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  1. #1

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    Caltar-II N 90mm/6.8 SN identification

    I'm in the process of acquiring this Caltar (supposdely this is renamed Grandagon-N). I would like to identify it's year of production, have asked the seller to provide its serial number (of lens/shutter). Is there any online resource where I could check its SN to figure year of production ?
    BTW, its mounted in Copal #0 shutter which si all black (the ring isn't silver but black just like the shutter itself).

    Thanks in advance, Alex

  2. #2
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    You might check to see if Calumet can provide some info. They are very open about who makes/made their lenses, and according to their site this is indeed a Rodenstock Grandagon-N. I believe that it is recent given the black Copal, but they might have serial number lists. Their web site is http://www.calumetphoto.com.

  3. #3

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    Alex,

    The 90mm f6.8 Caltar II-N is indeed a private label version of the Rodenstock Grandagon-N. It is made by the same people on the same assembly line to the same level of quality. The only difference is the name on the lens, who provides warranty service and the price. Rodenstock has been supplying the Caltar II-N series to Calumet from 1984 to the present.

    I have a list of Rodenstock serial numbers on my web site to help determine the date of manufacture of your lens. It only goes up through 1998. Later samples (starting around 1994, or so) of this lens have a green trim ring (aka "racing stripe") around the front barrel.

    Hope that helps,
    Kerry

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys.
    Got a few pictures of the lens - has all black shutter (the ring is black, no silvered), but no green strip on the front barrel. I guess this is either late 80s or early 90s.

  5. #5

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    I was told by a guy at a camera shop that the caltar lenses are not up to the same quality. That they are made by the apprentice members of the company and their quality varies a great deal. he said that is why the Caltars are so cheap. Is there any truth to this? Sorry Alex. Hope you don't think this is a hijacking.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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    Not at all, Mark, this is quite an interesting piece of info, befor me putting my hard earned money into this lens...:-0
    However, I constantly hear that this Caltar in particular (Caltar-N II 90mm/5.6) is the same Grandagon carrying original Grandagon's reputaiton quality-wise, unlike other Caltars that can be an older Angulons or other models...go figure...

    Well, what will say our well educated an experienced APUGers ?

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I was told by a guy at a camera shop that the caltar lenses are not up to the same quality. That they are made by the apprentice members of the company and their quality varies a great deal. he said that is why the Caltars are so cheap. Is there any truth to this? Sorry Alex. Hope you don't think this is a hijacking.
    Preposterous. I'll bet the guy at the camera shop stocked Rodenstock lenses.

    It is as Kerry has said above. Really, it has to be if you think about it. This is mass production.

  8. #8

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    opps, missed the small note by mark that all that was told by camera shop sales person. Now that places his claim (of camera shop guy) in different perspective indeed, just like Brad has mentioned above.
    Karry deserves to be trusted in what he says confidently :-).

    So, guys, does Caltar-N II 90mm/5.6 with all black shutter and supposedly in excellent-to-mint condition worth 450$ ?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I was told by a guy at a camera shop that the caltar lenses are not up to the same quality. That they are made by the apprentice members of the company and their quality varies a great deal. he said that is why the Caltars are so cheap. Is there any truth to this? Sorry Alex. Hope you don't think this is a hijacking.
    Absolute bunk! Let me guess, this "guy at a camera shop" was trying to sell you his used Rodenstock lens for more than a new Caltar. Whatever the case, his story is pure BS. It is common knowledge that Rodenstock has been making all the Caltars since 1984. Heck, the last Caltar lens I bought even came in a Rodenstock box. Rodenstock would not risk their excellent reputation by dumping inferior "factory seconds" on thier biggest customer. They also make private-label lenses for Sinar. Again, they come from the same factory and are made by the same skilled workers as "genuine" Roenstock lenses. Does this "guy at a camera shop" also tell people that the lenses Rodenstock makes for Sinar are "not up to the same quality". His entire story is preposterous, makes absolutely no sense, and is a complete fabrication.

    The reason Caltar lenses are "so cheap" is that Calumet bypasses Rodenstock's US distributor and provides their own sales, marketing, service and warranty. Calumet is also an authorized importer of Rodenstock lenses. So, the lenses they sell, be they Caltars or Rodenstocks, are not even considered "gray market". Anybody who tells you that any Rodenstock-made Caltar is inferior in any way to the "genuine" Rodenstock alternative is either:

    a) making this up
    b) sadly misinformed
    c) has an alterior motive
    d) all of the above

    Kerry

  10. #10
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthalmann
    Absolute bunk! Let me guess, this "guy at a camera shop" was trying to sell you his used Rodenstock lens for more than a new Caltar. Whatever the case, his story is pure BS. It is common knowledge that Rodenstock has been making all the Caltars since 1984. Heck, the last Caltar lens I bought even came in a Rodenstock box. Rodenstock would not risk their excellent reputation by dumping inferior "factory seconds" on thier biggest customer. They also make private-label lenses for Sinar. Again, they come from the same factory and are made by the same skilled workers as "genuine" Roenstock lenses. Does this "guy at a camera shop" also tell people that the lenses Rodenstock makes for Sinar are "not up to the same quality". His entire story is preposterous, makes absolutely no sense, and is a complete fabrication.

    The reason Caltar lenses are "so cheap" is that Calumet bypasses Rodenstock's US distributor and provides their own sales, marketing, service and warranty. Calumet is also an authorized importer of Rodenstock lenses. So, the lenses they sell, be they Caltars or Rodenstocks, are not even considered "gray market". Anybody who tells you that any Rodenstock-made Caltar is inferior in any way to the "genuine" Rodenstock alternative is either:

    a) making this up
    b) sadly misinformed
    c) has an alterior motive
    d) all of the above

    Kerry

    Kerry,

    My vote goes for..........

    D) All of the above!!!



    Dave

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