Who knew the lenses used in night vision goggles could make such beautiful images?
As you might know, photographer Mathieu Stern is a master of weird lenses, hacking everything from a 105-year-old lens to a 3D printed one to fit onto modern day cameras. Well, he's back at it again with his latest Weird Lens Challenge video, this time taking a lens commonly used in night vision goggles and CCTV cameras and adapting it to fit on his Sony A7II mirrorless camera. The results are truly remarkable—images that have a beautiful, swirly bokeh and rich, vibrant colors. See for yourself in the video below:
Stern says that though the lens he used wasn't marked with a name, it was a C Mount 75 mm 1.3 MF lens, the equivalent of which you can find in brands like the Goldinar or Navitar 75mm 1.3 for about $100, give or take. Once you get your hands on one, all you really have to do is find the right mount for your camera. (Stern had to use a C-mount.) Getting it to work with your camera isn't really that big of a hassle.
Here are some of the shots Stern managed to take with this weird night vision lens and his A7II:
As you can see, the effects of this lens is incredible, especially the unique bokeh, which is swirly and creamy and marvelous. The one potential downside is that there is quite a lot of vignetting, which, if you're shooting at a high enough resolution, you can crop out if you so desire to, or if you're shooting an experimental or avant-garde film you can leave it in!