The Fastest Glass Money Can Buy


Leave it to the world of photography to confuse size and speed. In lens speak, the term “fast glass” refers to lenses with large apertures. The aperture is the opening of a lens. Its size is expressed as a number that shows the ratio of the opening to the lens's focal length. This number is referred to as an f/number, f/stop, focal ratio, f/ratio, or relative aperture.

How fast is “fast?” Or, how big of an aperture opening gives me truly fast glass?

In “professional” zoom lenses, the aperture of f/2.8 is generally regarded as fast. When it comes to prime lenses, depending on your level of lens snobbery, what is truly fast starts between f/2.0 and f/1.4 with many “professional” lenses featuring f/1.4 maximum apertures. Faster-than-f/1.4 lenses are the exotics of the 35mm format optical world.

We call these large-aperture lenses “fast” because they allow cameras to take photos at relatively fast shutter speeds for a given amount of ambient light. A fast lens might make it possible to take photos handheld in low light. Faster shutter speeds offer greater options for freezing action and less chance of camera shake, both of which can cause blur in your images, no matter how bright the scene. A large aperture means that you can photograph with very shallow depth of field.

Why do you want a fast lens? If you ever do off-tripod low-light photography, maybe at a concert or night club, you will want a lens that can open wide to maximize light-gathering. Wedding photographers often find themselves in less-than-ideal lighting scenarios at the church or reception and need larger apertures, too. Street photographers working at dusk or dawn may benefit from more light striking the sensor or film. Finally, sports photographers working to freeze action and isolate subjects will appreciate large apertures.

Glass is heavy, which leads to an increase in weight when a lens is built with larger glass elements. More significantly, optical elements are also the most expensive part of a lens, so fast glass usually arrives with a premium price tag. For now, let’s put budgetary restrictions aside and talk about some sweet, fast lenses with apertures wider than f/1.4.

Canon f/1.2L USM Lens Family

In the modern DSLR world, the leader of the 50mm fast glass pack is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens. This lens offers photographers extremely shallow depth-of-field performance, in a classic normal portrait focal length. As a product of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), these Canon lenses combine tried-and-true EOS system electronics, coatings, and autofocus technology with truly fast apertures.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens

Knowing the value of its f/1.2 lenses to pro and amateur Canon shooters, when Canon rolled out the new EOS R mirrorless camera system, the company immediately released the new Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lenses to accompany the new cameras.


The recently discontinued NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AI-S continues to have a devoted fan base, and, for years, remained the fastest SLR NIKKOR lens available.

Today, users of the new Nikon Z-mount mirrorless cameras can get their hands on its modern day counterpart, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lens

And if that’s not enough for you, there’s always the insanely fast NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens that revives the legendary “Noct” designation from Nikon’s past.


Sony shooters no longer need to go to aftermarket lens manufacturers for their ultra-large-aperture experience, with the release of the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM lens. This f/1.2 lens was made to be almost identical in size to its f/1.4 counterpart—even with the larger optics; it’s an impressive feat of engineering for this first Sony prime lens to wear the G-Master badge.

Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens


FUJIFILM has not one or two faster-than-f/1.4 normal lenses—this company now offers three! The newest of the lot is the über-fast FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR, a 76mm equivalent lens that features weatherproof construction and the ability to capture extremely narrow depth of field. FUJIFILM’s newest high-speed fifty joins the FUJIFILM XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens and its stablemate, the FUJIFILM XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD lens, which features an apodization filter to manipulate bokeh. For use on the FUJIFILM X system, when opened to f/1.2 at the minimum focus distance (2.3'), the depth of field is a very shallow 0.3".

FUJIFILM’s newest and truly fast XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR is the fastest lens in the company’s lens catalog.Yukio Uchida


New to the ultra-fast glass market is Sigma, with its 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lenses for Leica L and Sony E (full-frame) mounts. Wearing the prestigious Art badge, these Sigma lenses represent top-of-the-line optical performance. Interestingly, and different from most modern Sigma lenses, they have a rotating aperture ring.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art LensYoshino Adachi

Micro Four Thirds f/1.2 Lenses from Olympus and Panasonic

Micro Four Thirds (MFT) System users should know about the Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS lens, which is gaining legendary status among MFT shooters and is the 35mm equivalent of 85mm—perfect for portraits. The 42.5mm lens was the fastest OEM lens available for the system until the addition of the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO lens, featuring a normal focal length 35mm equivalence of 50mm for MFT cameras and, what I think is a record of 19 glass elements in a prime lens! That 25mm is joined by two more f/1.2 Olympus PRO offerings, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO lenses that have 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 34mm and 90mm, respectively.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens

Aftermarket Fast Glass

There seems to be a lot of demand for fast glass, and not everyone wants to pay premium prices to get premium f-stops. To meet the needs of these photographers, there is a bevy of aftermarket fast lenses on today’s market.

If you want super-fast glass for the Micro Four Thirds System, German lens manufacturer Voigtländer has created the largest aperture lens currently available new—the Voigtländer Super Nokton 29mm f/0.8 Aspherical Lens. Yes, you read that correctly: f/0.8! The company also offers quad of Nokton lenses that clock in at f/0.95. The Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 (21mm, 35mm equivalent), the Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 (35mm, 35mm equivalent), Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Type II (50mm, 35mm equivalent), and the Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 (85mm, 35mm equivalent) give Micro Four Thirds shooters a range of fast primes to choose from at an exotic aperture size. Several other Voigtländer lenses get the “Nokton” designation, but none have apertures as large as the f/0.95 lenses designed for the MFT system.

Voigtländer Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 Lens for Micro Four ThirdsJohan Ankarback

Sony E-mount shooters can try the beautiful Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical lens and Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.2 lens that have de-clickable aperture rings for video. The Leica M-Mount version skips the video-friendly modifications. Also for the Leica M-mount, Voigtländer also offers the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 Aspherical. There is the nice-looking Voigtländer Nokton Aspherical 35mm f/1.2 II Lens for Voigtländer VM or M-mount cameras.

Newly arrived are the Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2 and identical Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 lens for Canon EF mount. The versatile Rokinon 50mm f/1.2 lens can be purchased for the Sony-E (APS-C), Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, and Micro Four Thirds mounts. All versions are available in black or silver. Rokinon also has the Rokinon 35mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS lens for the Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, and Sony E.

SLR Magic makes the SLR Magic Cine II 50mm f/1.1 for Sony E-mount video work or stills.

Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2 Lens for Canon EF LensKajetan Konieczny

Chinese lens maker Mitakon Zhongyi builds the Mitakon Zhongyi FreeWalker 42.5mm f/1.2 lens for Micro Four Thirds. The company’s latest Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III lens is available for Canon RF, Nikon Z, and Sony E mounts. A classic portrait focal length lens, the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2, is available for Sony E, Sony A, Canon EF, FUJIFILM G, and Nikon F mounts. Other lens options include the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedster 35mm f/0.95 Mark II lens, in black or silver, for Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, and Sony E, and, for Micro Four Thirds, the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedster 25mm f/0.95 offers a 50mm (35mm equivalent) field of view.

Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Sony E-Mount

For those who want glass but are budget-minded, lens maker 7Artisans has rolled out some relatively inexpensive fast glass. Competing with the rare sub f/1.0 crowd, the 7Artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/0.95 lens is available for super-short DOF shooting on Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z (DX), and Sony E-mount (APS-C) cameras. The 7Artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/1.2 lens is available for Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony E mounts. For rangefinder shooters, the black or silver 7Artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 will attach to your Leica M-mount camera. Full-frame Canon RF, Leica L, Nikon Z, and Sony E shooters can take the 50mm f/1.05 lens for a spin.

TTArtisan has created a TTArtisan 50mm f/1.2 lens for FUJIFILM X, Canon EF-M, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony E-mount (APS-C), as well as the TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 lens for Leica M, in black and silver.

Legendary lens maker Zenit has created the Zenit MC-Zenitar 50mm f/1.2 S lens for Canon EF (APS-C) and Nikon F (DX), and the Zenitar 50mm f/0.95 for Sony E full-frame.

And, rounding out the last of the aftermarket lenses, but definitely not the least with its gaping f/0.85 aperture, is the KIPON Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 lens for Canon EF-M, FUJIFILM X, Leica L (APS-C), Micro Four Thirds, and Sony E (APS-C).

Fast Glass Need Not Break the Bank

To be clear, this article features only lenses with apertures of f/1.2 and wider. However, if you have clicked on some of the lenses above, you may have experienced some sticker shock—even with lenses made by lesser-known brands. Big glass usually equals big money. All is not lost, however. For fast glass on a budget, the f-stop you need to know is f/1.8.

While not exotically fast, the difference between f/1.8 and f/1.4 is less than one stop, or exposure value of light. If you compare prices between, for example, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4 lens, you will see the value placed on that extra light-gathering power, with little to no gain in sharpness, color rendition, or distortion control. In fact, there are even a few f/1.8 lenses that outperform their f/1.4 counterparts in some specific areas.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens

Also, if you are used to the variable f/3.5-f/5.6 aperture of a kit lens, the nearly two-stop gain of an f/1.8 lens might drastically expand your photographic adventures by allowing you to shoot in much dimmer light and/or significantly shorten your depth of field for portraits and still life photos. For more poetic waxing on the "Nifty Fifty," click here.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH Lens

Did you think I would write about fast glass and not mention the Noctilux? Ha! When the term “fast glass” escapes one’s lips, the lens that comes to the forefront of the minds of most photographers is the legendary Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH lens; according to Leica, it is “the world’s fastest aspherical lens.” Many consider this gorgeous optic to be the world’s premier 50mm lens and no respectable discussion of “fast glass” will happen without a nod to the Noctilux.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. LensPeter Karbe

The Noctilux f/0.95 is the third 50mm in the Noctilux family, following the original Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 and the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0—both mythical lenses themselves. And, I should give a nod to the newest Noctilux, the Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH. even though it missed my f/1.2 cutoff.

The Legendary (and Mythological) Fast Glass

In the realm of fast glass, there have been some legendary lenses that are long since out of production. If you have some spare time between reading B&H blog articles and shopping the B&H SuperStore, you can have some fun researching the following lenses:

Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 was designed to capture images on the dark side of the moon during the Apollo missions. Film director Stanley Kubrick bought two.

Canon made the Canon 65mm f/0.75 for its manual focus FD mount; the EOS line briefly saw the Canon 50mm f/1.0; and the Canon 50mm f/0.95 was made for rangefinder cameras.

The Nikon 58mm Noct-NIKKOR f/1.2 commands premium prices on the second-hand market. Its aspherical element was designed specifically to reduce sagittal coma flare when shot wide open, and to reproduce points of light as points of light, instead of blobs.

Minolta shooters enjoyed the Minolta 58mm f/1.2 MC Rokkor and Minolta 50mm f/1.2 MD Rokkor-X.

And, don’t forget the legendary Carl Zeiss Super-Q-Gigantar 40mm f/0.33!

Keep an eye out for some of these fast lenses, with the exception of the Super-Q-Gigantar (it’s a myth), at the B&H Used Store.

From Our Readers

This article gets updated at least annually, and our readers have chimed in below to tell us about some fast glass that they like. Have fun looking for these lenses on the Internet or at the B&H Used Store!

  • SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2
  • SMC Pentax-K 50mm f/1.2
  • Carl Zeiss N-Mirotar 210mm f/0.03
  • Mt. Prospect 90mm f/1.0
  • Kowa 62mm f/0.75
  • Rodenstock TV-Heliogon 68mm f/1.0
  • Rodenstock XR-Heliogon 42mm f/0.75 (Focus: ~2cm)
  • Canon FL 50mm f/1.2
  • AstroBerlin 65mm f/0.75 C Tachon Lens
  • X-FUJINON 50mm f/1.2 EBC DM (Also branded as a Porst lens)
  • Contax 85mm f/1.2 Planar T* Lens (50-year and 60-year Anniversary Models)
  • Contax Planar T 55mmf/1.2 MM (100th Anniversary- only 1000 units made)
  • Mitakon Zhongyi 50mm f/0.95 lens
  • Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 (now KIPON)
  • Konica M-Hexanon AR 57mm f/1.2 Lens
  • Olympus OM-Zuiko 55 f/1.2
  • Olympus OM-Zuiko 50 f/1.2
  • Canon 50 f/0.95 Dream Lens

Did we miss any faster-than-f/1.4 glass past or present? Let us know in the Comments section, below!

Items discussed in article


Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.2 for Sony E ?

Good catch, Paolo! When I first came out with this article, there were only a handful of larger than f/1.2 there are dozens! Everyone is coming to the party!

Thanks for reading!



A Nikkor 55mm 1.2 has a pretty soft focus and is great at rendering buttery smooth skin.  One of my favorites for women’s portraiture.

Thanks, David! Great lens, indeed!



Consider Rokinon 50mm F/1.2.

Hi M'Ceek M,

Yep...I do mention that lens in the article. Good stuff!

Thanks for reading!



Old school slr film shooters (original interchangable lens users) coveted fast glass for two reasons, to see/focus in dim light, and to obtain action stopping shutter speed with ordinary speed films. Shallow DOF was a side benefit. Today a mirrorless shows a bright image in the view finder regardless of lens speed, and adjustable ISO with sensor stabilization gives good shutter speeds regardless of aperture. Plus you can imitate any level of blurred background in software, including bokeh. So the utility of fast lenses is not what it used to be, and many people might find the weight + cost a deal killer.

Hi c k,

Interesting thoughts on the subject there. I agree with your points, but I also like not having to simulate blur/bokeh in post-processing.

Another counterpoint...I use my Nikon 50 f/1.2 for astrophotography. At f/1.2 it is way too soft to shot stars, but clicking it to f/2 brings everything super sharp. If it was an f/2 lens, I might have to step down to f/4 for the same benefit.

The utility is not what it used to be, but there is still some utility. :)

Thanks for reading!



The history of photography technology is as important as you make it in your own shooting. My view is that new learners in the art area do better when they understand that photography is in essence a low technology medium that has been buried in technology that actually stifles creativity.

This point is put across with 1. a camera obscura demonstration, which can be a tiny hole in a window shade and some tracing paper. 2. A view or field camera demonstration to put across lens/sensor plane relationships ie the geometry of a camera. 3. Light readings first explained as incident, to put subject reflectance in proper perspective. 4. Exposure should be shown to be reasonably guessed within a stop in day light by the 1/ISO @ f1 method6 (sunny 16 rule) without a meter. 5. Focus should be learned manually, including following a moving object like a hockey player.

THEN introduce technology. When teaching is done tech first, you don't get photographers, you get camera operators.

Hey c k,

You make a great point there, but, the reality of today's world is that folks are starting off with high-tech digital and don't have any relationship with "old-school" photography. This is true with so many things today like driving cars (automatic transmissions) and even doing laundry without taking your shirts to the local stream with a washboard!

For what its worth, I had to create a camera obscura in my first class in my master's program. :)

Thanks for your thoughts!



Wikipedia has a nice list of the fastest lenses (not only for normal photography purposes):

Grrrr...beat to the punch by Wikipedia....again!

Thanks for sharing the link, Stephan, and thanks for reading!

I will resist the temptation to cut-and-paste the Wikipedia list and hope that our customers and readers continue to populate our list!



Don't overlook that you may know as much as the person who edited the Wiki, and you are free to contribute or improve it! I am rather sure the collective experience at BH meets or exceeds most other sources. In fact I encourage BH to assign some staff to put their imprint on all the Wikipedia photography pages.

Thanks again, c k! :)

I've adapted a Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 to my Panasonic mirrorless bodies and find the results amazing.  I love the focus fall-off, colors and contrast.  It's a spendy play lens, but definitely motivates me to get out and shoot more.    

Hey Ronald,

Good stuff! Adapting lenses is the true boon of mirrorless photography.

Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!



The NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 is actually still listed on the BH site with "more on the way". Perhaps you could link to it, a fantastic lens at a great price also available in mint used condition. The Nikon 50mm "replacements" are much more expensive and heavy vanity projects.

HI Alan,

Sorry for the delay in replying. I have some folks looking into this mystery on our end to get a good answer for you. I saw announcements about the discontinuation of the lens on various news feeds and an official Nikon Japan website lists the lens as discontinued, but we might have different information here.

Please stand by and I will get back to you here with the official info.

Thanks for reading!



Hi Alan,

My trusted source near the B&H vaults told me that we have some more of these lenses on the way, but they have been discontinued. Hopefully the order makes it to B&H and, if it does, now is the best time to get one of these 50mm lenses (if you don't already have one)!



I haven't read all of the comments yet, but the f/stop rating is the ratio of the lens opening diameter to the "focal length."  Thus a lens with a 50mm focal length has a nominal maximum diameter opening of 50mm also if it is rated at f/1.0.  An f/2.0 50mm lens would have a maximum opening of 25mm and so on.

Hi David,

You are correct. I should probably tweak that text a bit. As I state in my article, Aperture in Photography Defined: "The formula used to assign a number to the lens opening is: f/stop = focal length / diameter of effective aperture (entrance pupil) of the lens."

Sorry if I caused any confusion there!



Canon FL 55 f1.2.  The 50 was mentioned but not the 55mm

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for catching that omission!

I will have it added to the list!

Happy New Year!



Hi Todd.

I have to disagree somewhat with the following statement of yours (sorry to be so late to the party): "Its size is expressed as a number that shows the ratio of the opening to the size of the lens." when speaking about what the f/stop is.  It's a ratio all right, but not the size of the lens, but, more precisely to the width of the glass part of the lens.  To me, if you're talking about a lens, that includes not only the glass parts but the housing as well.  What I know you meant--I'm a literalist--is that the f/stop is a ratio between the focal length and the width of the glass.  (I assume that width is measured at its widest part, but I don't know that for sure.) 

Hey Henry,

Good evening and happy holidays! No worries about coming late to the party. We are still partying!

You are correct, Sir. I guess I could have been more specific to avoid possible confusion. I hope I haven't sent a legion of photographers out there doing the math based on the lens barrel size!

I will submit an edit to our copy editor!

Thanks for dropping by the shindig!



SLR Magic 25mm .95 is one not on the list... 

Hi Mark,

You are correct, Sir. However, the SLR Magic lens comes up in my searches as a cine lens and I wanted to keep this article focused on photo lenses. There are a lot of cine lenses with larger than f/1.2 apertures for sure!

If they made a non-cine version, please let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Re: fast lenses.
There is also from Carl Zeiss the:
CONTAX Planar T 55mm F1.2 MM 100Anniversary, only 1000 units made.
There is one for sale on eBay right now:
eBay item number: 352875257214 .

Hi JOSEF! I shall add that to the list. Thank you!

And thanks, in advance, for buying it for me! :)

I recently came across the Kaxinda 25mm f/0.95 for various mirrorless APS-C mounts or smaller like the E-mount, M43, EF-M and X-mount. I was hoping anyone here who tried it could share their opinions on this lens. TIA

Thanks for sharing, Philip! I wonder if we will start to sell those lenses at B&H.

The number of inexpensive lenses coming from the Western Pacific these days is interesting—some are very very good.

No mention of the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 for mirrorless cameras? It originally came out for E-mount but I believe they have them in M43, EF-M and maybe X-mount too.

No mention...we don't sell Kamlan at this time and I, honestly, didn't scour the web for stuff that we aren't currently selling. Sorry!

Perhaps I somehow missed it, but I'm curious as why I didn't see any of the Sigma f/1.4 Art lenses on your list.  These are superb lenses.

Because his cutoff was a max aperture of f/1.2 or faster. He made an exception for 1 lens, a f/1.25 lens, but that's it. f/1.4 is too slow to make this list. There was a small side article on budget fast glass (f/1.8) but f/1.4 glass is usually too expensive to make it into the budget section.

Thanks for having my back, Philip!

Hi Michael,

Philip is correct. f/1.4 didn't make the cut for this article even though the Art lenses are awesome. If I included f/1.4 and below, this article would be much, much longer!

Thanks for reading!

Back in the '70s, Konica made a Hexanon 57mm f/1.2 for their SLRs

Thanks, Asyouknow! I will add that one to the list!

I'm lucky enough to own the Minolta Rokkor 58/12 and Fuji 56/1.2  mentioned in the article. Both are wonderful lenses. With care, the Minolta can be adapted to the EF bayonet - its rear element will impede mirror movement if it's focused at infinity. It's also a heavy brute. Used up close, the Minolta can deliver a sharp 3D feel to images.

I recall three other fast lenses that I've owned or used. My favourite would be the OM-Zuiko 55/1.2 from the early 1970's. Wide open, this lens is never really sharp but the residual spherical and chromatic aberation can produce a very interesting glow. Its more modern cousin, the OM-Zuiko 50/1.2 from the mid 80's is smaller and considerably sharper - in a digital world it produces a reasonably crisp image to feed a processing engine.

My final offering is the Canon 50/0.95 Dream Lens that was designed for the Canon 7 (late 1960's). It's a rare bird which I've used sparingly - connected to an image intensifier of all things. A friend in HK modified his to suit a Leica M-mount so I assume it could be attached to other mirrorless cameras. The image quality is - well - dreamy.

Hey Bruce,

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing the information about those classic lenses. What kind of mount did that Canon have?

It may be time for an update to include the new Zenitar lenses - there's a 50mm f/1.2 for APS sensors and a 50mm f/.095 for mirrorless  

Hey Richard,

Unfortunately, we don't carry the Zenitar lenses at this time. I guess I could add them to the article, but let me sleep on it! I wonder if we will carry them some day. Thanks for the heads-up and thanks for reading!

The Canon 50mm 1.2 is slow compared to the earlier 1.0

And the people who talk badly about it, don't 'get' it.

Noted! Thanks, Jim!

What about Pentax A 50mm f1.2 ?

Hey T,

Yep, that one would qualify for the article, but it is no longer in production, unfortunately.

Based on what I just found the web, it looks like a great lens, albeit, with mixed reviews.

Thanks for bringing my attention to this Pentaxian legend!

There was a lens for the Contax RTS system that was produced in very limited numbers in the early/mid 1980s:

Carl Zeiss N-Mirotar 210mm f/0.03

Our Y/C sales rep brought a photo that was taken by law enforcement using this lens of a guy stealing a car. The car theif was smoking a cigarette and the glow from the cigarette illuminated his face enough that they were able to identity him. This made quite an impression on me at the time, but I could not afford to buy that lens, even with my employee discount...

Hey Mark,

That is insane! At first I thought you were talking about a fictional lens, but, there they are...on the Internet!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

this lens has actually a "light intensifier" built-in and therefore required batteries. see here for the specs:
Make the math how big the diameter of that lens would have been otherwise :-)

Thanks, Stephan!

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