Petzval, part 1: unboxing

We interrupt our usually-scheduled programming to bring you a special event…

Petzval Week

episode one: the unboxing in which the author unboxes his new Lomography X Zenit Petzval 85mm f/2.2, serial number 131.

Note: this will not be a review, really, nor will I get into the history of the Petzval lens or Lomography Corp.’s stunning Kickstarter win. Others have already done a great job of this.

As an early Kickstarter backer, I originally went for the lens itself for $400, but after a brief bit of consideration, decided to go with an early-production number model for $500. (The lens is currently sold out, but they’re taking orders for a second production run in Canon and Nikon mounts, and there are also black versions.) I think this was a good idea: while it took a bit longer to receive my copy, Lomography were very careful with the QC on these, and so I’m seeing none of the issues others noted (specifically, the aperture plates fit tightly and are in no danger of falling out, even if I take the lens and shake it).

The package that arrived was smaller than expected, with a pleasant and surprising heft to it. From previous reports, I knew the packaging was excellent, but was still surprised at the quality of the materials and the care with which everything was put together.

The outer shell opened to reveal a bag of goodies for Kickstarter backers and what I presume is the retail box.

You can flip through the pictures above to see all the other fun stuff that came with the lens, but what I found most interesting was the lens itself: heavy, solid-feeling, with none of the rattling that comes from many contemporary lens designs. I assume this is due partly to the classic design, and partly to Russian engineering/Lomography Corp. quality control.

The Petzval is a beautiful lens, and a joy to hold and shoot with.

One small quibble: the lens mount is a bit off. It doesn’t fit onto or come off of the D7000 quite as easily as other lenses from Nikon, Vivitar, Sigma, Tamron, or even Fotodiox. It attaches, but it’s just a bit fiddly getting it on and off. (I have no idea if this is an isolate issue, or if I’m just thick: I found no other instances of this issue in a quick google search.)

But this is a minor issue. I’m loving the lens so far.

And with that, I’ll leave you in suspense for episode 2. It won’t be too long a wait, as I plan to post something new every day for the rest of this week. So stay tuned if you’re interested, or pay me no mind for a bit. We’ll return to regularly-scheduled programming next week, InshaAllah.

(unboxing shot with the d7000 and Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 ai. Cropping and minor adjustments made in Lightroom.)

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