Using a 140-Year-Old Lens on a $15,000 RED Camera

How does a 140-year-old lens perform on a modern $15,000 cinema camera? Photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern wanted to find out, so he paired his ancient (by photography standards) lens with a 5K RED camera to see what would result.

Here’s a 4-minute video by Stern about the experiment:

“It’s been a dream for me to adapt a century-old lens on the highest technology available and see how the image would look,” Stern writes. “After some tests, I found the best way to adapt the lens on the camera, and the first image that appeared on the screen was mind-blowing.”

The lens that Stern used is about 10 years older than the Eiffel Tower, and it’s one of the first to feature an internal aperture mechanism.

Here are some stuff frames from the footage that resulted:

You can find more of Stern’s work and experiments on his blog and YouTube channel.

Image credits: Photo, video, and stills by Mathieu Stern