The New Petzval 80.5 MKII Art lens is finally out! We can't wait to get our hands on it! Come join us for bokeh hunting with our Hong Kong team member – Rachel, who preserves memories of her outings with her pals through the New Petzval 80.5 MKII Art lens, using its artistic blur to bring nostalgia and warmth to each portrait!
First thought of the Lens
I have got myself the Black Aluminum Bokeh Control Edition. Although I much prefer the finishing of the Brass versions, this version is equipped with a bokeh control ring, to adjust the swirl over 7 levels and I am a bokeh maniac! When I first received my lens, I noticed right away the packaging of this Petzval 80.5 mm portrait lens is as exquisite as other Art Lens lens series, and it feels like opening a treasure box when opened. Although I want to keep it in the box, I still want to pick it up for the first time and feel the cold touch brought by this black aluminum lens.
This time I was shooting with the Canon EOS 5 SLR film camera, and two-color negative films – the Lomography ISO 400 35mm and the Lomography ISO 800 35mm, and was testing my new lens at different periods of the day so we can get variations under different lightings. In order to maximize the swirly bokeh effects that this lens offers, I have set my aperture at a low range of f/1.9 - f/2.8 and a level 7 for the bokeh setting.
Choosing the Right Background
A suitable background is a key to achieve intense, amazing swirly bokeh. I found a textured surface, like the leaves make a good background for the maximum bokeh effect. However, if the background is too cluttered, the subject will lose its focus, the whole photo will also feel chaotic. For the best bokeh effect, place your subject in the center of your photo.
Capturing the Old Sprit of Lei Yue Mun Fishing Village
I wanted to test this lens with street photography and see if the results are as good as my portrait shots. I came to Lei Yue Mun Fishing Village to catch the old Hong Kong vibe from the last century. Here is full of a line of old Hong Kong shops selling nostalgic snacks. To my surprise, this lens does an excellent job of capturing the interaction between people which is the whole point of taking street photography. When compared with my portrait shots, this series of photos does not have that strong bokeh effect, but the blurry corners and the subtle spiral effect on these photos create a dynamic that I really like and found suitable for street photography.
Catching the Dynamic of Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market
I enjoy wandering around the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market in the middle of the night, this is when this place is starting to come alive. I especially like this photo of the fruit shop, where it is decorated with red pendants and golden details across the whole store, I also like those tiny shinny bokeh created from the light reflections of the cling film fruit wraps.
Chasing the Reflections of Lights at Victoria Harbour
If you want to shoot at night for maximum bokeh effects, my advice would be to look for light sources that contrast with the night sky. This photo was taken at dusk when the sky has not completely darkened and the lights of buildings have just begun to light up. The reflections of lights in the ocean create this suitable background for bokeh photography. The strong swirl and the contrast between the midnight blue from the water and warm yellow light reflections from the building reminds me of Van Gogh’s 'The Starry Night'. Under the Petzval 80.5 lens, the golden light in the blue ocean is softened into ellipses, just like Van Gogh's strong brush strokes in 'The Starry Night' painting.
Vivid color with Hong Kong's signature neon signs:
Nostalgic bokeh effects shooting by the Victoria Harbour:
Experimenting with Multiple Exposure
Get creative and experiment with multiple exposures! I like the dreamy effect that the Petzval 80.5 mm lens adds to my multiple exposure photos. What do you guys think?
One of my favorites from this shooting, I am getting some sci-fi vibes from here, it's almost like they got swallowed by the black hole if you know what I mean.
We hope you'll get inspired by these photographs and try these tips when you're shooting with your New Petzval 80.5 MKII Art lens. If you have more ideas to add to our list, please post them in the comments!