A Review of the Lomography Petzval 55mm f/1.7 Mark II

As a photographer, you're always looking for ways to expand your creative toolbox and capture unique images. One way to achieve this is by using lenses with special characteristics, like the Lomography Petzval 55mm f/1.7 Mark II. This lens offers a distinct aesthetic, taking inspiration from 19th-century optical designs to produce images with swirly bokeh and a vintage feel.

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this informative video review looks at the features and performance of the Lomography Petzval 55mm f/1.7 Mark II. Frost highlights the lens's ability to produce sharp focus on the subject while creating a dreamy, swirling effect in the background. He emphasizes the importance of using this lens with a full frame camera to fully utilize its unique capabilities. Frost also discusses the lens' build quality, praising its beautiful design and manual controls, while noting the lack of weather-sealing as a potential drawback.

The review further explores the lens's dual aperture system, which allows you to utilize both a traditional aperture dial and Lomography's signature Waterhouse aperture plates. These plates offer various shapes, like snowflakes and hearts, that add an additional layer of creative control by influencing the bokeh's appearance. Frost demonstrates the impact of these features on image quality, showcasing the lens' ability to render sharp details at the point of focus, even at wider apertures. He also acknowledges the lens' tendency to produce soft focus and flare when shooting close-up or against bright light sources, characteristics that contribute to its vintage aesthetic.

While the 55mm f/1.7 Mark II might not be ideal for every situation, it offers a unique and creative option for photographers seeking to experiment with their style. Its ability to produce distinctive images with swirled bokeh and a vintage feel makes it a fun tool for portraiture, artistic photography, and videography. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Frost.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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