A detective challenge for this wonderful community of experts: I am working on a science museum exhibit about the different ways animals can see light. I am trying to reverse engineer the incredible beam-splitting camera rig used in the production of David Attenborough's 'Life in Color' It seems like two Sony A7s at 90 degrees with a beam splitter that passes UV only and reflects full spectrum light. Sadly for this purpose, most modern lenses have uv-blocking coatings on many elements, making UV videography difficult.

  1. Is anyone able to recognize this lens pair? It looks like a older Nikkor prime lens, but I cannot tell more from this shot.
  2. Is anyone able to ascertain what the specs of the filter/beam splitter is? I assume it is UV-bandpass, but I am far from an expert.

two cameras at 90degrees to each other pointed at a piece of dark glass. Lens says Nikon and the aperture ring and autofocus switch are visible, as well as part of the dof window/focus guide

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    \$\begingroup\$ I understood that cameras had UV filters over their sensors, but not that lens coatings had UV filtering properties. I mean, screw-on UV filters exist(ed) for a reason, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Aug 25 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have heard that uv-passing lenses are hard to find in modern times from talking to experts at lifepixel.com. There are special Quartz-glass lenses that pass UV well, but they are very costly. I am far from an expert, and I think it may depend on what type of UV one is trying to pass. I have also heard that UV filters do nothing on modern cameras. petapixel.com/2020/06/04/… \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ UV is a pretty wide range of wavelengths. What portion of the UV part of the spectrum are you interested in capturing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 28 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


What can be seen on the one on right looks exactly like a Nikon 60mm macro lens. If you can see the other side of the lens, it should say AF Micro Nikkor, 60mm. It dates from about 1989. There is a newer 60mm AF-S version available now.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25 at 22:51

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