Rodenstock 90mm f/6.8 Grandagon

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by wmwhee, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. I am not familiar with the development of the Grandagon series and would like
    to know if Rodenstock manufactured both a Grandagon lens and a Grandagon-N
    lens. If so, what is the difference between the versions? Multicoating?
    Other? How does the Grandagon lens in this focal length compare with the Nikon
    SW 90mm f/8 lens? Thanks. Bill W.
  2. The f4.5 and f6.8 Grandagon and Grandagon-N are extremely similar lenses, perhaps even
    identical. Rodenstock changed the name in the 1980s, but the specs are the same. Early
    Grandagon non-N lenses are single-coated, later ones are multicoated. The multicoated
    ones are labeled and thus are easy to identify.
  3. All I know about those is the N-series was or are an extreme wide angle lens cover 100-105 degree so as the Grandagon and oth are coated too. What is important to know that the N-series have almost nothing of the light fall so you dont have to use centerfilter as you must have that to the older Grandagon. So it's a slightly improved lens But it cost more too say, about theprice of the centerfilter :).The f4.5 is used from 65mm up to 75mm but the 75 up to 90mm come with both f4.5 and f6.8 and what is the reason for that I really don't know but the 115 to 200 mm only exist in f 6.8
  4. The main differences between the lenses you've mentioned are size of the image circle (at f22) and weight:
    <br>Rodenstock Grandagon 90/6.8: 221mm, 460g
    <br>Nikkor-SW 90/8: 235mm, 360g
    <p>The differences in image quality are probably close to nothing.
    <br>I used to have the Nikkor, which is a truly great lens.
  5. Hi guys

    It is an difference, the faster Grandagon Ns, like the f 4.5 90mm, have 8 lenses and the f6.8
    Grandagon N 90mm has only 6 lenses, is this a difference or not!
    The f 4.5 90mm has an imagecircle of 236mm at f16-22 = 105 degrees,
    the f 6.8 has an imagecircle of 221mm at f 22-32 = 102 degrees.
    Hope it helps, Armin J. Seeholzer
  6. The question was about the difference between the Grandagon lenses and the Grandagon-N lenses. For both series, the f4.5 and f6.8 designs are different, with the faster design having 8 elements and the slower design six elements. This is not a difference between the plain Grandagons and the -Ns.
    In one brochure, Rodenstock states that the Grandagon-N lenses use the method of increasing the pupil diameter at oblique angles to improve the light fall-off, but the cross section diagrams of the plain Grandagons look the same as the -Ns, so those lenses must use the same method. Recent PDF brochures, available here, have included graphs showing the light falloff versus angle off-axis. The curves for the Grandagon-N lenses generally follow the cosine to the third behavior expected for lenses using this method. This is improved light falloff, but there is still light falloff that might matter in extreme uses, so I wouldn't say that there is no case in which a photographer would want to use a center filter with one of these lenses.
    There are other cases, where for marketing reasons, Rodenstock renamed LF lenses. The Sironar-N became the Apo-Sironar-N and the Apo-Sironar became the Apo-Sironar-W. This was done to have a consistent nameing convention at a time when Rodenstock had three plasmat designs. The Grandagon may been renamed the Grandagon-N for marketing reasons, or perhaps there were small changes. From the specs, there is no evidence of major changes, other than early Grandagons are single-coated.
  7. It is my understanding that the Grandagon MC and Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8 lenses are the same design (as is the Caltar-II N version), though lens manufacturers sometimes tweak things like glass formulation and coatings over the years. A later example MIGHT have subtle advantages over an earlier one. I have a relatively late model Grandagon-N and recommend it without hesitation. It simply makes beautiful images. It replaced a 90mm f/8 Super-Angulon, and at least compared to that particular lens, the Rodenstock performs much better in terms of sharpness (especially toward the edges), contrast, flare control, color rendition, and fall-off. A good used example of the Caltar-II N version is probably the best deal going among the f/6.8 to f/8 90mms. In my experience, a center filter isn't absolutely necessary on this lens for most landscape work, though you will want one if you want/need to render truly uniform illumination across the image area. Of course, the Nikkor has a great reputation too, with a bit more coverage and slightly lighter weight.
  8. Thanks to all for the informative comments about the Grandagon lenses and the Nikkor lens. Very helpful. Also, I am always happy to see a photograph--a beauty, in this case--illustrating the point. Thanks again. Bill
  9. For what it's worth, the Nikkor is the one slower 90 that has 8 elements, which allows it to have greater coverage and possibly better quality near the edges. Whether you can see the difference in 4x5 with modest movements I'm not sure.
  10. Although I use the faster f/4.5 version, my understanding is that the f/6.8 Grandagon is a bit easier to focus and frame with due to that 1/2 stop increase in aperature. Optically it is probably the equal of the Nikon but still significantly heavier. It does, however, like the f/4.5 (and also as seen with Schneider lenses) share the same center filter with other Grandagons so that adds to the usefulness for serious LF shooters that like to work with multiple WA lenses.
  11. "Although I use the faster f/4.5 version, my understanding is that the f/6.8 Grandagon is a
    bit easier to focus and frame with due to that 1/2 stop increase in aperature." -- This
    seems backwards: the faster lens will deliver a brighter image and less depth of field at
    maximum aperture, and so should be easier to compose, frame and focus with. And the
    difference is 1+ stops. f4.5 is 2/3 stop from f5.66, f6.7 is 1/2 stop from f5.66.
  12. Michael is right! That's why all the fast "Oskar's" with no aperture control are famous among all portrait photographers with a little knowledge about the subject. I have seen landscapes scenery taken with that lens and it's really like pick out the needle. The sad thing is not much of those left. Some later addition of those lenses had the yellow coating as a built in filter
  13. I have just purchased a Rodenstock 90mm f/6.8 Grandagon lens and a Shen Hao 617 Panoramic camera.
    I took it out for a play the other night to photograph a large floodlit building. Even when removing the Centre Filter it was very very hard to focus the camera. I could only use the very brightest of high lights, A lot of the composition was guess work.
    I have since had a play with the camera in the daylight and find that even with a good lupe, trying to focus the edges is almost impossible if any of the subject matter is dark.
    Any suggestions that will help?
  14. Does your camera have a Fresnel screen on it?
  15. Hi Bob
    ????? I don't know, I have just had a look at it and it doesn't say anything, I would guess that it is just a Ground Glass Screen.
    I purchased it from Robert Whites in the UK, Spec and web listings are fairly non existant
    The link below shows some pictures if that is of help
    Any suggestions?
  16. Then tell the dealer that you would like to buy a Fresnel screen for it.
  17. Hi - I've just bought a Grandagon 90mm 6.8 to use with my Cambo 4x5. It seems like it should be a compatible lens, however it will not focus on anything except very close range. Should I be using a recessed lens board? Help!
  18. Probably, depends on what camera you have.
  19. Your camera may be assembled incorrectly. The right way is shown here:

    If it is assembled correctly, the tripod mounting block is between the standards. Remove it, roll the front standard back from the front of the rail, reattach the tripod mounting block at the front of the rail, move the front standard forward until it contacts the block. You should then be able to focus y'r 90/6.8 to infinity and beyond by moving the rear standard.
  20. Here's an easy way to get a bit less space between the standards:
    Tilt both the front and back standards fully back, or about 30 degrees from vertical if they'll go further. Then raise/lower the lensboard and back to re-align the lens central. Compensate for the now upward pointing lens by tilting the whole camera down on the tripod.

    This works for quite a few monorail designs, and can save the hassle of moving both standards to one side of the rail mounting. Of course you need bellows that'll close tightly enough.

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