My new Petzval lens

The first Kickstarter I backed was for a New Petzval Lens by Lomography x Zenit back in July. I was able to support the project and get a great deal on the lens, but you can pre-order it here.

The New Petzval Lens is a reinvention of the Petzval Lens made in 1840. I was attracted by the brass and the bokeh effect that it creates. It creates a sort of swirly blur that looks kind of dreamy.

I just received it in the time that they scheduled. I thought they did a great job of communicating what was going on throughout the entire process. I thought their packaging and branding was spot on, and the lens is a real beauty.

The only thing that was missing was a visual getting started guide. It does come with a little booklet, but the instructions are hidden in the back behind a flap and there are no diagrams that could be helpful. I was still able to figure it out.

This lens is an 85mm f/2.2. It uses what is known as the Waterhouse stop to change aperture. To change the aperture, you have to swap the black metal plate on the top of the lens pictured below.

The lens came with 11 plates. When you first receive the lens there's a plate already in the lens. That plate is just there as a dust protector. It was really hard to take it out. It was super tight and I was scared that I was going to break the lens trying to pull it out. I kept wiggling it and it eventually came out. I decided to try the plate that would give my lens a f/2.2 aperture. I wanted to try out other plates as well, but I've read that people have had problems with the paint on the plates scrapping off and falling into the lens. I'm hoping that won't happen with mine. We'll see.

To focus you have to do it manually by turning little nob on the side pictured below. I had a little trouble focusing on my subjects. Even when I saw that something was in focus through the viewfinder, the picture didn't always come out that way. I think that just might be me thought. I didn't have any problems with the lens other than that and that the lens cap feels a little loose.

Here's what the lens looks like on my Canon 5D Mark II. It looks ridiculous and awesome at the same time. It's definitely a head turner.

Here are pictures using the f/2.2 plate:

Overall, I enjoyed using this lens and think that it produces beautiful dreamy pictures. I'm excited to continue to experiment and learn more about how to use the lens to it's full potential. Anyways, I'm not a pro photographer just an enthusiast, so take my post with a grain of salt. Thanks for reading!