You’re probably already familiar with Obi Blanche, one of our shining LomoAmigos in 2013 who had his own exhibition at the Lomography Store in Berlin. Shortly before Christmas the Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens arrived at our store and Obi was super excited to test it at a very special place in Berlin.
Name: Obi Blanche
Used Camera: Nikon D800
Hey Obi. How was your experience shooting with the Petzval?
I was so thrilled to get my hands on it! I’ve seen some sample pix and the little preview video and really loved the bokeh that it can produce. I did two different shoots with it and the first one was more laidback fun shoot and I really enjoyed the lens on that day, cause there was no pressure to produce anything. I also decided to use it on a fashion shoot and it wasn’t that chilled anymore, cause the day was long and you need to keep things in focus and when it got dark and late the manual focus was hard to keep sharp.
What do you like the most about it?
One word. The bokeh. When you manage to get that swirly effect. Its not written in stone that you’ll always get the swirl, so you need to experiment with the lens.
Where did you take the lens? Tell us more about this lovely place and the people you photographed.
It was one advent before Xmas and we went hanging downstairs where my friends live to Antiquariat Weigelt. Such a beautiful place and full of exciting books!
Which shot would you say is your favourite and why?
I’m hoping to use the lens more in the future. I really want to understand how to get the swirl and learn how to play with it. My faves are the ones with the swirl.
Any handy tips for those just getting their hands on the Lomography x Zenit Petzval lens for the first time?
Even if I dressed steam punk on the shoot, it’s not necessary for you to dress that way to use the Petzval. Because of those extra accessories on my outfit I wasn’t able to function my normal pristine way and I inserted the aperture rings the wrong way around. You should not do that, you make weird artsy pictures that way. You should consider buying a fly fishing vest to be able to hang all those aperture rings to your chest like medals to show that you are a master of Petzval.
You also took some fashion shots with it that we really like. Where did you take them?
We had a chance to use clothes from aspiring designers and we did a shoot for them with my Korean friends Sam and Jisu here in Berlin. There were more pictures on the series, but these two were shot with the Petzval.
What would you say is the best occasion to use the new Lomography Petzval lens?
It’s a great portrait lens. But it’s also a bit unpredictable with the bokeh, so I would say give it a shot when you have a chance to experiment and you don’t need to be super fast. You can get really sharp results, but it’s not AF, so you’re a bit slower and you need to trust/use your eyes.
Whom would you love to shoot with it in the future?
What I would love to do is to make really experimental photography with it. Lots of lights and colors. And if I would have lets say Connan Mockasin in front of the lens, that wouldn’t hurt. Or Baxter Dury, or Mykki Blanco. Then I could produce what ever type of scheich, like Andy Warhol said: A good picture is a one with a celebrity on it.
Thanks for the interview Obi!
Thank you Natalie and Lomography! Keep up the good work!
The Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens is now available for pre-order in the Online Shop! It will be delivered on a first come, first served basis; so don’t miss out on securing your piece of photographic history and your place in the pre-order queue!