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Thread: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

  1. #1

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    Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    I was also Linhof from the late 70s till 2015 and we sold lots of Schneider lenses over that time as well.
    As someone who sold both, how would you characterise the differences between Schneider & Rodenstock's lenses? It's a question I've often wondered about the answer to, especially given Linhof's habit of offering lenses from seemingly competing brands. Zeiss/ Voigtländer I can understand as they had quite specific lenses with different performance aims from most of Rodenstock & Schneider's ranges, but the seeming overlap in most of Schneider & Rodenstock's ranges seemed a little overkill in most areas apart from perhaps those who needed an extreme level of tonal/ colour repro consistency.

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    Re: NOOB Question About Close UP 4x5 LF Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    As someone who sold both, how would you characterise the differences between Schneider & Rodenstock's lenses? It's a question I've often wondered about the answer to, especially given Linhof's habit of offering lenses from seemingly competing brands. Zeiss/ Voigtländer I can understand as they had quite specific lenses with different performance aims from most of Rodenstock & Schneider's ranges, but the seeming overlap in most of Schneider & Rodenstock's ranges seemed a little overkill in most areas apart from perhaps those who needed an extreme level of tonal/ colour repro consistency.
    From what period?

    Why do you think that all Sinaron lenses were Rodenstock rather then Schneider?

    They each had unique lenses that could not be compared vs each other.

    From somewhere in the early 80s on I do know that Linhof rejected more Schneider lenses then Rodenstock lenses.

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    Re: NOOB Question About Close UP 4x5 LF Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    From what period?

    Why do you think that all Sinaron lenses were Rodenstock rather then Schneider?

    They each had unique lenses that could not be compared vs each other.

    From somewhere in the early 80s on I do know that Linhof rejected more Schneider lenses then Rodenstock lenses.
    Was Rodenstock's QC better/ more consistent & thus a lower reject rate when Linhof put them on the projector?

    And yes, I should have said that I was meaning the standard plasmats & wide angles, not the more specialist optics. Period-wise, I take it that they lenses were more consistent with the advent of more computerised manufacturing, but otherwise, I presume that the earlier Schneiders had more potential issues with centering etc?

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    Re: NOOB Question About Close UP 4x5 LF Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    Was Rodenstock's QC better/ more consistent & thus a lower reject rate when Linhof put them on the projector?

    And yes, I should have said that I was meaning the standard plasmats & wide angles, not the more specialist optics. Period-wise, I take it that they lenses were more consistent with the advent of more computerised manufacturing, but otherwise, I presume that the earlier Schneiders had more potential issues with centering etc?
    Most failures were from dirt in the optical system. Rodenstock were cleaner. The tests were done on a Siemens Star projector system ad visually.

    Apo Sironar S lenses were much better as were the Grandagon W and Apo Grandagons.

    An interesting side was that Linhof used the 90mm 5.6 Super Angulon on their 617 Technorama as it fit a 0 shutter where the 90mm 4.5 Grandagon N only fit a 1 shutter and there was no focus mount from Rodenstock for a 1 shutter.

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    Re: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    Discussion moved to its own thread.

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    Re: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    Shopping for lenses one Christmas with my wife, she shook a Schneider lens and complained that the snow inside did not fly about.

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    Re: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    Having the opportunity to try out both Schneider and Rodenstock lenses from that era ( early 1980's to early 1990's) Plasmat and wide angle lenses from Rodenstock proved to be more consistent in their performance over Schneider during that era. It was not until the mid-later 1990's that Schneider got their sample to sample quality control proper. Rodenstock never varied much in the sample to sample quality control, they were good back in the 80's and to this day. This became one of the primary reasons why the preference of the Grandagon series over Super Angulon until Schneider introduced their XL series.

    BTW, Kodak Ektars tend to have remarkable sample to sample consistency and overall quality long as the specific lens has not been abused-damaged.

    This illustrates the need to test each individual lens as much as possible before accepting any specific lens. Back then there were lots of options to try out stuff like lenses with film and processing needed to do extensive testing readily available. Then, return any given lens as a reject. Today, this process has become more difficult in many ways.


    Bernice

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    Re: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Shopping for lenses one Christmas with my wife, she shook a Schneider lens and complained that the snow inside did not fly about.
    Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

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    Re: Differences between Schneider and Rodenstock lenses

    I can only speak for myself, but I went on a buying spree to try to find the best lenses I could. I started with a 210mm APO Symmar L and 110mm Super Symmar XL fifteen years ago. Both were great, especially the 110mm, but I heard so much about the APO Sironar S that I wanted to see if they were any better. I added two copies of the 150mm APO Sironar S, a 135mm APO Sironar S, 210mm Apo Sironar S, 240mm APO Sironar S, 90mm APO Grandagon 4.5. One of the 150mm lenses was a scam...a 150mm Sinaron SE front element and 150mm Schneider rear element...that was soft through no fault of Rodenstock. The second copy of the 150mm is ok, but not great. I sent it in for repair and was told it was in spec. The 135mm is better, but not as sharp as the 110mm Super Symmar. My copy of the 210mm APO Symmar L is sharper than my 210mm APO Sironar S, though that is quite sharp as well. I just got the 240mm for 8x10 and so far it seems quite good. The 90mm is very sharp indeed, on par with the 110mm Super Symmar XL.

    Basically, I have had better luck with the most modern Schneider lenses, but I produced an exhibition for the national museum here based on my friend's photos taken with his copy of the 150mm APO Sironar S. His copy is extremely sharp. After all the time and money spent chasing these lenses, the one thing I realized is that sample variation among all the LF manufacturers seems quite high. I am not sure if it is because the market is mostly used and the lenses have been mishandled or fallen out of alignment, but whatever the cause, I think the variations between lenses is more of a factor than the variation between manufacturers. You are just as likely to get a sharp lens from either, but the sharpness is more down to good fortune than any inherent superiority of one brand over another, assuming you are comparing similar lens lines (APO Sironar S to APO Symmar L etc).

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