These days with even basic digital cameras being able to shoot at astronomical ISO ratings to return usable, if not great, images. No so very long ago in the golden days of film 640 or 1000 ASA was about the top of the heap, and results could be described as quirky, at best.
Take the photograph of the Ferrari P4 as an example. It was taken during the night at a 12 Hour Race at Surfers Paradise in, I think, 1968 or 1969. The film was probably Ektachrome 64 rated at 640 and cooked in the developing process, and the camera was certainly a Nikon F with a f2 35mm lens.
Grainy? Yes. Colours accurate? Probably not. Comparable with 640 digital? Not really. Great Photo? No really. Usable? Hell, yes … it filled a double page spread in a magazine at the time.
When I see all the comment and criticism aimed at photographs taken with high ISO on digital cameras it tends to irritate me. Photographers have never had it so easy working in dim light.
And that’s one of the reasons for the name of this site. F0.95. com describes one of the fastest lenses of the Sixties, the Canon f0.95 50mm fitted to the Canon 7. I never owned one being locked into the Nikon S2 with a f1.4 50mm. I couldn’t justify the cost of the Nikon f1.1 or the Canon, but used them both on the odd occasion. Both were a little on the soft side sacrificing sharpness for speed.
Leica wasn’t really in the hunt, the Noctilux f1.2 came out in 1966 but I didn’t know any one rich enough to buy it, or silly enough. Besides, most of the photographers I knew then had switched to single lens reflex models, or to 120 format models. The latest f0.95 version made its appearance in 2008, long after the heyday of the rangefinder.