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Medium format Petzvar f/3.8 120 mm Petzval fine art portrait lens

THE PHOBLOGRAPHER

- Additionally, this lens will have a very clear, cool, modern look to it. If anything, it looks like something made by Zeiss.

FSTOPPERS

- A new campaign is hoping to fund the production of an F3.8 120mm lens for medium format cameras with a Pentacon Six and Hasselblad compatible mount. The long focal length with the use of an adapter makes it possible to use the lens on a variety of other medium format cameras as well as 35mm cameras.

IMAGING RESOURCE

- What's interesting is that rather than use the traditional aperture inserts that other Petzval lenses (like the Lomo one) have used, Ivanichek seems to be able to put the lens in a much more modern housing, that won't look out of place on most bodies.

Petzvar 3.8  120 mm Medium format Petzval lens
Petzvar 3.8 120 mm Medium format Petzval lens

Hello, my name is Denys Ivanichek.

I would like to introduce my PETZVAR  f/3.8  120 mm medium format Petzval fine art lens.

I'm pretty sure you have heard about the Petzval design lenses before. Briefly, it is the first mathematically calculated lens scheme, that improved the speed of the portrait lenses. In 1840, Joseph Petzval, a Professor of Mathematics at Vienna University, came up with a lens design that provided for speeds of f/3.6, which was many times faster, than all existing lens designs available at that period.

Being a film photography enthusiast for many years, I have gathered a significant amount of information about those lenses and decided to build my own portrait lens, that will work with the medium format cameras and the 35 mm full frame cameras with the use of adapters.

   I crafted my first Petzvar over three years ago. It was crude and lacked an aperture, but it worked and produced very artistic images.

After my first success, I've decided to invest in making a proper lens body.  I have a strong engineering background, therefore it wasn't difficult for me to create a technical drawings of  the lens body components.

With a help of the Diamond Technologies Inc. machine shop, equipped with sophisticated precision CNC machines, my drawings turned into a solid lens housing.

   I was never planning to reproduce the lens, but lately there have been numerous comments and questions about the lens and the images produced with it, and many people have asked if I'm going to make further lenses. Therefore, I have decided to start a Kickstarter project.  With your help and support, I hope to make this lens available for  fellow photographers.

This image was taken with the Petzvar f/3.8 120 mm  mounted on Kiev 88 CM medium format camera with sepia tone added later.
This image was taken with the Petzvar f/3.8 120 mm mounted on Kiev 88 CM medium format camera with sepia tone added later.
Image was taken with the Petzvar on medium format film and cropped
Image was taken with the Petzvar on medium format film and cropped
One more image, taken with Petzvar on medium format Kiev camera. Cropped from 6x6 frame.
One more image, taken with Petzvar on medium format Kiev camera. Cropped from 6x6 frame.

WHY MEDIUM FORMAT?

    I love the large format photography and still have a couple of big brass Petzval lenses for my 4x5 Graflex Speed Graphic camera. But shooting and processing the large format film is time consuming and requires a great deal of patience. On the other hand, the most convenient 35 mm film format, in my opinion, can not reproduce that almost three dimensional appearance of the large format images.

    Therefore, it was a clear choice - medium format. My medium format portrait lens is also quite versatile. Because of its significantly longer Flange Focal Distance, it can be used with almost any kind of full frame 35 mm film camera  with the available adapters.

MEDIUM FORMAT PETZVAR PETZVAL LENS WITH HASSELBLAD 2000 SERIES COMPATIBLE MOUNT

Initially, the Petzvar lens was built with Pentacon Six mount.

Soon after posting the information about the Petzvar lens on the web, I received numerous inquires about the possibility of making the Petzvar portrait lens with 2000 series Hasselblad compatible mount.

Since the Flange Focal Distance of a Pentacon Six camera and a Hasselblad camera is very similar - 74.1 mm and 74.9 mm, respectively, there was no problem making Petzvar lens with Hasselblad " V " mount.

Medium format Petzvar f/3.8 120 mm Petzval portrait lens with Hasselblad " V " mount for focal plane models.
Medium format Petzvar f/3.8 120 mm Petzval portrait lens with Hasselblad " V " mount for focal plane models.

Please, note, the Petzvar lens has no internal shutter and will be compatible only with Hasselblad 2000 or 200 series camera models with focal plane shutter.

WHY PENTACON SIX (P6) MOUNT?

The main reason for choosing the P6 breach bayonet mount was the fact  that this type of simple and reliable mount is used on five camera systems:

  •  Praktisix
  •  Pentacon Six
  •  Exacta 66
  •  Kiev 60 ( or 6C)
  •  Kiev 88 CM ( also available improved by ARAX or Hartblei)

Kiev 88 CM and improved versions are still available brand new at a very affordable price, which makes them a good choice for photographers who want to start using medium format film cameras without spending a fortune for the equipment.

Also, different types of adapters are available from different manufacturers. They allow the use of P6 lenses on Mamiya 645, Pentax 645 and Contax 645 medium format cameras, Canon EF, Canon FD,Nikon F, Minolta AF, Minolta MD, Contax/Yashica, Pentax K, M42, and Leica R 35 mm cameras, as well as Lumix and Olympus micro 4/3 (m4/3), 4/3 system. There are also tilt or shift adapters for many 35 mm lens mounts, making use of the larger imaging circle to allow control over perspective or focus.

In addition, there is a huge list of the lenses made for P6 bayonet mount at different times by different makers. All of them are of high quality and many of them can be purchased at a low cost.

MEDIUM FORMAT PETZVAR LENS ON 35 mm CAMERAS

 Although the Petzvar is primarily designated for medium format, it can be used on a 35 mm full frame  SLR cameras as well. There are many adapters available on the market allowing using the lenses with Pentacon Six bayonet on various 35 mm cameras.

Here is the Petzvar lens mounted on Nikon N65 film camera and Nikon D700 digital camera using the ARAX tilt adapter.
Here is the Petzvar lens mounted on Nikon N65 film camera and Nikon D700 digital camera using the ARAX tilt adapter.
Here are the recent images taken with Petzvar on Nikon D700 camera.
Here are the recent images taken with Petzvar on Nikon D700 camera.

 LENS TECHNICAL INFORMATION

  •  Aperture:                               Variable iris aperture  f/3.8 - f/16
  •  Effective focal length:            120 mm
  •  Image Circle of coverage:      80 mm
  •  Lens mount:                           Pentacon Six (P6), Hasselblad "V"
  •                                                (for Hasselblad 2000 or 200 models)
  •  Filter thread:                          72 mm  (M72 x 0.75)
  •  Closest focusing distance:     85 cm
  •  Electronic CPU:                      No ( fully manual)
  •  Max. body diameter:               80 mm
  •  Length (collapsed):                106 mm
  •  Length (extended):                 126 mm
  •  Weight:                                    560 g

   The Petzvar 120 mm f= 1:3.8 portrait lens is not a re-designed or improved lens, it is made by genuine Petzval scheme:  two achromatic groups of elements,  with all of its inherent flaws and imperfections.
   The original lenses of this design were produced over a hundred years ago for use on  large format cameras of that era. Those swirly bokeh and the focus fall off in the off-center areas, caused by uncorrected astigmatism as well as it's chromatic aberrations, were a big problem of the design.    Therefore, the lenses of the larger coverage were designated to the smaller format cameras in order to crop out the imperfections at the edge of the image circle and leave only the sharpest center part of the image in the frame. For instance, a lens capable of covering an 8x10 inches plate, would be used with a 4x5 camera.
 By today's standards, this primitive design can't compete or be compared with the modern lenses in any respect. It has lots of known optical flaws, which are corrected in the contemporary lens schemes. But those imperfections are the exact reason this lens  became so popular among analogue photographers.

WHY DO I NEED YOUR SUPPORT? WHAT'S NEXT?

What is so interesting about this lens? Is it better then the other medium format lenses?

It is unique. It's not for everyday use, but it is a special tool in the arsenal of creative photographer. Its imperfections are its advantages. But there is one thing I would like to improve in it. My prototype lens elements are uncoated. It works pretty good with black and white film and even with color digital, as you can see  on a sample images. But I would like to build a  version with coated elements in order to improve contrast slightly.

Building a custom prototype is expensive.   That is why I need your support. Ordering a small batch order will make this lens affordable.

I have discussed the details of making the coated lens elements with  JML Optical specialists.

  DTI is ready to take an order . Also, recently I have requested a quotes from various precision CNC machining companies and from optical lens manufacturers.
If I am able to get a support from backers, I'm ready to proceed with ordering of the lens components.

  I have the design, drafts, working prototype, quotes from the manufacturers as well as previous experience of designing and ordering a small batch of custom camera adapters, but I don’t have the personal funds to start the process.

Your support will ensure that the process goes ahead and that anyone that wants a medium format Petzval lens can have one.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There is always a risk of unforeseen supply issues or delays involved with exporting, shipping and importing product. I will make every effort to meet the dates detailed in my pledge descriptions.

FAQ

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    As a big thank-you for your support, you will receive a postcard with the image taken with the Petzvar lens.

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    First 10 backers will get a medium format Petzvar lens with Pentacon Six mount at a special price.

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    Get a medium format Petzvar fine art portrait lens with Pentacon Six (P6) mount.

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    You will receive a medium format Petzvar fine art portrait lens with Hasselblad " V " mount, compatible to Hasselblad of 2000 or 200 series camera with focal plane shutter.

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Funding period

- (30 days)