There were no light bulbs when Irish adventurer Barry Lyndon went to England in the 18th century. Candles were used to light up the rooms. In the movie named after the go-getter, director Stanley Kubrick quickly decided in 1975 to authentically recreate the lighting conditions of the time. Recording by candlelight was a novelty in the film industry back then. Kubrick nonetheless succeeded: while filming Barry Lyndon, there were only candles on the set – and in the end, an Oscar for the best camera.
Kubrick used special optics from Oberkochen for his movie: the Planar 0,7/50 was originally developed by
Carl Zeiss for NASA. It is extremely fast and so sensitive that NASA was able to take pictures of the “dark side” of the moon.
The Planar 0,7/50 thus went on a long journey: from Oberkochen to the moon to Hollywood. And do you know where it is now? It returned to Oberkochen following its successful mission and will soon be on display at the movie 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 benchmark for productions with unfavorable lighting conditions. And so it came to pass that the lens not only completed a successful trip to the moon, but the innovative special optics from Carl Zeiss also left their mark on the movie business.
November 4, 2008