Rodenstock stops manufacture of a number of LF lenses

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by AgX, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. AgX

    AgX Member

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    As a german magazine reports at least these lenses will be affected and more will follow:

    Apo-Sironar S 100 mm
    Apo-Sironar S 180 mm
    Apo-Sironar S 240 mm
    Apo-Sironar S 300 mm
    Apo-Sironar S 360 mm
    Apo-Macro Sironar 120 mm
    Apo-Macro Sironar 180 mm
    Grandagon N 65 mm
    Grandagon N 75 mm
    Grandagon N 90 mm
     
  2. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    what magazine?
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Photoscala
     
  4. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Sad news indeed.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the price for 2nd hand LFlenses just went up.:wink:
     
  6. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I'm presuming they're concentrating on their line of Apo-Sironar Digital (HR) lenses, there's enough second-hand LF lenses floating around at less than half the price of new to make manufacturing new ones rather uncompetitive.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There is a used market, the manufacturer is still existing and there is a competitor with still a similar range.
     
  8. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    I suspect that it is more likely that Rodenstock has either run low or run out of #1 and #3 shutters.

    When their stock of #0 shutters runs low they will no doubt announce the discontinuation of those lenses as well.

    Though a niche market in a declining sector, with a world-wide monopoly I would have thought that Copal could still make a decent profit with their mechanical shutter line.

    I expect that Schneider isn't far behind.

    Very sad.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2013
  9. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Good point. I forgot about the shutter availability issue.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You can avoid that problem if you use a focal plane shutter such as a Graflex Model D or a Speed Graphic.
     
  11. Len Middleton

    Len Middleton Member

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    Or Sinar Copal shutter...

    The mechanical versions of the Sinar shutters may got up in price, as the parts for the standard shutters get scarce.
     
  12. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Grandagons are tough to use on a Series D. :smile:
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    I saw this on LFF and the thread got way crazy lol!

    But, my main response is .... I fail to see how a company that makes high end optics, has trouble designing a (relatively) simple shutter for their own lenses....
     
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  15. AgX

    AgX Member

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    -) A central shutter is anything but simple. Though with electronics one can do without that timing mechanics.

    -) I doubt there is a market justifying investment in a new shutter.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    The technology for modern leaf shutters is not exactly new, I can't imagine it being that costly to create one...

    It doesn't have to be faster than 1/500 and there were 1/200 shutters in like the 1930's... And the flash sync is nothing new, my yashica44lm has a flash x-sync that does 1/500 and that's from like the 1950's? Or so...

    So I can't see it being that difficult for them to design one.
     
  17. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    The issue isn't that it would be particularly difficult to design or even manufacture a new mechanical shutter.

    The problem is in tooling up for efficient, reliable, and profitably scaled production, securing the necessary human and institutional knowledge and expertise, and providing for the concomitant support infrastructure that would be necessary.

    For Copal, this was all sunk cost. The marginal costs for them to continue producing their decades old designs would be miniscule compared to the costs of starting with a blank sheet of paper. If Copal could make a profit with #0 shutters selling at retail for ~$100 three or four years ago, they should still be able to make a decent profit with the exact same shutter selling for $300-$400 as they have been for the last couple of years, even in a declining market.

    For them to give up a world-wide market that was theirs exclusively suggests that they just really, really wanted to get out of that particular part of their business altogether, regardless of any profits it was generating.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Prontor do no longer offer their shutters since 2006, Copal their LF-shutters since 2009.
     
  19. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Rollei/DHW and other manufacturers make electronic shutters.

    now, your average joe who buys a $250 lens off ebay might not use their lens enough to justify spending $1200 or so on an electronic shutter+controller(and a shutter for each lens!), but a working professional who is using(and renting their camera to themself on jobs) can easily justify that cost, despite the high cost of buying in.

    I do agree, however, that a "simple" electronic shutter could be produced, but remember this: YOU CAN'T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO!
    If you want it "cheap", you probably won't have the best quality, and post-purchase support/repair ability. If you want those things(or a person on an end of a telephone to speak too), you'll need to be willing to spend more $$$.

    I've assisted a number of architectural photographers(BIG LF users pre-digital and the move to smaller formats, in general) and asked them about their servicing/maintenance of their equipment. Most would use their equipment enough to never really justify getting a service done, unless something showed up as being "wrong"... Just like exercising your body, exercising a lens can help keep you "in shape". If you don't work yourself out(or your shutter), you'll get slow, and eventually stuff up completely.

    Basically "use it or lose it". I'm only using lenses that have Copal 0/1 shutters, but have a few older "parts" lenses that I just keep in the cupboard in case I need to repair something, but so far nothing's needed to be repaired/replaced thus far. But I'm prepared if I do!

    Most amateurs are too fuss-pot about the technical and cosmetic condition of their equipment IMO, especially justifying the small amount of usage they show it.
    Just buy yourself a shutter tester, test your lenses 1x/mo and write down any adjustments to speed so you know what you're at. IME, a CLA isn't needed unless a shutter is stuffed up completely, or some simple "exercise" isn't going to free things up prior to use.

    -Dan
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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  21. miha

    miha Subscriber

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    So when exactly did copal case their shutter production? And what am I left with if I wish to buy a brand new 4x5 macro lens in a year or two?
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Their website indicates they stopped marketing LF-shutters in 2009.
    Neither Prontor nor Copal made a statement on this matter (I know of).


    As indicated above, there might be stocks at the lens industry.
     
  23. miha

    miha Subscriber

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    Thanks. I understand Rodenstock offer lifetime warranty (I'm not sure about Schneider) so they must have secured quite some shutters for future repairs.
     
  24. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    It's the end of the world as we know it...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  25. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    They announced [or perhaps more accurate to say that they let it be known] about their decision to discontinue their mechanical leaf shutters in 2012 and shipped their final production run in early to mid 2013.

    According to one LF manufacturer, they were told that this last run [presumably #0 shutters exclusively] would be sufficient to supply the world market for ~2-years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
  26. miha

    miha Subscriber

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    I hope they will be able to adapt electronic shutters to the existing range of lenses. I see they are made by Rollei, Schneider and Rodenstock but also 600 - 1300 Eur dearer compared to Copal.