Rodagon 80mm f/4 vs f5.6

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by cenoura, May 22, 2011.

  1. cenoura

    cenoura Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Greetings,
    I'm wondering if anyone tried out the Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm f/4 and f/5.6. Are there any differences in terms of sharpness? Are both 6 elements? Other differences that you may think relevant are welcome :smile:

    I've also tried to search here at apug and google and I could find any real comparison between those two
    BTW, this is my first post... sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place

    Cheers,
    João
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,054
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome to APUG!

    You put your first post in the perfect place.

    Like many things photographic, the Rodagon lenses have changed over time. It may be that you are asking about lenses from different eras. I have a set of older Rodagons (including 50mm and 105mm lenses, but not 80mm) that are f/5.6 and are quite good, but my much more modern 80mm f/4 Rodagon is equally good, and more convenient to use.

    That being said, one of the practical differences between an f/4 lens and an f/5.6 lens is that the f/4 lens will be brighter at maximum aperture. This can make focussing and composing on the easel much easier, especially with colour negatives.
     
  3. cenoura

    cenoura Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Matt,

    Many thanks for the welcome and fast reply!

    Well, I've inherit one of this* (have you seen it?) but I've found quite difficult to get some info about this particular model (here, at google...). For my needs (doing B&W solo) I think it's ok to focus and compose (well, I haven't try any lens with less than f/4.5).

    Now I'm a bit more concerned about the sharpness and the quality of the glass between the f/5.4 and the f/4.
    Is it worth to sell this one and upgrade to the f/4 (e.g. used on eBay)?

    Ahh and sorry for my not so good english :wink:

    Cheers,
    João

    *Arrg... I can't post links since I just have one post :sad: but you can find it on google images by searching "rodenstock rodagon 80mm f5.6 enlarging lens". Its the first with a red stripe
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,054
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    João:

    Don't worry - there is lots of interesting stuff here on APUG, so you should have no trouble getting enough posts to be able to post links.

    For lenses like yours, sample variation may be more important than model differences. I would suggest you try a few prints at your favourite print sizes. If you are getting sharp grain at the centres and corners, you will most likely not benefit from an "upgrade" unless the small maximum aperture starts to be an important inconvenience.

    If you are looking to larger enlargements (16 x 20 and larger) the APO enlarging lenses definitely make a difference.
     
  5. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd recommend spending the extra and seeking out an APO Rodagon-N 80/4. With paitence they can be found for $200 or so, on ebay and elsewhere.
     
  6. Роберт

    Роберт Member

    Messages:
    334
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Location:
    Ukraine - Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a Rodenstock 4,0/80mm and another one for sale: Eur. 70,-. The differences with an APO are very small. You will find more differences in the same lenses during the years of production.
    And yes, 4,0 is more convenient in focus however I have a Meopta Meogon 2,8/80mm too and when comparing at 8,0 both lenses are equal in the prints.
     
  7. cenoura

    cenoura Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Many thanks for the help, I'm clarified
    You've said it well Matt, the best thing is to try it out.
    And yes, I'm really happy to stumble across apug... I'm a newbie and starting to learn how to print on my own and this site seems to be a great resource to learn and keep the film alive. BTW you would be the first to recommend me "The Print" by Ansel Adams, right? :wink:

    APO is expensive for me (and looks like it doesn't justify for my need: b&w and prints bellow 16 x 20), although I'll take that in mind if I need to change lens in the future
     
  8. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Keep an eye out for the APO Rodagon-N anyway. I found mine here on APUG a year ago for $75.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,054
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Glad we have been of assistance!

    I certainly recommend Adams' "The Print". I'm just not sure it is the best choice for a first reference.

    Henry Horenstein's "Black & White Photography - A Basic Manual" may be better for that purpose.

    One of the old Kodak Data books on enlarging may be a good choice.

    "Way Beyond Monochrome" is an amazing (and extensive) resource.

    Books by Steve Anchell, John Garrett or John Blakemore are worth considering.

    If you search through APUG, you will find a number of threads on this subject. Here is one good example:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/88667-im-looking-improve-my-darkroom-skills-any-good-book-recommendations.html

    Have fun!
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    the slower lenses are often superb, even the old ones! FWIW, I find that my 80 f4 rodagon is one of the less brilliant enlarger lenses I own. Its fine, but bettered by the 105 5.6 I have and my 65mm lenses. Its sharp, but never quite brings out that perfectly etched grain that some of the others produce. You never notice on its own, but if you print the same neg with the 80 and 105 the one off the 105 has a bit more sparkle and very fine detail. Why not try the 80 5.6 and see how it performs? It could turn out to be dynamite.
     
  11. cenoura

    cenoura Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey Matt, I've googled for some reviews about Henry Horenstein's "Black & White Photography - A Basic Manual" and seems to be a nice book to start out... Actually I've order one very cheap in second hand! Thanks for the tip! The thread you've sent was equally interesting :smile:
    Tom, just curious but which lens do you have? (the 105 f5.6 and the 65mm are also rodagons?)
    For now I'm just starting out building my darkroom (getting a place, material and reading phase), but I'll leave out my (newbie) impressions after a first print :wink: although if its 'dynamite', maybe I won't survive to tell the story lol :tongue:
     
  12. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My 105 5.6 and 65 f4 are both rodagons. I also have a 50 Durst Neonon, 63 2.8 Nikkor and various others. Only two lenses lag behind and they are the two newest and cleanest: the 80 f4 Rodagon (which only really shows up weaknesses with 35mm negs) and the Schneider 50 Componon-S. The 105 Rodagon produces 35mm prints as sharps as from a dedicated 35mm enlarging lens.