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Focusing in on the Petzval lens and Panasonic FZ70

Focusing in on the Petzval lens and Panasonic FZ70

Lomography Petzval lens

Lomography has teamed with lens maker Zenit to manufacture the Petzval lens, which was invented in 1840. The lens, with its unique sharpness and shallow depth-of-field along with its ability to produce a swirling blurred background, will feature either a more current Canon EF or Nikon F mount.

Petzvallens300pxThe portrait-style lens has recently been announced as a Kickstarter project with great success. The project goal of $100,000 was reached in about four hours. In a couple of days they have already topped $600,000. I have never noticed this kind of success in my scans throughout Kickstarter.

The Lomography Petzval 85 millimeter lens, made of brass with Russian-made glass optics with a maximum aperture of f/2.2, has an amazing old-school-like look, so you won’t be confusing this lens with any other in your camera bag unless you want to go with the special edition black model, priced at $500.

The early-bird prices of $300 and $350 are gone, so you’re going to be looking at $400 to pick one up until Aug. 24 on the Kickstarter website. There are other, more expensive and limited-edition models available with engraving or limited-edition serial numbers.

The most expensive tiers, which included a Petzval-themed trip to Vienna, are also sold out.

lumixfront02Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70

Panasonic recently introduced its new super-zoom-style Lumix DMC-FZ70 camera that features a 60x optical zoom lens, which is the 35mm equivalent of 20-1200 mm.  This is the longest range of any camera in this category that I have seen. Canon features the PowerShot SX50 HS with 50x optical zoom and Nikon offers the Coolpix P520 with a 42x zoom. It’s going to be tough for me not to buy the Panasonic camera when it becomes available.

The optical zoom from 20 mm to 1200 mm is an amazing range. lumix300px_frontIt’s not going to be the quality of a conventional DSLR, especially with a full-frame sensor. But there’s not a chance you’re going to be carrying around a DSLR camera with a 20 mm and 1200 mm lens in your camera bag. Convenience and cost are usually going to win out.

The camera features HD 1080/60i video with zoomed focus sound and technology promises to block out wind noise with their newly developed Wind Shield Zoom Microphone, according to the Panasonic website. I am looking forward to trying this technology to see how it works. As most outdoor videographers know, shooting video in nature with a built-in camera microphone usually just means getting a lot of wind noise.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ70 features a f/2.8-5.9 lens along with a 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor. The camera also features RAW shooting mode and auto exposure bracketing for HDR enthusiasts.

Optional accessories available for the camera include a 1.7 conversion lens, which gives you even more optical zoom, a 3X close-up filter for macro work, external flashes and neutral density and polarizing filters. The camera’s list price is $399.

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  1. July 28, 2013, 1:22 am

    And not a single photograph showing what the Petzval lens produces?

    By: J. Priest
  2. July 28, 2013, 1:46 am

    So, do we get to see some photos taken with this unusual-looking lens?

    By: Bob
  3. July 28, 2013, 10:52 am

    How about posting a picture or two taken with this miracle, instead of endless sponsored pictures of cameras?

    Think that might be clever thing to do when talking about a lens' unique capabilities?

    Nice to see this column is the same high quality in terms of content as the rest of the L.A. Dog Trainer.

    By: Doug Dingle
  4. February 27, 2015, 8:45 am

    Josef Petzval was big into pinhole cameras. If you do a Google image search for the word Petzval you'll find a picture of the lense and all its accessories, which consist of sheets of blackened metal with various sized and shaped holes, plus you'll find many of the pictures lacking in this article.

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