Rodagon 80mm f/4 vs f5.6
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 :)
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
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.
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 ;)
*Arrg... I can't post links since I just have one post :( but you can find it on google images by searching "rodenstock rodagon 80mm f5.6 enlarging lens". Its the first with a red stripe
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.
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.
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.
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? ;)
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
Keep an eye out for the APO Rodagon-N anyway. I found mine here on APUG a year ago for $75.
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:
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.