About this project
GOOD NEWS, Pentax lovers! Due to an outcry of popular demand requesting this, we have decided to make the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens available for Pentax K Mounts. This is in addition to Canon EF or Nikon F SLR mounts. More info here.
The Ethereal Aesthetics of the World's First Photographic Optic Lens: reviving an optical design from 1839! Inspired by the lens that gave the world practical photography: a 19th century invention by Louis Daguerre and Charles Chevalier.
A Highly Versatile Tool for Modern-Day Cameras: alternate between razor-sharp images, or drape your world in silky soft focus. Control depth of field in a whole new way with endless bokeh effects – which blend together colors, shapes and textures for creative expression.
Premium Quality Craftsmanship of the Art Lens Family: designed and handcrafted in a small manufactory, the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens has been reinvented for use with modern-day digital and analogue cameras – available in Canon EF or Nikon F SLR mounts, and compatible with multitudes of other cameras using adapter mounts, such as the Sony Alpha series, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Micro 4/3 Cameras. The lens is available in a sleek brass or glossy black finish.
Proud to Be Back on Kickstarter: following Lomography’s history of successful campaigns and engaging photography projects.
One of the most important lenses in photographic history. – Acquire
Holy crowdfunding success Batman! Lomography has done it again, and by “done it” we mean launched an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign. – Petapixel
Lomography’s Art series lenses always have something special about them, and its latest on Kickstarter is a sheer beauty. - Digit
Lomography’s brand new Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens is the ultimate throwback to the world’s first optic lens from 1839. - Format
The lens is designed to offer crisp sharpness, silky soft focus, and control of depth of field with multiple bokeh effects. – Ephotozine
Nineteenth century photographic tools meets twenty-first century photographic equipment. - Gear Hungry
La marque Lomography sort une version revisitée du de l’Achromat, une optique ludique et créative reprenant les caractéristiques de son aïeul. – Réponses Photo
Lomography has long been known to bring back the charm and fun of vintage photography, but they have just gone a step further and recreated the world’s first photographic lens — the Daguerrotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens. - Hypebeast
How can we put this? You guys rock. An enormous, wholehearted thanks goes out to everyone who has helped support the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens so far. As we have been blown over with your support, and surpassed our initial funding goal, we are thanking all backers by giving them rewards. Help us reach our next stretch goal and we’ll add even more goodies to use with your Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens.
The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is a revival of a lost aesthetic that disappeared from photography some 175 years ago.This aesthetic was courtesy of the world's first ever photographic optic lens, invented in 1835. This historic model was built on a unique achromat design which bathed the world's earliest photographs in a powerful, alluring veil of light.
The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens has a focal length of 64 mm, apertures ranging from f/2.9 to f/16, and a Waterhouse Aperture plate system to produce deep, textured backgrounds rarely achieved in photography.
Today, more photographs are taken every two minutes than humanity took in the entire 19th century. In this pixelated era, Lomography believes in keeping the magic in photography alive.
It's taken years at the drawing board. Our technicians have reworked a 19th century optic design and adapted it into a bold brass lens compatible with a wide spectrum of modern day digital and analogue cameras – using both Canon EF or Nikon F SLR mounts.
The lens's optical construction has been redesigned to allow both ethereal soft focus from apertures below f/4, or razor-sharp results with deep contrasts from f/5.6 onwards.
The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens works with a Waterhouse Aperture Plate system, which allows full creativity with depth of field, and loads of variation in bokeh effects.
It's an easy and fully manual way to control your aperture, by inserting specific plates into a shaft in front of the lens elements – in difference to previous models where these were placed in between lens elements.
This means the desired effects are even clearer and stronger than ever before!
Asides from the classic Waterhouse Aperture plates, for this lens, Lomography has created the Lumière and Aquarelle Aperture plates.
The Lumière aperture plates soak images in a radiant, soft glow – and create delicate dotted backgrounds, enriching depth of field. The Aquarelle aperture plates produce a rich and very textured, painterly effect – comparable to watercolor masterworks!
- Canon EOS Mount (Analog/Digital, Full frame & APS-C/APS-H): Canon 1D/s MkIII, Canon V, Canon 7D MkII, Canon EOS 3, EOS 5 & many more.
- Nikon F-Mount (Analog/Digital, Full frame & APS-C): Nikon F3, Nikon D300, D800, Nikon D5, Nikon FE2, Nikon F100 & many more.
The lens also fits many more camera models using adaptors (which can all be purchased from us via add-on pledges):
- Fujifilm FX Mount (Digital APS-C): Fujifilm X-Pro1, Fujifilm X-M, Fujifilm X-E & many more.
- SONY NEX mount (Digital Full frame & APS-C): Sony A7, Sony NEX 7, Sony NEX 5 & many more.
- Micro Four Thirds Mounts: Olympus OM-D E-M10, Olympus PEN-F, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 & many more.
- Leica M (Analog/Digital, Full frame & APS-C): Leica CL/E*, Leica M6*, Leica M (240)**, Ricoh A12 (LM-mount digital module) & many more.
* NO RF coupling. ONLY Zone focusing
** Focus Peaking possible with EVF
The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is an impressive creative tool for moving-image and film. The endless special effects and depth of field variation that it offers make it a valuable instrument in any cinematographer's arsenal.
Get inspired by some of the first videos ever shot with this lens!
Van Gogh – Fausto Mesolella & Stefano Benni.
Presenting the first ever music video to be shot with the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens: 'Van Gogh', directed by Alfredo Buonanno. An ode to the celebrated, tormented artist, this masterpiece features the Italian guitarist and composer Fausto Mesolella, alongside Stefano Benni – the Italian satirical writer, poet and journalist.
The Sea Within – Shot with the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens and Directed by Heiwa Wong, Hong Kong
Produced & directed by Hong Kong Visual Artist Heiwa Wong, this engaging short film shot using the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens evokes a strong sensory experience – with the use of minimalist sound and imagery. Alluding to a bodily connection to nature, the viewer is taken on a visual journey that simultaneously calms and ignites the senses!
This section goes out to all you history lovers. And a pretty neat story it is!
We're gathered here today because some 175 years ago, two Messrs. Charles Chevalier and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre changed history: they gave the world practical photography.
The magic was made possible in 1835: it was that year that Daguerre combined a Daguerreotype camera with the very first photographic lens in the world, built by Charles Chevalier. Daguerre was in fact working on this photographic process in secret for many years – imagine having to hold that discovery quiet!
The Daguerreotype Camera captured the first ever picture of a human being, at Boulevard du Temple in Paris, 1838.
Daguerre was the kind of guy who made things happen. In addition to having invented photography – casually, as you do – he also designed and fabricated crazy things like the Diorama, was an accomplished painter, and often worked as an extra at the Opéra de Paris: the 18th century’s hottest club in town. To top it all, he was well known for his tight-roping skills and nifty moves on the dance floor. And to think we have as many hours in a day as Daguerre! Whilst mere mortals like you and me Netflix & Chill, this guy had his priorities set. Goals…
Charles-Louis Chevalier was a bit more of a technical nerd – the son of a prominent French instrument maker. A leading Parisian optician, he began designing lenses when he was barely out of his teens. He handcrafted the first optic lens in the world after it was ordered off him from Daguerre to use on his Daguerreotype camera – the two were actually introduced by Nicéphore Niépce who himself was a big deal in the invention of photography. In 1840 Chevalier received the top prize at Paris' Société d'Encouragement for his discovery. Ah – and finally, he also wrote... a lot. He scribbled down entire books about lenses, optics, photographic equipments and other various ramblings, which didn't always make sense but contain some nice quotes, such as:
"A lens: the soul of the camera?"
The invention of photography was a long and arduous journey. Besides Chevalier and Daguerre, a lot of wise minds labored tirelessly in its pursuit. So the next time you reach out for a #nomakeup selfie, take a moment to think of the great forefathers who brought us here.
The Daguerreotype camera complete with the Chevalier lens was publicly announced on August 19, 1839, when the French government presented its patent as a gift "free to the world". 1839 has since been the official birth year of photography.
So why have we inspired ourselves from a lens model that is almost two centuries old?
The initial Daguerreotype lens, built by Charles Chevalier, was a genius creation. It came with a series of "aberrations" in the lens's image-forming system, which caused light rays to split and disperse at wide apertures, drenching images in a powerful natural glow. It was a singular aesthetic.
In the following years, the original Daguerreotype-Chevalier lens was replaced by "faster" lenses, to give pictures a more transparent finish and allow for shorter exposure times. The illustrious Petzval was one of the most famous – modifying Chevalier's original model with mathematical calculations.
The history of photography went its own marvelous way, but the cinematographic, timeless quality of the earliest photographs was lost.
Geoffrey Berliner is the Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation in New York. He is an expert and collector of over 2000 lenses. Here, he gives a no-brainer explanation of how an Achromat lens works, as well as his two cents on the Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens.
From the eye-catching exterior design down to the very tiniest interior detail, the technical features of the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens have been fine-tuned to provide an incredible photographic experience.
- Focal Length: 64 mm
- Maximum Aperture: f/2.9
- Apertures: Waterhouse aperture set, up to f/16
- Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF or Nikon F
- Closest Focusing Distance: 0.5 m
- Focusing Mechanism: helicoid
- Image circle: 44 mm
- Field of view: 37 degrees
- Filter Thread: 40.5 mm
- Electronic Contacts: No
- Construction: 2 elements in 1 group
The Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens has been designed by Lomography’s expert technicians, and handcrafted at a small manufactory on the banks of the Yangtse River, in Central China.
The lens comes in a beautiful brass or black finish. It is the latest addition to our ever expanding Lomography Art Lenses arsenal – where each lens has a rare and distinctive character.
This lens boasts the premium optic quality that we established with the Lomography New Petzval 85, New Russar+, Lomo LC-A Minitar-1, The Petzval 58 Bokeh Control and Lomography New Jupiter 3+ Art Lenses.
Please note that some of the lenses featured in this campaign are prototypes: we have been working like busy bees on this project and the exterior design is only just being finalized! The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens will come in a beautiful brass gold or glossy black finish.
Irina Mattioli, Rome
“The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens’s design is already so dreamy that it can easily belong to an imaginative long gone world: precious navigation tools, telescopes, golden astrolabes. The pictures produced by this lens are unique and impossible to replicate in terms of sensitivity to movement and light. The depth and vividness of its colors is really impressive. The atmosphere given by the Daguerrotype Achromat Art Lens is painterly and physical, less cold compared to many excellent lenses that I use in my daily job.”
Anna Rakhvalova, Paris
"The best feature [of the lens] is that there is no need to retouch the pictures afterwards, they already have the unusual light and effect as if I applied some sort of filter on it.The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is different from other lenses because of the blurry effect it gives, almost foggy. And the bokeh on the background looks surreal. I think it's cool to use a special Art Lens in order to break the routine, to change from the usual lenses we are used to work with. And because with an Art Lens it is much more fun and interesting to shoot, you create a real story with its own world!”
Reinventing the Daguerreotype Achromat is another wild and wondrous project that we have been thrown into by our love for beautiful and imaginative photography.
Redesigning a lens that is almost two centuries old is no meagre task – our technicians have had to rethink and rework the design from scratch, with entirely new optical calculations, whilst taking into account all the needs of 21st century photographers and cinematographers! In order to offer all the magic of the Daguerreotype aesthetic – yet entirely compatible with modern-day digital and analogue equipment – a lot of sleepless nights, testing, love and care are still needed here.
We’re glad you asked! Simply put, Lomography is an active global organization dedicated to experimental and creative photography. But we’re also so much more than that – we have a community of millions of friends and fellow Lomographers around the world who approach and embrace the interactive, vivid and sometimes even blurred analogue lifestyle. First setting sail in 1992 after a chance encounter with the legendary LOMO LC-A, our team has been taking photography to new exciting and crazy levels with cameras, films and accessories ever since.
To date, we have had a number of extremely successful Kickstarter campaigns – the Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner, the Lomography New Petzval 85mm Lens, Lomo’Instant Camera and last year’s Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens. The support we have received throughout these campaigns was overwhelming – your generous pledges have always helped us exceed our goals and in turn, have allowed us to deliver incredible products every time. Additionally, throughout these campaigns, we have seen the passion for creative photography ignited and spread like wildfire. With these four campaigns under our belts, we are extremely excited to bring the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens to Kickstarter!
We are planning to deliver the first 3000 Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lenses before Christmas!
The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens will be available for delivery to most countries around the world. As shipping, handling and local charges (excluding customs fees) vary from country to country, please choose your reward to see specific details about your location. Lomography cannot be held liable for any additional customs charges that may occur in your location. We have logistics hubs in the following locations: Hong Kong, Japan, New York and Hungary (this means we can deliver to EU customers without additional customs fees incurred when you receive your lens). Please be aware there may be extra import costs to pay upon delivery, depending on your location.
For our backers in the USA you don't need to pay any additional shipping costs. However, Backers who live in the State of New York do need to pay Sales Tax, please add an additional 8.875% onto your pledge amount to cover local sales tax. For example, if you live in the State of New York and pledged for the $450 reward, please add an additional $39.94 onto your pledge amount ($39.94 is 8.875% of $450) to cover New York Sales Tax. If you forgot to add this, or didn't know about it, don’t worry – it’s simple to add in even now. You can edit the amount you pledge right up until the project ends on the project page.
Here are the shipping and handling details for locations around the world:
USA, Canada: $0. Hong Kong $10. EU, Taiwan, Singapore, Macao, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam: $15. Australia, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland: $25. Russia $80. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Peru, Reunion, Venezuela: $100. The rest of the world: $35.
If you have a specific question about shipping, handling or local charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
The retail launch price of the Brass lens is currently planned at $499/€499 and the Special Edition in Black at $599/€599, so you can make some great savings by backing us on Kickstarter! When the lenses are ready we will send out a survey where you'll be able to pick whether you want a Canon or Nikon compatible Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens.
Want some extra Lomography goodies to go with your lens? Adding stuff to your reward is super easy:
First Step – You have to choose a pledge tier to back first before you can add an additional item to your reward. You can only choose one pledge tier.
Second Step – If you want something additional to your reward, check out the Add-On Menu below. Add an item to your reward by increasing your pledge by the amount specified in the menu. Please note that you can only add things to your reward that are in the Add-On Menu.
Third Step – Kick back, you did it!
All additional items can be combined with each other, all you have to do is calculate and add the sum of items to your pledge.
- Add $10 and get an Accessory Keeper Looking for a convenient way to secure and access your Waterhouse Aperture Plates? Do it with style and have them all together in the Lomography Accessory Keeper!
- Add $13 and get an adapter (M4/3 or NEX or FX) Tell us which one you would like in a Private Message. We offer adaptors from Canon or Nikon mount to Micro 4/3, Sony NEX or Fuji X mount only. You can specify the lens mount and adapter needed in a survey we´ll send out at the end of our campaign.
- Add $21 and get the Macro Adapter
- Add $27 and get an Essential Filter Set (CPL, UV and ND4 filters) The CPL (Polarizing) Lens Filter removes unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water and glass in your shots! The UV Filter helps protect your Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens from scratches and reduces the level of ultraviolet light. The ND filter reduces the amount of light coming into the lens, whilst still keeping the special effects of the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens.
- Add $39 and get a Color Filter Set (Red, Yellow, Green & Blue filters) This filter set is perfect for black and white photography. The Red filter increases contrast and deepens blue shades. Yellow is very flattering with skin tones and ideal for portraits. Green is perfect for landscape photography and emphasizes green tones and shade. Blue is great for toning down contrast.
- Add $59 and get the Color Filter Set & the Essential Filter Set!
- Add $150 and get the Lomography LC-A+ and save 40%
- Add $200 and get the Lomography LC-Wide and save almost 50%
Risks and challenges
In the past years, we have been grateful to fund and successfully complete four exciting Kickstarter projects. From the experience we have built on throughout these campaigns, we know that there are risks and challenges to starting a project of such importance.
One of the biggest challenges we have faced so far with the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens was to adapt an achromat doublet design that's almost two centuries old to the 21st century.
We fell in love with the soft-focused and dreamlike essence of the original lens, which was achieved by light rays splitting and dispersing when shot at large apertures. But we also know that today’s photographers and videographers require versatility in their equipment. Our expert technicians have meticulously handcrafted and recalculated the optic scheme to not only expand the maximum aperture to f/2.9, but also to allow for crisp and defined photographs without resorting to very long exposure times – as it was necessary with the original lens. You now have access to a wide range of shooting styles. Silky soft-focus, razor-sharp definition, and never-before-seen bokeh patterns with the Lumière and Aquarelle Aperture Plates are all at your fingertips, ready to be discovered!
We’re working like busy little bees to bring this vision to life and delivered to you as soon as possible, which means we’re planning to have the first shipment sent out in August of 2016! But we want to make sure the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is at it’s utmost perfect state before it reaches you. We’ll be testing prototypes, right here in Lomography HQ, and making sure that the lenses pass our high expectations of quality. Because of this, unexpected delays are always a possibility, which may push back our estimated delivery date. However, we always strive to do everything in our power to reach our intended goals and maintain our production timeline to a T so that our products are delivered to you on time. We can’t wait for you to receive your Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens and start the return of this lovely long-lost aesthetic!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter