New Lomography Petzval 80.5 MK II Now Also for Filmmakers

Photographers who are also filmmakers will especially be interested in the latest iteration of the Lomography Petzval lens.

Been eyeing one of the Lomography Petzval lenses especially for portrait photography? Now in their seventh year of developing and refining their takes on the legendary Petzval lens of 1840, the company just dropped the latest addition to their Petzval line up: the Petzval 80.5 MK II SLR Art Lens, designed for both photographers and filmmakers alike. As is customary with their lens offerings, you have the chance to grab it for less on Kickstarter.

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The New Lomography Petzval 58mm Lens has Bokeh Control


Lomography already has a Petzval lens designed specifically for portraiture at 85mm, but this time around they’re designing one with a closer to normal field of view. Today, the company is introducing the Lomography Petzval 58mm lens, and they’re kicking it off with a Kickstarter.

For those of you not in the know, the Petzval lens was so hot not only because of the beautiful swirly bokeh, but also for the excellent colors. In fact, it has some of the best colors that we’ve seen.

With a minimum aperture at f1.9, the lens also has a special new feature called the Bokeh Control Ring. This allows you to change the type of bokeh that you get from the image. It uses the Waterhouse aperture system which requires you to literally put the aperture key into the lens via a slot. You’ll get a bunch of these keys to go down to f16.

The lens is available in Canon EF or Nikon F mounts in either brass or a black finish. More info and images can be found below or on the company’s Microsite.

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Review: Lomography Petzval Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens product images (13 of 13)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Lomography hasn’t always been known as a company that caters to the higher end crowd or market, but they’ve been taking steps to attract more of that market share without giving up their identity. And perhaps the best known attempt so far has been the company’s Petzval lens. This is an 85mm lens designed with a special interchangeable Waterhouse Aperture system along with some very swirly bokeh. There surely are lenses that still have this effect that are made in both China and Russia–in fact, Lomo teamed up with Zenit to create this lens.

Featuring a maximum aperture of f2.2, a 58mm filter thread for video shooters, and a minimum focusing distance of one meter, the Lomography Petzval lens is something that you probably won’t bring out with you often–just like any other specialized lens. But when you do, you’ll have loads and loads of fun.

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Lomography Announces First Petzval Art Lens for Mirrorless Market

Lomography steps up its Petzval lens lineup with the new Petzval 55mm f1.7 for Canon, Nikon, and Sony mirrorless cameras.

Those who are looking into adding some bokeh goodness to their photos may want to check out the latest in Lomography’s Art Lens lineup. Say hello to the new Petzval 55mm f1.7 MKII, which the company has recently announced as the first Lomography Art Lens specially designed for mirrorless cameras.

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Lomography’s Petzval Lens is Now Available for Pre-Order


In July, Lomography partnered up Zenit and launched a Kickstarter project to recreate the original Petzval lens, a 19th century invention by Hungarian mathematician Joseph Petzval. This Kickstarter really took the cake: we’re talking about over $300,000 more than its original goal in just a month. Four months, 3,379 backers, and a whopping $1,396,149 later the company is shipping out the first 500 lenses to its backers and now has made them available to the public for pre-order.

To recap, a Petzval lens is designed to deliver a unique optical effect, producing photos with a sharp center and a swirly outer area along with vignetting added into the mix. While claiming to keep the trademark Petzval look and to deliver the same optical effect as its 1800s counterpart, this newer version is sleeker and smaller–built to fit with our modern-day SLRs. With a focal length of 85mm and a maximum aperture of f2.2 (as opposed to the original’s f3.5), it features a gear rack focusing mechanism for videographers, uses the traditional Waterhouse aperture system, and has a field view of 30°.

Lomography’s Petzval lens includes seven aperture plates (since it’s using the Waterhouse system) and four additional experimental aperture plates. You will also get a leather case and some other goodies for $599 for a brass version and for $100 more for the black version. You can get them with either a Canon EF or a Nikon F mount. They’re available for pre-order now with an estimated delivery date of May 2014.

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.

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Lomography Potsdam Kino Is its Latest ISO 100 Black and White Film

The freshly announced Potsdam 100 is the second in the black and white Lomography Kino Films series. Not so long ago, Lomography announced the new Berlin Kino Film, much to the delight of black and white film photographers and lomographers. The company is back with another offering from their Kino Films series; the Potsdam, a 100 ISO 35mm monochrome emulsion. Branded as a “poetic cine film.” The Potsdam Kino Film is born out of the same inspiration as the earlier released Berlin: the New German Cinema that took Europe by storm in the 1960s. According to Lomography, this emulsion was also taken from the rolls of cine film produced by a “legendary German company that has been changing the face of cinema since the early 1900s.”

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First Impressions: Lomography Neptune Convertible Art Lenses (EXCLUSIVE)

Today, Lomography is announcing a brand new series of unconventional lenses designed for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras; they’re called the Lomography Neptune Convertible Art Lenses. They’re a curious and extremely different system based on an older camera and lens system–which is right in line with what Lomography tends to do. The Lomography Neptune Convertible Art lenses are a three element system which all start with a mounting system. The aperture and focusing are built into the lens base unit that attaches to your camera. Then from there, you attach another optic. The optics are switched out when you want a different field of view and can also work with special shaped apertures.

I had a moment to head over to the Lomography Gallery Store here in NYC and took a look.

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The Lensbaby Twist 60 Lens is a Brand New Petzval Lens

Lomography isn’t the only company anymore trying to get into the Petzval world; because today Lensbaby is announcing their new Twist 60 lens. This lens is inspired by the original Petzval lenses and is designed for full frame cameras.

The Twist 60 is a 60mm f2.5 lens with gold anodized accents. Like other Petzval designs, it has swirly bokeh and the wider the aperture, the wider the bokeh will be. It’s also got 12 aperture blades (which is insane) 4 elements in three groups, a 45mm filter thread, and can focus as closely as 18 inches.

According to the press release, the Twist 60 lens retails for $279.95 and is available via pre-order beginning April 12, 2016 (shipping May 5th, 2016). Twist 60 Optic will also be sold separately for use with other Lensbaby Optic Swap System-compatible lenses. It retails for $179.95 and comes in Sony E mount, Nikon F mount and Canon EF mount.

creates powerful portraits, spotlighting subjects by freeing them from their background and surrounding them with swirly blur and enhanced vignette. The brighter the aperture, the greater the swirl and the greater the vignette.

Sample photos are after the jump.

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Review: Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens

It’s not often that Lomography calls the press in before an announcement of theirs, but the new Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 64mm f2.9 Art lens demands it. This is a first for Lomo: a lens designed on the daguerreotype methods vs the Petzval style. Like many of the company’s other lenses, this one isn’t about the sharpness, the pixel peeping, the MTF curve charts or any of that crap that doesn’t necessarily matter to the actual content of a photo. Instead, it’s about the look and the creative vision that you can create with it.

Call it hipster, go ahead: but that probably means that this lens isn’t for you. This is a lens for the majority of the photography world– those that care more about capturing and creating an incredible moment.

So what’s so cool about this lens? Besides the uber-retro look and feel, Lomography decided to take the Waterhouse aperture system even further. You’ll get lots of normal apertures and a ton of specially spaced ones that change the look of the bokeh accordingly. This is super cool for video shooters and for still shooters doing studio portrait work, you’re bound to have fun with manual studio strobes.

Today, the company’s Kickstarter for the Achromat lens launches. For the past week, I’ve been working with the lens.

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A Tour of an Antique 1800’s French Petzval Lens

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Photographer Brandon Edwards created a video on an antique Petzval lens that he own. He’s sure it’s from the 1800s and originally made in France, but can’t totally verify it. Brandon gives us a history of the lenses and essentially tells us that this lens was the Canon L equivalent of its time because of the much shallower depth of field.

Lenses like these were created using math by Joseph Petzval and later on were improved by the Voigtlander company.This lens is so unique because for many years, science and math wasn’t used to create lenses. But in this case, it was to ensure the best image quality. This would affect the production of lenses for years to come.

A tour of the Petzval lens is after the jump. But for a more modern take, check out Lomography’s offering.

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Lomography Talks About the Future of Their Art Lenses


Juan Hoyos is Lomography’s new Director of Marketing and Online Media for the North Americas, and we were recently able to chat with him about the future of the company. It has been commonplace in the industry for the company’s label to be targeted towards hipsters and be all about plastic cameras with cross processing. But in the recent years, the company has shown a bit more of its serious side starting with the Bel-Air and even more glass lenses and offerings for the higher end creatives.

And according to Juan, people should be excited.

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Lomography Announces New RUSSAR+ Art Lens for L39 and M Mount Cameras


It’s been a while the Lomography company announced something new; and after hearing about the Petzval lens it only makes sense that they’re going to continue to go that route. Today, the company announced something super cool and totally out of the blue. It’s their new RUSSAR+ Art lens for L39 and M mount cameras. For those of you not in the know, L39 is the original screwmount.

The new RUSSAR+ is a 20mm focal length that is an ode to the old Russar MR-2 lens. It starts at f5.6 and goes down to f22. It also has a real focusing ring. The problem with the lens though for rangefinder users is that it isn’t rangefinder coupled; so you’ll need to use the depth of field scale (which is a bit lacking) to make the best decisions according to the company’s tech page. Additionally, the lens can be mounted on a mirrorless camera where you can see the focusing with no issues.

They’re also stating that a red shift will occur around the edges of the frame when shooting digital. They further state that is can be corrected in post or in camera with Sony or Leica.

You can order yours for $649. More photos and a video is after the jump.

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Review: Lomography Micro Four Thirds Experimental Lens Kit

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Micro Four Thirds Lens Kit review product photos (4 of 4)ISO 4001-25 sec at f - 4.5

In recent years, the Lomography company has been trying to do a couple of things to appeal more to the digital crowd. There was the scanner, the Petzval lens, and now there is a set of lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. No, these aren’t made from glass. In fact, they’re as quirky as most other Lomography products that you’ll get your hands on. But we’d be doing a great injustice to the products if we said that they aren’t fun. In fact, these lenses push the creative edge more than any other Micro Four Thirds product out there.

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New Kickstarter Aims to Create the Petzvar 120mm f3.8 Medium Format Petzval Lens


Earlier on this year, the Lomography company announced the development of a Petzval lens for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras. While that one has a super classic look to it, a new Kickstarter wants to aim for those reaching for higher fruit. The Petzvar is a 120mm f3.8 medium format lens that is using the crowd sourcing platform to make the lens come to the mass market. The lens will be designed for medium format cameras (specifically Pentacon P6 mount) but will work with 35mm full frame cameras via an adapter. In a case like this, it might work best with a Sony A7 or A7r unless you get a split image focusing screen.

Like other Petzval lenses, it will be sharp in the center with a swirly effect on the corner. Additionally, this lens will have a very clear, cool, modern look to it. If anything, it looks like something made by Zeiss.

The Kickstarter video is after the jump, but it doesn’t show very much to it. Tech specs and sample images are also after the jump.


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So What Exactly is a Petzval Lens?


In the early days of photography (think 19th century), there wasn’t a whole lot of options with regard to cameras and lenses. There was no Canon or Nikon or Leica or Olympus or Pentax and definitely no Sony, pickings were slim. Charles Chevalier had developed one of the first lenses for the original Daguerre & Giroux camera of 1839; despite being one of the first, it had some glaring issues, such as an overall lack of sharpness, and pitiful maximum aperture of f15, which caused exposures to quite long. Obviously, someone had to come up with a better solution; enter Joseph Petzval.

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New Lenses Need More Character, What I’d Love to See

New lenses have become almost too clinical.

Make no mistake about it; modern lenses are fantastic. Optically, it’s pretty amazing what they can do. New lenses render sharp detail on demanding digital sensors. Distortion is becoming better controlled all the time. Flaring is rarely a worry anymore. However, at least some of that advancement has come at a cost. As a result, when looking at images from the latest glass, there’s little unique about them. There isn’t much character left in most new lenses. For more insight into this problem, read on after the break.

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The Noob Photographer’s Guide to Shooting Backlit Portraits With Natural Light

Lots of photographers that don’t like to or know how to work with a flash often go for natural light when it comes to portraiture. The most common method of shooting involves using an area with lots of shadows or overcast. But one of the coolest ways to create an image that you’re bound to become smitten by is backlighting your subject. Backlighting means placing the main light source (often then sun) behind your subject. The best of us like to put it behind their head to give off a nice glow to the subject, but there are a number of fantastic ways to use backlighting when shooting portraits.

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Bruno Massao: An Analogue Street Photography Love Story

Bruno Massao Street Photography (11 of 27)ISO 80001-320 sec at f - 2.0

All images by Bruno Massao. Used with permission.

Photographer Bruno Massao has been interviewed here before; but his work isn’t just about intimate portraiture. In fact, he’s most inspired by what happens on the streets.

Bruno, like many of you, gained influence from days of studying the work of many of the greats. It’s translated well into his work. But what continues to set Bruno apart is the fact that he’s unusually good at color street photography. Lots of the greats profess that color is tough to do because too many colors can be a distraction: but through Bruno’s work, you can really get a gritty, raw, true to life feeling in the scenes he captures.

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On a Budget: Portrait Lenses for Your DSLR

Chris Gampat The Phoblogrpaher Tamron 45mm f1.8 other review images (2 of 4)ISO 4001-1250 sec at f - 4.0

Photography, one way or another, is an expensive hobby. But you don’t need to rob a bank to get really incredible photos. No matter what, that starts with a creative vision, and to that end you can create incredible images with affordable gear. Don’t believe me? Look at the site’s many interviews: most of those folks don’t use the highest top of the line gear but instead focus more on achieving their creative vision with what they have.

If you’re looking to get into portraits, these lenses will help you get a great start.

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We Want to See Your Photo Series/Project

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens product images (13 of 13)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Hey everyone,

We’re pooling our readers to be featured on the site in one of our interview style posts. We’ve done this with concerts, landscapes, adventures, weddings, etc. But this time around, we want to see photo projects or a series that you’ve been working on for a while and is complete or has enough of a body of work for you to show off. This means that you’re going to need to be careful on your selection.

So how do you pitch it us?

– Shoot us an email at editors[at]thephoblographer[dot]com. You’ll also probably notice the little call to feature you on the sidebar.

– Tell us about yourself as a photographer. We want to know the who, what, when, where, how and why.

– Show us websites of yours and specifically the project that you’re pitching. Tell us about the project.

– Tell us why the readers want to see your work., or why your project is really cool.

Note: emails that don’t have these things run the risk of not being considered or hitting our spam filters.

Julius and I will review all of your submissions, talk it over, and get back to you based on the volume of emails. Don’t let this discourage you, we’re both very cool cats; just busy. And if you have a photo that makes great use of lighting, submit it for our Creating the Photograph series.

Thanks folks!