Jul 27, 2013
For Canon and Nikon mount
The message is clear: A lot of people want a 173-year-old lens to use with their modern-day Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
Lomography and Zenit have teamed up to make that happen, and their Kickstarter campaign for the Petzval Portrait Lens has raised more than half a million dollars in a single day. The project’s original goal was a mere $100,000.
The brass-barreled Petzval lens looks beautiful by itself, but of course, the real magic happens when you take photos with it. It’s a prime lens with a focal length of 85mm — great for portraits — and its maximum aperture of f/2.2 captures shallow depth of field and allows you to use fast shutter speeds. But those traits alone aren’t anything special. There are plenty of lenses available for DSLRs right now that match that focal length and aperture. So what’s the big deal?
The secret sauce of the Petzval lens is the way it captures bokeh, a fancy word for the blurred-out background behind in-focus subjects. The lens creates a whirlpooly, shimmering bokeh, making it look like the in-focus subject is in the eye of a mild tornado.