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Thread: Rodenstock Geronar

  1. #1

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    Apr 2011
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    Rodenstock Geronar

    I just got a used Rodenstock Geronar f/6.8 210mm lens. Looks about like new except for scratches on the back from being mounted.

    It is an interesting lens, three computer designed modern glass elements, multi-coated, plastic barrel, Copal 1 shutter. It has a 49mm filter thread on it, so will take filters I already have. I would guess that it is probably better than a Tessar, but not up to the six element lenses. However I have not yet taken any photos with it. I notice that new ones sell for $585, at the price I paid it would have to be really bad to make me unhappy, especially since the lens it is replacing has a big snowflake fungus patch right in the middle of the rear element. The fact it is small enough to use on my Crown Graphic as well as the Toyo 45G is a plus.

    One thing I am curious about, on the back, next to the serial number, it is ink stamped 8.4.12. Anyone have any idea what that is about?

    Anybody actually used one of these? If you have, what was your opinion of it?

  2. #2

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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    I have a Caltar II-E 210/6.8. It's a re-branded Rodenstock Geronar. I use it regularly, it's my favorite 210mm lens. It's sharp, has good contrast and its bright on the ground glass. Not to mention small and lightweight. I'm very happy with it.

    I can't help you with the numbers on the back.
    Never is always wrong; always is never right.

    www.LostManPhoto.com
    www.MarkStahlkePhotography.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    I would guess that it is probably better than a Tessar
    Why? In what ways?

  4. #4
    jadphoto
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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    Gray Wolf,

    I have used 150mm, 210mm, and 300mm Geronars and all are excellent performing lenses. Stop down a bit and the covering power is more than adequate. They are real sleepers, and as you discovered, can be found at bargain prices.

    Enjoy, you got yourself a real winner.

    JD

  5. #5

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    Feb 2006
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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    8. 4. 12 could be 8 April 2012. Doesn't make sense, as you just got it used, but it's all I can think of. Perhaps the shutter was serviced.. It's a modern rendition of the Cooke Triplet, upon which the Tessar was an improvement.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    436

    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    The lens has a plastic barrel? Aren't most LF lens barrels metal?

  7. #7
    jadphoto
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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dickerson View Post
    Gray Wolf,

    I have used 150mm, 210mm, and 300mm Geronars and all are excellent performing lenses. Stop down a bit and the covering power is more than adequate. They are real sleepers, and as you discovered, can be found at bargain prices.

    Enjoy, you got yourself a real winner.

    JD
    Forgot to mention, along with the ones I owned, I had several in a school program and not one of them had a plastic barrel.

    JD

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    8. 4. 12 could be 8 April 2012. Doesn't make sense, as you just got it used, but it's all I can think of. Perhaps the shutter was serviced.. It's a modern rendition of the Cooke Triplet, upon which the Tessar was an improvement.
    Yes, but Tessars were not made with modern high refractive glass, and they did not have computerized ray tracing in 1902. Also, CNC machining can produce far more accurate elements. Construction is far more accurate too. Multi-coating is not all it is cracked up to be, but it has to help a bit. Even in the 1930's some manufactures were getting around Zeiss's patents by using a single high refractive glass element instead of the Tessar's cemented pair with excellent results. I need to do some test shots real soon now.

    The guy I got it from got it on a camera he bought at an estate sale. If that is the manufacture date, the original owner must have had a heart attack almost on the way home from the camera store. Even the store stamping it to prove date of purchase seems unlikely. So if it is a date stamp, your guess about servicing is most likely. Still, maybe someone who actually knows for sure will weigh in with a comment. BTW, both B&H and Adorama have these lenses in stock.


    Note to moderators: I had not noticed that you have a separate lens forum, feel to move this there.

  9. #9

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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    I also have the Caltar ll-E version. It's a great lens, just like Mark says!

  10. #10

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    Re: Rodenstock Geronar

    Quote Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
    Yes, but Tessars were not made with modern high refractive glass, and they did not have computerized ray tracing in 1902. Also, CNC machining can produce far more accurate elements. Construction is far more accurate too. Multi-coating is not all it is cracked up to be, but it has to help a bit. Even in the 1930's some manufactures were getting around Zeiss's patents by using a single high refractive glass element instead of the Tessar's cemented pair with excellent results. I need to do some test shots real soon now..
    Interesting. I take that you live petrified in amber and believe that everything else does too.

    It is indeed true that the original f/6.3 Tessar dates from 1902. Since the Zeiss, in its various incarnations, has recalculated the Tessar prescription many times and so have many other manufacturers. Many manufacturers, including both Zeiss houses (BRD, DDR) made coated Tessars after WW-II. The last, best relatively fast tessar types were Schneider's 150/5.6 and 210/6.1 Xenars. Here's a link to a 1991 brochure on them: http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/archiv/pdf/xr.pdf

    Nikkor Ms are tessar types. Rodenstock's Ysarex lenses are tessar types that use Lanthanum glass.

    I don't know why you believe that tessar types didn't benefit from progress in computing and manufacturing techniques. Why should any of us believe this?

    You really should check your beliefs against reality more often. There are Tessars and there are Tessars, not all to the original design. The original f/6.3 design -- I have some pre-WW-I examples and use them -- is quite competitive with modern lenses, falls down mainly on coverage.
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 22-Jul-2012 at 13:09.

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