Petzvals were designed as a fast portrait lens. When used as intended, there are no swirlies - the focal length was long for the intended format, and all the swirly stuff landed on the insides of the camera. The central zone of a Petzval is very sharp.
Ah, but some day, I'll have one. I've got serious Petzval GAS.
“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”