New York-based portrait and documentary photographer Lanna Apisukh loves being able to manifest the uniqueness of individuals through her photographs. Having a very proactive life and background in skateboarding and being a former Division I elite gymnast, she searches for this passion and energy in each image of a person she captures, while remaining honest to the visual. We asked Lanna to test out the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens if the lens will be able to help out her creative vision.
Lanna has always had that affinity for photography ever since she was a child. Her parents constantly document their family life as she grew up. Eventually, she was bound to be the one behind the camera. Integrating her knowledge and experience with journalism, marketing, production, and formal photography studies, she has started documenting the youth of New York City through her lens.
On a cold, rainy day in New York, she and model Alex Santiago hung out on the streets in Bushwick to put the lens to the test. Keenly focused on the portrait, she also integrated subtle elements of the street for a hip and urban feel to contrast the soft atmosphere that the Petzval lens makes.
“I’ve never used a lens like this before. One of the key features is that it produces this beautiful bokeh around the subjects that I’m shooting and it’s great because I shoot tons of portraits and I think this will make the portraits look really unique and special... I like the effects that it produced. It’s nothing like I’ve seen before. It is definitely something very different than what I usually shoot on.”
Her favorite image taken with the Petzval is the third photograph above. She loved the textures of the bricks and graffiti in the background, giving a very Brooklyn-vibe. " And even though he’s standing still, I feel lots of movement in this image. It’s very dreamlike with the swirly bokeh that the Petzval produces. It definitely helped to make this image extra special."
Lanna believes that the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens is a huge step-up from the last version of the Petzval series. Being able to adjust aperture range gives her the extra control that she likes. Like painting on a canvas itself, the lens instantly makes its own unique and artistic textures, all in accordance with the photographer's desires. Post-processing might as well be skipped.
“This lens is great. You don’t need Photoshop. These effects are in-camera, in the lens, which is amazing. I think it would look actually really neat with black and white photography.”
Moreover, Lanna is in love with the design of the lens. She was definitely impressed with the lens' brass finish while being ergonomically designed. She noted that the focus ring was really easy to move around and adjust with. Moreover, the stylish finish of the lens is a huge bonus for her. She admits, there's some fancy feeling when you're walking around the lens in Brooklyn.
“It’s so cool. When you’re passing by people in the street, they stop and take a look at it and are like, 'Wow! That’s pretty sweet!'”
Apart from street portraiture, Lanna thinks the lens would also be perfect in beach or forest shots, the bokeh being extra beautiful in natural settings. The versatility to be able to take both soft-focused, dreamy photographs and crisp, saturated photographs definitely make the Petzval lens an instant addition to her photography kit.
Watch Lanna's interview and behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot with the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens through this video.