I think both companies make pretty decent enlarging lenses, but I am in the market for a 150mm lens. The owner of a camera stores here in town, and a nice guy to boot, suggests that the Rodenstock lenses have better contrast than the Schneiders of similar focal length. I am not looking at going up to an APO lens as I've used them and while nice for color I didn't find them significantly better in B&W to justify the price(90mm Schneider APO).
If I'm not mistaken (ya right!) I think the Componon-S and the Rodagon are equivalents to each other on the product rankings for each company.
What I am interested in is the experience of people how have actually used both of these lenses or have some other first hand knowledge. I'm not a big fan of datasheets etc.
Before I plunk down my hard earned Canuck Loonies your learned counsel would be greatly appreciated.
I have used and own these lenses from the manufacturers that you mentioned: Rodenstock Rodagon 80 and 50 and Schneider Companon 80 and 135. They are excellent lenses.
My all time favorite in a 150 mm lens is the Nikon El Nikor. A fairly pricey beast but I found one used. In my experience, it creates a difference that is discernible from the others. It is the only lens that I use today.
If you buy used you'll save enough to get one of each. If you get lucky you might even be able to get a Nikon for the same money. My Rodenstock 150mm set me back less then $50US. It's older [The Rodenstock website dates it around 1975] but works just fine. I got lucky but fair price is a lot less then what the new price is.
I just bought a used Rodagon 150 mm for $75.00 I have not gotten it yet but will in a week or so. I am upgrading from a Componon (no S).
I have used a Rodenstock Geronar 150mm 6.3 for several years.
I use it mostly with a 6x7 rollfilm back so I can tie my view in knots without worrying about coverage although it might be more of a problem with 4x5. It's optical performance is excellent stopped down to f/22 and better. The price was great. I'm happy.
I do have several (even several 150mm) lenses from various manufacturers and from four decades. Both Schneider and Rodenstock do have gems in their lines (e.g. the discontinued Apo-Rodagon 4/90 or the new Apo-Componon 2,8/40), but most of their lenses perform equal in practice (comparing members of equal categories). Even if your enlarger is perfectly aligned (which would be essential to even tell any differences between a four and a six element lens), you will hardly notice any differences between a Componon-S 5,6/150 and a Rodagon 5,6/150. It is even hard to tell the difference between a Rodagon from the 60ís to one from the 80ís as long as both are single coated. Multicoated lenses naturally do have better contrast transfer (up to one grade for huge prints). If you plan to buy one second hand, go for a multicoated lens (which are hard to find, except for the APO-Versions which usually are multicoated). The Schneider EL-lenses do come in two different barrels. The BLV-version does have a lever to open and close the aperture to the preset f-stop. This is convenient and an advantage of the Schneider over the Rodenstock.
Schneider has two lines of six element EL-lenses (three if you want to include the G-Claron process lens): the Componon and the Componon-S. They are different calculations (the Componon is 1-2-2-1 and the Componon-S is 2-1-1-2). The Componon-S will perform slightly better outside the recommended magnification ratios (2-20).
Pardon my ignorance, but what does 1-2-2-1 etc mean?
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (erose54 @ Feb 7 2003, 12:33 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Pardon my ignorance, but what does 1-2-2-1 etc mean? </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
I think it means 4 lens groups, with 1 element in the first group, 2 elements in the second and third, and 1 element in the fourth. So there's a total of 6 elements on them, in 4 groups.
thanks LFGuy. Hey 7 more posts and then you get 3 squares and become a member! It's so exciting!
... If you plan to buy one second hand, go for a multicoated lens (which are hard to find, except for the APO-Versions which usually are multicoated)...
I am considering starting a darkroom, and to keep costs down, I will buy a used lens. Does anyone have any advice on how to tell if a used lens is multicoated?
Thanks in advance,