Here’s something for those who ever wanted to give photos that old timey look but like for real – without any of that Instagram digital post-processing shader mess. The minds at Lomography have brought back the nearly 200-year-old Petzval portrait lens that you can stick onto your digital-age SLR camera to create stylish photos like it’s the 19th century all over again.
Petzval lenses are 19th-century portrait lenses developed by Joseph Petzval in Vienna in 1840. They were extremely popular at the time because they captured images that were extremely sharp, while also creating a swirling bokeh.
Lomography collaborated with a Russian lens maker called Zenit to bring these extremely rare and sought after lenses to the modern digital age. These lenses are made just like the original, with brass bodies and a reengineered 85mm lens (136mm if you’re using a 1.6x crop factor camera).
Seeing as this design is nearly two centuries old, you’ll have to put some extra work into using it over your modern lenses. You’ll need to stick aperture slides into the top of the camera as well and tinker with a manual focus knob on the side. The good news, though, is that the glass has a maximum aperture of f/2.2.
The Lomography Petzval Portrait Lens will work with cameras that use the Canon EF and Nikon F mounting systems. It also works with any old 35mm film camera with the same mounts you might have kicking around.
If you want to get your hands on Lomography’s Petzval portrait lens you reserve yours for US$350 – which is really not too bad for a metal-clad lens with a unique optical effect. That said, the Kickstarter is going fast, so reserve your lens now.
by Kevin Lee, TechHive