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Thursday, 25 July 2013


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Proving once again that nostalgia has a value that far exceeds practicality.

Ugliest bokeh on the planet. Consistent with Lomo's essence. It'll probably sell.

I was looking at that this morning.

"Obviously, the original Petzval lens was designed in order to work with the cameras manufactured in the 19th century. Most of these cameras were large-format analog cameras."

A little pricey compared to making one yourself or using an old slide projector lens , and their optical diagram is a bit misleading, but I like the waterhouse stops.

I can do that in photoshop with my eyes tied behind my ears!!!

looks cool plus I want that guy's yellow dress jacket.

"Image Circle: 44mm?"

Zowie indeed...


Greets, Ed.

Before 1pm I see them all over google in the big photo blogs and gadget blogs, too. This suggests a considerable pre-launch publicity campaign to my eye.

Looks kind of cool. There seem to be a lot of images tagged "petzval" on Flickr, for those interested in more examples (and lots of photos of old Petzval lenses as well, including some large-format ones judging by the dimensions shown).

Truly astounding. 315K in less than a day, well, our day of course. Via the WWW, it's been a day more down under and, perhaps most importantly, Japan. It would be fascinating to see the geographical distribution of backers.


Seems that there is a market for lenses that have distinct looks!

Seriously? Is this some kind of joke? The lens was known for its color saturation in 1840? They are adjusting the Bokeh? It looks like an expensive Lensbaby to me. Am I missing something?

It certainly looks interesting but I wonder whether the amount of use this lens might get is likely to persuade many people that it's worth paying for. Maybe I didn't read the ad carefully enough but will it cover a larger frame size than 35mm? And why only Nikon and Canon mounts on offer? Perhaps a T mount option might increase the potential market.

It says - "The new Lomography Petzval lens has great color saturation and..."

Any opinions on whether a lens can have 'great color saturation' ? [Yes, although it's usually called color transmission, and it wouldn't have been of much concern during the lifespans of the original Petzvals. --Mike]

I had an Agfa Super Silette and when taking portraits faces had a very three dimensional roundness around the side of the face and into the out-of-focus distance. I put that down to the lens arrangement.

Any thoughts on that?

First time I have ever tried a Kickstarter project, so here's hoping! I am hoping to use it with an adaptor on my Fuji X-Pro 1.

I could go nuts about this except for the simple fact that my Tessars are much better all around lenses.

I'll stick to my f6.3 5x8 B&L from about 1912 and enjoy it while the lomo folks chase their tails some more.

And maybe, down the road when the hipsters get tired of them, I can find a used one to hang on my Nikon F2 for the rare occasion when it would be of use.

Such beautiful lenses- on such ugly digital cameras...

If you get one, be sure to shhot against a plain background. That first photo in the article gave me motion sickness.

Cool retro revival. What, no brass camera to go with it? Maybe a Lomo wood cased camera. So Mike, are you salivating for this to try it out on your box cameras? I think it is a fun revolution for digital and a reworking of the past glories of photography.


Rather overpriced, and as Greg mentioned, the old one looks way better if you are into swirl. Bottom line, get a real vintage petzval if you want that look, or better yet, something like a 58mm or 75mm biotar or it's russian clones will be all around better choices, cheaper in some cases, mount on more cameras, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't get the whole Petzval thing. I've tried to appreciate it. I've looked at hundreds of images taken with them but no dice. Horses for courses I guess.

Why wouldn't it be art? It says right there: "...it's a must-have lens for anyone looking to enhance their creative potential and turn every photo into a timeless artwork." EVERY photo. Plus, OMG, the boke! The boke!

Nice, but...

CCTV 25mm f/1.4 lens:


Old Timer

25$ including s&h - prolly not enough "Lomo" and "Hipster", but oh well...

To those wondering about the image circle, a 35mm full frame film/sensor needs an image circle of 43.26mm, so it's not like there's a lot of change from 44mm! Expect vignetting.

Hmmm - for bokeh like that, I'd just use an old Helios lens - the 44M I got for $20 from eBay would do the job nicely...

Hang on a minute...

The new Petzval Lenses is designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia, together with Lomography. Zenit are master lens manufacturers and have the skill to build the Petzval lens for use with today’s SLR cameras. There are very few companies worldwide who still have enough knowledge of optics to complete a project such as this.

But then...

Shot with an old Petzval lens from the 19th century on a Canon 5D

Seems to work ok!

I'm in, provided I get some Brasso coupons with the lens.

My condolences to the backers - this kind of unforeseen demand can be deadly to a small company.

I sincerely hope that they can provide the product in some reasonable amount of time to the backers.

It's a great idea, and hopefully it will all come to pass with all parties happy.

If I were a betting man, however...

Color me foolish, but I bit the bullet and bought one. At the very least, it may impress a few portrait clients with its looks. And maybe I'll sell my lensbaby doodads that are sitting around collecting dust to cover the cost . . . .

I absolutely love the concept, but...

Is it me or the sample shots look just like a Jupiter-9 (85mm f/2) shot at full aperture?

"The new Petzval Lenses is designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia"


"Unfortunately however, pledgers from Brazil or Russia will have to pay an extra 100 USD for shipping the lens."

Logistical hubs apparently!

4 Elements in 3 Groups does not a Petzval make.

As an aside, I contacted Lensbaby to do this project about 2 years ago. They had no interest in it and didn't think it was a money maker. Time will tell if they were wrong.

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