Lomography’s latest 19th century lens offers more control over blurry bokeh

Petzval 58 Bokeh Control lets you add varying degrees of swirliness in those out-of-focus backgrounds

The Petzval 58 mounted on a Nikon D700

A couple of years ago Lomography launched its Petzval lens, a pricy brass-bodied add-on for Nikon and Canon mount cameras based off of a classic 19th century design. Well, now it’s back with a second edition of the Petzval, this time offering more control over your images.

The first Lomo Petzval offered unique bokeh effects. If you’re wondering what the heck we’re talking about, bokeh refers to the look of the out-of-focus parts of an image, which is largely determined by the shape of a lens’ aperture.

Most bokeh is vaguely round in shape, but the Petzval’s bokeh swirls around the centre of the image, creating an unusual and quite compelling “bokeh frame” around subjects. And on the new Petzval 58 lens, you have more control over it than previous. A dial lets you switch between seven levels of swirl (1 = a wee bit swirly; 7 = really, really swirly).

Look at that swirly ol' bokeh

The lens itself has manual focus, a focal length of 58mm and a maximum aperture of f/1.9, and will be available in two versions: one for Nikon F mount cameras and one for Canon EF mount cameras. Via adapters, you’ll be able to attach it to other types of cameras like Sony’s E and Fujifilm’s F mount compact system models.

As with 2013’s Petzval, Lomography is running a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the 58. The campaign is already funded after less than a day, but you can still reserve your own lens by backing it to the tune of US$375 (about ₹24,000). Deliveries are currently slated for December 2015.