An extremely fast lens from the UK: Rank-Taylor IRTAL Super-Fast 200mm f/1.0


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Lenses for APS-C and full frame formats with an aperture of f/1.0 or f/0.95 are extremely rare, which makes them very interesting to photographers. Micro 4/3 is somewhat better in this regard, after several manual f/0.95 primes have been released for the system in recent years. However, even these lenses have the familiar 17mm, 25mm and 42.5mm focal lengths (35mm, 50mm and 85mm full frame equivalents). Lenses with especially long or short focal lengths and such large apertures are non-existent in the m4/3 realm as well. If you look past photography, however, you inevitably discover that such lenses are not all that rare. One example is the 105mm f/0.75 produced by the Dutch optics manufacturers De Oude Delft, which I’ve written about here. One additional extremely fast lens I’d like to introduce you to today, is the IRTAL Super-Fast 200mm f/1.0 produced by the British lens manufacturer Rank-Taylor. It is intended for thermal-imaging photography and, as you can see on the photo below, it is truly enormous. The can of Heinz tomato soup looks rather tiny alongside this almost 20kg heavy lens. The front element has a diameter of 20cm. 😉

IRTAL_Super-Fast_200mm_F1.0_1Image source: Abex UK

IRTAL_Super-Fast_200mm_F1.0_2 IRTAL_Super-Fast_200mm_F1.0_3

Image source: Abex UK

One copy of this lens is currently being sold on eBay by the British seller Abex UK for a “buy it now” price of 249,500 GBP. The real value of this lens is supposed to be around $40,000.

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