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malum
18-Sep-2007, 08:34
I was pointed over here from Fred Miranda
I have a Rodenstock Sironar 1:5,6 f=210mm lens and it has some strange happenings on.
Does anyone know what it is? (see pic)
It's been in storage for some time (15 years odd)

I should add that I know nothing of large format cameras (don't burn me at the stake please) I had to ask what the hell the lens was over there. I intend to sell it assuming that whatever is wrong with it isn't terminal

http://www.virtuallyinsane.com/temp/lens.jpg

Thanks for your time

Jim Galli
18-Sep-2007, 08:39
Looks like it IS terminal. Your lens has glass elements that are cemented together. What is happening is that it is decementing. Cost to repair is typically more than the lens is worth. Don't despair completely though. The shutter still has some value even if the lens is junk (looks like it is). I will offer $125 for the lens as is if the shutter looks OK, and there may be others here that would offer more.

Photomax
18-Sep-2007, 08:57
That is "lens separation" and like Jim says, its "BER", beyond economical repair...
I had a lens do that but the positive thing is I now have a very sturdy paper weight...

Max

GSX4
18-Sep-2007, 09:03
I have never seen a lens seperation before, and it is rather unfortunate. It does look like some sort of an eye though in this picture.

Gene McCluney
18-Sep-2007, 09:52
While lens cement separation "is" fixable in many cases, as previous posters have commented, in a very common modern lens such as this, the value of the repaired lens is not as great as the cost to fix it. Usually the lenses that get fixed are the rare early brass lenses that many photographers like to use for matching the "look" of 19th century photography, and for which there is no modern equivalent. The shutter your lens is mounted to has value, but if you sell this lens, you should price it just for shutter value, as the lens itself is basically junk.

Patrik Roseen
18-Sep-2007, 10:28
This seems more common to Rodenstock lenses than eg Schneiderlenses in my experience. Anyone who knows the story?

malum
18-Sep-2007, 10:29
Thanks for the input all.
Shame about the lens.
I am interested in selling the shutter and if $125 is a fair price and nobody else has the irresistible urge to offer me more then I'm game.
I am in the UK BTW but I am coming to the States briefly on Saturday so I could bring it and post it from there. I may not have time to get organized with that though

I have some other bits that some of you LF folk might be interested in. I need to check out what they are exactly, I think it's the camera itself and it has another lens on it. I haven't looked at these for condition yet though.

Jim Galli
18-Sep-2007, 12:10
Contact me at jimgalli at lnett(LNETT) dot com. Maybe we can work something out. US Post Offices have "flat rate" shipping boxes for about $9 US to anywhere here. That might work out nicely.

Richard Kelham
18-Sep-2007, 14:39
This seems more common to Rodenstock lenses than eg Schneiderlenses in my experience. Anyone who knows the story?



I have a couple of lenses with balsam faults though not as bad as this one as they are still useable. As it happens they are both Rodenstock. I had put it down to coincidence, but perhaps it isn't?



Richard

SamReeves
18-Sep-2007, 15:11
That image enough to scare me. Yea, a paperweight is in your future. :(

erie patsellis
18-Sep-2007, 15:34
There is something that can help, or at least make the lens usable. I have successfully used light machine oil, wicked in from the side slowly to not create air bubbles. While not optimal, it does render the lense usable.


erie

Jim Galli
18-Sep-2007, 17:18
While lens cement separation "is" fixable in many cases, as previous posters have commented, in a very common modern lens such as this, the value of the repaired lens is not as great as the cost to fix it. Usually the lenses that get fixed are the rare early brass lenses that many photographers like to use for matching the "look" of 19th century photography, and for which there is no modern equivalent. The shutter your lens is mounted to has value, but if you sell this lens, you should price it just for shutter value, as the lens itself is basically junk.

The antique lenses were cemented with canada balsam and were quite easily seperated and repaired. I don't know what modern lenses are put together with but I do know I've seen about 10:1 Rodenstock that have this problem. Usually it is the earlier Sironar before the N and S designated later versions.

erie patsellis
18-Sep-2007, 17:27
While my experience may not be typical, every modern Rodenstock lens I have ever owned seemed to have separation issues, sooner or later. Only one of the Schneiders I've owned have had this problem, which manifests itself as "snowflakes".
As to which is more preferable, I'm not sure, the Rodenstock issue can be fixed easily and inexpensively (albeit somwhat crudely by finding a fluid that has the same index of refraction) while the schneiders are not in any way fixable my mere mortals. (If it weren't for the size of the 360, I'd probably attempt a recement myself, as both front and rear cells have small snowflakes, for now I pretend not to see them and just keep using the lens.)

erie

Randy H
18-Sep-2007, 17:30
Everybody is quick on the seperation issue. One more that perhaps is being overlooked. Broken lens. I "had" a 14 inch versar that I dropped, and the front lens now has the same "marks" as this one. I keep it sitting on the shelf in my darkroom as a reminder that these thing may have survived more than a few decades, but leave it to a 21st century klutz to fumble and drop it. And yes, mine is definitely cracked. This one may be seperation, or it could well be broken. Either way, were it mine, I would take Jim's offer.

Kirk Fry
18-Sep-2007, 20:47
I have had a couple of Rodenstock Sironars do that, although not as bad. It is a bummer. I won't buy a Rodenstock lens any more because of this problem. I have read that Rodenstock had switched over to the new synthetic glues and didn't quite have it under control in the late 60's and 70's. This is clearly a manufacturing defect. I have several lenses that are at least a century old that have not separated. Ever see a Goerz lens that was separated? I got at least 10 of them, not a separation in the bunch.

K

malum
19-Sep-2007, 04:27
Thanks all. I have emailed Jim
Given that the front and back have the same problem I guess it's possible that it has been dropped.

I have found the camera and it has another lens on it (looks fine)
a SCHNEIDER SYMMAR-S 150MM 1:5.6 if anyone is interested. The camera is also up for grabs but probably to the UK only as it weighs a lot!

I'll start a new thread with pics of the camera.

Bob Salomon
19-Sep-2007, 04:42
"While my experience may not be typical, every modern Rodenstock lens I have ever owned seemed to have separation issues, "

Please be specific. Since we became the Rodenstock distributor in 1986 we have seen virtually no lenses that are of modern design that have signs of separation and very, very, very few older ones. All Rodenstock lenses distributed by us come with a lifetime warranty on the glass. We have had virtually no claims against this warranty for lenses with any sign of separation.

Of course we sell new lenses not used lenses so we can vouch for used lenses. With new lenses made for at least so years separation is no problem with Rodenstock lenses.

Steve Hamley
19-Sep-2007, 06:07
"Ever see a Goerz lens that was separated?"

Yep, I have two of them; both very minor, in one cell only, and both still very, very usable. But it isn't non-existant although rare, and I've seen a couple more. I've also more commonly seen Goerz lenses with the cement "hazing" between the glasses in older lenses.

However, you have to consider what life these lenses have led. Lenses that were made in the first half of the 20th century may have spent 60 years or more before air conditioning became common and taken for granted, and even then many photographers turned off the AC when they left for the day. I'm actually amazed that lenses here in the Southeastern US have survived the heat and humidity as well as they have.

Steve

Brian K
19-Sep-2007, 06:31
"While my experience may not be typical, every modern Rodenstock lens I have ever owned seemed to have separation issues, "

Please be specific. Since we became the Rodenstock distributor in 1986 we have seen virtually no lenses that are of modern design that have signs of separation and very, very, very few older ones. All Rodenstock lenses distributed by us come with a lifetime warranty on the glass. We have had virtually no claims against this warranty for lenses with any sign of separation.

Of course we sell new lenses not used lenses so we can vouch for used lenses. With new lenses made for at least so years separation is no problem with Rodenstock lenses.

I have to agree with Bob on this. I have (knock on wood) never seen lens separation in any of my Rodenstock lenses, some of which are 30 years old. I think if a lens is properly maintained and stored they should last for a very long time.

I'm curious if a serious contributor to separation could be lenses being used in the very cold and then rapidly warmed and then brought out into the cold again. The same freeze/thaw cycle that causes cracks in asphalt.

Jim Galli
19-Sep-2007, 06:38
We have to use some caution on these forums not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Along with what Bob says I've never seen the problem in modern Rodenstock lenses either, or the Caltar's from Rodenstock. It seems to be limited to very late 1960's early 1970's Sironar's. The convertible ones with the huge front light and smallish rear are the ones I've most often noted. That's probably a span of 3 or 4 years before it got fixed.

erie patsellis
19-Sep-2007, 10:12
Interesting,
When I set up my first studio, I purchased 3 full sets of used Sironars, from 135 to 300 for the 4x5 and 8x10. Every one exhibited seperation to some degree or another, my repairman told me about the oil trick, managed to at least keep them usable, until we replaced them with Symmar-S's. On the other hand, the 90 Grandagons never showed any of those same issues. Bear in mind this was in a commercial environment, with several people shooting, often on location. Needless to say, I'm sure they weren't intentionally rough, but I doubt they handled them with kid gloves either.


erie

Bob Salomon
19-Sep-2007, 13:06
"used Sironars"

Let's be specific.

Sironar lenses
Sironar-N lenses
Sironar-N MC lenses
Apo Sironar N lenses
Apo Sironar S lenses

??????

Just saying used Sironar lenses implies that they are the very old original, convertible Sironar lenses from decades ago.

erie patsellis
19-Sep-2007, 14:14
Well, it was decades ago, '82 through '84, to be precise, prior to HP Marketing being the importer. It was original Sironars. It's only been 20 some odd years, and I'm sure some of the details have become a little fuzzy. As I recall, the cost of repairing them properly wasn't large enough to be an issue, but scheduling and turnaround were the bigger issues. I will say that subsequent Sironar-N's I have used have never exhibited anything other than exemplary performance.

In all fairness, I would have happily bought Sironar-N's when I replaced them, and bid the lot out to probably a dozen resellers, we're talking around 30 lenses, and the Rodenstock dealers were miles above the Schneider dealers, strictly a business decision to go the Symmar (probably -S's if I recall) route. Though we kept one set of Sironars for jobs that had to color match previously shot work.

erie

Richard Kelham
19-Sep-2007, 16:42
"While my experience may not be typical, every modern Rodenstock lens I have ever owned seemed to have separation issues, "

Please be specific. Since we became the Rodenstock distributor in 1986 we have seen virtually no lenses that are of modern design that have signs of separation and very, very, very few older ones. All Rodenstock lenses distributed by us come with a lifetime warranty on the glass. We have had virtually no claims against this warranty for lenses with any sign of separation.



My afflicted Sironar is a fairly old one (63xxxxx number which I believe is late '60s). The Sironar is still useable but I also have a Rodagon which is probably past saving. It's serial number is in the 87xxxxx series which would date it to 1973/4.

For how long did Rodenstock have this problem with their lens cement?




Richard

Bob Salomon
19-Sep-2007, 19:07
My afflicted Sironar is a fairly old one (63xxxxx number which I believe is late '60s). The Sironar is still useable but I also have a Rodagon which is probably past saving. It's serial number is in the 87xxxxx series which would date it to 1973/4.

For how long did Rodenstock have this problem with their lens cement?




Richard

They didn't. The separation is usually caused by an impact to a lens which, however slight it may have been, managed to allow a small opening in the edge sealing materials around the elements. This lets moisture seep in which leads to the separation.

We see very, very few lenses with separation. Even with old Sironar lenses we rarely have had consumers send a lens in for service with this problem. Nor have we gotten many calls or emails from consumers with this problem. Off hand I don't think we have received 10 lenses with separation as a problem in the past 20 years. Perhaps other service providers have seen more examples of this problem. But we can only go by our experience as the Rodenstock distributor for the past couple of decades.

If I don't respond to any comments on this answer I apologize but my 92 year old mother died this morning and I will be away for the next few days. If there are any comments I will try to respond as I have time.

Dave Parker
19-Sep-2007, 19:31
If I don't respond to any comments on this answer I apologize but my 92 year old mother died this morning and I will be away for the next few days. If there are any comments I will try to respond as I have time.

Bob,

I am sorry to hear of your loss, our thoughts will be with you.

Dave Parker
Satin Snow Ground Glass

Steve Hamley
19-Sep-2007, 19:32
Bob,

Please accept my condolences for you loss. My father is 89 and has been in ill health for several months, so I know your pain.

You are are an asset to the LF community and I always respect and learn from your posts - and humor.

Condolences,

Steve

naturephoto1
19-Sep-2007, 19:34
Bob,

Very sorry to hear about your Mother. Our thoughts are with you.

Rich

Richard Kelham
20-Sep-2007, 13:44
-snipped-

If I don't respond to any comments on this answer I apologize but my 92 year old mother died this morning and I will be away for the next few days. If there are any comments I will try to respond as I have time.



Thanks for your reply. I gues most owners of dud Sironars dump them on eBay!

Sorry to hear of your loss. 92 is a good age, but that doesn't reduce the heartache for those left behind.




Richard

Arne Croell
20-Sep-2007, 14:02
Bob, my condolences for your loss. I am sorry to hear about the hard times you are going through.

As for the separation-lens cement issues:

Rodenstock is by no means the only company that had problems, and only lenses from a certain time were affected, and then only certain types. Also, mechanical impact might start separation, but its not the only reason. Canada balsam was actually most prone to suffer separation due to impact since it is quite brittle.

After Canada balsam was phased out some time after WWII, there were three main types of cements that were used by optical manufacturers. These were, in roughly chronological order:
a) Thermoset cements: these were polymers that had to be heated (70°-85C) for several hours to cure. According to Hank H. Karow's book "Fabrication methods for precision optics" one big problem was the considerable amount of shrinkage during curing, of the order of 20%

b)Catalyst-activated resins were the second type, one brand name was lensbond. These consisted of a resin and an activator part that were mixed just before usage, and they contained a high amount of solvents that had to be removed during curing. These sometimes still required higher temperatures for curing, but not as high as the other type. Shrinkage was lower, in the 10%range.

c)UV-curing cements, which have replaced most of the other types today. No solvents and very low shrinkage values. Therefore lenses from the mid-80's to now should have no problems.

I would assume that most or all of the lens separations we see, used -if not Canada balsam - the first or second type of cement, prone to the shrinkage problems and also because of the heating cycles involved. Thermal expansion can vary significantly between glass types, so a lens with very different glasses joined by the cement might be more prone to separation especially if they had already seen thermal cycling during manufacturing. This may account for the fact that there are specific lenses that are quite prone to separation, whereas others from the same time and manufacturer are not. Lens curvature might also play a role.

The lenses where I have seen separation often, are:

The original Sironar (no prefix or suffix) from Rodenstock that started this thread. Also some long focal length Rodagons from the same time period (1960's, early 1970's) for process cameras show it.

Voigtländers Apo-Lanthar (front group), Apo-Skopar (front and back groups) and Telomar (back group). However, the Heliar, which has the same basic design as the Apo-Lanthar, is practically free of separation. So its not the manufacturer, or the time of manufacturing,or impact alone, its the lens type, too.

Zeiss Oberkochens LF Sonnar made for Linhof is prone to separation in the inner cemented group of the front cell.

David Karp
20-Sep-2007, 14:23
Bob, please accept my condolences.

Richard Kelham
21-Sep-2007, 11:30
Arne

Thanks for your detailed reply. I guess nothing is forever (except maybe herpes...)




Richard

Bobby Ironsights
21-Sep-2007, 12:52
Hey malum, that's a not too bad image of lens seperation, how about releasing it into the public domain so someone can upload it to wikipedia. It's easy! Just state,..... I, name, am the creator of this work, a short description, and I hereby release it into public domain, on the date of date. And there you go, you've enriched the whole world a teeny tiny bit.

Rory_5244
21-Sep-2007, 13:02
Condolences Bob.

I had my Fujinon 240mm A lens develop a hazy area in between two of the rear elements. The lens is just 3 years old. I was about to send it back to Badger but I changed my mind when I realised the image quality didn't seem to be affected. I didn't know these things can happen to lens cement before this.

Dan Fromm
25-Sep-2007, 14:14
Pardon the late response, I've been away.

Bob S., please accept condolences and sympathy.

Most of the 58/5.6 Grandagons I've seen have separations, some at the center, not at the periphery, and more often in the rear cell than in the front. Mine looks godawful but doesn't shoot too badly. I'm not convinced that the problem was caused by an impact. Long, long out of warranty, of course.

Some years ago I bought a 16/2.5 Luminar that seemed to have been heated considerably while in a vertical (front down) position. It had balsam puddled around the periphery of the front element and the cemented pair (elements 2 and 3, IIRC) had visible air gaps between the glasses. The lens could resolve no more than 2/3 as many lp/mm as a known good 16/2.5, had much lower constrast. I used Edmund's cheap USAF 1951 on glass; the good 16/2.5 got the smallest group/element so may in fact have have been capable of > 228 lp/mm.

Finally, I have a badly separated 25-15 w/a converter for the 25/1.4 Cine Ektar II. It has the loveliest Newton's rings imaginable. The were visible on the GG and when I tested the lens on film they were visible on the film, were obnoxious when the test film was projected.

Morals? Before tossing the lens, try it out. If at all possible, buy only at such a low price that if the lens fails test the money won't be missed much.

Cheers,

Dan

Bob Salomon
25-Sep-2007, 14:44
To all thanks for your comments.

To Dan,

"Most of the 58/5.6 Grandagons"

Those are very old lenses. No relation to lenses made in the past 20+ years that we have sold Rodenstock. They were, if I remember, from the late 50s and 60s. Commonly seen on the long defunct XL cameras.

Jim Galli
25-Sep-2007, 19:23
The lens arrived today for shutter salvage. It is indeed the very first generation Sironar from about 1969 or so in the oldest style Copal 1. Aperture for both 210 and 400mm. It looks nearly symmetrical very like a G-Claron. I put the rear element in to soak in some acetone for a while to see if I can seperate it.