Petzval 85mm Lomography Lens

Last Thursday I went on a photo walk to Crosby and as I had already been before and I knew I was going to get exactly the same shots I took a gamble. Rather than my telephoto zoom lens I took the Petzval 85mm Lens which is a Lomography / art lens. This lens is made for portraits but I challenged myself to test out the lens with a landscape.

This lens comes in black and brass so of course I bought the brass lens cause who doesn’t want a gold lens and I’ve nicknamed it the bond lens. I first saw the Petzval on Emily Soto’s (A Fashion Photographers) Instagram page and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and I knew at some point I was going to have to buy it.



This lens comes with fixed aperture plates that you slot into it and when the light reflects of a subject or object it creates a bokeh effect. According to the lens manual a “bokeh” is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens. Boke is a Japanese word meaning “blur” or haze.

When you shoot with a wide depth of field such as an aperture of f 2.2 you get something called “A swirly bokeh effect” where the out of focus areas in your image will be encased in a blurred swirl so that you can see your subject more clearly. However today as I was shooting a landscape I used an aperture of f11 because I wanted the entire landscape to be in focus and to get a subtle bokeh effect where the light reflects of my subject.

This lens is a reinvention of Joseph Petzvals’ 1840 lens as upon discovering that f15 was the fastest aperture that a portrait lens could manage he designed a lens that would go to an aperture of f3.6 and portraiture lenses are now based on his original invention. So that is how the Petzval 85mm lomography lens was born.

Below are my first shots taken on the Petzval 85mm lens and there will be many more to come:

If you enjoyed this post keep reading for more lomography and other types of photography.


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