Matt Osbourne: Portraits with the Petzval 85

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Matt Osbourne works as a wedding and fashion photographer based in the UK, he also runs a blog dedicated to Leica and film photography. We couldn’t resist lending him a Petzval 85 and seeing what his first impressions were of this fantastic Art Lens.

Photos:Matt Osbourne

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m Matt a photographer currently based in Coventry UK, specialising in model photography (fashion and beauty) and the occasional wedding. In particular I tend to shoot mostly in B&W and with female models, using an array of cameras, often Leica cameras, hence my blog MrLeica.com and more recently Hasselblad. My real love is B&W film photography and I develop the film at home, whether 35mm film (such as Leica M2/M3/M6), medium format (Hasselblad 501C, Mamiya 6, Rolleiflex SL66E etc) or large format (Sinar F2, Speedgraphic). With film photography, taking the photo is only the start of the process and then I can use developing to get a required look such as high contrast or low contrast. I also teach model photography workshops, mostly 1-2-1 with clients both in the UK and overseas. I have taught in New York, Zurich, Amsterdam to name a few and I organise all the models for the week and let a photographer shadow me while I work. It tends to suit professional photographers often trying to move from landscape photography to perhaps portraits or from a Canon/ Nikon to a Leica or from digital to analogue cameras.

Photos:Matt Osbourne

What was it like, shooting with the Petzval 85 Art Lens?

I still have a Nikon D800 which I use as a backup camera for weddings so I used that to mount the Petzval lens. First impressions of the Petzval lens.. it catches the eye being brass and in the hand in feels quite a basic with the simple focusing design. I shot the lens wide open for all the testing at f2.2 (partly as I didn’t see the aperture rings in the bottom of the box until I came to return it!) For me this was no problem as I would only look to buy a lens like this to shoot it wide open to be able to create the signature swirly bokeh that is associated with Petzval lenses. I found the lens sharpness softer than my usual Leica and Hasselblad lenses but if you are happy to forego sharpness in return for painterly looking bokeh images then this is probably the lens for you.

Photos:Matt Osbourne

Tell us something about these photos.

As a model photographer the obvious choice was to work with some of my regular models in the UK to test the Petzval 85 Art lens. As fellow model photographers may be accustom to, I experienced the usual multiple cancellations but still managed to do three shoots with the lens. The first test shots were just shot in the garden and then the final shoot was on location shot in a wood as I knew the background I wanted to get the final look I desired.

Photos:Matt Osbourne

What’s coming up in 2016?

For the remainder of 2016 I will be back out in Poland working with agency models/ friends using probably the digital Hasselblad and also film (probably the Leica M6). I also hope to return to Budapest to work with the model agencies there and maybe Ukraine again for the third trip of the year if I can fit it in. I don’t think I will get back to the US until early 2017. In addition to models I have 3 weddings coming up, 2 for fellow Leica photographers and UK based workshops.


You can see more of Matt’s work via his website: matthewosbornephotography.co.uk.

2016-09-13 #people #soho #showcase #bokeh #london #uk #art-lens #petzval-85 #matt-osbourne

Mentioned Product

New Petzval 85 Art Lens

New Petzval 85 Art Lens

Photos shot with a New Petzval 85mm lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderful swirly bokeh effect.

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