New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens

New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens

A reinvention of the original 19th century Joseph Petzval portrait lens. Designed specifically for modern-day full-frame mirrorless cameras.
  • Capture vintage aesthetics with contemporary mirrorless cameras
  • Broad spectrum of beautiful swirly bokeh effects
  • Long-throw focusing ring for smooth focus shifts while shooting
  • Dual aperture system with special shape aperture plates
  • Optimized for still and motion photography
Focal Length: 55 mm
Lens Aperture System: Waterhouse Aperture Plates
lens_family: Petzval 55
SKU: petzval55

In stock


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Strong characteristics including rich color saturation and artful vignetting.

A dual aperture system lets you choose between 8-blade diaphragm aperture system or the Waterhouse Aperture System – produce rich and patterned backgrounds through the insertion of special shape aperture plates.

Sweep from sharp to soft with small apertures rendering razor sharpness and large ones rendering stunning swirly bokeh effects.

To aid in filmmaking projects, the lens also features a long-throw focusing ring for smoothly and accurately adjusting focus while you’re shooting.
— PetaPixel

Capture authentic vintage aesthetics from the 19th century with your contemporary mirrorless cameras.

Deliciously dreamy to strikingly sharp – rather than changing the aperture to modify the bokeh effect, the New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens includes a dedicated Bokeh Control Ring – for more flexibility than any other traditional lens.

Dampened long-throw focusing ring for smooth focus shifts while the camera is rolling.

Get velvety swirly bokeh across the frame thanks to the unique Petzval optic design which is unlike any other lens out there.

Large f/1.7 aperture for great low-light performance and beautiful foreground and background blur.

Join the family of Petzval pioneers around the world all sharing their best tips, tricks and results from shooting with this extraordinary lens.

Available in three gorgeous finishes. Choose between satin brass or black painted brass for a vintage look and black anodized aluminum for a more contemporary feel.

The lens brings a very special effect that you cannot produce with your normal lenses. It breaks through your routine and gives you something completely different.
Axel Gülcher

The first Petzval Art Lens built specifically for full-frame mirrorless cameras. Coming standard with mounts for Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E and many more when using an adapter.

55 mm focal length ideal for compressing perspective when taking portraits and closing in on small details.

I really loved the lens, indeed it helped me break the effect, sometimes too clean, kind of ‘clinical’ of digital. The bokeh is amazing.
Geoffrey Yahya Vargas


Designed for still and motion photography and boasting beautiful swirly bokeh effects, this extraordinary Art Lens is ready for all kinds of cinematic and photographic adventure. It sports a long-throw focusing ring for smooth focus shifts while shooting as well as a Waterhouse Aperture System for endless experimental effects. Best of all, the built-in Bokeh Control Ring lets you select the level of swirl you desire for an unparalleled level of creative expression in one lens.

Lomography Art Lens Family

Lomography Art Lenses feature the finest glass to produce photos that astonish with saturated colors and unique character. As well as being designed and assembled by hand, these lenses have been engineered using modern techniques and multi-coated glass elements to produce vibrant, strong, wonderful photos with a whole range of contemporary cameras. Each Lomography Art Lens brings a wide variety of creative possibilities with it, no two are the same.

Lomography Petzval Art Lenses

In 1840, in Vienna, Professor Joseph Maximilián Petzval invented the very first portrait lens. His groundbreaking design became the most widely used in the 19th century. We have been reinventing this amazing original since 2013. Our quest to translate this unique optical design into lenses that would work with modern-day cameras has resulted in four extraordinary Art Lenses to date. The New Petzval 85, the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control, the New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII and the New Petzval 80.5 f/1.9 MKII.

Who was Joseph Maximilian Petzval?

Joseph Petzval was born on 6 January 1807 in the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – modern-day Slovakia. In 1835, at the tender age of 28, his reputation as an exceptional mathematician earned him the title of Professor. He also founded his own glass-sharpening workshop, where he acquired a reputation for being a skilled lens sharpener and precision mechanic. It is here where his acclaimed brainchild – the Petzval lens – was born.

On 9 January 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process, the invention of French artist and physicist Louis Daguerre. It was the first-ever photographic process and involved photos being printed on silver plates. But, with exposure times needing to last half an hour or more, portraits were impossible.

A little further east, Vienna was also a fruitful place for science and innovation at this time. Petzval was affected by a great hope among scientists to discover previously unseen things in the world and he specifically believed that math had a higher calling, namely to uncover nature. By May 1840, Petzval finished his latest lens calculations and handed them over to the company Voigtländer & Sohn. This new lens design was the first to be based on scientific calculations, not just the experience of the optician. This first lens sealed the company’s global reputation as a leading camera manufacturer. It won awards with Voigtländer and Petzval both receiving standing ovations for the precision of the camera’s shots, which took just a few seconds to take.

Joseph Petzval’s Legacy

While Petzval may have gained significant recognition for his work on the Petzval lens he, unfortunately, did very little to protect his intellectual property rights. Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Voigtländer manufactured the Petzval lens as part of the conical Voigtländer camera and thus made a fortune off the sales of the camera and Petzval lens.

In the 1850s, Petzval was approached separately by the Military Geographic Institute to develop his previously attempted landscape lens. By 1854 he had finalized his invention and collaborated with Viennese optician Carl Dietzler, who manufactured the lens to fit onto a suitable camera. Petzval’s former business partner Voigtländer had also started production of a landscape lens called “Orthoskop.” Though equal in sharpness, Petzval’s lens was three times faster and significantly smaller. Despite this victory, it turned out that Carl Dietzler was bankrupt and his company had to be dismantled. To top it all off, the rights for Petzval’s landscape lens were eventually handed over to Voigtländer, who became the main provider for the military.

Joseph Petzval passed away on 19 September 1891. While his later years were plagued by the tumultuous unraveling of his original lens design, his legacy in the photographic world rightfully lives on today.

Bokeh or Not Bokeh

The word Bokeh describes one of the most important optical features of the New Petzval Lenses. But what does the word actually mean? Bokeh is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

The New Petzval lenses don’t just give you a basic Bokeh, you can get what we like to call “Swirly Bokeh”. Unlike modern lenses designed to minimize field curvature, thus eliminating any curve across the focal surface, the Petzval lens design embraces the curve and renders photos with a totally different optical effect. This lens renders crystal clear in-focus images that seamlessly transition to silky-smooth out-of-focus areas. It provides velvety watercolor bokeh when shot wide open. When stopped down to smaller apertures, the lens displays extreme sharpness across the frame. Combined with versatile focal lengths, they creates three-dimensional portraits, evoking the style of the earliest photographs.

Question & Answers

Does my New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens work on my SLR camera?
Technically this lens can be adapted to work with your SLR camera but not without losing infinity focus so we do not recommend it.

Will the Aperture Plates of my other Lomography Petzval Art Lens fit this lens?
Sadly not. The New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens plates are a different size from those of our other Petzval Art Lenses.

Package Contents

  • New Petzval 55 f/1.7 MKII Art Lens
  • Front and Rear Lens Caps
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Book
  • Instruction Manual
  • Special Waterhouse Aperture Plates: heart, star, snowflake, sun and a special dust protection plate