The Lomography Petzval 55MM

The New Petzval 55MM f/1.7

I’m not that excited about this lens. Mostly because this is mainly a film site, and although I sometimes shoot digital, as do many of my visitors,… I don’t own a mirrorless camera, nor do I have any plans to own one in the future. (unless you want to call a Contax G a ‘mirrorless’ camera) This lens is available in satin finished or black painted brass or in black anodized aluminum, it comes standard for Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts. It features a smooth focus bokeh control ring and a dual aperture system – opening up various creative options for your photos and videos.


New Petzval 55MM
Image Courtesy of Lomography


A Tribute to Joseph Petzval

In 1840, Petzval’s work in optics manifested in the magnificent Petzval portrait lens. The revolutionary invention not only created an iconic swirly bokeh effect but represented the first portrait lens, which went on to characterize the 19th-century photographic aesthetic. In 2013, Lomography reinvented Joseph Petzval’s legendary optic for the SLR systems. (the ones I’m familiar with) Today, after 6 years of fine tuning this unique design, Lomography has introduced the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 to the mirrorless world.


New Petzval 55MM
Image Courtesy of Lomography


To Bokeh or Not to Bokeh

Unlike contemporary lenses, designed to minimize field curvature resulting in images with higher overall sharpness, the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 is characterized by an optic that makes this lens perfect for attaining crystal clarity, even alongside its signature swirly bokeh. The improved design, with a maximum aperture of f/1.7, allows strongly contrasting images at smaller apertures but also provides a subtle, almost painterly rendering at larger apertures. For even greater control, they added a dedicated bokeh control ring, which enables the adjustment of the bokeh in seven levels.


New Petzval 55MM
Image Courtesy of Lomography


The Dual Aperture System

With the Petzval 55 mm f/1.7, you can personalize your photographs thanks to the unique dual aperture system. The Petzval 55 mm f/1.7 gives you great freedom, not only because of the speed and versatility of the stopless aperture diaphragm but also because you can integrate special aperture plates through the Waterhouse Aperture System. The aperture plates, coming with the lens, facilitate different shapes of bokeh for an even greater range of creativity.


Image Courtesy of Lomography


A Filmmaker Favorite

Many of Anatomy Film’s hybrid shooters are doing video. Some with mirrorless cameras. With the expanding video performance features of prevailing mirrorless cameras, such as groundbreaking in camera stabilization, was the need to make the Petzval 55mm f/1.7 more versatile and adaptable for filmmakers than ever before. Sporting a new long-throw focusing ring and stopless aperture diaphragm you can now seamlessly adjust focus and f-stop while the camera is rolling. A new design means you can easily integrate the Petzval 55mm f/1.7 into your filmmaker’s arsenal.

Technical Specifications

  • Focal Length: 55 mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.7
  • Aperture: Dual Aperture system
  • Diaphragm Aperture f/1.7 – f/22
  • Aperture Slot
  • Available Lens Mounts: Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E
  • Lens Construction: 4 elements 3 Groups, Petzval Design
  • Lens Coating: Multi-Coated
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.6 m
  • Focusing Mechanism: Helicoid
  • Field of View: 41 degrees – 47.5 degrees
  • Filter Thread: 67 mm x P 0.75
  • Electronic Contacts: No

And don’t ask me where Zayira Ray got a silver one. Must have been a prototype. Birgit Buchart of Lomography didn’t say.


Leave a Reply

Close Menu