Lomography is proud to be able to present a wide selection of Art Lenses for every photographer. So many options to choose from, so little time. You want our advice? Get them all, problem solved. We're just kidding! Or are we? But really, if you're confused about which Lomography Art Lens to get, you should take time to read this guide we've come up for you. Hopefully, you'll get a better idea of how these lenses perform once you've reached the end.
First, we have to classify what kind of shooter you are. Are you the type who goes up-close and personal to take the shot? Do you like to keep a little distance to make sure you capture the surroundings in your frame? Or are you the type who takes it all in? Knowing what kind of photographer you are will greatly help in making the right choice when it comes to your next Art Lens purchase.
All of these things rely on the focal length of your lens. The general idea is the shorter your focal length, the wider your perspective will be, thus capturing more objects in your frame. On the other hand, lenses with longer focal length tend to focus and put more detail on fewer objects in your frame, making other things in your background blurry, hence the bokeh effect.
For the sake of keeping things organized, we'll put the Art Lenses into categories—namely wide-angle, standard angle, and telephoto lenses. Each type has its own strengths that will help you get the effect you're after. Now stay with us as we identify which Art Lens falls under the three categories.
Wide-angle Lens (17 mm to 35 mm focal length)
As you can deduce from its name, the Atoll Ultra-Wide Art Lens is a great choice for images that give you an exaggerated field of view. It's perfect for stylized shots that scoop in the action of the scene you're aiming to capture, thanks to its 17 mm focal length.
Good for: wide-angle vistas, action shots, dramatic close-ups
The 32 mm focal length of the Lomogon makes it a versatile lens for short to mid-range photography. It will serve you well as a travel and street photography lens that will help you take in the view without the distortion of the Atoll. The rotating aperture control system is also a good feature to have if you're the type of shooter that likes to change settings on-the-go.
Good for: travel and action shots, up-close portraits, landscape shots
This lens has an ace up its sleeve—the quick zone focus at the flick of a switch. The LC-A Minitar-1 packs everything you love about the iconic LC-A+ camera into a neat and unobtrusive package. You'll be able to shoot wide landscapes, close-ups, and street shots in a jiffy. The vivid colors and crisp details are a great bonus, too!
Good for: all-around photography, snapshots, portraits
Standard Angle to Telephoto Lens (35 mm to 70 mm+ focal length)
Petzval Art Lens Family
There's a great selection of Art Lenses for this category and most of the lenses here can be found in the Petzval family. These stylish and capable family of Lomography Art Lenses bring back the aesthetics of old world portrait photography with modern manufacturing techniques and a variety of features. You have the Petzval 80.5 MKII, Petzval 85, Petzval 58 BC, and Petzval 55 MKII to choose from. Every Petzval lens is great for portrait photography—with each lens lending its own nuance to the art of portraiture.
Here's a cheat sheet to help you differentiate one from the other with the unique features they offer:
Petzval 80.5 MKII - designed for (d)SLRs, has a Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, has a Bokeh Control Ring
Petzval 85 - has special aperture plates, compatible with a variety of mounts: Canon, Canon EF M4/3, Nikon F M4/3, EOS M4/3, EOS E-Mount NEX, Canon EF - Fuji X mount
Petzval 58 BC - has a Bokeh Control Ring, a maximum aperture of f/1.9 and a 58 mm focal length, comes in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts
Petzval 55 MKII - for mirrorless cameras, available in Sony E, Canon RF, and Nikon Z mounts, has seven levels of Bokeh Control and a Dual Aperture system
Good for: stylized portraits, mid-range to long-range shots, capturing bokeh in background
A 19th century invention reimagined and made for today's artistic adventures. The Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens can alternate between soft and dreamy shots and sharp frames in an instant. And thanks to its 64 mm focal length, it fares well in mid to long range focusing with ease.
Good for: taking portraits at different distances, stylized shots, dreamy images
This one has a little of everything in one lens system. The Neptune can be adapted for any style of photography, thanks to its interchangeable lenses that have fixed focal lengths. Choose the Thalassa 35 mm lens for architecture, street, and reportage. At 50 mm, the Despina lens makes easy work of full-length portraits and everyday shots. Lastly, the Proteus 80 mm lens can create beautiful backgrounds filled with bokeh, making it a good candidate for an on-the-go portrait lens.
Good for: all-around shooting, on-the-fly adjustments
Did we miss anything? Sound off in the comments section below and help your fellow Lomographer decide! Share your recommendations and thoughts about the Lomography Art Lenses.