Christmas Lights Bokeh Using the Petzval 58mm Lens!

Hey everyone! 

Merry Christmas to our readers! 

Continuing with the spirit of Christmas, we decided to dedicate yet another entry to Christmas lights! As always, we have chosen a different mode of photography; returning to digital photography, but with a new set of lens that we were very keen to try! We returned to the streets of Orchard (last featured in our first Night Photography entry), where we hoped to capture some stunning bokeh photos with Lomography’s Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens!

Lomography’s 58mm Petzval Lens pays tribute to Joseph Petzval, widely known as the founder of modern photography. His revolutionary portrait lens, created in 1840, had one of the fastest apertures (of f/3.7) at that time. Today, his lens continue to be relevant, especially because of the vignetting, curvature and the unique bokeh that it produces. The Petzval lens comes in 58mm and 85mm versions, of which ours are the former.

The 58mm Petzval Lens, which comes in brass and black. Credit:

The Petzval lens uses aperture blades, since it is mechanical. Lomography has provided blades from f/1.9 to f/16. The larger the aperture, the stronger the bokeh would be. We were very excited to try out the lens, having borrowed it a few months ago. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed. Follow our journey through Orchard Road as we use the Petzval lens!

The level of curvature can be set on the lens itself, numbering 1 through 7; 1 being almost no curvature, and 7 being the most curvature possible. As seen in this image, the curvature set was really high.
The level of bokeh is stronger when the camera is close to the subject of the photo.
As will be seen, we captured a ton of photos with flowers in it, because a) we love flowers and b) it provides the object focusing to test the bokeh!
Look at the level of curvature of the frangipani plant!
At extreme close-ups, the level of bokeh is just stunning: large overlapping spheres appear to overwhelm the background.


A test shot of the pavement with curvature set at level 1: minimal curvature can be seen.
Slightly off-focused, but still stunning!


This image of the purple flower (unknown species) was taken against the sky and the trees. The light that filtered through the tree foliage created the spherical refraction, a trademark of bokeh art.
We certainly had more fun in the night! With the amount of Christmas light decorations installed along Orchard Road, we just knew that the bokeh would be outstanding!


Large Christmas trees are set up outside major shopping malls, and there is an unofficial competition on the best-decorated shopping mall along Orchard Road!
Buskers can be spotted along the pavements, attracting scores of people to enjoy the activities. Pictured above is a ‘living statute’, and the fact that he was standing still helped us capture this image!


An enthusiastic choir group singing hymns, to the fanfare and applause of the passers-by!
The Christmas tree outside ION Orchard, which is easily the largest one along Orchard Road!

We have yet to enjoy the full capabilities of the Petzval lens, so expect to see the Petzval lens being featured again! 

Till next time,


2 thoughts on “Christmas Lights Bokeh Using the Petzval 58mm Lens!

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