Schneider or Rodenstock Enlarging Lens?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by brian steinberger, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I currently have a Schneider 100mm/5.6 Componon-S for my 6x6 and 6x4.5 work. I'm looking at getting an 80mm for larger enlargements. My first thought was to just get the 80mm/5.6 Componon-S, but I took a look a some of the Rodenstock lenses, and while more expensive got great reviews. So now I'm wondering if I'm missing anything. Much difference between the Compnon-S and the Rodenstock enlarging lenses?
     
  2. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    I like the Componon S lenses.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Brian ,

    I worked as a photograph printer at a lab , there were 3 newly bought Rodenstocks and I printed 100 000 negatives with them. Red color was hard to control and my other lab printer was keeping coming and asking how to control the reds taken at studio lights. Camera and lens Mamiya 80 mm. They were excellent at daylight but dimlight prints were hot. But I saw Rodenstock BW prints and they were excellent , great blacks and sharp whites. Rodenstock is the best bw enlarger lens I have ever seen.

    I owned Schneider lenses and They were not sharp as Rodenstock and blue color was greyish. They render differently and looks old technology.

    And I lost control of my hand at darkroom and Rodenstock flied from 2 meters to concrete ground. All leafs messed. I swithched the controls and everything turned normal. I said great engineering saved me.

    For daylight and BW , Rodenstock is true winner.

    But dimlight is orange color was strong .

    Umut
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Ctein did a critcal comparison test of enlarging lenses which is presented in Post Exposure and available on his website for free now.
    According to him, the Componon-S and Rodenstock Eurygon are very close with slightly less light fall off in the Eurygon wide open.
    On a practical basis, the difference between the two probably is which one you like the looks of better.
     
  5. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I forgot to mention that I am only enlarging black and white. Speaking on Rodenstock lenses, the APO lenses worth the extra bucks? How do they compare to the N series?
     
  6. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I currently use APO Rodenstocks for all my B&W enlarging. However I can't say I see any difference in image quality vs the non-APO Nikkors I used before I got my new enlarger. Perhaps this is because I don't make very large prints, but in general I doubt there is much of a difference. The plus side with the APO vs the lenses I used before, is that if you need to open up a bit wider, the ones I have are essentially fully corrected one stop down from wide open, so if I needed to, I could use f4 on my 50mm and get full quality. I've never personally needed that, but it could be useful for some people.

    On the subject of Rodenstock vs Schneider, don't waste your time. They're of equal quality and indistinguishable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2011
  7. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    +1 to all of the above- my experience is exactly the same.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Have and use both brands, I don't notice any major differences besides the larger full open and close aperture lever. Both are very good. I am currently using the componon-s 80mm f4 for 6x6.

    I do prefer my 50mm 2.8 rodagon to my 50mm 2.8 compnon-s though, for the lighted aperture ring mostly haha. They print the same.
     
  9. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I too use both and haven't seen any difference in print quality. I'm now in a similar boat with trying to choose between a 150mm and 135mm - Rodenstock or Schneider? I think it will eventually come down to best bang for my buck - I'm happy to use either. . . .
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Over the last 35+ years I've used both Schneider and Rodenstock lenses for both camera & enlarger use. Neither company mas had a reputation for poor quality lenses in recent years and I'd be hard pushed to say one make was better than the other, they are at the same high level.

    Nanette's right it's down to price and availabilty when you're actually making the final decision.

    Ian
     
  11. ath

    ath Member

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    There is not much difference between the Rodagon and the Componon-S. Both are good lenses and when bought used condition (internal haze, separation) is probably more important than the name.
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a couple of Rodagon lenses, kept them over the Componon-S lenses, no ral difference in actual use for B&W, but the Schneiders wouldn't allow my lens turret to rotate. I have the same problem with 50m El Nikkors. I could have used different mounting plates, but the 50mm wouldn't focus when I tried it on one. The 80mm Comp-S kept banging the rear cone even with the proper plate. If you could use a 25mm mount lens, I would recommend a Wollensak 90mm for your medium format, it was designed for 6x9and does a great job running a 6x6 neg up to 16x20 on my D-6 base, excellent corner to corner coverage, no fall-off.
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I once pondered on the thought of getting those wollenstock and kodak ektar enlarger lenses, but costs were prohibitive. The 25mm to 29mm adapters arent cheap, and these older lenses dont go for cheap either, and dont usually start low if buying auction. The el nikkors, rodagons, and compnons can be had usually the same price or cheaper in good used condition.
     
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  15. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Finally a subject that everybody seems to agree on!
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you get a second lens that is from the same series as the one you already have, the operation (click stops, aperture setting illumination and direction) will be something you are already familiar with.
     
  17. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Yep, this is what I'm thinking. I'm now looking for an 80mm Componon-S to come up for sale. I see there is an older 5.6 version as well. I would like to find the newer f/4 version as it's operation is the same as my 100mm.
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Depends on the specific lens and when they were made. But my own Rodagons and El Nikkors have
    been distinctly better the any of the Componon S lenses I previously used (which I sold off); and
    my Apo Rodagon lens is even better, and nearly in the league of my Apo Nikkors (which are slower
    and not avail in short focal lengths, so not directly applicable to the question). I do both color and
    black and white work using film sizes all the way from 35mm to 8x10, and have probably used over
    twenty distinct enlarging lenses. But any of these lenses would be better than the old Componons
    (vs Componon S). I have never owned an Apo Componon because they aren't made in the focal
    lengths I prefer.
     
  19. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    Amen...
     
  20. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    When I bought a mint 50 current model componon-s, I found the results from an old Durst Neonon I won at the same time on ebay much nicer. Perhaps a bit more contrast... but the prints seemed to have more substance and the best prints from the Neonon looked better than the best from the Componon-S no matter how hard I tried. Hard to define, but it was immediately obvious and I did not use the Componon S again.

    I ended up with a Nikkor 63 2.8 due to vignetting issues with 50mm lenses on my 10x8 enlarger and found this produced prints identical to the Neonon (mine is made by Pentax) but free of vignetting at wider apertures (an enlarger issue).

    I also find that my 105 rodagon 5.6 distinctly superior to my 80 f4 rodagon. Both are late models in the plastic barrels. The 80mm cannot match at any aperture what the 105 will do at f6.7-8. There is more sparkle and more edge to the grain from the longer lens. You'd never think anything was wrong using the 80mm only, but next to the 105 you DO see differences in the print.

    My 150 Rodagon to my 135 Componon S produce indistinguishable prints really....

    ... so I guess in some cases one is superior to the other, but as for a general rule, forget it!
     
  21. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I have APO-Rodagons, APO-Componons, and Rodagaon-Gs. They are pretty much the same -excellent. The only caution I would have is that both Rodenstock and Schneider have made (or do make) less expensive brands than the Rodagons and Componon-S's. These are generally inferior in some ways.
     
  22. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Aren't they owned by the same parent company these days or am I confusing that with something else?

    I have and use both. All are good. In general I'd spring for the -S or Apo if available.
     
  23. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I have and use a 50mm 2.8 Apo-Rodagon and a 90mm 4.0 Apo-Rodagon and love them, especially the 90 for 6x6. I was mulling around the idea of getting an 80 F/4 for 6x6 prints larger than 16 x 20 but since I already have a 90, is there any real reason to have it?

    And what about the 80 F/4 Componon-S compared to the Rodagon Apo 80 F/4?
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Probably extremely little difference other than externals.
     
  25. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    All my enlarging lenses are Schneider APO-Componon HM.

    They're absolutely superb.

    - Leigh
     
  26. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Just buy one or the other of them and make prints

    If anyone here can correctly identify whether an enlarging lens was made in Kreuznach or Munchen from looking at a well made print I will give them all my Leica camera bodies for free

    John