I love my new Petzval Art Lens

I love my Petzval Art Lens:

A couple of weeks ago I bought the Petzval Art Lens. I started using it with a series of portraits during my visit at the famous Circus Roncalli.

First of all, the appearance of the lens is an eye-catcher itself. Thanks to the shiny brass you can instantly connect with the person you are photographing – you immediately have hers or his curiosity and attention and therefore a fantastic topic of conversation.

The lens was first invented in Vienna, Austria in 1840 by Professor Joseph Petzval.

Petzval and the lens have a fascinating and rich history.

Lomography and Zenit have brought back the iconic lens which is known for its strong color saturation, the fantastic swirly bokeh effect and the artsy vignetting.

The special design of the lens, that is now manufactured in Krasnogorsk, Russia, gives the photo the famous optical effect. There is an area in your photo that is very sharp over a narrow field topped with the progressive vignetting towards the non-focused areas.

It takes a bit time, patience and practice to find the sweet spot with the manual focusing wheel. To be honest, it took me quite a while to find out which backgrounds work best for me and where to position the person I want to photograph. Especially in the beginning and when you just have a couple of minutes to take your portrait, you have to be very focused and concentrated to get the subject crisp clear.

It is a great optical tool that keeps you experimenting with vintage or modern looks in digital photography – not in post production but rather while shooting.

Here is a selection of portraits I took in different light situations with an aperture of f/2.2