Axel Gülcher is a Photographer and Photo Editor based in Vienna, Austria. In this piece, he tells us about his first impressions when he took our new Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII for a spin around the City of Music!
Please tell us a bit about your photography background (how you started, your influences, favorite projects)
When I was 7 years old, I got an analogue point and shoot camera with autofocus for Christmas. I think my love for photography started here but only years later did I understand the meaning of photos. Growing up, I was always the guy with the camera among my friends. Back then not everyone had a smartphone to take photos with
I worked at a Photo Agency where I learned a lot about both sides of photography, the editing, and the shooting. Some years later I got a Diana F+ from my brother then I quickly fell in love with Lomography and started to shoot analogue again. I think that helped me the most in understanding the technical aspect of photography and also appreciating each photo.
Photography also became a part of my occupation by mostly shooting sports events and concerts.
Could you tell us about your approach or philosophy behind your style in taking portraits?
My philosophy is to go with the flow, look around at what you have to work with and how the light is. Then try to make the best out of it. In addition, I try to capture the model as naturally as possible and not give her/him any poses that would not suit her/him. Of course, I'll give them some instructions or feedback. I enjoy it the most if it’s teamwork. The most important thing is that both photographer and model feel comfortable. Then you get the best photos.
Could you tell us your experience using the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII lens ?
The lens feels well built and has a nice weight, so it feels very natural on my camera. I am really pleased that it has its own aperture wheel. It’s a bit tricky to master the 3 wheels (bokeh-control, aperture, and focus) without looking at them but in the end, got used to that as well. It was really nice to shoot with it.
How does the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII lens help you in your photographic style?
The lens brings a very special effect which you cannot produce with your normal lenses. It breaks through your routine and gives you something completely different. Sometimes it takes a photo that stands out. I would not use it as my only lens but would bring it again on portrait shootings.
Any tips for a portraitist that is using the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII lens for the first time?
First of all, try all settings in different combinations to understand the effect. Also I really prefered to have the face or the eyes in the center of the photo because there the lens is the sharpest. Otherwise, sometimes the faces can be lost in the swirl effect. But there are really a lot of things you can do with the lens so just play with it.
The Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 MKII is created with discerning photographers and filmmakers in mind. This versatile 55mm art lens brings the unique look of Joseph Petzval’s original lens to full frame mirrorless cameras. This art lens is designed to allow full creative flexibility, with its 7 levels of Bokeh Control and Dual Aperture system. Its optics are optimized to retain the signature swirly bokeh without compromising image sharpness where it counts. It is an indispensable addition to your creative arsenal. Pre-order yours now in our online store.
written by apots on 2019-05-23