Brooklyn-based photographer Julia Khoroshilov loves to capture the life of New York City through her lens -- her penchant for embedding the local music and art scene and daily life of the Big Apple had her excited to portray different and unseen views. Which is why, we asked Julia to test out the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens, our latest addition to our growing Art Lenses collection.
Julia and model Kathryn Jacobs strolled around the city for some dynamic portraits against the Highline in New York -- on a cold December afternoon. Wanting such simple portraits to stand out, Julia used the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9. At first touch, she loved the smooth feel of the aperture ring, making the lens very easy to work with especially for creative control.
“I love working with the Petzval lens because the Bokeh swirl is really fun to incorporate in my type of photography. The 80.5 focal length is especially unique and nice to have when you are shooting portraits...it makes your subjects very crisp and clear and focused, but then your background is totally another world. You have many different types of star effects, swirl effects and that makes your whole background very different and exciting.”
Her favorite photograph from the series is the first image below (left), in which her model Kathryn is softly portrayed as the wind gusts through her hair. Julia particularly loves this shot due to the Petzval swirl complimenting the subject's movements and the wind:
Thanks to the dual-aperture system consisting of a 13-bladed stopless aperture diaphragm f/1.9 to f/16, and the Waterhouse plate aperture system, provided her with another level of creative control. The integration of the special aperture plates makes the spherical aberrations vary in texture, creating different atmospheres. She finds that the replacement of the focus knob which was present in the older Petzval model with a more modern dampened focus ring to be an important game-changer, as the focusing of the lens now runs seamlessly.
Julia believes that the lens would be a great addition to every photographer trying to find their own 'voice', their own style and signature. The elegant brass of the Petzval lens already gave Julia a solid first impression.
For Julia, the Petzval's capability to diversify and conform itself according to the styles she aims for her photographs through the different effects with the art filters make the lens an instant companion. Her penchant for cinematic photographs can easily materialize with the lens.
“If I could pick any lens to shoot with forever, I would pick the Petzval lens. It’s one lens but there’s so much diversity with what you can do with it, from the plates to the swirl. You can go from having no swirl... then you can do the Bokeh swirl and it looks like a completely different lens and image.”
Which is why Julia suggests first-time users of the Petzval go all-out and be daring with busy, noisy backgrounds as they turn into majestic bokeh with the Petzval: " From my experiences with this lens, the Petzval loves lights, nature, busy streets.. the more unique the setting you're shooting in, the more extraordinary the outcome of the Bokeh effect will be."
Here's the full interview with Julia as she gives her genuine thoughts on the New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens upon usage.