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Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 consisted of a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens

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Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 consisted of a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens

ThinkGeek is now selling a HAL 9000 replica of the Space Odyssey series’ artificial intelligence system based on a Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens.

Space Odyssey's HAL 9000 point of view shots were taken with Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens
Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 was built around a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens. Credits: ThinkGeek.

HAL 9000 is an artificial intelligence device that controlled a spacecraft in the Space Odyssey series. Additionally, it is the main antagonist of the 2001: Space Odyssey movie. For many years, its blueprints remained unknown, but when they were discovered, it was revealed that the device was built around a fisheye lens from Nikon.

HAL 9000’s point-of-view shots were taken with a wide-angle lens, the Cinerama 160-degree Fairchild-Curtis. It measured 8-inch in diameter, while the prop eye lens was sized at only 3-inch. This wide-angle lens was chosen because it needed to fit in the camera. In order to create a full system, a fisheye lens was needed and the Nikon Nikkor 8mm f/8 came to the rescue, as it was the only one that fit.

After the movie had been shot, the lenses magically disappeared. Several years after the movie’s release, the Cinerama 160-degree Fairchild-Curtis wide-angle lens was found in a junk store, complete with the Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens. The items were bought for less than a £1, and they were sold years later in an auction for no less than £17,500.

HAL 9000 life-size replica misses a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens to be 100% accurate

ThinkGeek, is an online retailer which sells products with geek-related caption or functionality. The retailer sells customized clothing, PC peripherals, gadgets, and toys with geeky connotations. Now, the company decided to create the “most accurate” HAL 9000 replica based on the blueprints of the 1967 movie.

ThinkGeek’s voice-activated device is accurate down to the stickers, but it lacks the most important ingredient: the Nikon Nikkor 8fmm f/8 fisheye lens. According to the company, the lens is “very rare and expensive” therefore it is not viable to be added into the replica.

However, HAL 9000’s replica can say 15 different phrases from the movie and consists of aluminum parts with a custom lens. Although it is not a real Nikkor lens, the replica features the writings found on the fisheye lens.

The life-size replica is currently available for sale for a price of $499.99. It can be modified by the buyers so if one is a good mechanic and owns a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens, then he may be able to fully reproduce the HAL 9000 from the Space Odyssey series.

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Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 consisted of a Nikon Nikkor 8mm fisheye lens