The Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* lens is arguably one of the best lenses in the market today. You can tell from our extensive review that we happen think it’s nothing short of amazing. So when planet5D sent us word that a short film was shot using the lens, we knew we just had to share it with you.
When Los Angeles commercial photographer and cinematographer August Bradley realized that he and his team had early access to it, he just knew he had to shoot a short film with it. So, using his experiences at a tour of the Zeiss lens manufacturing facility in Germany as inspiration, he shot what would become the first-ever short film in history shot on this lens.
“The ideas in this film are based on my experience at Zeiss Cine Lens Day, where invited cinematographers from around the world toured the Zeiss lens manufacturing facility in Jena, Germany. In addition to manufacturing a wide range of lenses (a process that is both highly mechanized, but also involves a significant hands-on human touch), Zeiss makes planetarium projectors and watching the stars in the Zeiss Power Dome had an impact on this short piece as well.”
With the help of artist David Love, who crafted the mechanical lens machines and planetary installations in the film, Bradley’s “Zoetrope Optika” is a fantastical concept short that has a sort of camera utopian/dystopian-feel to it, as if you just walked into a photographer’s version of The Capitol in The Hunger Games. It effectively blends the vintage and the modern and perfectly captures humanity’s fascination with and attraction to machines.
While we have not been lucky enough to tour the Zeiss manufacturing facility like Bradley, seeing his film, we can kind of imagine how it would feel like. And now you can too.
See the short after the jump.