10:52: Whitstable by Petzval

I was one of the many who pre-bought one of the new Lomography Petzval lenses on their kickstarter campaign and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago.

The “new” Petzval lens is a recreation of the Victorian portrait lenses and is designed to replicate their look. It has all the features of the old lenses – screw focusing and Waterhouse Stops – and is beautifully made in brass by Zenit at Krasnogorsk in Russia- where my old Zorki 4k was made in cold war days: nice to see they’ve kept their skills after all these years.

Here it is on my trusty Nikon FE – a camera I’ve now owned for over thirty years, having bought it brand new when I was 15 with some money I inherited. I think it was a wise purchase and is still working perfectly without once being serviced.

Petzval on Nikon FE

Petzval on Nikon FE

I took it with me to Whitstable this past weekend, loaded with Ektar 100. Whistable is a working fishing town on the North Kent coast, only about an hour from London, which is renowned for its oysters and seafood. My brother has a place there and we went down on Friday evening for the weekend, which turned out to be stunning: warm sunshine for the first time in months. We walked around the harbour then along the coast to a fabulous pub cum Michelin-starred restaurant, The Sportsman in Seasalter – a lovely hours walk and the food is sublime.

Nets by the harbour

Nets by the harbour

Man standing on a dog lead

Man standing on a dog lead

Some trendy young folk

Some trendy young folk

Focussing is a learning thing

Focussing is a learning thing

Petzvalish

Petzvalish

Brightness and light

Brightness and light

This saltmarsh lamb is served in the pub and is the best I've ever tasted

This saltmarsh lamb is served in the pub and is the best I’ve ever tasted
Trying for out-of-focus-ness

Trying for out-of-focus-ness

Reeds - again, focussing a bit tricky

Reeds – again, focussing a bit tricky

I used the lens pretty much as a normal short telephoto – it’s an 85mm focal length. I tried to use the widest possible aperture but it was a really bright, sunny day on Saturday so I was at f2.8 and 1/1000th.

I can see the Petzval character on some of these shots, particularly in the background. Overall I’m quite happy for a first film but I don’t think I’m getting the best out of the lens just yet.

9 thoughts on “10:52: Whitstable by Petzval

  1. Awesome week! I’m still waiting for my Petzval; I was one of the “first 200” that pledged for numbered/engraved lenses… and still haven’t received it yet due to problems with the engraving process. Just a little annoyed, but still really looking forward to playing with it!

    Like

  2. We walked past the Lomo stand at the photography show last week 4 or 5 times. Saw 1 person on it! I was fairly surprised I have to say! They had the petzval just on a table at the side… Nice enough looking thing! Not convinced that I wouldn’t just rather buy an old lens though…?

    Like

    • That is the test that is yet to be proven. It is a very lovely object in its own right but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not in the way it looks. The jury is still out in my opinion: my 1950’s Leitz Summarit 50mm f1.5 beats this lens when it comes to swirly bokeh.

      Like

  3. Beautiful work! I’m seriously considering now buying one of these lenses, but not until later as I just dropped 250.00 on a new lens for my 4×5!

    Like

  4. I was wondering about the results from the Petzval lens. For a first roll, you did great! I really like the fishnet shot.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s