We'd barely unpacked the first test model of the Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens at the Lomography Gallery Store in Berlin, yet the employees were already fighting over who would be the first to test it. Well, it wasn't as bad as you might think, and at the end of the cheerful sparring, Kristal was simply thrilled that she could take the Petzval home with her over the New Year. Have a look at her photos and see what she has to say about the brass beauty.
Name: Kristal Burtrum
Lives in: Berlin
Camera Used: Nikon D700
Hey Kristal, tell us something about yourself.
I’m originally from California, and I’ve been living in Berlin for 7 years. I was actually only planning to backpack through Europe for a couple of months, but then I came to Berlin and decided the city was too awesome for me to leave. I started trying to find work, and sure enough, I’m still here.
How long have you worked at the Lomography Store in Berlin?
You photograph professionally on the side. Who or what would you most prefer to photograph with the Petzval?
I would love to do a cookbook photo shoot with the Petzval. When you photograph objects close up, the depth of field and bokeh effect is much more intense than when the subject is farther from the camera. The special Petval effect would really have a chance to shine in food photography. I think that could be something very interesting in a genre of photography where photographers are constantly looking for new techniques. But if I had to name a person – then let’s say Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Because they’re awesome.
Where did you take these photos with the Lomography x Zenit Petzval lens?
I took the photos on a stroll through Görlitzer Park on New Year’s day. The handsome model is my boyfriend. ;)
What do you especially like about the lens?
I’m a huge fan of bokeh and I love how the Lomography x Zenit Petzval lens makes this effect even more unusual and interesting. With this lens even pictures that might otherwise be cliche get a whole new, exciting look.
Describe the Petzval lens in five words.
Massive, unusual, interesting, creative, want(ed).
What tips would you give a new Petzval user about using the lens?
I find that the Petzval can really strut its stuff best when it’s used for relatively close-up shots with a large aperture. That means it’s fantastic for portraits, food photography, or out-of-the-ordinary product shots, but if you use it for landscapes or full-body photos you should take into account that the bokeh effect won’t be as strong as with closer shots.
Besides that, you should definitely experiment with the handling and see what works best for you. For example, I prefer to focus the lens by pushing the grip of the aperture plate back and forth, although it’s actually designed to be focused using the wheel on the bottom of the lens. And speaking of the aperture plate – if you walk around with the camera on a strap, it’s a good idea to put the aperture plate in your pocket. Otherwise it can easily slip out of the lens and get lost.
Thanks a lot for the interview, Kristal!
The Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens is now available for pre-order in the Online-Shop. The lenses will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis – so grab this chance to get one of the first models of this piece of photographic history!