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.

Credits: 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:

Credits: sandravo
Credits: sandravo

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.

Credits: sandravo

written by sandravo on 2014-01-22 #gear #review #aperture #bokeh #1840 #swirls #requested-post #art-lens #petzval


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Great shots and humble text! : )

  2. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    wow, thanks for sharing man!

  3. muchachamala
    muchachamala ·

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

  4. sandravo
    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:…

  5. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

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

  6. sandravo
    sandravo ·

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

  7. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

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

  8. rateyes
    rateyes ·

    I designed a sliding aperture plate holder, if anyone is interested in ordering one:…

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