Watch a Crystal Clear Video Shot With a Lens From 1880

Back in 1880, James Garfield was president, and Thomas Edison was alive and tinkering in his Menlo Park lab. That’s also the year also when the camera lens below was made.

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Illustration for article titled Watch a Crystal Clear Video Shot With a Lens From 1880

This year, the seemingly ancient lens helped to shoot this remarkably good-looking YouTube video. As part of a Weird Lens Challenge, French photographer Mathieu Stern took the a 136-year-old metallic lens from an old large format camera and mounted it onto his twenty-first century Sony A7II. “The results are amazing,” Stern writes on his blog. “But it also gives some strange lens flares and light leaks that are pretty dreamy (some would say it’s horrible).”

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Everything looks pretty dang great through the century-old, though it’s worth giving the modern sensor in the Sony camera some credit. The juxtaposition of old and new technology shows how far we’ve come in some respects and how some inventions are wonderfully timeless. Check out the whole video below.

[Mathieu Stern via PetaPixel]

GIF via Mathieu Stern YouTube

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DISCUSSION

andym-s
Andy "Cough, Cough" M-S

A few years ago I sold my all-manual Nikon SLR and its lenses to someone who could use them. There are still many good film cameras around. Someone needs to build a sensor into a form factor that will replace 35mm film. The sensor could be positioned over the 35mm “window” behind the shutter, and the 35mm “can” could contain a battery and loads of storage, as well as a microUSB connector (you’d have to open the camera to get at it, but hey).

You’d have to figure out some way to wind the shutter, but I can think of a couple of ways to do that...

So imagine all of this technology tucked into something like a Nikon FM/F2 or Leica IIIg. You’d have the ergonomics and lenses developed over the 20th century combined with large-sensor digital film. It’s probably too late to do something like this now, but...