Build Quality and Design
The Petzval 85mm f/2.2L Lens by Lomography is a modern homage to the historic Petzval lens design, exuding an old-world charm and retro aesthetics. The lens’s brass construction gives it a sturdy, solid feel and a glossy sheen, making it a standout piece. The manual focus mechanism, housed in a beautifully designed gear rack system, adds to the vintage appeal while providing photographers with a tactile, engaging experience.
Given its unique design, the Petzval 85mm f/2.2L lens delivers a distinct and characterful optical performance. The center sharpness is very good, with softer edges lending to its vintage appeal. Its maximum aperture of f/2.2 allows for a pleasing shallow depth of field shots. Petzval’s signature swirly bokeh is the highlight, creating a dreamy, almost surreal background unique to this lens.
The Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2L lens engages viewers by producing images that blend modern sensors’ sharpness and vintage aesthetics. The unique bokeh and softer image periphery draw the viewer’s eye toward the center of the frame, emphasizing the subject. This lens is perfect for creating images that tell a story, with its characteristic rendering imparting an engaging, nostalgic feel.
This lens adds a unique finesse to your photos, with the Petzval’s characteristic swirly bokeh providing an artistic touch to your images. The vintage rendering, the sharp center, and the softer edges all contribute to a distinctive look that’s hard to replicate with other lenses. This lens is perfect for photographers looking to add a unique and artistic style to their work.
Photographing with the Petzval 85mm f/2.2L lens is an experience in itself. The manual focus mechanism and the aperture selection method, which involves Waterhouse stops, bring photographers closer to the roots of photography. This lens is not about quick snapshots; it’s about taking your time, composing your shot, and immersing yourself in photography.
Manually insertable aperture blades have different shapes. The sample photo pictures the starry effect of the out-of-focus water drops when using a manually inserted star aperture diaphragm.
Compatibility and Adaptability
The Petzval 85mm f/2.2L is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, making it compatible with a broad range of DSLRs and, with the right adapters, mirrorless cameras as well. As for adaptability, this lens is best suited for portraiture, artistic photography, and any scenario where its unique rendering can be used. Its distinct aesthetic may not lend itself to all types of photography, but it can produce truly unique images in the proper context.
The Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2L lens is more than just a photographic tool; it’s a creative instrument that encourages photographers to engage more deeply with their craft. Its solid build, unique optical performance, and distinct aesthetic set it apart. If you’re looking for a lens that offers something different, something that can add a unique touch to your work, the Petzval 85mm f/2.2L lens is a worthy investment. It’s not just a lens; it’s a journey back to the roots of photography.
Pros: Special art bokeh variant (swirly) can be achieved; engaging vintage photographic experience.
Cons: Vignetting and color fringing are prominent; Stopping down makes the swirly effect less prominent; High field maintenance.