There is no doubt whatsoever that the new Petzval lens is the perfect portrait lens. No argument there. But that does not mean it can’t be used for other sorts of photography. In my opinion, this gorgeous lens is the perfect tool to make some lovely nature shots!
Lomography’s latest wonder, the new Petzval x Zenit Art Lens, is without a doubt an amazing portrait lens. But most of the time when I go out shooting, I go out alone. That means no models to shoot and having to make do with whatever’s around. Luckily for me the new Petzval lens is capable of so much more than just shooting portraits even though it wasn’t primarily designed with this in mind.
One of my favorite subjects to shoot is nature. Living close to a fairly rural area provides me with plenty opportunity to make interesting nature shots in summer. But since we are in the middle of winter, there isn’t much around but some dead left-over flowers and bare branches.
So at first it wasn’t really easy to find the right combination of subject and background in order to maximize the swirly bokeh charm of the lens. But having shot about 10 rolls of film has taught me how to get the best results. Have a look:
The trick is to find a subject you can get really close to, preferably in front of a very structured background. Best case scenario, you can approach your main subject to one meter. This way you can use the shortest focusing distance. The best backgrounds (read: providing the most swirly bokeh) are leaves, branches, flowers, grass, etc. And if you can make it so that some light shines through, even better! The distance between subject and background shouldn’t be too big, as the further back your background, the less you’ll see swirls.