New Petzval Art Lens Reinvented for Canon EF and Nikon F DSLR Mount Cameras

petzval mounted on dslrs

Photography, for sure, has come a long way from its early beginnings. While this generation enjoys all the power, conveniences and economies made possible by digital technology, there are still some original concepts and blueprints worth revisiting. The Petzval lens is certainly one of them.

Folks over on and Zenit are behind the reincarnation of “one of the very first and greatest lenses of all time”  originally invented by Joseph Petzval in Vienna, Austria more than 150 years ago.

new petzval lens

By supporting the Lomogaphy team on Kickstarter, you can help them resurrect this incredible lens which will fit Canon EF and Nikon F (D)SLR mount cameras of the present. Give your photos that distinct sharpness and crispness, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field straight out of camera instead of spending hours in post replicating the very same effect.

Those familiar with a traditional Waterhouse aperture system will put those skills to use with this model. The aperture options are:

  • f/2.2
  • f/4
  • f/5.6
  • f/8
  • f/11
  • f/16
details petzval
The Waterhouse Aperture System

“The new Lomography Petzval lens has great color saturation and high contrast. The resolution of the focused area of each photo is extremely high. Thanks to the new and improved Petzval optical design, the Lomography Lens has a large f/2.2 maximum aperture; it’s very hard to find older Petzval lenses which have an aperture larger than f/3.5. Because of the large aperture of the new lens, you’ll get photos with a very narrow depth of field, and when shooting with the aperture wide open, you’ll get a beautiful vignetting effect in your shots. It’s the ideal portrait lens!” says the literature on the Kickstarter webpage.

Photos taken with the first working prototype of the new Petzval lens:

sample photos petzval


portrait of man taken with petzval lens

Photos taken with an old Petzval lens from the 19th century:

portrait of girl petzval lens

petzval sample photos

portrait of man petzval lens

Delivery date of the lenses is set on February 2014. However, a plan to have the first 1000 lenses shipped out by December 2013 is being set as a target.

Retail launch price of the Petzval lens is currently pegged at $499/€499, with Special Edition models at $599/€599. Significant savings can be made by supporting the Lomography team through Kickstarter. So far the effort has been incredibly successful.

old vs new petzval lens
An old Petzval lens (shown on the left) and the new Lomography Petzval Lens (shown on the right)

Head over to Kickstarter if you don’t want to miss out on significant savings and a lens with a pedigreed history.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.