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acapela
18-Jul-2018, 13:53
I came into a used Rodenstock 75/4.5 Grandagon N recently, but am without a "dedicated" center filter.

I can watch eBay for the original Rodenstock center filter (a 1.5-stop/3x in a 67-86mm size). But in the meantime (none appear to be listed at the moment), what might those with actual user experience recommend as a substitute?

I have Schneider 3b center filters already, for my 47/5.6 Super Angulon XL and 80/5.6 Super Symmar XL lenses. The 3b is a 1.5-stop/3x 67-86mm filter, so would be mechanically compatible and hopefully at least somewhat optically compatible as well.

I also have a source for new/old stock for Schneider "plain 3" (i.e. "III") filters, originally for use with the 65/5.6 and 75/5.6 Super Angulon, though I would have to buy one even just to test with it. Finally, I also see a Schneider "IIIa" filter for auction currently on eBay. I can't find any documentation on a 3a anywhere, but photos in the listing clearly show "IIIa" on the filter mount. I am assuming this actually a "plain 3/III", bearing a relatively recent cosmetic change in designation when additional variants of 67-86mm center filter ("IIIb/c/etc", for other Schneider lenses) reached the market.

Any actual user testimonials/advice would be welcome. In the meantime, my simplest option is to start with the 3b filter I actually have in hand and see if that is "good enough", even illumination, free of banding, etc.

Thanks.

Oren Grad
18-Jul-2018, 14:05
I would try the IIIb that you already have. In my occasional experience of center-filter-shopping, Rodenstock center filters have been much harder to find than Schneiders.

See also this thread:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?25956-Schneider-Center-Filter-IIIa-amp-IIIb-difference

Bob Salomon
18-Jul-2018, 14:14
The Heliopan is virtually identical to the Rodenstock.

acapela
18-Jul-2018, 14:28
See also this thread:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?25956-Schneider-Center-Filter-IIIa-amp-IIIb-difference

Aha, confirmation of the existence of the "IIIa", interesting. Sounds as if the IIIa is for "older" lenses, rather than the more recent XL/wide-field lenses.

Thanks!

Steve Goldstein
18-Jul-2018, 14:43
I have copies of Schneider's 1977 and 1984 center filter brochures, both of which contain the III and IIIa. The III is listed for the f/5.6 65mm and 75mm Super Angulons, as acapela has stated, while the IIIa is for the 90mm f/8 SA. They are mechanically the same (67mm male, 86mm female) and both are stated as 3x. I assume there's a difference in the filter pattern between the two, but the documents don't give any clues aside from the different stock numbers.

The IIIa doesn't appear in the 2007 specs. The IIIb is added, with applications for the 58mm SAXL, 80mm and 110mm SSXL, in addition to the 90mm f/8 SA. There's also a IIIc for the 47mm SAXL, though a footnote says the IIIb is also usable with that lens. Again, Schneider provides no information as to any differences between the III/IIIa/IIIb/IIIc.

Here's a link to some info on Rodenstock's filters: http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/accessories_en.html#filters
Unlike Schneider, they don't provide part numbers so it's impossible to know if the various 67/86 3x filters are specific to individual focal lengths or if they're "one size fits all". Bob may know as he was the Rodenstock rep for many years.

I agree with Oren - give your IIIb a go. Remember that the lens should be closed down at least two stops from wide open per Schneider's instructions.

If you drop me a PM or email with your email address I'll be happy to send you all five Schneider PDFs I've acquired over the years.

Bob Salomon
18-Jul-2018, 14:48
I have copies of Schneider's 1977 and 1984 center filter brochures, both of which contain the III and IIIa. The III is listed for the f/5.6 65mm and 75mm Super Angulons, as acapela has stated, while the IIIa is for the 90mm f/8 SA. They are mechanically the same (67mm male, 86mm female) and both are stated as 3x. I assume there's a difference in the filter pattern between the two, but the documents don't give any clues.

The IIIa doesn't appear in the 2007 specs. The IIIb is added, with applications for the 58mm SAXL, 80SSXL, and 110SSXL in addition to the 90mm f/8 SA. There's also a IIIc for the 47mm SAXL, though a footnote says the IIIb is also usable with that lens. Again, Schneider provides no information as to any differences between the IIIa/IIIb/IIIc.

Here's a link to some info on Rodenstock's filters; http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/accessories_en.html#filters
Unlike Schneider, they don't provide part numbers so it's impossible to know if the various 67/86 3x filters are specific to individual focal lengths or if they're "one size fits all".

I agree with Oren - give your IIIb a try. Remember that the lens should be closed down at least two stops from wide open per Schneider's orders.

If you drop me a PM or email with your email address I'll be happy to send you all five Schneider PDFs I've acquired over the years.

Of course the Rodenstock 3x center filter is correct for that lens. The Apo Grandagon series required a different center filter.
Rodenstock listed the part numbers in their price list and we listed the catalog numbers in our literature and press releases. Don’t know what the Russian distributor did. Don’t even know if they used Rodenstock numbers or their own.
Also note that Rodenstock offered two different 67mm center filter for their analog lenses, not one as per the site you suggested. Also, this statement in their center filter description is completely wrong!

“....Rodenstock center filters are neutral gray concentric graduated filters whose density decreases from the center up to the translucent rim.”

They do not have a translucent rim, the filter goes from maximum density in the center to transparent at the edge. The rim is metal and translucent is not transparent!

Oren Grad
18-Jul-2018, 15:02
The IIIa doesn't appear in the 2007 specs. The IIIb is added, with applications for the 58mm SAXL, 80mm and 110mm SSXL, in addition to the 90mm f/8 SA. There's also a IIIc for the 47mm SAXL, though a footnote says the IIIb is also usable with that lens. Again, Schneider provides no information as to any differences between the III/IIIa/IIIb/IIIc.

FWIW, in my later documentation, the IIIb is specified as 3x and the IIIc as 4x. The latter is preferred if full correction is required for the 47 XL, but of course not every application requires that.

Steve Goldstein
18-Jul-2018, 15:28
Right you are, Oren, I missed that in the 2007 document. The IIIc is given as 4x.

Dan Fromm
18-Jul-2018, 15:36
Folks, this site has resources. This one http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?138978-Where-to-look-for-information-on-LF-(mainly)-lenses has a link to a list of links that includes one to an article on center filters that lays out equivalences.

Oren Grad
18-Jul-2018, 15:50
I plead guilty to not remembering everything that's in Dan's very extensive, extraordinarily useful list. Here is a direct link to his center-filter article...

http://www.galerie-photo.com/center-filters-for-large-format-lenses.html

...but I encourage anyone who hasn't seen Dan's resource to follow his link to the sticky thread at the top of this (Lenses) subforum and check it out.

Drew Wiley
18-Jul-2018, 17:16
I was told Rodenstock never made their own center filters, and that they are (or were) private-labeled Schneider. That would certainly explain their relatively high mark-up pricing. Some of these lenses were very similarly designed. For example, the same CF I once use for a Schneider 120 SA also works perfectly (fit as well as falloff correction) for my Nikon 90/4.5. But I don't have any experience with the newer Heliopan CF's.

Bob Salomon
18-Jul-2018, 17:53
I was told Rodenstock never made their own center filters, and that they are (or were) private-labeled Schneider. That would certainly explain their relatively high mark-up pricing. Some of these lenses were very similarly designed. For example, the same CF I once use for a Schneider 120 SA also works perfectly (fit as well as falloff correction) for my Nikon 90/4.5. But I don't have any experience with the newer Heliopan CF's.
You were told wrong. Rodenstock does make their own center filters so stop spreading false information.

Here is the latest information on Rodenstock’s current technology for making center filters that work by absorption rather then reflection thus eliminating strange color cast effects fro other types with shiny buildings in the sun. They have been making these for 3 or 4 years.

Drew Wiley
19-Jul-2018, 10:38
I didn't say "does" Bob. I said "did" and made it perfectly clear this was something I was told with reference to a particular era. And by informing me that a new method has been in use only a few years, you yourself are implying it highly likely that most of the Rodenstock center filters already out there are something else other than the latest and greatest. Subcontracting specific products to competitive manufacturers who can do a particular task better is rather common among German manufacturers in particular, though certainly not limited to them. And other than the brand label on the rim or box, would it even be possible to distinguish between a past Schneider and Rodenstock center filter engineered for an equivalent specification? Even Fuji and Nikon didn't make their own center filters, though there is obviously vast lens and filter manufacturing capacity in Japan. You tell me, Bob. I've been in retail stores with huge large format and filter inventories during the heyday of such gear, and why would I spend a couple hundreds dollars more for a filter under one brand name that looked identical in every respect to another? I'm not saying that's the case now.

Bob Salomon
19-Jul-2018, 10:50
I didn't say "does" Bob. I said "did" and made it perfectly clear this was something I was told with reference to a particular era. And by informing me that a new method has been in use only a few years, you yourself are implying it highly likely that most of the Rodenstock center filters already out there are something else other than the latest and greatest. Subcontracting specific products to competitive manufacturers who can do a particular task better is rather common among German manufacturers in particular, though certainly not limited to them. And other than the brand label on the rim or box, would it even be possible to distinguish between a past Schneider and Rodenstock center filter engineered for an equivalent specification? Even Fuji and Nikon didn't make their own center filters, though there is obviously vast lens and filter manufacturing capacity in Japan. You tell me, Bob. I've been in retail stores with huge large format and filter inventories during the heyday of such gear, and why would I spend a couple hundreds dollars more for a filter under one brand name that looked identical in every respect to another? I'm not saying that's the case now.

Drew, Rodenstock has been making their center filters for decades. Even during the period of time in the 80s when Schneider went into bankruptcy and the successor company, under Mandermann, liquidated whole divisions of the company. You were told incorrectly!

Dan Fromm
19-Jul-2018, 11:40
Longer than that, Bob. Rodenstock made their first center filter before WW I.

Bob Salomon
19-Jul-2018, 11:57
Longer than that, Bob. Rodenstock made their first center filter before WW I.

I believe that that one used a similar technology to their latest ones, a sandwich of a concave and convex glasses. Except that one was colored on one glass and the current ones are grey on one glass.

Drew Wiley
19-Jul-2018, 12:17
I'll take your word for it, Bob. I was merely implying that for a given generation, there might not be a helluva lot of difference between brands. Nobody would ever know that I use an 82mm Schneider CF on a Nikon, for instance. It works perfectly. Color neutrality, complete transparency, resistance to flare, and proper correction of falloff are what count. Any improvement beyond, like the one you cite relative to specular highlights, would indeed be a newer innovation. But I have no functional interest in primitive versions, though this might be interesting from a historical perspective. In fact, I rarely shoot true wide angle lenses at all any more. They were nice for architectural interiors. But that kind of work is now mostly being done digitally. Everyone wants their pictures delivered yesterday - perhaps the only redeeming quality of digital except a tad more portability.

Bob Salomon
19-Jul-2018, 13:37
I'll take your word for it, Bob. I was merely implying that for a given generation, there might not be a helluva lot of difference between brands. Nobody would ever know that I use an 82mm Schneider CF on a Nikon, for instance. It works perfectly. Color neutrality, complete transparency, resistance to flare, and proper correction of falloff are what count. Any improvement beyond, like the one you cite relative to specular highlights, would indeed be a newer innovation. But I have no functional interest in primitive versions, though this might be interesting from a historical perspective. In fact, I rarely shoot true wide angle lenses at all any more. They were nice for architectural interiors. But that kind of work is now mostly being done digitally. Everyone wants their pictures delivered yesterday - perhaps the only redeeming quality of digital except a tad more portability.

Shoot a sky scraper with aluminum cladding with a wide angle with your center filter on a sunny day and donít be surprised if you donít get a magenta shift towards the top of the building. The Rodenstock center filters donít do that.

Drew Wiley
19-Jul-2018, 17:09
I'm out shooting tall things quite a bit, Bob; but granite spires and redwood trees aren't made with aluminum yet. I have nothing against urban photography,
but don't gravitate toward getting my gear trampled or going nuts trying to find parking spaces. My occasional shots of downtown SF are usually done with
a very long telephoto from clear across the water. I just got back from the Oakland Airport, and while stuck in traffic up on the fwy interchange was trying
to spot exactly where the new foot trail on the Bay Bridge originates. It goes from the Eastshore State Park clear to Treasure Island, and opens up some very
interesting new opportunities to photograph both SF and the Port of Oakland. But I'll wait until late fall when the air is clear, and maybe try then.

acapela
21-Jul-2018, 09:54
Thanks to those who provided RELEVANT, USEFUL information in response to my query.

At this point, this thread appears to have been hijacked and has become yet another vacuous flame war (a tradition on the part of one particular poster to this thread that goes back 20+ years, to the Usenet era). I have unsubscribed to all my threads, and am leaving these forums, hopefully never to return. Blech.

rdenney
21-Jul-2018, 11:19
On the contrary, the information provided was relevant to your question, but in a general sense. Your question was also answered, or at least parts of it were, but maybe nobody has used the exact combination you were curious about.

For example, you learned that the letters after III mean more than cosmetic changes, as you had assumed. You also learned that lenses of similar design have similar falloff, and are likely to be served well enough by any filter intended for that design that mechanically fits, even from a different maker.

The thread is still working on the issue of cross-brand compatibility, which is precisely what you asked about.

A lot is us here (and not just here) are old and curmudgeonly. Several of our chief curmudgeons have participated in this thread. Sometimes we ask them to reel it in. But I for one don’t see the problem in this thread—the topic may be broader than you supposed and other readers may have need for the more general discussion even if you don’t. I would commend to you continued participation, though perhaps with a bit thicker skin and less baggage from what are apparently past encounters. There is much to be learned from our old curmudgeons, even if the meat is sometimes a bit salty.

Rick “with all due respect: OPs do not own threads” Denney

brucetaylor
21-Jul-2018, 21:48
Acapela, if you’re still here, there is a great feature under “settings,” called “edit ignore list.”
You can specify the annoying curmudgeons that irritate you and never be bothered with their long winded argumentative replies again!

Drew Wiley
22-Jul-2018, 19:55
Well, maybe some of us curmudgeons do spend too much time comparing our old war wounds. But there's nothing quite like learning from the School of Hard Knocks; so one can either spend a lot of money on an expensive filter and possibly end up disappointed, or perhaps learn something useful from old war stories. Not every answer would be honest if it was cut and dried. There are an awful lot of "it depends" in relation to large format lens usage. For one thing, center filters are optimized for a specific limited f-stop range, which might or might not match your personally preferred depth of field usage. Certain CF's of the correct thread and even specific for a particular lens require an intermediate spacer ring not supplied with the filter itself or the bulge in the front lens element will actually rub the back of the filter - a potential disaster! The 120 SA was one of these. You sometimes need to read the fine print.

Bernice Loui
28-Jul-2018, 10:15
Rodenstock E67 center filter (67mm) for 75mm f4.5 Grandagon, 35mm, 45mm, 55mm f4.5 Grandagon. Noted filter factor is 0.45.
180969

Rodenstock E67 on 75mm f4.5 Grandagon.
180970


Rodenstock E67 on 55mm f4.5 Grandagon.
180971


The Rodenstock E67 might work on the Schneider 110mm f5.6 SSXL, have this lens not tried this due to the front element of the 110mm SSXL being SO close to the front lens barrel. If there is not sufficient clearance between filter and front element, bad stuff will happen.


Bernice

Bob Salomon
28-Jul-2018, 10:30
Rodenstock E67 center filter (67mm) for 75mm f4.5 Grandagon, 35mm, 45mm, 55mm f4.5 Grandagon. Noted filter factor is 0.45.
180969

Rodenstock E67 on 75mm f4.5 Grandagon.
180970


Rodenstock E67 on 55mm f4.5 Grandagon.
180971


The Rodenstock E67 might work on the Schneider 110mm f5.6 SSXL, have this lens not tried this due to the front element of the 110mm SSXL being SO close to the front lens barrel. If there is not sufficient clearance between filter and front element, bad stuff will happen.


Bernice
While all of these lenses are 67mm the Apo series used a different center filter then the 75mm or the 90mm f8.

Dan Fromm
28-Jul-2018, 12:02
While all of these lenses are 67mm the Apo series used a different center filter then the 75mm or the 90mm f8.

Yes. The center filters R'stock recommends for Apo Grandagons have greater density at the center than the ones recommended for Grandagons and Grandagon-Ns. 2 stops vs. 1.5. I've never found a CF recommendation for the old 58/5.6 Grandagon; I b'lieve it wants a 67 mm filter with 1.5 stop central density.