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apo-rodagon D
  
 
rodmcwha
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · apo-rodagon D


Hi,
Is anyone using the rodenstock apo-rodagon D, for copy work?
I'm considering one for slide and neg copy, but it is a bunch of money, and i would like to know what kinds of improvements it will bring.
Thanks,
Roddy



Oct 28, 2013 at 04:00 PM
philhill
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · apo-rodagon D


rodmcwha wrote:
Hi,
Is anyone using the rodenstock apo-rodagon D, for copy work?
I'm considering one for slide and neg copy, but it is a bunch of money, and i would like to know what kinds of improvements it will bring.
Thanks,
Roddy

Improvements compared to what?

I recently borrowed this lens and subsequently ordered one to keep. Subjectively, Iíd say it lives up to Rodenstockís claims and published specs.



Oct 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM
rodmcwha
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · apo-rodagon D


Thanks for the response. Sorry I should have been more specific-As compared to a good enlarging lens, (rodagon, companon, nikkor)?
I am duping to my dslr a lot of old slides and negs. Even with the enlarging lens, I am getting consistantly better results than with my coolscan V ed. Would the improvement be worth the $?



Oct 31, 2013 at 01:18 AM
philhill
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · apo-rodagon D


rodmcwha wrote:
Thanks for the response. Sorry I should have been more specific-As compared to a good enlarging lens, (rodagon, companon, nikkor)?
I am duping to my dslr a lot of old slides and negs. Even with the enlarging lens, I am getting consistantly better results than with my coolscan V ed. Would the improvement be worth the $?


Well, a typical enlarging lens is corrected for about 10X+, so a lens corrected at 1x is theoretically better. Whether this makes a practical difference or not will depend on the resolution of your DSLR and the final image size, and probably even the quality of the film original.

I didnít do an A/B test against an actual enlarging lens, and that would be valid only if compared against your lens anyway, so I canít give a direct answer. Subjectively, I can say the 75mm APO Rodagon D produced results that visually seemed to validate Rodenstockís claims. That said, I was primarily interested in getting a lens that would do the job well, rather than comparing it to other lenses.

I have used a Tokina macro and several Componon-S enlarging lenses in the past, and all have done a fairly good job, so most likely the law of diminishing returns is coming into play. That makes it difficult to put a dollar value on what's probably a small improvement.



Oct 31, 2013 at 05:36 AM
Chris S.
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · apo-rodagon D


Roddy,

May I start with a small point for clarity? As you likely know, there are at least two APO-Rodagon-D 75mm lenses. One has a maximum aperture of f/4, and is optimized for 0.8x through 1.2x (I'll call it the "ARD 75 1x"). The other has a maximum aperture of f/4.5, and is optimized for 1.2x through 2.5x (I'd call it the "ARD 75 2x"). (There also exist both fixed and variable aperture versions of the ARD 75 1x, the fixed aperture version reportedly being a bit better than the variable aperture version. Whether or not a similar variation occurs in the 2x ARD, I don't know.)

I have and use both of these lenses (variable aperture versions) for macro work, but have never tried them for digitizing slides. I can say that both are very good--far better, for example, than my EL Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 N enlarging lens. FYI, I also have a Printing Nikkor 105mm (which, like the 75mm ARD 1x, is optimized for 1:1) that seems better still. But the PN 105 is hard to find--and requires either an even harder-to-find mount, or a custom made one. The 75mm ARD 1X, on the other hand, is easy to obtain and mount.

These lenses have been discussed several times at http://photomacrography.net/forum/ , though for macro use, not copy work. Also, Mark Goodman has posted tests of both these lenses at http://coinimaging.com/Lens_tests.html for coin photography. These discussions are informative, but might or might not help you decide if the lens will improve your slide copying.

Your report that your efforts with an enlarging lens have produced better results than your Nikon Coolscan V is very interesting. This being the case, I suspect that the ARD 75 1x may be a worthwhile upgrade to you; if you have especially high standards, perhaps even the PN 105 might be worthwhile. While the law of diminishing returns certainly applies, personal needs and judgement dictate where the cutoff point occurs in the cost/benefit curve.

Thanks for raising an interesting point. I use a Nikon Coolscan IV for digitizing my slides. But since I already have the optics, you're making me wonder if I'd get better results with my Printing Nikkor 105mm. Certainly, shooting with the PN 105 would be quicker, and would more easily facilitate focus stacking for curved slides, and modest HDR for potentially improved dynamic range. Whether this would make a real-world improvement is open to question, but the experiments should probably be conducted.

Given that these optics are available in open auctions, the cost to purchase, evaluate, and then sell a lens that does not suit your work seems limitable to the transactional costs of buying and selling, plus the increment between your price and the price of the next highest bidder. With a bit of care, doesn't this seem like a reasonable cost for finding out if the lenses offer justifiable improvement for you?

Cheers,

--Chris



Nov 02, 2013 at 05:34 AM
 

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philhill
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · apo-rodagon D


Years ago (decades, actually), I routinely made internegatives from transparencies to be used for optical printing. Then came dedicated film scanners and digital printing (late nineties), so thatís what I used. First Canon, then Plustek for scanning.

Now I seem to have come full circle, at least as far as the duplicating setup. Why? Well, 35mm (aka FF) DSLRs have evolved to the point that they can overcome weaknesses inherent to the scanning process and deliver high quality captures.

For one thing, scanners tend to be diffraction-limited before the digital resolution is reached. I assume that's because manufacturers use a small aperture to maximize DOF. Even so, achieving precise focus is still difficult, at best. Also errors can be introduced by the mechinical stepper assemblies.

Then thereís the light source. Now I can use a diffused light source to minimize film grain and scratches, or I can use a condensed light source to maximize contrast and apparent sharpness. And I can fully neutralize the orange mask of color negatives at the source, instead of correcting for that digitally, a process that can accentuate digital noise.

Iíve now attached a seven-inch display that allows me to easily and precisely focus and adjust the color of the light source using the live view capability of my DSLR. Thatís worked so well and turned out to be so convenient that I decided to pursue the best optical results possible, as a final tweak. The 75mm f/4 Rodagon D, which is superb at 1:1, seems well-suited to the task



Nov 03, 2013 at 12:57 AM
rodmcwha
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · apo-rodagon D


Thank you, both, for your thoughtful replies.
Phil, it sounds like we have followed a similar path. Your idea of attaching a small display is excellent. I will be doing the same.
Chris, thanks for the information and the forum link. And, you are right, I should just pick one up and compare for myself.
I didn't mean to put down the results from my Coolscan v ed, it is a good scanner, especially for the price, and for some images, does the job well. But, as Phil said, the ability to choose your light source and to neutralize the negative mask is very helpful. And, you can certainly speed up the process using your camera over a scanner!
Again, thank you, both. I will post agin when I have had a chance to try out the lens.



Nov 06, 2013 at 06:23 AM
philhill
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · apo-rodagon D


By the way, Iíve been experimenting with an inverted dichro color head as the light source. In case you donít have one laying around, as I did, theyíre fairly inexpensive on eBay these days. Previously I used a Repronar, but the dichro head may turn out to be a better choice in the digital era.

I recommend adding heat-absorbing glass, even though that's not strictly required.



Nov 06, 2013 at 07:07 PM
rodmcwha
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · apo-rodagon D


Phil, I am lucky enough to still have a beseler dual mode slide duplicator to use. I am actually getting better results by removing the column and setting the base on my copy stand and using my micro nikkor, vs using the bellows and enlarging lens. That is what had me contemplating the ARD75.


Nov 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM





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