A Review With Samples of the Lomogon 32mm f/2.5

A new Lomography lens for full frame cameras is available, but is it worth a purchase?

Lomography is a strange term, and the company by the same name have stretched and molded it into a blurry contemporary use. A long time ago, it was a term that described analog cameras — sometimes even toy cameras — taking brightly colored images with soft focus. As time passed, it has become a synonym for quirky, and Lomography (the company) produce some interesting lenses.

Their newest lens, the Lomogon 32mm f/2.5, is no different. Its aesthetics, particularly in that shiny brass shell, are great, but I always had a penchant for that brass 55mm f/1.7 Pertzval lens they make. The performance appears to be much like you'd expect: not technically impressive with regards to the usual metrics we care for, like sharpness or vignetting, but it has character. That is central to Lomography's mission, however. In fact, they describe their work in the following way: "Its trademark vignette shadowing, light-leaks, and saturated colors attracted a cult following." It puts them in an interesting position; they're almost impervious to ordinary criticism. You can stomp your feet and moan about heavy vignetting, or corner softness, and they'll wear it like a badge of honor.

The bokeh rendering does look interesting, and Frost suggests it's fun to use — and I've grown to trust his opinion on such matters — but I'm not sure I'd be willing to separate with $560 for it. Would you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I really wish that they would just use a normal diaphragm for the aperture rather than that stupid system that looks specifically designed to trap dust in your lens... It's not like these openings are special shapes or something.

I do own that lens (bought via kickstarter, where it was much cheaper of course), I don't regret it but ... it's not that unique as I thought previously. It's pretty sharp even close to your subject, background blur is nice and vivid, but separation from the background is not that good. It's sharper than my old lenses Meyer Görlitz Lydith 3.5/30mm and Carl Zeiss Jena DDR 2.4/35mm Flektogon, but the latter has a way better background blur and near distance.

Anyway, it's fun to use and stopped down it does it's job.