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Thread: Rodenstock lens data on web

  1. #1

    Rodenstock lens data on web

    For some time now (since Jan 21, 2001) I've hosted scans of the Rodenstock large format lens literature on my website (at http://www.butzi.net/rodenstock/rodenstock.htm). Last year, I served up roughly 61,000 page views of the Rodenstock literature to something on the order of 10,000 different viewers at my own expense.

    I went through the process of scanning the darn literature and putting it on the web out of my desire to pay back some of my debt to the online LF community, which I think is a great example of how technology can help us build communities which transcend geographical boundary, and which was pivotal in getting me started in LF way back when. Recently, Rodenstock have finally put the data online, in a less easily browsed format, and excluding some of the stuff on my site which is now of historical interest and useful to those buying used lenses rather than new ones. In other words, some of the stuff I'm hosting is not available elsewhere on the WWW.

    Lately, HP Marketing Corp's (the US distributor of Rodenstock lenses) business practices regarding trademark, and now seeking to exclude equipment not purchased through them from being serviced in the US have penetrated my conciousness.

    Now, I'm not interested in arguments about whether HP Marketing have the legal right to do what they've done (I believe that in some cases they have, and in other cases they haven't). I just think it's a fairly obnoxious practice, and I'm uncomfortable about supporting their business.

    I'm also uncomfortable about just yanking what appears to be a needed and useful LF resource off the web just because I think the local distributor for the Rodenstock lens line are behaving badly. It seems a shame to punish, say, a LF enthusiast in Croatia or Malaysia (yes, really, both were represented in last year's logs for the Rodenstock stuff) just because the HP Marketing can't play with others.

    On the other hand, it's galling that by providing that resource I'm lining the pockets of a company that I think is acting contrary to the interests of the larger LF community.

    So, what do y'all think I should do? Leave it all as it is, and ignore my misgivings about helping HP Marketing? Add a disclaimer to all the pages, explaining my views? Pull the whole thing, period, replacing it with an explanation of why it's gone, and perhaps a pointer to the Rodenstock site? Pass it all off to someone who wants to take over as host and is willing to pay the bandwidth costs of hosting it?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Paul,

    Thank you for hosting the information.

    Maybe the information could be hosted on http://largeformatphotography.info/ ?

    Steve

  3. #3

    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Paul -

    It would be a shame for that really important information to be lost to the community; as you've pointed out, it's not fully replaced by the current catalog that Linos has posted online. I've used and benefited from the material you've posted, and I'm grateful that you've gone to the trouble and expense of hosting it on your site. Many thanks!

    By the same token, since it is a broad community resource, it seems unreasonable that you should bear all the burden indefinitely. I'd second the notion of moving it here to the LF info site. If there's a cost issue involved, I would gladly make a contribution to support the operation of the LF site.

  4. #4

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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    I do not claim to have an answer to this, but I can empathise. I have provided information for Mamiya TLRs for years with the tacit approval of Mamiya America (not a subsidary of the Japanese company), but they have similar policies. Most Mamiya distributors (US, UK, and Germany) have removed a lot of historical material recently. While I am not expecting to receive a 'take down' notice, I would not be too surprised. I have included this paragraph on my pages for years now:

    "Portions of this document may use terms that are either registered trade marks, or claimed as such. The use of such is not intended to support nor disparage any trademark claim. On request any reference to a specific trademark and its owner will be withdrawn. Readers are advised that manufacturer's names, products, and model numbers normally fall in this category."

    Actually doing this would render the pages functionally useless 8-)

    Given the high regard in which Rodenstock is held as a lens manufacturer, I cannot see a reduction in interest in the forseeable future. The web is a great method of disseminating specialist information. Unfortunately it is also common that this information never makes it to a print library, and stands to be lost.

  5. #5

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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Paul,

    I love it as well and have visited it in recent weeks as I have been purchasing lenses for my 8x10. I think all of us owe you a special debt of gratitude for taking the time to post a site that is so invaluable. Whether you choose to discontinue this information or not, it has been a great asset to date. Thanks!

    J. P.

  6. #6

    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Paul, your information is very valuable. It would be a shame to see it go away. Whatever your feelings about the US distributor, please consider continuing to offer your information to the world as you have been doing. The information, as far as I can tell, is accurate so it would be in the best spirit of the internet to continue making it available to the public.

  7. #7

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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Paul, its very useful. I hope you'll decide to keep it up.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  8. #8
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Scanning and hosting the Rodenstock LF lens information has, and continues to be a great service to the overall LF community, Paul. It would be a shame for that information not to be available online. But, I can also understand your discomfort over the appearance of support for business practices with which you don't agree. Pending some other resolution or re-hosting of the information elsewhere, my suggestion would be to include a generic, non-specific disclaimer on your pages.

  9. #9

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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    While I am also shocked by the business practices of both HP Marketing and Marflex, I don't think that yanking your website would be the right answer. There are many folks who buy used lenses and are looking for that data. Don't think of your wensite as supprting HP Marketing, but rather as supporting the LF community - and that's really what you are doing anyway.

    By the way, has anybody bothered to send an official note to HP Marketing to let them know that the LF community is completely upset with their business practices? I know that Bob is on this forum, but I wonder if anyone else there knows what the general mood is. Someone there must be responsible for their business practices! Maybe we should all send a letter - the more the better?!

    Juergen
    Juergen

  10. #10

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    Rodenstock lens data on web

    Well, I certainly account for a good few of those downloads, and I'm just grateful that they heve been available at all. I'd hope, Paul, that if the bandwidth costs aren't too substantial you might continue to host the scans, or that alternatively perhaps someone else can do so - maybe even a few people, to spread the burden around? I've only just begun work on a new website, but when it's up and running I'd be happy to take a share.

    But what is it with these LF lens makers? Apart from Schneider and now Cooke (who obviously don't have much of a catalogue anyway) they all seem to want to play down the fact that they make these terrific lenses at all. I just don't understand.

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