Exploring Photography – The New Lomography Petzval Art Lens

Before now the Exploring Photography series has looked at techniques that even the most amateur photographer can add to their repertoire, this week it’s all about a retro bit of kit, the Lomography Petzval art lens. A reinvention of a golden oldie dating back to the early 1800s and is by no stretch your typical new camera lens. First conceived in Vienna, Austria, by Joseph Petzval, the legendary Petzval art lens consists of two doublet lenses with an aperture stop in between. Lomography is passionate and dedicated to one thing and that’s analogue photography but with their latest invention they plan to break into the digital world too, by making the Petzval art lens compatible with all Canon EF and Nikon F mount analogue and digital SLRs.


The reintroduction of the Petzval Art Lens is down to the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter. The campaign flew past their original $100,000 target and was backed by over 3000 supporters.

“Thanks to the support of over 3000 Kickstarter backers, in 2013 we have been able to reinvent the Petzval Lens for the 21st Century. In only 30 days, the New Petzval Lens became one of the most successful Kickstarter design projects ever and it’s with huge pride and happiness that we are able to share this groundbreaking resurrection of one of the finest portrait lenses in history with you”!

The characteristics when shooting with a Petzval lens is instantly recognisable for their sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong colour saturation and most distinctively a swirly out of focus effect making the lens ideal for portraits where you want your subject to be the centre of attention. The beauty of the Petzval lens is in it’s stunning brass-barreled exterior that holds a manual focus prime, no electronic contacts, and aperture that’s controlled by dropping a selection of little plates into the barrel. We saw the Petzval lens in action at the well globally renowned phot exhibition Photokina in Cologne and it’s the real deal – if you’re looking to add a retro experience and old-time look to your images when using your modern digital camera.





Lomography x Zenit New Petzval Art Lens is now available to buy from the official Lomography store and will only set you back a mere £430, and if the shiny brass lens is slightly ostentatious for your tastes, there is a more discreet black option.

Buy The Lomography Petzval Art Lens here.