The Super Wide Low-Angle Prism
A simple, yet effective tool for extreme low or high-angle shots.
How Low Can You Go?
The Super Wide Low Angle Prism from Century Optics is a tool that allows the operator to get the lens as close to a surface as possible - 2.5 inches, to be exact - a task that would be very difficult without it. It can accommodate focal lengths as wide as 16mm, has virtually no distortion, and only ½ stop of light loss. The prism is also mechanically very simple, featuring a housing which mounts on standard studio-width 15mm rods, and includes two 4 x 5.6” filter trays.
This tool existed as a predecessor to “snorkel” lenses like the PS Technik Skater Scope, and while there are definite advantages that come with the advanced engineering of tools like those, the Low Angle Prism remains unmatched in size, speed, and simplicity.
A bit of trivia: One of the first uses of The Low Angle Prism was for pool table shots in The Hustler (1961) by DP Eugene Schüfftan, a pioneer of using mirrors and prisms for visual effects. In fact, he was the visual effects technician on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1929) who came up with the technique of using mirrors and prisms to place actors into miniature sets, which came to be known as the Schüfftan Process.