Season 2, Episode 1: a tale of two Petzvals, sorta.
Well, good news and bad news about the Petzval. A coating on the outside of the lens barrel began to peel, then I got a reversing ring stuck to the front. Tech support gave some helpful advice regarding the latter, and decided to trade me for a different copy for the former…So goodbye to #131; hello #4338.
At first, I had a bunch of trouble with #4338. It just wouldn’t focus… Well, that’s not quite true.
It would focus, but only from about 1 foot to about 7 feet.
I was quite frustrated and ready to send it back (and I need to send the good people at Lomography a note to thank them for their help), when I discovered that the little floating ring inside the lens was misaligned.
With that little floating ring back in place, the lens works as expected, and it’s just as good as #131, except that the aperture plates fall out constantly. That didn’t happen with the first copy I had at all. I even turned the lens upside down and shook it. Nothing.
With the new one, any tilt beyond about 80° and might hear a little tinkling sound as the aperture plate tumbles out and falls to the ground.* I think it’s going to be Gaff tape to the rescue on this one.
Another thing, inside the lens there are three strips of felt at equidistant points around the focusing lens. I’m not sure they were there in the first sample.
The felt doesn’t seem to disturb anything or effect picture quality (which, as with good old 131, is excellent), so I’m not too worried, and some nice pictures will be headed your way all this week!
*note: I only hear something when I’m standing over a hard surface… a fall from the camera onto carpet, grass, dirt, and similar materials doesn’t produce enough sound to be audible, unless everything else around is completely silent.