The New Petzval Lens in a Visual Nutshell


Still finding it hard to wrap your head around the news of the revival of the legendary Petzval lens? Then you might want to watch this short video that we've prepared just for you!

Get ready for the comeback of the century! Coming all the way from the 19th century, Lomography is bringing back the legendary Petzval Portrait Lens here in the modern era and straight into your analogue and digital SLRs.

Designed to emulate its trademark look of a very sharp center combined with unique bokeh effect in the background, this new version is being developed in Russia and will be made with high-quality glass optics. Furthermore, it will boast great color saturation, high contrast and a maximum aperture of f/2.2.

We’ve brought over this ambitious project over at Kickstarter and we’re looking forward to getting your help and your support to make this dream a complete reality. In fact, here is our Kickstarter launch video for your viewing pleasure:

Lomo On!

The new Lomography Petzval (D)SLR Art Lens is a reinvention of the legendary portrait glass lens that first appeared in the 19th century. Our version is a high-quality glass optic that makes it possible for Canon and Nikon analogue and digital SLR mount cameras to yield the famous Petzval look – sharp focus areas with unique bokeh effects, strong color saturation, and artful vignettes. It’s a distinct look that goes far beyond using photo editing software and filters.

Fund this project on Kickstarter and help us bring back this extraordinary lens for 21st century photographers and filmmakers!

written by geegraphy on 2013-07-25 in #news #petzval #portrait #video #art #lens #news #lomography #kickstarter


  1. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    $300 minimum to get the lens? Also only Canon and Nikon mounts? Sorry but this is seriously disappointing. At least it could have been m42 screw fit so that it can be universally adapted to almost any camera (having a yashica slr and Sony dslr myself) why not just get a 135mm f3.5 lens for whatever camera you have? Sure you lose a stop of aperture but you can find them easily for under £50, even as low as under £30.

  2. andrus_n
    andrus_n ·

    yepppp - not as great as I was thinking. And I woudl say Lomo - you DO NOT have a product that YOU LAUNCHED actually today. You launched a fund raising project.

  3. gtd
    gtd ·

    I agree, only Canon EF and Nikon F mounts is a let down. Petzval is magic, but personally, I wasn't really waiting for a Petzval lens for any of my 35mm camera's. If I could use it on a medium format camera on the other hand, that would be a complete other story!

  4. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    Even if you were only mildly interested in one, I for example can go down the road to my local second hand camera shop and get a 135mm f2.8 m42 mount lens for £20 today. Is the 'swirly' bokeh REALLY worth an extra £280. Or £480 at retail. i just read that the expected retail price is 499!! Silly.

  5. pan_dre
    pan_dre ·

    Other lenses can create bokeh effects but very few lenses can create photos with the Petzval style swirly bokeh. It's indeed a special trick of the Petzval lens. We think that this a super interesting and unique effect that we are happy to bring back to modern day SLR cameras. The lens is made from brass with great optics and definitly not comparable to a fleamarket find.

  6. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    'flea market' finds can still be made from metal with 'great optics' and withstand a good drop or ten.

  7. gtd
    gtd ·

    Indeed, the Petzval bokeh really is something else, very special. I would love to use it on a medium format camera with instant back. There's just more room for the sharpness on a larger negative.
    Still, I'm curious about this.

  8. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    Well I'm not planning on buying a Canon or a Nikon ever, so this is not a product for me. Also I will second the statement that LSI have not launched a new product today. They have just announced a product that they haven't made yet and will most likely not even be available until next year. Wow, big news! :O

  9. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    wow hostile

  10. mrrjmclachlan
    mrrjmclachlan ·

    What a huge anti-climax. Seriously, wheres the Konstruktor lenses?! Get it sorted!

  11. stratski
    stratski ·

    I don't think it's actual hating or hostility going on here, but just the disappointment talking. After a big five day teaser campaign for a shiny new product, it's a bit of a let down to find a kickstarter. I.e. not a new product, but only the announcement for a new product somewhere in the future (everyone got your LomoChrome yet?). And for a very expensive lens that many (most?) people won't be able to afford, and that doesn't fit any of the current lomo-camera's (so chances are you'll first have to buy another camera).

    Still, even though personally, I won't be buying this lens (or an expensive 5pack or 10-pack of film), I do applaud for producing a cool niche lens (and cool niche film, for that matter). It's cool that they still do this stuff. And after all, every now and then they throw in an affordable thingy like the Konstruktor (or the baby camera's) for us poor folk as well, so I can stiil get my shopping fix here ;-)

  12. dogma
    dogma ·

    Guys this lens is amazing, but not for this price :( Also it's sad that Lomography more and more moves to digital things - Canon and Nikon? My Zenit and Kiev are crying now....

  13. deepfried_goodness
    deepfried_goodness ·

    I'm genuinely curious about this lens now too. I do have a Canon DSLR that I use for work and for fun, so the Lomo Petzval is a lens I could possibly use. However, I am a bit weary about the final price and shipment date for the finished lens (if it even gets finished since they need funds to keep the project going). As for the mounts, I'm a bit surprised that it won't be available in M42, since that is the style that Zenit cameras use. While there are many inexpensive Canon or Nikon to M42 adapters available, it is still odd that an M42 Petzal won't be available from the start. Still, it is an interesting lens that I will keep my eyes on.

  14. alex34
    alex34 ·

    Choice of lens mount is completely bizarre, I agree. Also it seems way, way, way overpriced for such a basic lens.

  15. atria007
    atria007 ·

    pffffff so much expensive!!!

  16. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    @stratski Let's sort things out here:

    They're announcing a nonexistent product.

    They're making us PAY to make it exist.

    They didn't even tell us what FOCAL LENGTH it is.

  17. j_rad
    j_rad ·

    Two things:

    1. I hope it has a filter ring, because you'll need an ND to shoot wide open I'm daylight.

    2. On the positive, the aperture inserts are intriguing. In theory they could offer shaped aperture inserts to have creative bokeh.

  18. j_rad
    j_rad ·

    Also, good canon and nikon film cameras SLRs are cheap as free on Craigslist these days. People are practically away the Elans and EOS 630s, and the N series Nikons are super affordable too.

  19. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    The kickstarter says it's 85mm focal length and 67mm filter thread

  20. stratski
    stratski ·

    @robotmonkey1996: I had a whole rant in reply for you, but than I thought, meh, not worth it. If you don't like the (future) product, don't buy it. If you do like it, but you can't afford it: start saving money, or learn to live with it.
    PS it's 85 mm.

  21. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    why lsi now swift to the digital rather than giving only a total concern on an analogue...
    taking back to produce this petzval lens is a huge compliment for them who dominantly using film photography as secondary I guess.
    well I have F3 but I don't find how worth this petzval lens, even it is far interesting to have not like the nikkor "holy grail" 13mm f/5.6.

  22. hoshisato
    hoshisato ·

    Great idea, but I have to agree that it would have made sense to pick a mount that would allow more cameras to use it; any mount that has spawn cheap adapters for other cameras would be have been the logical choice, IMO.

  23. andrus_n
    andrus_n ·

    Guys in Lomo you got me wrong - the lens is going to be a great item once it is ready for those who need it. That superclass product to be was not what I was expecting now and also was not expecting to be another Kickstarter project on the line. I wanted some affordable product, like said here many times - new addition to Konstruktor or any other silly invention to your affordable camera lines!

  24. lupideeloop
    lupideeloop ·

    Gunpowder discovered! Why would I try a lens with a focusing tunnel effect? Of course the bokeh is really great, but I'd prefer to find new Zenit lenses made from Zenit ideas with the quality able to Zenit today after the soviet era.
    You're forgetting some important things. The artistic photographers -local or famous ones- are moving to digital because the professional films are not longer available. You cannot find new brand Ektar... Why don't you develope a film of this type and not only bizarre coloured film? We need them with us!
    And why don't you bring back so popular and expected things as a new 126 cartridge? Those are the kind of ideas most of us in the community are expecting for. Or just something like a Belair with manual settings... Why this strange caprice for doing with a digital SLR what is expected from an old box camera??? (And maybe a meniscus lens will do better).

  25. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    I think the lens would of been better on a large scale metal lunch box camera. Resurrect Kodak #115 roll film for it, make the lens a rack and pinion focus 180mm f/4.5 with a real 7 blade diaphragm down to f/45, use a magnetically controlled Packard style shutter with a full set of speeds from 1/125 down to 1sec + B and T, and horizontal and vertical viewfinders, then you are truly taking advantage of the Petzval Lens. My Grandmother had a camera just like I've described, except slower lens, and a Packard #6 shutter with only 1/25 and T. It was called "Corona #115" and was really like a big lunch box, even having a handle. It was lost over 60 years ago.

  26. co
    co ·



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