View Full Version : Rodenstock variations - any difference between MC and green stripe MC?

19-Sep-2011, 09:58
I happen to be in the middle of a lens deal and have a little question about Rodenstock's variations between models:

What is the difference, if any, between MC lenses, Caltar branded MC lenses and green stripe MC lenses? Are there any optical or performative differences?

The actual case is about a Caltar branded Grandagon-N 115.
thanks :)

Oren Grad
19-Sep-2011, 10:34
The "striped" versions are newer. They also use different typefaces for the lettering. You can verify relative age by the serial number. In general, the specifications are identical, though Bob Salomon will tell you that later production runs may incorporate manufacturing refinements. I've never seen anybody report formal test results documenting any performance difference, though.

Note that late-production Caltar II-N lenses also have an updated lettering style. I have a very late 300mm Caltar II-N with the newer lettering. In my experience, these late Caltars are pretty uncommon - I suspect that Calumet was selling Sironar-N-era and pre-stripe Grandagon-N-era Caltar II-N lenses from stock for a long time before they commissioned additional production during the "stripe" era. At any rate, if there's any doubt about the approximate vintage of a Caltar II-N, you can always check the serial number.

19-Sep-2011, 10:40
Thanks, Oren. So basically I shouldn't be worried about anything, right?
I have just requested the serial from the seller... where do I check the age corresponding to the serial?


Oren Grad
19-Sep-2011, 10:48
I wouldn't worry. I've got a motley collection of modern Rodenstock glass under all the different Rodenstock, Sinar and Calumet brandings, including several Sironar-N, Grandagon, Grandagon-N, Sinaron and Caltar II-N lenses from the pre-stripe era. They're all excellent.

Kerry has a page on Rodenstock serial numbers here:


19-Sep-2011, 10:50
thanks again - very helpful!

19-Sep-2011, 10:51
Here is a list that is a little more up-to-date:



Oren Grad
19-Sep-2011, 10:53
Thanks, Bob - that's very useful.

Steve Hamley
19-Sep-2011, 11:29
I think if you look for Bob Salomon's posts, you'll find one where he says yes there are differences, possibly even with the later "striped" lenses, which by the way, were introduced around 1986 IIRC.

I'll attempt to paraphrase Bob's post assuming he will correct me if I say something terribly incorrect, but there have been changes in coatings, centering, possibly quality control and manufacturing technology. However, the formulas should be essentially the same and I would assume the changes have been evolutionary and not revolutionary and not expect huge visible differences in resolution or coverage.

This is a reasonable reply since I think all of us would not buy a 1986-spec car in 2011 expecting the same product as one that had improved in the intervening 25 years.

Cheers, Steve

19-Sep-2011, 12:06
1986? Some of my lenses are that new.

I would like to see definitive test results relevant to actual photographic applications showing that a lens with a stripe performs better than the same lens pre-stripe. Even the difference between a Sironar N and a Sironar S is beyond what most of us would notice in practice. But that difference is real and much larger than differences between incremental coating improvements.

Rick "sometimes wondering how photographers before 1986 produced results that would considered excellent today" Denney