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Petzval Art Lens: First Impressions

To me, one of the Lomo-highlights of 2013 was the announcement of the Lomography X Zenit Petzval Art Lens. Being one of the first 100 backers to the Kickstarter campaign, I managed to score this lens for a very fair price. Another advantage of being an early bird is you catch the worm! So without further ado, let me share my first impressions of this beautiful lens with you.

Photo by sandravo

Having just received the lens earlier this week I know it’s still early to come out with a full blown review. So for now, I rather share my first ideas and impressions with you. I will get back to you in due time for the details.

As soon as the package arrived, it became clear that LSI had outdone itself once again. Without resorting to a complete unboxing, let me tell you this much: it was an amazing experience! The amount of care and effort put into the design and production of the lens, the accessories and the packaging is incredible. Luxury is just oozing out of it!

Thoroughly impressed, I carefully took the lens out of the box and mounted it on my Nikon FE2. Having such a gorgeous treasure in hand I couldn’t wait to get out and give it a spin. So I did.

Being in a hurry, I headed out without really thinking things through. Truth is, the Petzval lens is mainly a portrait lens and I headed out on my own. I quickly realized that without anybody to model for me, it wouldn’t be easy to show of that swirly bokeh effect. After 2 rolls of film I haven’t made that miracle shot yet, but I did manage to get some decent results. Have a look:

Now, as much as I love this beautiful lens, it is not without flaws. On my second day out with this beauty I managed to lose one of the aperture plates. I had noticed before that the some plates sit rather loose, but I wasn’t too bothered by it. That is, until the plate fell out without me noticing. LSI is aware of the issue and the solution is to bend the little teeth just enough to create some friction. Personally I prefer another way to make sure I don’t lose any of my other plates: from now on I will use a small leash to secure the plate to the camera/lens. Works just as well and as I don’t change aperture plates every second, it’s no hassle too.

To round things up for now, I am falling head over heels for this lens. Both for its looks AND what it is capable of! I honestly can’t wait to fully explore what this lens can achieve given some more time and experience on my side.

Photo by sandravo

written by sandravo


  1. stouf


    Great shots and humble text! : )

    10 months ago · report as spam
  2. guanatos


    wow, thanks for sharing man!

    10 months ago · report as spam
  3. muchachamala


    Looking good! Makes me want to buy that lens...

    10 months ago · report as spam
  4. sandravo


    Thanks you all! @stouff, @guanatos and @muchachamala. I had some more fun with the lens meanwhile, it seems results are getting better bit by bit. Have a look here if you'ld like: http://www.lomograph(…)etzval-pink

    10 months ago · report as spam
  5. plasticpopsicle


    Impressive photos! They make me want a Petzval Art Lens for my Nikon FE2 as well! Congratulations, @sandravo! :D

    10 months ago · report as spam
  6. sandravo


    @plasticpopsicle Thank you! I bought the FE2 especially for the Petzval lens, and they prove to be a great combination!

    10 months ago · report as spam
  7. plasticpopsicle


    A killer combo, I should say, @sandravo! :D

    10 months ago · report as spam

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