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Thread: APO Grandagon bad lens cups

  1. #1

    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    Most manufacturers use a sort of flexible plastic "blow molded" out of flat stock. There's a general perception that lenscaps should be inexpensive. (When the U.S. Navy spends $150.00 for a lenscap its considered one of those government contractor corruptions.)

    So its difficult to justify the added expense of a really good lenscap on an already high priced product.

    See: My lenscap page for some pictures of these.

    Although your experience with the light duty caps is not an everyday one its cerainly not unusual. I make custom lenscaps of Delrin or other rigid ABS plastic which are more rigid than the usual blow- molded factory originals.

    See:

  2. #2

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    I guess there's a lesson to be learned from your misfortune, and other's similar experiences. I just purchased a Schneider Super Symmar 150HM on Ebay at a very low price. The reason? The front element had rubbed against the lens cap and damaged the coating. I guess that this is a valid reason to run out and purchase UV filters for all of my lenses (as opposed to the reasons usually cited). With the Schneider XL lenses and their aggressively curved front elements it's only a matter of time until the inevitable happens.

  3. #3

    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    Armin,

    I now exactly how you feel. It has long been a pet peeve of mine that when you pay $700 - $1500 for a new LF lens that some manufacturers are too cheap to incl ude a decent lens cap. I always thought the purpose of a lens cap was to protec t the lens. As your experience shows, this is not the case with some modern LF lenses. In some cases, as yours illustrates, not only does the lens cap not pro tect your expensive new lens, it inflicts the damage. This is ludicrous. Lens manufacturers have the technology to produce these marvelous APO lenses with adv anced multicoatings and they can't make a lens cap that won't rub on the surface of the glass? This doesn't seem to be a problem with 35mm or MF lenses. Why c an't (or more accurately, why won't) LF lens manufacturers supply a decent lens cap that will actually protect those expensive lenses they make (and we buy).

    In my experience, the current Rodenstock lens caps are the worst I've ever seen. They are so thin and flimsy they are almost guaraneteed to rub on the glass an d cause the type of damage you describe. I recently bought a 75mm f6.8 Grandago n - not a big lens with or one with exceptionally curved front or rear elements. The caps were so thin and flimsy (the worst I've ever seen) that just lightly tapping them with my finger was enough to cause the cap to contact the glass on both front and rear elements. I immediately replaced both caps with something m ore rigid (Nikon slip-on cap on the rear, plastic snap-cap on the front). This problem is not exclusive to lenses of large diameter or bulbous shape. I had th e same problem with the rear lens cap on my 135mm APO Sironar-S. On the other h and, the front cap on that lens, as well as both caps on my 150mm APO-Sironar-S are dome shaped and rigid enough to avoid contact with the glass. They obviousl y have the technology to build better caps, but don't in many cases. Why?

    Schneider caps are marginally better, and only seem to cause a problem on lenses with larger diameters. I have never had a problem with Fuji caps (but have nev er owned a Fuji lens of exceptionally large diameter), and Nikkor caps seem to b e the best design and most rigid of all (but nothing short of a metal cap is as rigid as the custom made caps Steve Grimes makes).

    It seems ridiculous to have to replace the factory supplied caps on an expensive new LF lens with something generic that costs but a few bucks, but that is ofte n what I do immediately upon purchasing a new LF lens. I use the Nikon plastic snap-caps (supplied standard on their 35mm lenses) on the fronts of my lenses of smaller diameter. These fit well, are quite rigid, and are fast to install/rem ove. So, they actually stand a chance to protect my expensive new glass without any self-inflicted damage. Unfortunately, they don't come in all the sizes I n eed and won't work on most rear elements. Tamron, Pentax and others make simila r caps that probably cost a little less than the Nikon caps. I started using th e Nikon caps years ago, and have been happy with them, so I haven't bothered to try other brands. I also use the Kaiser brand slip-on caps with some of my lens es of odd diameter, but they are so tight fitting they create a vaccuum when ins talling/removing them that makes it a bit tedious to do so. They are also flat with no dome shape (like the Schneider caps) with raised lettering on the inner surface (size and "Made In Germany"). I have not had any damage using these cap s, but I've only used them in smaller sizes (preferring Nikon caps - either slip -on or snap-cap, when I can get them).

    I boggles the mind that a company like Rodenstock that makes some of the most ad vanced lenses on the world can't seem to make a decent lens cap to protect (not damage) those lenses.

    Kerry

  4. #4

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    We have distributed Rodenstock lenses in the US since 1989. In that time we have sold 1000,s of Rodenstock view camera lenses and have a very large inventory of lenses in stock.

    After seeing your post we checked with our service center.

    Since 1989 they have seen exactly 1 (one) case of a marred coating on a current series of lenses due to a contact between the lens cap and the front or rear element.

    Repeat 1.

    This is not what you would call an epidemic or a problem.

    If you have a new lens damaged by the lens cap you should immediatly contact the distributor who is resposible for warranty service in Switzerland and have him fix the problem.

    had it been a new lens covered by our Lifetime Warranty on Rodenstock we would have replaced the lens. providing the problem was caused by the Rodenstock cap being the culprit.

    This would not apply if the problem was caused by pressure in your case pushing the cap in.

    As for Kaiser caps. They are made in sizes from 15mm to 120mm. From 15mm to 58mm they are sized in 1mm increments. From 60 to 62mm they are in 1 mm incremats (there is no 59mm) From there on they are sized 64, 65, 70, 72, 75, 77, 80, 85, 90, 100 and 120mm.

    So if a cap is too tight in many cases are very slightly larger diameter cap is available.

  5. #5

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    From the way you described the problem it sounded like you bought a new lens.

    Now it turns out to be less then new.

    Why do you immediatly take Rodenstock to task for a problem we have seen once in a dozen years?

    Your complaint is with the seller of a "demo" not the manufacturer.

    Was this lens shipped around to shows/ How often and how was it cleaned? Had it been rented? How long had it been on display? Is it the current version even that uses 67mm filters rather then the old version with the 58m m front mount?

  6. #6

    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    Well Bob,

    It only takes once (I repeat: once) to ruin your day (right Armin?).

    Funny, I haven't owned THAT many Rodenstock lenses since 1989, and I've seen it twice (not counting Armin's recent experience). Once to the front element of a 115mm Grandagon-N and once to the rear element of my 135mm APO Sironar-S. The l atter was fortunately not permanently damaged. It happened the VERY first time I went for a hike with my 135mm APO Sironar-S. It was a reasonably short dayhik e. Upon returning home, I was horrified when I removed the rear lens cap and sa w a big smudge in the center of the rear element where the cap had contacted the glass. Fortunately, I was able to clean the plastic residue from the surface o f my lens with no sign of permanent damage. This after one (I repeat: just one) short hike. Rather than give it a second chance at inflicting permanent damage , I replaced the stock cap. In fact now, as a matter of course, I replace all m y Rodenstock lens caps with something thicker and more robust than the average p aper towel. It's much more cost effective and a lot less of a hassle to take st eps to prevent the damage than to wait until it happens and send the lens away f or repair. That's what properly designed, properly designed lens cap does - PRE VENT damage - not cause it.

    Like I said, this is a pet peeve of mine brought recently to light by the flimsy caps that accompanied my 75mm f6.8 Grandagon-N and stirred up by Armin's postin g of his unfortunate experience. Maybe Armin and I are isolated cases. If ever ybody else is happy with their factory caps, more power to them. For me, it's w orth the peace of mind to replace the flimsy factory caps with more rigid after market caps. I do think it's silly that I feel compelled to do so, but I also t hink it's silly that this would ever be allowed to happen - even just once - whe n it is so easily preventable.

    "This would not apply if the problem was caused by pressure in your case pushing the cap in."

    I don't carry my lenses in a "case". Nor do I leave them sitting in a studio so mewhere. I actually carry them with me in the real world Imagine that) on my ba ck. They are carried in indiviual, soft-sided padded cells or wraps, and then p laced in a set of padded dividers in my pack. The fact is, many of the current Rodenstock caps are so thin and flimsy that there is no way they will NOT contac t the lens surfaces when carried in a pack. The caps that came on my 75mm f6.8 Grandagon-N are the most useless lens caps I've ever seen. Actually, they are l ess than useless, they are damage inducing. There are only two scenarios where these caps will not contact the lens elements on this lens: if I leave the lens at home, or I replace the supplied caps. Which is why the Rodenstock caps sit h ere at home while the lens goes out in the field with its replacement Nikon caps to properly protect it. I find it difficult to believe that the engineers at R odenstock, with their vast technical expertise, can't design a better lens cap. Even if it adds 50 cents to the cost of a $1000 lens, I think it would be worth it.

    "As for Kaiser caps. They are made in sizes from 15mm to 120mm. From 15mm to 58mm they are sized in 1mm increments. From 60 to 62mm they are in 1 mm incremats (there is no 59mm) From there on they are sized 64, 65, 70, 72, 75, 77, 80, 85, 90, 100 and 120mm. So if a cap is too tight in many cases are very slightly larger diameter cap is available."

    It's not a question of improper fit. It's one of poor design (again). Every ot her plastic slip-on cap I've ever seen has some mechanism to allow air to escpap e when putting the cap on, or taking it off the lens (either groves or raised ri dges). The Kaiser caps lack this feature. I use them on one of my lenses that takes 44mm slip-on caps. The fit is perfect (too perfect - without any way for the air to escape). A 45mm cap doesn't fit at all. I tried one and it falls ri ght off. Oh well, this is just a minor inconvenience. At least the Kaiser caps haven't threatened to cause any damage to my lenses.

    I remember a time back in the 1970s when even a no-name cheapy 35mm zoom lens ca me with both proper fitting rigid lens caps and a nicely lined hard case. Such was standard packaging back then, even on lenses costing about $100. I haven't bought any 35mm lenses in several years, so I don't know if that is still the ca se. It sure isn't standard practice when buying an expensive large format lens these days. The one exception being Fuji. Their new CM-W line comes standard w ith hard cases of molded plastic designed to hold (and actually protect) their l enses mounted in lensboards of a reasonable size.

    Kerry

  7. #7

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    Ialways wondered why they stopped shipping lenses with those gourgeos stiff leather , velvet lined lens hoods.

    And Bob you are missing the point: if the lens didn't have any marks on it when he got he lens , is it likely that years of accumulated latent damage just suddenly appeared? Spooky!

  8. #8

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    "And Bob you are missing the point" - Ellis, are you at all surprised?

  9. #9

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    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    "And I`m still waiting for a answer from Rodenstock!"

    Armin,

    When you send a request like this to Rodenstock it is good to mention the dealer - you did.

    But nowhere in your request to the factory did you mention that this was a demo lens.

    They to assumed you were talking about a new lens.

    It is very generous of the factory to take care of the problem under warranty but don't you think that they were entitled to know not only that you have 6 other lenses but that this one was a demo?

  10. #10

    APO Grandagon bad lens cups

    Bob, Camera stores rutinely sell demo equipment, I worked at one when I was going to college and we used to sell the customer the item we had on display, there is nothing wrong and/or inferior with these items provided the store is reputable and inspects the item before giving it to the customer, in addition it it still has the warranty even though it has been taken out of the box, it has not been "sold". I understand he got it from Robert White, who appear to be very reputable, why are you knocking this demo lens as inferior? BTW "Demo" lenses are NOT lenses that have been "rented", are usually well taken care of since it is still stock and has to be sold and with the turnover that Robert White has I am sure the lens was not on display for that long. BTW I am sure Rodenstock would not have done anything to the lens if it had not been under warranty. Wether Rodesntock is being nice or not, is not the point. The fact remains that the lens covers are flimsy, the lens although a "demo" still a new lens and under warranty and if Rodenstock insists on sending the lens with these type of caps then they are taking the risk of having to repair the lens later on. I find Armin's complaint valid and very straight forward. BTW 3 of my lenses are Rodenstock and ALL have UV filters (heliopan) precisely to prevent this problem.

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