Friday, June 17, 2016


A while ago we reported about the Petzval 85mm f/2.4 lens as a worthwhile consideration for use on some of the Leica cameras.  The lens is a resurrection of the original Petzval lens from 1840.  It is offered byLomography.

Photos shot with a Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus and wonderful swirly bokeh effect at the non-focused areas, including strong color saturation, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field.

New to the line up of specialty lenses from Lomography is the 58mm f/1.9 lens.  Just like the 85mm, this lens too is based on the original design of the Petzval lens, but with one distinct advantage; it offers control of the bokeh in seven steps with the “Bokeh Control Ring”. 

In the past, the Petzval’s swirly bokeh effect has always been strongly dependent on factors such as the types of backgrounds you shoot against and the distance between you and your subject. In the two years since the Lomography New Petzval 85mm Art Lens was first invented, there has been plenty of time to consider a different approach that would allow to determine the strength of the swirly bokeh effect.

Ⓒ Lomography
 Photo: Lomography

Lomography developed a revolutionary mechanism for the New Petzval 58 that makes it easier than ever to adjust the swirly bokeh effect in your photos.  The Bokeh Control Ring gives you complete freedom over the signature Petzval swirly bokeh effect for the first time ever.  You can now achieve purely sublime swirl in all kinds of environments and shooting conditions.

For a subtle swirly bokeh effect, turn the ring to Level 1. But if you want to achieve a more powerful swirly bokeh effect than you’ve ever known before, turn it to Level 7.  The way the Bokeh Control Ring works is quite straightforward. By changing the level, you are adjusting the distance between the lens elements and this then affects the strength of the swirly bokeh you get.

The lens has been specially developed to work with modern analogue and digital cameras and is available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Fuji mounts, but it’s also compatible with multitudes of other cameras, including Leica M and Leica SL mount cameras using an adapter.

Photos of the Lomography New Petzval Portrait Lens being manufactured in Russia. The New Petzval 58 will also be assembled by hand by a team of skilled optical technicians.

Focal Length: 58mm
Aperture: Waterhouse aperture stops, f/1.9, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16
Image Circle: 44mm
Field of View: 41 degrees
Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF and Nikon F
Electronic Contacts: No
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.6m
Focusing Mechanism: Gear rack focusing
Filter Thread: 52mm
Bokeh Control Levels: 1 (minimum swirl) to 7 (maximum swirl)


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  1. Why would anyone put a Russian lens on a Leica?

    1. Because of its unique properties, as in this case.

    2. If you want variable bokeh, which is the case with this lens. Leica has nothing like this in their lineup.

  2. Some Leica owners are really a bunch of snobs. Nobody is asking them to replace their Leica lenses with lenses made in Russia. But they obviously fail to realize that this is a rather unique lens.