Weird Lens: Old night vision optic adapted to a Sony mirrorless camera offers distinct, interesting results


posted Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 8:17 AM EST


It has been a while since we have covered one of Mathieu Stern’s “Weird Lens Challenge” videos, but they’re all fun, interesting videos so click the link above to catch up! Today we are looking at his latest addition to the challenge, which sees him utilizing a night vision lens to capture portraits.

The lens in question was originally designed to be used on night vision cameras for surveillance purposes by military and police. It has a C Mount and it is a 75mm f/1.3 manual focus optic. There’s no name on the lens Stern used, but he says that similar lenses can be found by searching for “Goldinar” or “Navistar” and may be found for under $100.

This "weird" lens produces correspondingly unusual images, which display a lot of vignette when adapted and mounted to Stern’s Sony E-mount mirrorless camera. However, if you crop in to eliminate the falloff, you end up with images with very interesting bokeh and distinct color reproduction, while maintaining sharpness of the in-focus area, so long as it is near the center of the frame.

As you can see, the lens is not just well-suited for portraits, but also offers interesting options for night photography and for video, so long as you use an APS-C camera or APS-C crop mode on a full-frame camera. You can see sample images captured with the lens here as well.

To see more from Mathieu Stern, visit his website and YouTube channel.

(Seen via PetaPixel)