Kowa had an f0.66 medical purpose lens, there's a photo of it somewhere.
I rented out the infamous Canon 50mm f1.0L many moons ago, at 3200 I could walk around at night and handhold just about any shot, at the expense of very reduced image quality, needless to say the 50 1.2L was a massive improvement.
Zeiss made a special f0.7 lens which Stanley Kubrick adapted for use in the filming of Barry Lyndon so that he could film by available candle light.
Kubrick also pushed the entire film one stop (not just the candlelight scenes) to maintain a consistent look. The man was crazy, but then again, Barry Lyndon features some of the most beautiful cinematography I've ever seen.
On topic, there are quite a few extremely fast X-ray lenses out there. They're not too expensive on eBay and can be adapted to virtually any mount (though without infinity focus), but IQ is generally very bad. They are special purpose lenses, certainly not suited for everyday photography.
And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"
I have an 85mm f/.7 or so around here somewhere. I have no idea what it was made for, I presume it was for some sort of video system. It focuses about 10mm from the back element, so it's not too practical for the sort of cameras we like.
It's impressive to look at though, I'm sure it cost someone a lot of money when it was made. I got it in a collection of odd lenses at a photo show.
Isn't that patent for Nikon 1 lenses - ie the little digital mirrorless thing, as already mentioned? Very small image circle, and no mirror pushing the lens away from the image plane. Despite what Ken Rockwell says (why would anybody use him as a reference?), there is a problem (challenge) created by the throat diameter in combination with the minimum possible distance between the image plane and the rear vertex (last piece of glass in the lens), so when you look at a very fast lens don't simply consider the throat diameter, but also how close it can get to the image plane. That f/0.9 Nikon was for the rangefinder, not the SLR, wasn't it?
The f/0.7 lens used for Barry Lyndon had a very small rear clearance and therefore had to be used on a modified rackover Mitchell, didn't it?
Last edited by Helen B; 05-31-2012 at 06:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I've never heard of one, but I can tell you one thing about patents: just because a patent exists does not mean that a working example was built... and certainly does not mean that an available product ever resulted.