19th Century Camera Lens Recalibrated For Today’s Digital Cameras [Pics]

Lomography teams up with Zenit to repurpose a lens made in 1840 on Kickstarter.

In what seems to be a historic move, Lomography launched a Kickstarter campaign to re-purpose the all-brass Petzval Lens, a camera invented in 1840, making it compatible with select Nikon and Panasonic DSLRs. The crowdfunding campaign has already raised 7 times the fundraising goal and twice as much as they raised for the Smartphone Film Scanner. The lens is still in production, but a prototype will be ready within 2 months.

Technically speaking, the lens has a shallow/narrow field of focus, field curvature, and high resolution in the focus area. This makes for a particularly effective way of capturing vivid portraits and recreating vintage effects such as the ‘swirly bokeh’ effect. According to their press release:

While the original lens was only optimized for black and white photography, the new Petzval lens is a high quality, multicoated lens to ensure great performance. As the Petzval lens is compatible with all Nikon F and Canon EF mount analog and digital SLR cameras, you can now get the unique Petzval look on film, digital images and even video!

This innovation promises to bring analog and digital technology closer, as in the case with many of Lomography’s initiatives. The success of the brand was guaranteed by a highly engaged community base that appreciates the balancing of novelty and quality.

Lomography Petzval Lens

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