Nikon DC lenses vs Petzval lenses

JK1231JK1231 Posts: 24Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon Lenses
How does a Nikon DC portrait lens compare with a Petzval portrait lens, such as the ones Lomography are producing?

That is, do they produce similar bokeh and similar vignettes and center sharpness? What is similar and different between them? Or, is there really no comparison?

If there is no real direct comparison, what are the advantages / disadvantages of one verses the other? If both were available, what criteria would you use to choose one over the other?

Thanks in advance.
JK

Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    The Nikon DC 105 or 135 (a.k.a King of Bokeh) are both very sharp, yet tricky to use. Using a DC lens is not as easy as one would think they are. I would recommend you renting one before putting you hard earned cash down on one. Personally, for portraits I would go with the Nikon 85 1.8G or the Nikon 105 2.8.

    Their is very little data on the new Lomography Petzval. We will have to wait and see what it is capable of once there are more of them in the market. Or those that have made their contribution via Kickstarter. One thing for sure...it will not be in my bad. The look of it is not to my liking...regardless of its optical performance.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    I really really want to pick up the Nikon DC 135mm. However I picked up a Nikon 105mm f/1.8 so the DC has been put on a hold pattern for now. The 105mm isn't AF which is my only problem with it but it isn't that hard to work with. It has magnificent Bokeh but can't do the cool stuff the DC does.

    Not sure what to think on the Lomography Petzval since it is more of a niche within a niche kinda lens. It would be cool to see some data on it from people messing one in the field.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    i love the look of the Petzval but I don't do enough portraits to justify getting one. The differences i see is the that the non-center background out of focus areas (ie around the edges) are more out of focus than a normal lens. This is due to the extreme field curvature properties of the lens.
    Another nice property of the lens is the bokeh circles are not circular but are oval stretched out and seem to form concentric circles around the central region. the effect is very subtle and draws attention to the center of the image similar to what leading lines do. Your eyes cant escape from the center a bit like a moth and flame.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Here is the 135mm f/2 DC wide open
    CNPA  08.19.13-5

    Large image:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/9552279850/sizes/o/

    And, this lens has not been fine tuned. It may actually have a bit of front focus...
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited August 2013
    How does a Nikon DC portrait lens compare with a Petzval portrait lens, such as the ones Lomography are producing?

    That is, do they produce similar bokeh and similar vignettes and center sharpness? What is similar and different between them? Or, is there really no comparison?

    If there is no real direct comparison, what are the advantages / disadvantages of one verses the other? If both were available, what criteria would you use to choose one over the other?
    Oooooo the Petzval! Been on that page for a month now wanting to pre-buy one. I'm torn buying that and/or Helios 40-2 N 85mm F1.5 (now produced in a Nikon mount). Not because they are superior optics (they are not even close) but because of their character.

    How does it compare? Not even in the same realm of a Nikkor DC lens. Very different goals - very, very different Bokeh. If you are looking for technically repeatable results, and a lens that will be one of your main lenses, there is no question you go a AF Nikkor (105,135,85). Resolution and MTF tests of similar designs are only maybe 1/2 as good as a BAD Nikkor lens. But people want them because of this, and how the "bad-ness" creates a "Look."
    If you have money to burn and want to play and pray that you can get a shot - then you go this route. They are Manual Focus and you will miss a ton of shots. Enormous care needs to be given to the background to get the look. These are not the type of lenses that you can slap on and get a great shot, they are lenses that you set up like you are using a large format camera.

    It's all about character:
    Notice how the bokeh has a swirl characteristic to it. That is what they are trying to achieve. Sharpness will not even be in the same league (much lower) than the Nikkor.

    Petzval from Lomo's micro site:
    image
    Link

    Helios 40-2 N: (Note the similar bokeh) From Flickr
    image

    I may just buy each - I love the look.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • bigeaterbigeater Posts: 36Member
    The difference is that the DC Nikkors have autofocus and do their magic thanks to the hard work of a lot of Nikon engineers according to the Thousand and One Nights section of the Nikon.com japanese site: http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/32/index.htm
    I've used both the 105 and the 135 and they're awesome. The thing about using more exotic lenses like a Petzval is that you are working at the bleeding edge of imagemaking and you have to be much more precise with exposure, focus and tripod stability. You basically have much less room for error because the image quality depends on the tension between the in-focus and out of focus parts of the picture. If your focus is off by even a little bit or your camera has any shake the picture will look like a mistake.
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