A fundraising project to bring back a renowned 19th century portrait lens for use with Nikon and Canon film and digital SLRs has raised more than eight times its target figure.

The reinvented Petzval lens will be compatible with Canon EF and Nikon F-mount cameras when it is launched next February, according to the Lomography Kickstarter project.

‘Photos shot with a Petzval lens are immediately recognisable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderfully swirly bokeh effect at the non-focussed areas,’ state organisers of the project which is backed by Russian camera maker Zenit.

‘Expect strong colour saturation, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field.’

The first 1,000 lenses could be shipped as early as December.

Organisers, who have raised more than $800,000 for the project, claim: ‘The totally distinctive look of Petzval photos is all about the fantastic lens design that gives you the satisfaction of the instant optic experience that goes far beyond using photo and editing software and filters.’

The brass-made lens, the original of which dates back to the early 1840s, will be compatible with Canon EF and Nikon F-mount SLRS and DSLRs.

The Petzval is expected to carry a retail price of £399 in the UK, and $499 in the US.

For full details see HERE.

• The pictures shown here were taken using an original Petzval lens or the first working prototype of the new one

Technical specifications, as supplied by lomography.com

Focal Length: 85mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.2
Apertures: Waterhouse aperture set, up to f/16
Image Circle: 44mm
Field of View: 30 degrees
Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF and Nikon F
Electronic contacts: No
Closest Focusing Distance: 1m
Focusing Mechanism: Gear Rack Focusing
Lens Construction: 4 Elements in 3 Groups
Filter Thread: 67mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 120mm x 85mm x 80mm (Please note: This is an estimate based on the first working sample)
Weight: 500g (Please note: This is an estimate based on the first working sample)