Lomography’s New Petzval Portrait Lens Mounts to Your Canon or Nikon DSLR


We had a surefire feeling that Lomography would be trying to take a step into the more serious direction after they announced their Bel-Air camera–but we had no idea that it would be this badass. A couple of days ago, we received the news about their just announced Petzval Portrait Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs and SLRs, and we were all freaking out. Petzval lenses are ancient optics that are designed to give swirly backgrounds in addition to out of focus bokeh. But Lomography is making a brand new one with Zenit in Russia; and their Kickstarter to make it happen launches today.

This lens is a fully glass optic with a fully brass exterior. To change the aperture, you’ll need to use a slider (called the Waterhouse system) with interchangeable apertures–just like in the old days. Plus, it will obviously be a manual focus optic. In the end, it equates to an 85mm f2.2 lens–which has a faster aperture than any other lens like this out there. The reason for this partially is because many of these lenses were for a larger format. Sure there is going to be vignetting and field curvature, but that is one of the beauties of Petzval lenses.

You can expect it to hit shelves in February of 2014 for $499, but the company is also confident that they’ll ship the first units out this December. If you donate a certain amount to the Kickstarter, you can even get your name engraved on it. Tech specs are after the jump.

Lens Technical Specifications

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.2
  • Apertures: Waterhouse aperture set, up to f/16
  • Image Circle: 44mm
  • Field of View: 30 degrees
  • Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF and Nikon F
  • Electronic contacts: No
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 1m
  • Focusing Mechanism: Gear Rack Focusing
  • Lens Construction: 4 Elements in 3 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 67mm
  • Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 120mm x 85mm x 80mm (Please note: This is an estimate based on the first working sample)
  • Weight: 500g (Please note: This is an estimate based on the first working sample)

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.