While walking around a flea market, Markus found a huge 500mm Petzval lens, produced around 1860. It was in a pretty bad condition, but Markus had an idea. He bought this rare gem, restored it, and took some fantastic portraits with it.
Lomography has announced Petzval 55 mm f/1.7, a new lens that brings vintage and modern together. It was inspired by Joseph Petzval’s First Portrait Lens from 1840, and it’s compatible with modern Nikon Z, Sony E and Canon R full frame mirrorless cameras. It lets you control the aperture with the dual aperture system, which allows you to achieve all sorts of creative effects and control the bokeh to your liking.
We’ve shown a few DIY lenses in the past, including a 3D printed lens. This one, though, really takes it to the extreme. Based on a Petzval design, Swedish camera maker Mats Wernersson built the lens completely from scratch. But looking at the final product, you’d never know it. It looks like it came straight from a factory production line.
No stranger to building cameras of all types and sizes, even digital, a lens appears to be a new first for Mats. The amount of work and attention to detail that’s gone into its construction shows a level of patience I definitely don’t possess.
In the past this swirly visual effect had been the money-train for Lomo and their Petzval lenses in the form of the 85mm and the soon to be publicly available 58mm. I own a lot of the Lensbaby lenses and I’ve been very pleased with the resulting optical effects from their previous products so I was certainly pleased to hear Lensbaby were taking a crack at the swirly bokeh effect now too.
Petzval lenses are nothing new, but that’s kind of the point. Dating back as far as 1840, Petzval lenses offer a unique look to our images that other lenses simply can’t match, and while it may not be to everybody’s tastes, one can certainly see the allure.
Last month we reported that Lomography is releasing a new 58mm Petzval lens with built-in bokeh control. But, for those who don’t like to quickly part with your money for every new gadget that comes along, photographer Sam Luyk devised a wicked cheap yet creative way to simulate the same swirly goodness in his images.
Lomography made a big splash when they released a 21st-century version of the famed Petzval lens last year. Now, 175 years after it was first invented by Joseph Petzval, Lomography is planning to launch a 58mm version of the lens with a built-in bokeh control ring. This ring, according to Lomography, will allow you to “determine the strength of the swirly bokeh in your photos” with its seven different levels of swirliness. The new lens goes for $450. For those too cheap to spring for the new lens, we assume an ample amount of peyote will achieve the same result.