Please note that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a global reduction of flights. Accordingly, acceptance of international mail items to some countries/territories is temporarily suspended and considerable delivery delays are expected for outbound mail items to other countries/territories. Thank you for your patience!

MS Vario-Petzval 57/2 F-MC


Variation of the MS Optical Historical Series Collection Petzval lens with adjustable spherical aberration feature. It can be adjusted by moving the variable ring at the back of the lens. In spherical aberration, parallel light rays that pass through the central region of the lens focus farther away than light rays that pass through the edges of the lens. The result is many focal points, which produce a blurry image. This is desirable when taking soft focus portraits, dreamy landscapes or other impressionistic styles.

The art of using soft focus lenses has many followers and connoisseurs, who do not see image sharpness as the most desirable property in a photograph. Photographer Tillman Crane writes on his website:

Each lens requires patience and experimentation to master, owing to a variety of traits, which make them distinct from each other and all other camera lenses. [...] What is important to remember is this: a soft focus image produced using soft focus lenses is NOT the same as an image produced with a fixed focal length pinhole or plastic camera or other manipulation (physical or digitally created) causing an overall out-of-focus or "fuzzy" effect. These are completely different processes and should be examined and evaluated on their individual merits and not clumped together as "soft focus."

This lens is a small format version of the 1840s design by Petzval at Voigtländer Wien/Braunschweig. With a maximum aperture of f3.6, it was 20 times brighter than the other contemporary lenses. This was an essential improvement for portraiture, often requiring minute-long exposures. Wide open, it suffers from field curvature and uncorrected astigmatism, resulting in pleasantly soft, dreamy images with good sharpness at the center, making it attractive for portrait work. This lens does not have a pronounced "swirly bokeh" effect like other Petzval lenses, but a much more neutral rendering with natural colours. Initial lot of lenses, designed, manufactured and hand-assembled in Japan by Mr Sadayasu Miyazaki.

Key features:

  • Enhanced Petzval design, 4 elements in 4 groups
  • Adjustment ring for variable spherical aberration
  • Focal length 57.3 mm, max. aperture f2.05
  • All eight surfaces multicoated, 97.5% light transmission
  • Filter and hood thread size 40.5 mm
  • Size: diameter 37mm, length 37mm, weight 110g
  • Minimum focus distance 1m on Leica M, on mirrorless cameras ~0.8m
  • Limited series of 100 lenses, designed, manufactured and hand-assembled in Japan by Mr Sadayasu Miyazaki
  • Native Leica M mount, area for 6-bit coding

Please note that we cannot make reservations for serial numbers.

Includes lens, lens hood and caps.

Vario-Petz 57/2 Notes (Vario-Petz_57:2_Notes.pdf, 394 Kb) [Download]