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With a crazy f/.95, the Meyer Optik Nocturnus 75mm is just begging for blur

Meyer Optik

The company re-creating classic lenses for the digital age is announcing another world first — the fastest 75mm yet with a f/.95 aperture. Yes, there’s a decimal point there with an aperture of less than one. Meyer Optik recently opened pre-sales for the Nocturnus 0.95/75mm lens, a lens that the company calls the world’s fastest 75mm, with a Leica M, Sony E, or Fujifilm X mount.

The lens follows the 50mm version that was popular enough for the German handmade lens to spawn three generations, but carries over those qualities into a 75mm focal length, including that f/0.95. With the announcement, the company also shared plans to create a 35mm rendition of the Nocturnus as well. 

The company says the wide aperture, when shot wide-open, “creates a three-dimensional appearance separating the subject from the background in a characteristic manner.” That crazy wide aperture, which will also let in more light, is created from 15 stainless steel aperture blades, which the company says work to create smooth bokeh. The aperture can be adjusted from that f/0.95 to a f/16 at the narrowest.

Meyer Optik is known for its classic bright lenses — but the wider any aperture gets, the more precise the focus needs to be in order to get anything in the image in focus. While factors like the distance between the lens and the subject also play a role in depth of field, at f/.95, the slightest focusing error is likely to leave the subject soft. 

With no mention of an autofocus system in the short list of technical specifications, Meyer Optik appears to be taking the same stance as in the first 50mm — leaving photographers to manually focus with that narrow depth of field. The focus can be adjusted on subjects as close as 35.4 inches from the front of the lens.

The lens isn’t just designed with still shots in mind, however — the company also used a clickless aperture ring, allowing for quiet adjustments mid-shoot for videographers.  And like the company’s other lenses, the Nocturnus 75mm will be hand-made in Germany.

Whether the thought of a f/0.95 aperture has you dreaming of incredible blur or wondering how to focus on that exact right spot, there’s one more factor to consider — the price. The company is launching the lens with pre-orders, expected to ship in December, for about $2,300. After the pre-orders, the company will be asking $4,900 for the lens.

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