Canons f1.0 USM
A Super Speed Lens
Ever since I started in photography I was enthralled with the virtues of good, clean available light photographs. After high school my graduation present was a Heiland Pentax complete with an f/2 lens. Combining that with Tri-X film--then rated at ASA 200--and a Gossen Lunasix meter, my low-light candids really started to improve. However, being human I wanted that Nikon f/1.1 lens that, at that time of my life, was only available as a very costly option on these now legendary rangefinder cameras.
Technology and times change, and photographers have never had it so good. At the last PMA show while checking out the wares at the Canon booth, I had to stop short when among all those optical products a rather pudgy lens really stood out. Inquiring further, the representative gladly took it out of the case and handed it to me. Much to my chagrin it was a 50mm f/1.0 lens, complete with an ultrasonic motor.
The last time I even came close to physically holding anything close to this was when I enrolled in the Leica school in Wetzler, Germany, while in the service for what I believe was a three-day blitz in German high-grade cameras and optics. Then, and again I'm testing my memory, they showed us an f/0.85 lens used for the sole purpose of data recording. Now that was a lens.
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