How To Get A Petzval Lens

Petzval photo of man with blurred background

The Petzval lens was once all the rage in photography, but you would have to go all the way back to 1840 to fully understand and appreciate how popular this lens was.

Originally created by Joseph Petzval, a professor of mathematics, the Petzval lens created a swirly, blurred background that immediately brought attention to the main subject in the photo.

Today, this effect is known as bokeh, which means “intentionally blurred”, but bokeh filters are a rather poor imitation of the original Petzval lens. Bokeh is achieved during post-processing and it’s no substitute for creating the effect in real-time – when a photo is actually taken.

Hence, the Petzval lens has returned.

We wanted to try to do something for the mass market while staying true to our roots in analog photography, so the perfect solution for us was the Petzval Lens ~ Christian Polt, General Manager of Lomography, USA

What began as a Kickstarter project has now morphed into a full-scale production of the Petzval lens. Thanks to photography entuhusiasts who have longed to see a return of Petzval, the project has far surpassed it’s $100,000 goal and received over $1.4 million dollars in funding.

The new Petzval lens will be customized to work with most Canon and Nikon camera bodies. It’s still made of brass, just as the original lenses were, and it’s guaranteed to give you photos that you never dreamed possible. It’s an ideal camera for taking portrait pictures, providing sharp focus and strong color saturation.

If you’re ready to buy one for youself, the Kickstarter orders should be fully satisfied this summer and finally available to the general public. It’s currently available for pre-order in the Lomography Online Shop. Prices range from $599 to $699. Collector editions are still available.

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