Lens envy at Lowepro! The new Petzval 80mm f/2.2 arrives at our offices.

The Petzval lens mounted on a Canon 5D.

The Petzval lens mounted on a Canon 5D.

Editor’s note: Last August, we posted a blog on the Lomography launch of the new/classic Petzval 80mm f/2.2. Our Lowepro colleague David was an early adopter and took part in the Kickstarter campaign.

March arrived and so did his lens. And it’s a stunner — a real object of beauty as well as an artful tool. Needless to say, there’s a bit of lens envy in our offices this week!

Here are David’s impressions and a few of his photos to share with you.

“The 80mm f/2.2 Petzval lens finally arrived and it lives up to all its expectations! The optics are extremely sharp and the swirly, off-focus bokeh effect adds an amazing artistic touch to photographs.

The bokeh effect is the result of an optical design that was abandoned in the 1800s and re-created by the Lomography’s Kickstarter campaign last August. The lens finally shipped last month and I’ve been busy testing it out.

Portraits at full aperture show the amazing bokeh effect and a very narrow depth of field.

Portraits at full aperture show the amazing bokeh effect and a very narrow depth of field.

At full aperture of f/2.2 the bokeh effect is most noticeable, but the depth of field is extremely narrow – so much so that that the hair and face of a portrait model cannot both be in focus. Also at full aperture, very bright objects do have some noticeable light bleed at the edges. Stopping down the f-stop eliminates the bleed and somewhat reduces the bokeh effect. Smaller f-stops give better depth of field excellent sharpness that rivals more expensive portrait lenses.

More of the bokeh effect with a portrait.

More of the bokeh effect with a portrait.

The lens delivers amazing artistic effects, excellent sharpness, and is a great value for the price. And as I imagined, it has become a prized addition to my photo gear.”

About Katrina

Katrina is the Senior Editor & Communications Manager for Lowepro.

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