also why I suggest you take your time, sit back, and watch it as you would a documentary. After all, many of you still have time off after New Year’s Eve, so this could be a great way to use it.

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