Josef Petzval, Hungarian mathematician

Josef Petzval, Hungarian mathematician

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Josef Max Petzval (1807-1891), Hungarian mathematician and inventor of pioneering camera lenses. In 1840, in collaboration with Peter Voigtlander, Petzval invented a camera lens that was much larger than previous lenses. This allowed exposure times to be reduced, making taking portraits much easier. Petzler later disagreed with his partner and they began to market rival lenses. Embittered and disillusioned, Petzval abandoned optical work in 1862 and died a recluse. Artwork from the ninth volume (first period of 1892) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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