Following hot on the heels of its LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, Lomography is back with another decidedly quirky new lens. Launching on Kickstarter, the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens is a follow-up to the wonderfully bizarre New Petzval lens and this time offers a 58-mm focal length, along with the ability to control the level of the photographer-dividing swirly bokeh it creates.
Once more inspired by 19th century Petzval lenses, the new optic is not designed to create images to please those on a quest for ultimate image quality, but those who want something different. The images produced by its Russian glass optics are characterized by their strong color saturation, artful vignetting and swirly bokeh.
The big change for the Petzval 58, is that this swirly bokeh effect can now be adjusted using a control ring on the top of the lens. This adjusts the distance between the lens elements to change the strength of the effect. With the ring at "1" images will have a subtle swirly bokeh, while at "7" this is dialed up to much more powerful and distinctive swirls.
Because the new lens has a 58-mm focal length compared to the 85-mm of the first New Petzval it could potentially be more useful to photographers with crop sensor cameras who found the original a bit too long. On a APS-C camera it will give a 85-mm equivalent. The lens will be handcrafted by technicians at the Zenit factory in Russia, and be available in a brass or black finish.
Focusing is controlled by a Gear Rack Focusing Knob while aperture is taken care of with Waterhouse aperture plates which are slotted into the lens to give the desired results. The lens will ship with F1.9, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8, F11 and F16 plates.
The lens will be available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, meaning they are also compatible with a multitude of other cameras using adapter mounts. Given it's a manual focus lens, you don't need to worry about losing that functionality when using adapters.
The New Petzval 58 lenses have already far exceeded its Kickstarter target with the campaign running to June 26 and, if all goes to plan, are due to start shipping in December. A pledge of US$525 is currently enough to get you a brass version of the lens, and it will take $575 for the black version. Numbers are limited at these levels, and once they run out it will take a bigger pledge. It's also worth noting that different pledge levels also have different shipping dates.
You can check out the New Petzval 58 in the video below.