A Visual Guide to the Different Types of Bokeh

Not all bokeh is made the same. Some kinds are clearly superior to others in the way that the bourgeoisie snubs their nose at the proletariat. Of course, I’m kidding about that; it’s all personal preference. But objectively speaking, there are many different types of bokeh out there. Luckily, we’ve studied and used the most lenses in real-world environments of any website. So we dove into our Reviews Index to look at bokeh shapes. Are there more? There could be, but these are more than sufficient for the modern photographer.

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How to Bring a 160-Year-Old Giant Petzval Lens Back to Life

How big can a vintage Petzval lens get? Markus Hofstaetter shows us in yet another awesome video. Clue: It’s really BIG!

When you’re a wet plate photographer like Austrian wedding photographer and wet plate artist Markus Hofstaetter, you have to be a bit of a handyman and craftsman. He has proven just that in previous videos about preparing his own plates, and making ground glass for large format cameras. However, always one to outdo himself, his latest DIY project involved restoring a 160-year-old MASSIVE Petzval lens he found at a flea market. Whether you’re a bit of a handyman yourself or simply enjoy anything related to wet plate photography and vintage cameras, we’re sure you’ll find this interesting!

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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.