Classic Cinema Lenses on Modern Cameras

On this interesting video by Jody Eldred from RedSharknews we take a look at what happens when you put some of the most exciting vintage cine lenses on a modern digital camera.

Todd Fisher is an American actor, director, and producer of television films and documentaries. Fisher is the son of actress Debbie Reynolds and the brother of Carrie Fisher who you probably know from her part as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Todd has been in Hollywood for many years and collected many classic lenses and cameras that were used in a lot of popular films.

For this video, Todd was kind enough to share three especially unique lenses – the first is the lens that Gordon Willis used to shoot the Godfather (the Super Baltar 50mm), the lens used for Casablanca (Cooke 50mm) and finally the amazing custom Kubrick 9.8mm lens used for the Shining and a few other movies.

You have to remember that these were lenses from a time period when color grading and advanced digital post-processing was the stuff of science fiction, so having the best lens possible was extremely important because there was very little that you could have done in post to improve on your image.


Now we have to admit that although each of these lenses seems to really hold up to time, the differences compared to a modern-day lens in terms of colors might not be that huge (at least to our untrained eyes), and the camera used and the color grading work done on the final image seems to have a much bigger impact on the final look.

With that said – especially with the custom Kubrick lens, you can’t escape the basic properties of the glass and this is especially clear when Jordy and Todd play with the lens which is just unbelievable with almost no distortion and still looking amazing even on a modern Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K.

If you don’t want to miss any new photography product (after all these old ones) be sure to check out our product photography section on our photo gear channel.


Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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