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Thread: Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 1:9/480mm: No Rear Element?

  1. #1

    Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 1:9/480mm: No Rear Element?

    I am a neophyte to large format photography, and am undergoing a trial by fire in this field as I have taken on the task of selling off my recently deceased father's Plaubel equipment. He had a Peco Profia 4 x 5, and fancied himself to be a professional photographer (he wasn't). There are many items, including no less than sixteen lenses. One of these lenses is presenting a lot of questions. It's a Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 1:9/480mm - or at least half of one. It's mounted on a shutter and lens board - on the front side. On the back side, there is nothing. See eBay Item 330357252437. Is this lens complete, or is it missing the rear element? I asked one of our esteemed members here on the Large Format Photography Forum, and he said it's not complete: the rear element is missing. But several seemingly knowledgeable buyers on eBay have suggested it may be a one-piece lens, such as the brand new Rodenstock Rodagon 1:6.3/360mm (eBay Item 330357246602) I am also selling. More opinions, please.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 1:9/480mm: No Rear Element?

    Its wonderful that you're conscientious.

    The lens is mounted in front of an Ilex #5 shutter. It is in its barrel, and its own diaphragm is used to control aperture. The shutter happens to have a diaphragm too, but the lens should be used with the shutter's diaphragm wide open. The shutter is used to time exposures, and that's all.

    The tipoffs:

    The lens' diaphragm control ring is visible (shot 1) and so is its diaphragm (shot 4).

    The lens' rear element is clearly visible in shot 4.

    I suggest that you withdraw the listing. Then unscrew the lens from the shutter and take a couple of shots that show the lens, side view, to make it clear that there's a lot of lens behind the diaphragm and that show it from the rear to make it clear that there's glass at the rear end of its barrel. Show the front of the shutter to make it clear that there's a mount adapter in it. Rewrite the listing to say "Apo Ronar in barrel ... with Ilex #5 and adapter for mounting it in front of the shutter."

    We usually describe lenses like the Apo Ronar and the Rodagon as lenses in barrel, not as "one-piece lenses."

    Good luck,


    Those things you call Plaubel extension tubes are respectively standard and extension rails. What possessed you to dismantle two 4x5 Plaubels and sell them for parts?

  3. #3

    Re: Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 1:9/480mm: No Rear Element?

    Thanks for your knowledgeable comments, Dan. I know very little about large format cameras: everything I know I have learned through osmosis in the last few months, and I know just enough at this point to be dangerous. I was suspicious that the lens was in fact complete for the same reason: there is glass between the lens diaphragm and the back of the body.

    I'll try to get the lens off the shutter, but it's on there like grim death, and I have limited tools at my disposal.

    The 'standard and extension rails' are extras: I didn't disassemble anything. I suspect my father picked these up (and a number of the other items) at estate sales or from camera stores going out of business. But you are right: there's almost enough stuff here to build an entire second (or third) Peco Profia 4 x 5 camera system.

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