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Equipment Etc

Lomography Petzval lens for Canon and Nikon

Why is it that human's are so contrary? When photography began, all we wanted to achieve was perfection. Now that we are so close to perfection, all we want are little errors that make our perfection more human.

I'll leave the psychologcial analysis of the human species to my good friend and photographer Robert van Koesveld (whom I travelled with to Bhutan last year), but I am really attracted to replicating old looks in photos. I guess many of us are.

Lomography is producing the old Petzval lens, originally introduced by optic inventor Joseph Petzval back in 1840. Lomo has reinvented and reengineered the lens for modern day Canon and Nikon SLR cameras.

According to Lomo's PR, the Petzval is the first and greatest portrait glass lens of all times. The new one is made from Russian glass and features multi-coating which is necessary for colour photography (the original lens only had to contend with B&W).

The lens features extreme sharpness, strong colour saturation, a swirly bokeh effect (which I like the look of), artsy vignetting, and a narrow depth-of-field thanks to its large f/2.2 aperture - many of the same features characteristic of its 19th century predecessor.

Lomography says the main thing owners will appreciate is the distinct optical look that's difficult to reproduce with filters or clever digital programs. It's very sharp in the in-focus areas, but creates a distinctive look in the out-of-focus areas around the frame. The resulting images can feel like they were captured using a vintage large format camera.

The lens has an 85mm focal length, a field of view of 30 degrees, compatibility with Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, no autofocus (there are no electrical contacts), and a minimum focusing distance of 3.28 feet/1 metre. Aperture is controlled using a traditional Waterhouse aperture system. You'll get physical aperture inserts that you plug into the aperture slot of the lens. The available inserts are: f/2.2, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 and f/16.

Cost is around $699. For more information, visit the Lomography website: www.lomography.com.au

Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses
AIPP

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