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Thread: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

  1. #1

    Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    I already own a Rodenstock 135mm F5.6 Sironar-S. How would it compare to a Kodak 135mm F 6.3 Wide Field Ektar? I have a chance of getting the Kodak for a good price. Hate to pass up a margin, but hate to spend money on a lens I may not use. Thanks for all of your forthcoming comments!

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    Well, the Sironar-S covers at most 75 degrees, the WF Ektar 80.

  3. #3

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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    Like a 1948 Plymouth and a Maserati. Sooner or later I've had all of the Kodak wide field double gauss lenses; 100, 135, 190, 250 and never kept any of them. There'll be about a hundred mad guys that dis-agree, but that's what makes the world go round. The Sironar S is a sought after lens. Think twice before you get rid of it.

  4. #4

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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    Having owned and used a 135/6.3 WF Ektar for over 30 years, and with some experience of modern Rodenstock lenses (if not this one), I'll say this.
    The Rodenstock will have more contrast, and probably a slight edge in resolution. The Kodak is indeed a very sharp lens with (to my eye) a very pleasing tonality. The WFE's greater coverage may well outweigh the Rodenstock's (slightly) more modern look- if you use a lot of camera movements.
    The WFE usually is mounted in a Kodak Supermatic shutter, which is a bit more fiddly that the Copal most Rodenstocks came with. As the Supermatic is likely 50-75 years old, it may require service sooner.
    The Sironar will take modern screw-in filters, while the Kodak was made for Series VII drop-ins; I long ago found a S-VII-52mm adapter ring for my lens (and it took a search even then).
    They are both fine lenses. I wouldn't trade in my WF Ektar for a Sironar, though, simply because of the Ektar's greater coverage and my long-term familiarity with it.(edit) also note that I am not contradicting Mr. Galli!

  5. #5
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    I use my 135/6.3 WF Ektar on my 5x7 camera. So it can do double duty with my 4x5.

  6. #6

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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    The Ektar WF 135mm has significantly more coverage than standard Plasmat 135mm lenses. I own both, but when I head out in a city to do architectural work, it's always the WF Ektar that's in my bag.

    Compare image circles for a few 135mm lenses: A typical Plasmat in that focal length has about 200mm (208mm for the Rodenstock Apo Sironar S and 214mm for the Fujinon CM-W). The WF Ektar has a 229mm image circle. The only Plasmat that comes close is the older single-coated Fujinon W at 228mm.

    I find that bit of extra coverage to be really nice to have when I need lots of movements.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #7

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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    I wouldn't sell the Rodenstock to finance the Kodak.
    I would pick up the Kodak if it were cheap enough though.
    It's always nice to have a spare, and by golly, it's a Kodak!
    The spirit Dr. Rudolph Kingslake may smile down upon you!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    I will never sell the Rodenstock! The Kodak is part of a package deal with other stuff. I have not even inspected it yet. I have other Kodak lenses that I love. Just thought I would get opinions on both lenses. I'm a sucker for maybe a good ideal!

  9. #9

    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    There was a time when I kept running into good buys on 135 WF Ektars. I would test the latest acquisitions against my original one on the AF resolution chart. There was never a difference. They were all the same and great so I just kept my original one and sold the others. Might be my favorite lens on 5x7. This was a period of real quality control at Kodak.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Kodak vs. Rodenstock 135mm

    Neither are equal or better than each other, Rodenstock modern -vs- Kodak Ektar have distinct personalities. Desirability depends on image making needs and goals.

    There is a question of shutter. Kodak Ektar lenses in older shutters that need care an feeding is the norm, while a Rodenstock Sironar is likely to come in a modern Copal-Compur or similar shutter which is less needy than a vintage Ilex or similar.


    Bernice

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