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Lomography seeks crowd funding for new production of Petzval lenses

By dpreview staff on Jul 25, 2013 at 19:16 GMT

The people at Lomography have built a business around promoting and selling lo-fi cameras and accessories. What's (really) old is new again in their latest Kickstarter campaign, an effort to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production. The 'New Petzval' lenses look and function much like the originals with a brass exterior, and would be produced in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts.

With brass lens barrels and hoods, Lomography's New Petzval lens will be sold for Canon and Nikon SLRs.

Why bring back the Petzval? Lomography is promoting the way the swirled bokeh it creates draws focus to the center of the frame, the only part of the image in sharp focus. Petzval lenses of yore were notable for having the widest apertures available at the time, speeding up the amount of time required to create a Daguerrotype from 10 minutes to 30 seconds.

A cynic's view might be that Lomography is trying to push the rejection of 173 years of lens development and improvement as a creative choice, rather than marketing-driven ludditism. However, the Kickstarter project has already exceeded its funding goal, three times over, so it doesn't appear that such cynicism will hinder its success.

The New Petzval lenses incorporate some modern design updates, starting with a larger f/2.2 maximum aperture. The aperture can be changed using the included set of diaphragms (known as Waterhouse stops) to achieve different stops. Zenit, a lens producer based in Russia, has partnered with Lomography to produce the lenses.

The New Petzvals are planned to launch at $499 US. Contribute to Lomography's Kickstarter and a new-old Petzval can be yours for a mere $300 pledge.

Video

Via: TechCrunch, Source: Kickstarter

Comments

Total comments: 154
12
raydream
By raydream (9 months ago)

The effect looks similar to my US$5 25mm 1.4 cctv on Olympus Pen.

1 upvote
Becksvart
By Becksvart (9 months ago)

Hmmm. It's a bit of an appealing idea - bring back something long gone, and in this case something with a relatively good and odd build quality.

400USD for a soft ("portrait") prime with a primitive aperture system, though?
And the stretch goals, for inst. 300 000USD == "specially designed lens cloth"?

To top it off, just Nikon and Canon.

As others have said : Jupiter 9.

0 upvotes
systemBuilder
By systemBuilder (9 months ago)

This is amazing we are talking about a lens that is special because the blurry stuff you can't see is special with this lens!

I'm thinking of beginning a Kickstarter that will sell a lens that takes unique pictures of images beyond the field of view and takes the Petzval idea one step further!!!

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

If you can't see the blurry stuff, maybe that is because all you see is blurry stuff. Time to see an optician.

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (9 months ago)

You don't get it. We don't see that with our natural eyes only with a lense like this. Probably a PS plugin also could do it.

0 upvotes
Jonne Ollakka
By Jonne Ollakka (9 months ago)

There's a lot of things we only see in pictures because of how lenses render the image. What's your point?

What is it with this plug-in argument all the time? Where is the fun in that? Why are you interested in photography at all?

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (9 months ago)

Brass is heavy.This thingo is good for those who want just to have it not use it.

0 upvotes
BerendZ
By BerendZ (9 months ago)

Great initiative BUT why is the Sony A-mount not supported?

2 upvotes
RadioGnome
By RadioGnome (9 months ago)

Perhaps because Lomo is mostly targeting film shooters??? The ability to mount it on a D-SLR is a bonus. Would think M42 and pentax mount are better candidates.

0 upvotes
EricAotearoa
By EricAotearoa (9 months ago)

Looks like it performs well.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PatrickVienna
By PatrickVienna (9 months ago)

I wish Curt Cobain was alive, he was going to show does bad people from Petzval...wanting money so they can make money- to , you know, share the magick of the thin can lenses...pffff...he was such a nice guy.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

I don't think so. Even though you're not making any sense...

0 upvotes
PatrickVienna
By PatrickVienna (9 months ago)

jeezzz really? the energy from your thinking is making me feel like im in a Petzval photo-you know, with tornado WHIRL effect around my head...maybe you should send them some money and after that they will let you buy one. It looks great on ur DSLR man!

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

That's not my energy. I think you're on drugs.

5 upvotes
Michael Foran
By Michael Foran (9 months ago)

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?! I have re-read your rant three times and you make no sense whatsoever.

0 upvotes
Emphyrio2
By Emphyrio2 (9 months ago)

Wow! This lens idea generated a lot of comments both favorable and unfavorable. Forget about the gear perspective and the sociology (hipsters) for just a moment and think instead about looking at great photos. There are photos where everything seems to come together perfectly, and if any one element changed, the beautiful result would not have been achieved. Can this lens help to create just ONE such timeless beautiful photograph? If the answer is yes, the lens is justified. Canon and Nikon make some truly fabulous equipment, but it is a good thing to see a diversity of ideas floating around out there, and certainly nothing to be threatened by.

2 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (9 months ago)

You set a very low bar for justifying lenses.

The idea that only Zenit (not exactly a paragon of awesome optics) has the expertise to make these things is mildly hilarious — seems pretty much like any of the lens baby lenses without the tilt shift capability at a much higher price — but hey it's made of brass and requires focusing with a knob.

2 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Zenith has made some optics that would go on the great list. The Jupiter Sonnar 50mm ƒ1,5 is a truly great lens as is the ƒ2 version.
A good copy is a cheap Zeiss killer–mildly hilarious to the uninitiated but for those 'in the know'
http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/06/20/the-zenit-helios-40-2-85mm-f1-5-lens-is-now-available-in-nikon-f-mount/

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

As said, Zenit has made some really good optics. The 44M is a classic.

0 upvotes
teastain
By teastain (9 months ago)

Amazing Hybrid Nikanon takes two slightly different images (bi-nocular) and blends them in firmware to create an effect similar to the single image that we "see" from two slightly different eyes.

Or bad photoshop, you decide.

1 upvote
justinwonnacott
By justinwonnacott (9 months ago)

What kind of business model is this! Lomo is cyber begging and people are falling head over heels for it.Hilarious.

1 upvote
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (9 months ago)

So, clearly, the kind of business model it is is "very successful".

4 upvotes
Pentax_Prime
By Pentax_Prime (9 months ago)

You know what they say - there is a 20-year-old pretentious Hipster born every minute. But where can they get a Petzval-esque brass case for their wayfarers and Instagram-'photo'-filled celly?!?!

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

This is a pretentious article to state,

“marketing-driven ludditism”

yet appearing not to be able to properly characterize from a 150+ year professional prospective (Seidel, 1850’s)[1], the correct nature of the aberration being created by the Petzval lens as appose to this now over used media sheik term from Japan “bokeh” as though some new discovery having taken place in optics, further dragged through the dirt with this nonsense convolution,

“swirled bokeh”.

Which in reality, is little more than a metaphoric lifting of your skirt so that people can read the tattooed words, “I don’t know anything about optical aberrations, though wish to write about such effects, hence the non analytical jibber jabber”.

The aberration being produced is called “field curvature”.

[1] Telescope Optics, Evaluation and Design, Rutten and Martin van Verrooij, 1988 Willmann-Bell, Inc., pp. 23-29

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Of course 'swirly Bokeh' isn't the correct term, but it is a descriptive one and one where almost 100% of people will be able to visualise the effect unlike field curvature.
You're right in the assertion that most people know nothing (and care even less) about optical science–and for those people Bokeh is a perfect single word, communication over complication if you like.
Or does everyone have to calculate the Petzval sum and do ray traces on lenses in order to get to the level of understanding of the single phrase 'swirled bokeh'?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

1 of 3

Hello Mark Smith

Your retort to my comment reads more like a defensive reaction and response void of much serious analytical contemplation, in addition to being a rather shabby excuse to justify bad behavior by attempt to rationalize a completely erroneous convolution of terms.

None the least, errantly confusing your apparent lack of optical knowledge relative to “Bokeh”, thus uneducated opinions for some perverted form of competence as you yourself, and determination formulated from your own words, do not fully understand when or how to implement the word “Bokeh” nor fully understanding of its associated optical limits.

For your benefit and others, the word "Bokeh" is used to descriptively compare the simultaneously visible optical reciprocation of blurred images positioned off axis the chief ray that are both inside and outside of an on axis focused, fixed and relatively flat, normal (perpendicular) imaging plane or sensor, e.g. typical plate film, CCD imager, ...

0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

2 of 3

Hence, Bokeh is a metric that is generally limited to “flat field” imagers as only a relatively flat field imager will provide such inside and outside blur images simultaneous for visual comparison. The exception, the use of a curved focal plane matched to a compensated curved imaging plane, resulting in a relatively spatially flat image plane.

A Petzval lens produces strong, asymmetric curvature of field towards the inside focus of a flat image plane, yielding only blur images outside of the focal plane when off axis, the on axis image fixed and in focus.

As such, a Petzval lens is not capable beyond the chief ray’s on axis location, of producing simultaneous blur images that are both inside and outside of a flat focal plane for all radial zones off axis and where Bokeh is of concern, therefore Bokeh is not a valid descriptive term when used in association with a Petzval lens.

In short, not all popular optical terms such as Bokeh are relevant for all optical prescriptions.

0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

3 of 3

The convoluting of the word "swirl" beyond describing the polarization state of the electro magnetic (EM) field and non geometrical optics, implying a mathematical "cross" product component exist in the geometric optical ray tracing of the visual optical path and final blur image.

Such notion being incorrect for Bokeh, being a longitudinal and radial effect is comparable to a scalar (dot) product calculation and not a vector (cross) product.

Refocusing a Petzval optical system to obtain radially distributed zonal blur images inside of focus, resulting in translation of the imaging plane, altering the final prescription, invalidating the blur results as Bokeh is the measure of a static focal system.

Your closing response and second excuse for bad behavior, contracting the arrogant nature of the article having stated

“marketing-driven ludditism”

as thought the author is hypocritically and inconsistently exempt from being termed a luddite, thus just a pillar of arrogance.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Park why did you bother?
I'm not saying I"m competent wrt optics or even as qualified as you to comment on the Petzval.
The point is that neither are 99% of the population, and for them 'swirley bokeh' is a far better descriptive term than any of the ones you used whether they are correct or not because people understand then.
I'm not being defensive or 'badly behaved' pointing that out; if you have trouble with that just relax.
BTW I like everyone else in this thread skipped everything but the first paragraph of your post, you obviously feel very strongly about the nomenclature of lens aberrations! I guess just most don't and swirly bokeh is enough for them even if the term is wrong.
Rather like people calling film 'emulsion' when it's a colloidal suspension–just live with it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
grshopr
By grshopr (9 months ago)

@park... the swirled bokeh is referenced by the creators in the promo video above so you have contributed nothing to this discussion other than proving to everyone you are a pretentious dick.

2 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

1 of 4

Hello Mark Smith

Since I have a conscience, am spending the time to retort for being on the front line, read your postings and Petzval article as a collective manifestation of much greater problems in a rapidly turning petulant society.

In addition, only a VULGAR individual would continue to perform acts they know are wrong, with your pathetic statement,

“Of course 'swirly Bokeh' isn't the correct term”.

Especially if a correct term “curvature of field” and term that has been in professional and amateur existence for 150+ years already exist, just because you are not knowing of the term, or of the optical phenomena, resulting in the inappropriate propagating of convoluted and illegitimate, self contrived and invalid optical terminology.

Do you also use self contrived terms and conflicting terminology to describe astigmatism, spherical and chromatic aberration or distortion? Why not arbitrarily take it upon yourself to also change the optical definitions to your liking.

0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

2 of 4

In fact, why do you, Mark Smith, even feel remotely qualified to express any assessment as to the optical performance of a Petzval lens (your numerous postings scattered about) especially as you openly profess to have no intellectual competence in optics?

Is that the sort of personal level of performance that in your daily profession would be considered a display of competence and excellence?

Are the readers here, and at a world level, deserving of so little respect?

The infantile level of technical proficiency associated with the Petzval lens aberration compounded with the quick and nonchalant dismissal of competence reaching an all time low.

That this sort of amateur article 50-60 years ago would have never made it to press, the editors being too full of shame and outright embarrassment to let such rubbish out the door.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

3 of 4

What sort of example does this undisciplined article set for our school students that read these errant articles and forum postings? Having taught optics, needing to inform students that loosely giving credence to the typical lens article and associate posting at dpreview could damage your grade point average.

As for this,

“skipped everything but the first paragraph”

Not surprised.

Attention span is a personal discipline issue, and problem that is getting worse with the proliferation of instant gratification in society mixed with a near systemic lack of educational challenges in public schools.

The Petzval article, like your postings being examples of wishing to appear competent on a subject matter that you yourself lack the formal education, yet wish to experience misplaced personal gratification for appearing knowledgeable of such subjects, proudly taking and advertising the path to ignorance and least resistance verse the long hard path to education and competence.

0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

4 of 4

In closing, you and others alike that are saturated full of poor excuses and laden with irresponsibly discus me, and one of many reasons why each year the leading science fairs continue to deteriorate in project quality.

PART II

Hello grshopr

You state,

“the swirled bokeh is referenced by the creators in the promo video"

That's why you have technical editors, and no excuse for dpreview to perpetuate a serious error, nor to be proud of one’s own level of profound ignorance.

Park McGraw

Experimental Physicist
Intel ISEF Grand Awards Judge, Physics and Astronomy
California State Science Fair, Judges Advisory Committee
World Record Holder, Brightest Solid State Weapons Grade Laser
Former Process Engineering Manager, Laser and Sensor Products Center, Northrop Grumman
Optical Characterization and Integration Facility, Engineering Design Lead, Global Hawk UAV LRIP, Raytheon

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
parkmcgraw
By parkmcgraw (9 months ago)

typo correction 4 of 4

Sentence one should read,

... with irresponsibly disgust me ...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Know this now–I like everyone else skipped your post, not because I have a short attention span; because you are an objectionable nasty little man with zero communication skills, your knowledge is wasted if you make people revile you.

In order to have an opinion you don't need a BSc in lens design, if you really are who you say you are then your attitude towards people leaves a lot to be desired.
n.b also that you have added your resumé which will hopefully work against you when people search for you, future employers will get to know what a nasty vindictive self obsessed person they can avoid employing.

Often I find people who are experts in a certain field are so narrow in their thinking and superior in their attitude towards the 'plebeian unwashed Masses'
You are undoubtably one such person.
I think you should know I haven't read any of your posts as I find you a total bore–Mcgraw
I just love it the term 'swirly bokeh' gets in your craw – Mcgraw.

You are just a bore.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
EricAotearoa
By EricAotearoa (9 months ago)

Oh my goodness, this is like a script from The Big Bang Theory, with parkmcgraw being Sheldon Cooper. Unfortunately I could not continue reading the 'debate' as it got too silly.

2 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (8 months ago)

parkmcgraw, you may want to count the number of likes that all your replies got, compare them to the number of likes the other replies got, and draw your conclusions.

0 upvotes
TruePoindexter
By TruePoindexter (9 months ago)

I'm excited - much of the cost is in materials and smaller production runs. Brass isn't exactly cheap after all.

Further not all photography is about absolute perfection - we frequently add vignetting back into our photos despite wanting lenses to have none. We want perfect flat fields of focus at high resolutions and yet spend a lot of time in post softening skin.

Appreciate this lens for what it is - a modern recreation of a classical lens design made with quality materials and generates a unique look. It's not for everyone but I find it quite attractive and will add it to my collection.

6 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (9 months ago)

Glad to see some of the people here get what this lens is all about!

4 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (9 months ago)

" not all photography is about absolute perfection"
Yes, It's only 99.099999998% The other sector of photographers have vision impairment.
Then there,s the iPhone brigade that think that IQ stands for "I've been to Quebec"
Without question, all professional and serious photographers demand high image capture. You don't buy a D4 or top Canon and put a base kit lens on.
Snappers that rave about lomo are identical to wood workers that make rough furniture then call it Rustic"! The truth is, they simply don't have the skills or are prepared to put the work in to develop them.
So now we have a whole bunch of very average snappers wasting space with their monotonous uneducated lomo/iphone diatribes on all subjects boring. "parkmcgraw" 2 posts up said: “swirled bokeh”.
Which in reality, is lifting of your skirt so that people can read the tattooed words, “I don’t know anything about optical aberrations, though wish to write about such effects, hence the non analytical jibber jabber”.

0 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (9 months ago)

So much hate, Barry !
I have no problem in letting other people enjoy their own ideas of creativity.

3 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Yes Barry do you think all 'Pro' photographers want perfection?
Possibly some don't want their photo's to look like yours, possibly some value a different aesthetic.
I think your rants here show you have a very narrow vision, the iPhone brigade' give me a break Barry.
Here look at this pro's work:
http://carls-gallery.co.uk/galleries/collodion-portraits/

Perfection...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

for brass one should be able to find loads of expended shell casing in Syria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guj5NOpkZF8

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (9 months ago)

It's interesting for not higher than 200USD

1 upvote
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

I'm fascinated by the negativity here - it's a defensive reaction to something that challenges you. Don't worry, ignore the Petzval, it won't hurt you or your photography. Nobody is making you buy it. Just go back to your gear and enjoy doing what you do.

14 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (9 months ago)

I think it is quite a cool product.
In my opinion, ideally not on a digital camera but using film for an ancient gum print for example!
For me, retro tools can sometimes yield nice, charming results.

My one worry is that it is a one trick pony. While the effect can be beautiful, I think I might get tired of it.

2 upvotes
maniax
By maniax (9 months ago)

Petzval lenses were designed for large format camera's. Let's say you have a 210mm lens f4.5 for a 5x7 camera ... that is about 44mm / ±f0.5 in 35mm world to get the same kind of view.
Besides that... nothing beats the ground glass view from such camera.

Anyway, let's see first real user experiences with this new gimmick lens.

1 upvote
Dennis
By Dennis (9 months ago)

People arguing about the relevance of such a lens and about this type of news being relevant to DPReview. Well, a newly developed Petzval lens is certainly much more relevant and likely to bring joy and fun back into photography than an insanely priced Hasselblad re-branded Sony compact camera with a wooden grip. And the reviving of such a lens (by crowd-funding) is much more of photography news than the absurd marketing ploy by the investor that has taken over one of the truly inventive companies of the past.

4 upvotes
BeerIsSoAwesome
By BeerIsSoAwesome (9 months ago)

The Hasselblad Lunar does one thing well-- it makes all other photo gear seem like an incredible bargain. For the $7,000 price tag, I can buy a Nex-7 and, well, pretty much every lens I could ever want for it.

Or I could buy a Nikon D800e and 2 *really* nice lenses *and* this new Petzval. Mind you, I'm a casual, and I don't *have* $7,000 to spend on kit at the moment, but it's fun to think of how far I could run with the coin that one clueless but fashionable buyer might throw away on a Bedazzled Sony.

1 upvote
Dimitris Servis
By Dimitris Servis (9 months ago)

I never want to hear complaints again about Cassegrain donuts.

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (9 months ago)

Did you own one of those 800mm mirror lenses too? So nice to think I'm not alone.

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (9 months ago)

I think it's always cool to combine old and new technologies. The Petzval lens represents just one part of the time line in lens development; Double Gauss, aspheric and ED glass may seem prehistoric someday. It's interesting too how we all clamor for the sharpest of the sharp but want to soften things up as well. Two that come to mind were the various Softars I bought for my Hasselblad system and the 150mm Mamiya lens with insertable soft discs. Neither were cheap!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
whawha
By whawha (9 months ago)

Some of the Lomography products are potentially quite interesting and I'd be into doing some experimenting with them. What puts me off are the stupid prices, clearly aimed at the hipster community, for which photography is more about fashion accessorising than creativity.
I mean, they are selling for hundreds equipment that a few years ago people would have been throwing at you, begging you to take it away!
They're not getting my money...

3 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (9 months ago)

First, forgive me for not understanding the 'hipster' thing, but I don't get it. If something is slightly expensive, or luddite, or fashionable, or works in a different way, or uses metal rather than plastic, it is labelled 'hipster'.

Again, I'll need an explanation from you of what a hipster is. But I don't get it.

0 upvotes
mdruziak
By mdruziak (9 months ago)

Wow it's really surprising how many people get angry about a lens!

7 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

nothing is wrong ... I mean free speech, not the lens.
there is a huge gulf between DPR and DPRK isn't it?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Marcin 3M
By Marcin 3M (9 months ago)

Production located in a proper place, with vivid history of making copies.
Probably the first was the polish FOS camera (built at the late 18-th/early 19-th century) appeared to be the first soviet camera ever made - 15 years later.
Then we can find the Kiev to be indistinguishable from Contax and Leica from Zorki camera.
Again, Polish enlarger lens Janpol-Color, designed for enlarging color prints, was copied there.
They will definitely be the success with this one. First time under original name.

1 upvote
KG
By KG (9 months ago)

I think you meant late 19th/early 20th century ;)

And yes, I remember Zorki, Zenith, Kiev - nice copies ;)

0 upvotes
powP0Wpow
By powP0Wpow (9 months ago)

I use to own a ton of lomo cameras... and luckily sold all of them. They are fun for awhile but after the novelty wears off, you really see how much of a piece of junk they are... with the exception of Holgas to try 120 film, don't fall for this crap.

4 upvotes
BeerIsSoAwesome
By BeerIsSoAwesome (9 months ago)

I'm kinda with you. I've put a few rolls of film through a few Lomo cameras (Fisheye, Holga, Diana, etc.) and in the end I find the whole thing a little extraneous. My iPhone is way more versatile, and takes far better pictures without the hassle of film.

If I'm going to go through the trouble of shooting and developing film, I'm almost always more satisfied with the frames that come out of my old Minolta SRT-102. A nice used SRT can be had on eBay for not much more than a 35mm Holga ($50 now!), and can deliver everything from quirky, weird "vintage" colored shots (you can still buy Lomo color film) to sharp, rich, lovely black-and white with Tri-X.

With an old manual SLR you can still trick the camera into doing double-exposures, or drill a pinhole in a body cap if that's your thing. However, when you're done messing around with the gimmicky stuff, you can throw a nice lens on, wind in a quality roll of film, and go shooting with a camera that's joy to own and a pleasure to use.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
james_f64
By james_f64 (9 months ago)

Even today Petzval-like designs are used in some of the most highly corrected and expensive telescope objectives that you can buy. I'm talking about diffraction-limited, wide-field telescopes that can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, like the 4" and 5" aperture telescopes from Tele Vue (U.S.) and Takahashi (Japan).

I'd suspect that a properly designed Petzval of modest aperture using low dispersion glass could perform quite well even by today's standards if used under a restricted set of conditions. At its limit, however, it will likely be larger and heavier than your typical modern telephoto design.

0 upvotes
chris_j_l
By chris_j_l (9 months ago)

They use FL-51 or FL-53 (normally) so the chromatic aberration is mostly eliminated. Also you don't usually care for field curvature with visual observing and why when you use your telescope for astrographs you spend a pretty penny on a good field corrector.

It doesn't really mean the Petzval design is any good, it means the materials are exceptional.

1 upvote
james_f64
By james_f64 (9 months ago)

Actually, the Petzval telescopes are designed for flat-field astrophotography (that's their sole purpose for being). Also, since they are designed to be astrographs they can cover fairly large fields even without correctors. At least up to APS size (on the Tele Vue) and even wider on the Takahashi, they don't need correctors. The Tele Vue has a corrector for full-frame 35mm or larger and both accept reducers that increase their photographic speed by about one f-stop (but the latter aren't used as a "field corrector," they are instead focal reducers).

Here is a review that compared a Tele Vue Nagler-Petzval against a Canon 600mm/4.0L IS:

http://www.samirkharusi.net/televue_canon.html

This was a full-frame 35mm comparison and the Tele Vue did NOT use its available large frame corrector. The reviewer said that while the Canon lens was superior at the edges of the frame the Tele Vue delivered a better image in the center and was likely to be fully satisfactory over an APS sized field.

0 upvotes
Carsten Pauer 2
By Carsten Pauer 2 (9 months ago)

I'm the only one there don't like "Swirl" Bokeh-Highlights ?

3 upvotes
Ztaz
By Ztaz (9 months ago)

LoL.... and what about Helios and Lensbaby? Who need this strange piece of junk?

2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (9 months ago)

Currently 1,288 people on Kickstarter do.

4 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (9 months ago)

McDonalds sell a lot of hamburgers but that doesn't make the hamburgers qualify as "food".

7 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

MacDonalds Hamburgers are definitely food. You may not like that food, but that's another story. Its just like Lomography. It certainly is photography. That you personally don´t like it is your opinion. Noted!

3 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

One person's junk is another person's gold.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (9 months ago)

if Mac is not food then you are losing billinos of people are eating junks? that's a very bold statement....thank god you don't represent UK

0 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (9 months ago)

To the Macdonald's person. The comparison is off: you have Lomo producing almost a bespoke run of lenses compared to Mac, arguably the largest producer of food in the world. In this case, Mac is both ubiquitous and cheap. The Lomo lens isn't expensive, but it is making a comparatively small run of lenses compared to Nikon or Canon, who really are the MacDonald's of the SLR world.

0 upvotes
DPhotoWriter
By DPhotoWriter (9 months ago)

These guys are breaking records on kickstarter, amazing how fast they raised funds.. really amazing.

1 upvote
FinDERP
By FinDERP (9 months ago)

I'd still rather have a Samyang (or two for this price)

2 upvotes
PixelMover
By PixelMover (9 months ago)

Things like this make me happy.

8 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (9 months ago)

Which is a nice contrast to the rest of the commenters, for whom things like this make them very, very angry.

7 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

I'm just happy there's a market for people to experiment and introduce interesting products. I may not use this lens, but I like knowing it's available.

1 upvote
3dreal
By 3dreal (9 months ago)

Nikon/Canon-only= not good.

Add T-mount to make it universal.
its 85/2.2 lens. i wonder if they used aps-c-camera for the test. only center is sharp.
dandelion-adapter with FC for canon EF can be added. and nikon?

1 upvote
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (9 months ago)

Out-Back photography in Australia with a Lomo plastic toy.
I was shooting an assignment at Coopers Creek.
Just finished putting up a sun shade & mounting the Linholf Karden Master "L" system camera to the tripod. A family arrived & struck up a conversation as they had never seen a 4" x 5" Rail camera with Digital back. Dad then asked what would be the best camera for normal landscape shooting that could produce a good image suitable for A3 print. I asked him what he was using, .. he replied a Lomo! I asked him why this choice? a/ a few friends were excited by the results!! (Bad friends) We chatted for a bit & I asked to show me his Lomo, .... His reply: I left it in the shade to have lunch, the Sun shifted and it melted! I couldn't hold back, I just collapsed on the ground in tears of laughter. It was a few minutes before I could stand composed that is until he opened his bag & and showed me Lomo-Blob! That did it, back on the ground in Tears, .......They quietly left!

3 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (9 months ago)

Funny, LOL; but couldn't you buy a "gazillion"(tm) plastic fantastics; for the price of one of your "real" cams? I'm not saying, that you don't have a good, quality-point; but wouldn't the same, effective thing, happen to you, and if your camera fell into the creek? What if someone murdered you, for it's cost? .....[Wait for it]..... LOL!

Hmmm. I don't even like Lomo (...very much. I can mess up my sharp shots. :0 ). Perhaps I should. Perhaps, "real" photographers need to work with a "handicap".

Are we growing; as a photographer, or do we have acquisition syndrome? I'd better shut-up; because I think, I have some AS to confess myself. NAS, CAS, and FAS OAS. LOL! Perhaps we should all just PASS (less gas). ..and since, we all will pass, and all to soon, perhaps we'd better take some pictures, and with what we have; while the manufactures go, and hunt a clue. Let them sit on the store shelves; until they stop going a half step forward, and two steps backward.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (9 months ago)

You sound like a very mean person. Poor guy asks you a serious question, and you just laugh in his face?

6 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Mr West i think it's called insecurity. people often laugh at things they don't understand or have deep fear and loathing of.
I bet the guy with the Holga was really impressed by the 4x5 shooter...

4 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

Well, to each his own. I've seen some amazing landscapes taken by non-traditional (ie: not large format) cameras.

I've also seen hundreds of thousands of photos taken by people with 4x5 cameras that are identical to the other hundreds of thousands of landscape photos.

Maybe you're the one that should try the lomo, break up the monotony.

1 upvote
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (9 months ago)

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO DPR???!

It seems that this site is now dedicated to low quality imaging devices!

I see above; junk mounted onto Nikon and Canon bodies?
Why on earth would anybody with a single working neuron invest in superb cameras then pay good money for bad-plastic bits to put on the front other than lens caps or body caps?

If you want poor image definition and focus, take any lens, switch to manual focus and simply de-focus! Are they so lacking in photography skill that they havent worked this out yet?

iPhone, + accessory lenses.

We certainly need a High quality review site dedicated to very high quality equipment both in terms of Cameras both FF and medium format.
Monorail, and Panorama systems.

Post photography processing, system calibration and on through to Printing.

DPR 3 years ago bears no resemblance to the content today.

LOMO, Oh Yes! I will post a separate comment on my one and only experience concerning use of Lomo in outback photography in Australia.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (9 months ago)

You mention the Petval and then defocusing a normal lens. Then, you bring the iPhone into it? Just admit; you don't know what you are talking about.

12 upvotes
justin23
By justin23 (9 months ago)

Clearly you have no idea regarding photography and to you its all about out specs etc. I'm pretty certain the lens is metal and glass.
Guess what good photographers take amazing photos with these kinds of lenses.

5 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

Yes, totally. Photography is very narrowly defined as the action taken by a few dentists with loads of money that go out and stand in the exact same spot as all the other dentists (and Ansel Adams maybe) and get the exact same photo and claim success at creating a duplicate.

0 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (9 months ago)

Helios 42m

85mm f1.5

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

Quite an expensive and hard to find lens.

If you mean the Helios 40-2

EDIT: just looked at ebay - seems like there have popped up quite many 40-2 for sale, both old and new. Its still quite pricey though.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (9 months ago)

They probably decided to make it in Russia because Zenit's equipment is about from the same era as the original Petzval lens.

2 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (9 months ago)

Better to remain silent and thought a....oh....never mind.

5 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (9 months ago)

plastic element like the lomo camera or actual glass then time.

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (9 months ago)

huh? they are using plastic for lens?

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (9 months ago)

my lomo camera is a cheap plastic (bod and the little lens)/ holga too, hoping this is actual glass

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (9 months ago)

It is lovely to see they've used an elegant Nikon film camera in the ad, not some Nikon's digital blobby monster. :-)

2 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (9 months ago)

Would have looked better on a 70's FE/FM than one of those plastic 80's things.

0 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (9 months ago)

Nikon, Canon, ALPA, Hasselblad, Linholf are tools of trade, they produce superb results for those qualified to use them.

They are not made to be pretty, don't come in colours, wont fit into your little pockets, or hand-bags, they are measured in Kilos not grams! They are rugged for a reason, unlike yourselves obviously.

I continually see the sensitive males discussing at length the difference in having to carry a 322g camera as opposed to one weighing 297g It's sooooo heavy!!!!!!

Grow a backbone, ditch your pink shirts and just look at what you are writing! Run away you fragile little things.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (9 months ago)

LOL! Run away!

Yet, one of my "good cameras", is 14oz, and takes HD video as well. Don't ya just hate that?

2 upvotes
Blake Willis
By Blake Willis (9 months ago)

85mm f/2.2, daddy likes.

please make sure the Canon version has a good chip in it (e.g. Dandelion v4)!

unlike Nikonistas Canon folks are really put off by lenses without a little bit of electronic communication with the camera (e.g. matrix metering doesn't work properly, flash works differently, etc etc).

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

Interesting. I think I want one. But - there is another lens I want even more.

That is a modern, fast and well designed and sharp lens that uses waterhouse stops.

2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (9 months ago)

mmm...i want one

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Some info on lens design.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/08/lens-geneology-part-1

3 upvotes
Abhijith Kannankavil
By Abhijith Kannankavil (9 months ago)

thanks for that link

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (9 months ago)

Got in there at the $300 level and I am really, really looking forward to this. Looks fantastic on the camera.

2 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (9 months ago)

There are many c-mount lenses, from old cine cameras, that produce similar results to those of petzval lenses when mounted on m4/3 cameras. Small and light.

4 upvotes
powP0Wpow
By powP0Wpow (9 months ago)

You can get sony nex 3 body and a cctv lens for the same price and if you don't like you still get a nice little apsc pocket
camera.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Drive a old POS car and get made fun of...or can can drive the same car and put collector plates on it and barabim barabum...you now have a sweet classic ride.

4 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (9 months ago)

Jolly nice idea, and not totally silly price- not going to cost much to build compared to some, but they arent going to sell millions either.

Id love to have one in my toolkit, my only issue would be getting clients reliably in focus. :-)

2 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (9 months ago)

I think by the time they get to production Petzval effect will be in every PP plug-in like Topaz, Nik, etc... And after looking at some examples on the web, I don't think I like that effect at all; I find it rather distracting to be honest.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (9 months ago)

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4095/4896247551_82675616ab_z.jpg
look at this: you would have to really freeform select the object in the centre. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8462/8035366395_29b03c1463_b.jpg

1 upvote
VadymA
By VadymA (9 months ago)

Ironically, those are examples that I didn't like. It might be very subjective, but the spinning effect makes me rather "dizzy" or "sea-sick"; almost forcing me to look away from the image. I think the examples in the video are MUCH more subtle; to the point that I even didn't understand what was it all about. But images on the web are either overdone or simply this effect is not for everyone.

4 upvotes
Chris Cuennet
By Chris Cuennet (9 months ago)

I do not understand very well either what this project brings... This obsolete "system" already many decades ago gives a not beautiful and unpleasant effect. Samyang proposes one 85mm / 1.4 MF of very good quality for cheap or still Sigma with one 85mm / 1.4 extraordinary and Bokeh ultra buttered and especially "healthy" and clean...
The quality of the objectives today is such as we do not know any more what "to stand out"... In brief..

1 upvote
teseg
By teseg (9 months ago)

Alternatively, those working on this project could be strapping themselves to trees instead... At least there is some commercial value here.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (9 months ago)

What about an ASPH multicoated autofocus Petzval zoom lens? :-D

Seriously, I think the Lomography project is a step backward. Almost a century ago, the Petzval lens was rendered obsolete, at least for camera use, by the Cooke triplet, the Tessar and the Gauss Planar.

2 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (9 months ago)

You don't "get" LOMO and their retro success

3 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (9 months ago)

@makefoto
Frank_BRe is not alone in not getting why the hell ppl even bother with LOMO on this side of 1930s.

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (9 months ago)

@makefoto

Actually, I still have a LOMO Lubitel 166B, which I bought just before the collapse of USSR! The Lubitel is a simple but well constructed medium-format film camera.

Yes, you are correct, I 'don't "get" LOMO and their retro success', but I shot enough film in my life to know that photography must go forward, not backward.

0 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

Frank
I'd hardly call it well constructed, I had three before I got one that focused..
You may not get LOMO it isn't about moving forward, its about taking something from the past that still has value and packaging that for a new generation.
So it's about offering something different an aesthetic, so there isn't anything to 'get' really.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Shengji
By Shengji (9 months ago)

$300 -> $500 early bird discount. I absolutely hate these high pressure buy now don't think about it discounts to the point where I will not pledge for them, no matter how badly I want it. If they need sales tactics to sell their product, my thinking is that the product isn't going to sell itself.

6 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (9 months ago)

It's a crowd funding project. There is no initial investment and the money has to come from somewhere. Of course you are entirely free not to fund it. No one will coerce you to buy this lens.

4 upvotes
Shengji
By Shengji (9 months ago)

I'm sorry, an international corporation using kickstarter is as cynical as it gets - am I supposed to believe Lomography cannot procure funding by any other means? Like profits from previous ventures, loans, traditional investment. Is their financial record so bad that no-one will put their money with them?

Or is this an exercise in free advertising. Which is fine, but when an advert explicitly states that the first x number of customers get a $500 product for $300, I immediatly think pressure tactics which in my view is a form of coercion and back right off. I hope they achieve what they want, and maybe I will buy one after they launch, after reviews are in but I can promise you, I will never forget that the cheapest price has been $300 and I'll probably hold out for the same price, even if that means second hand!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
b534202
By b534202 (9 months ago)

Get it on the used market for < $100 2 years later.
If they don't run away with the kickstarter money first and actually deliver that is ...

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (9 months ago)

It's customer financing combined with measuring demand. Why should corporations be stuck in the old "run random market research and borrow funding" scheme when they can upgrade to a more modern method like crowdfunding?

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (9 months ago)

Well when coming up with a niche idea for a niche product, testing the market by asking people to put their money where their mouth is makes a lot of business sense to me.
No doubt we will get "I can do that with Photoshop comments."

0 upvotes
Maciek_Leopolis
By Maciek_Leopolis (9 months ago)

Zenit "famed for their skill in developing high quality optical equipment" - ???
What a JOKE!
Their lenses had "high quality" of the bottom of an empty vodka bottle...
C'mon...

WHAT-a-reference! LOL!

12 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (9 months ago)

Ask Lomo to to place an order at Polish Optics plant. Have one?

4 upvotes
danaceb
By danaceb (9 months ago)

You clearly know nothing about Zenit and are working off of knee jerk disdain for all things Russian. They make some cheap cameras, but they have always been capable of making very high quality lenses where the need arises, going back to KMZ jupiters. Which were often far superior improvements upon the Zeiss glass they were based off of. Here however there is no such need and well, they will manage just fine.

19 upvotes
lukaw
By lukaw (9 months ago)

Yes, you can say it again.

0 upvotes
lukaw
By lukaw (9 months ago)

Totally agree

0 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (9 months ago)

Russian optics are actually very, very good my friend.

16 upvotes
parallaxproblem
By parallaxproblem (9 months ago)

I also agree

I've owned Zenith, Helios, Industar and Jupiter eqipment (including a 1950's Jupiter 8 which is supposed to be one of their best efforts) and frankly they were all junk, with the exception of the Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye which is not so bad

No knee-jerk reactions needed... I also found the "famed for their skill..." blurb somewhat laughable

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (9 months ago)

Talk about exaggerating. The Helios 44M, which uses the same optical formula as the Zeiss Biotar is one of the better, inexpensive normal lenses.

The classic Helios 85 f/1.5 has just been released in F and EF mount (see link).

http://nikonrumors.com/2013/06/19/the-russian-zenit-helios-40-2-85mm-f1-5-lens-is-now-available-with-nikon-f-mount.aspx/

And you have your Jupiter and Industar lenses, and of course the MC Zenit fisheye.

6 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (9 months ago)

You don't seem to realize the advances in our motion picture production tools thanks to Russian aerospace, nor that they are the only ones that can supply the Space Station

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (9 months ago)

Well, there are good and bad. But the good were very good.

0 upvotes
Mark Smith
By Mark Smith (9 months ago)

I had a Jupiter 8 and can honestly say it was one of the best lenses ever made, build quality not quite up to Leica/Zeiss but optically very very good.
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/01/06/jupi-what-shooting-jupiter-lenses-on-the-leica-m9-by-robert-chisholm/

5 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (9 months ago)

I agree Mark. I use one on my D700, D800 and F5. It is a great lens for portraits with gorgeous bokeh and lots of character...something a lot of lenses now lack. Knowlegable people are well aware of all this....others....well......

5 upvotes
CopCarSS
By CopCarSS (9 months ago)

I'm guessing you had the Jupiter 9, Dave. That's an 85mm f2. The Jupiter 8 was a 50mm f2 based on the Sonnar and would not be able to focus to infinity on a Nikon DSLR.

0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (9 months ago)

It is the Helios 44-2, an f2 58mm. With an adaptor, it can focus to infinity. Without the optic, it's limited to about 12 feet or so...which still works nicely. I'm currently looking for the Cyclop 85 f1.5....as it offers even more swirl on complex backgrounds that aren't too OOF.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

That's why I have 6 Russians. I drink a lot of wodka.... Or maybe they are just great lenses :p.

0 upvotes
Marcin 3M
By Marcin 3M (9 months ago)

I was user of Soviet and East-German lenses for a long time.
What is worth to be mentioned, now part of ex-soviet factories are in Kiev, Ukraine and in Belarussia.
Mentioned here Helios 44-2 imo was horrible lens (I've had a few), so I really don't know about opinions about it. Minolta 50/2 I started to use at '90 was waaaay better.
Maybe 100mm lens from them is suberb - but let's face it - 50 to 100mm lens are easiest to be produced.
For some reason fish-eye lenses from soviet union were o'k, but in fact, the best was 6x6 fisheye, and it was from Ukraine.
And yes, there are optics factory in Poland, and patented enlarging lens was copied in soviet union.

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (4 months ago)

The zenit 300mm 4.5 b**chslaps most canon and nikon lenses, you sir are a fool of the highest degree

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (9 months ago)

I would imagine because of the design of the Petzal Portrait lens, light fall-off is should be fairly heavy on FF. Might be OK in APS-C. But it was originally a large format lens so I would assume they'll be OK, if you like that kind of bokeh.

Not as pretty as the original:

http://chautauquacountycameraclub.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=5975&Itemid=336

0 upvotes
Total comments: 154
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