© 2010 Fourtoes Half plate Petzval

Plywood lens panel with newly acquired Petzval lens.

While I’m waiting for some mahogany plywood I raided my shed to find some old off-cuts of standard 6mm ply. Most of it was battered and in a bit of a state but there were two decent pieces, one big enough to make this half plate panel for the newly arrived Petzval I got for £8 off of fleabay. Yes £8.

Trimmed a rebate around the vertical sides to 2.5mm with a Dremmel and it fitted into the camera body just fine.

The adjustable drill bit I got for cutting the holes does the job but does tend to butcher the rear side of the plywood so you have to make sure you start on the front to keep in neat. The lens fits tightly  with a small click into place on the threads, will look into a better way of fixing the lens to panel but it’ll do fine for now.

Finished with antique pine wax cos thats all I had.

This is the second Petzval I’ve got off of fleabay, this one is in much better condition but was even cheaper. It swirls like a swirly thing but vignettes towards the corners, I dont mind that at all, it’ll probably fit better on the MPP.

Hopefully picking up all my kit and chemicals on Friday from John, so this weekend looks promising.



  1. Sam Brightwell
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 7:36 PM | #

    I’ve been reading your posts with great interest, as this is exactly what I’m hoping to do myself. I’ve been scanning fleabay for petzval or old process lenses, but have come across anything near as cheap as you got yours for. Can’t wait to see what kind of images you get with it.

    Would you recommend John’s workshop then?

  2. Posted October 6, 2011 at 7:41 PM | #

    Hi Sam,

    I’ve sold that lens on already. Search for old magic lantern lenses, they tend to be petzval lenses anyway. As is the one in the blog post.
    Yes Johns workshop is definitely worth the money, and you get to shoot plenty of plates over the two days.
    John and I share a studio in Manchester now, around 1000sq ft dedicated to wetplate and alt processes.
    Maybe see you there sometime.


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