Planar 0.7/50

Did You Know…

…that Cameras with ZEISS Lenses Went to the Moon Before Going to Hollywood?


Light bulbs did not exist when Irish adventurer Barry Lyndon went to England in the 18th century. Rooms were lit up with candles. In the 1975 movie named after this daredevil, director Stanley Kubrick quickly decided to authentically recreate the lighting conditions of the time. Shooting films by candlelight was a novelty in the film industry back then. But Kubrick managed to pull it off. Only candles were used on the set during the filming of “Barry Lyndon,” – resulting in an Oscar for Best Camera.

Kubrick used special optics from Oberkochen for his movie: The Planar 0.7/50 objective lens was originally developed by ZEISS for NASA. It is extremely powerful and so sensitive that NASA was able to take pictures of the “dark” side of the moon.

The Planar 0.7/50 has thus come a long way: from Oberkochen to the moon and then to Hollywood. And do you know where it is now? After its final successful mission, it is back in Oberkochen and will soon be on display at the German Film Museum in Frankfurt. There, you can admire the lens that revolutionized movie technology with “Barry Lyndon.” Even today, 33 years later, it is considered the gold standard for productions with unfavorable lighting conditions. And so it came to pass that the objective lens not only completed a successful trip to the moon; in addition, this special optics innovation by Carl Zeiss has left its mark on the movie business.

3 November 2008

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