Most photographers consider that Rodenstock and Schneider lenses are of comparable high professional quality. I use them both. As is my tradition, I visited Rodenstock headquarters in Munich, Germany, several years ago. Rodenstock very kindly loaned me a lens to test on my Belgian rollout camera. I cannot help but be impressed with this class of friendly treatment.

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Experience teaches photographers to prefer precision German lenses for large format cameras: Rodenstock and Schneider are the choice of professionals.

Recently I returned to Munich, and visited the Rodenstock factory again. They reviewed their new products for digital photography for me. If you intend to use any lens for digital photography, be sure it is a APOchromatic lens. Regular lenses do not focus the red, blue, and green at the same point. Digital sensors will reveal this defect when you enlarge the image.

Schneider has been developing several exciting new products recently. A vacuum film holder is the most interesting, since a vacuum film holder would make it easier to use 4x5 film in the humid tropics. At Photokina 98 the Schneider representative gave an informative demonstration of this new item of equipment.

scheneider macro lens
This photograph features the Schneider macro lenses

Both Schneider and Rodenstock now make special lenses for digital photography. You absolutely need a digital lens if you do 4x5 format work with a high-end Phase One, Dicomed or Better Light. Why? Because older traditional lenses do not focus red, blue, and green in the same plane. You notice the out-of-register color banding when you do an extreme enlargement of a large format digital image. Yes, normal lenses will function just fine for small enlargements, but as you upgrade your equipment, trade in your old lenses for the newer digital lenses.

Schneider just sent FLAAR two new digital lenses to test, a macro digital lens and a 47 ultra wide angle digital lens. Our photo crew is in Guatemala now testing these lenses. Results will be posted shortly on www.digital-photography.org

Schneider Keuznach, D-55513 Bad Kreuznach (photo shows the Schneider Macro Symmar lens used to take all the circumferential rollout photos in all four of the FLAAR web sites).

Rodenstock, Precision Optics Division, Isartalstr. 43, D-80469 Munich, fax (49 89) 7202 164. Rodenstock lenses are imported to the USA by H.P. MarketinG

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Updated January 26, 1998, edited March 4, 1999, last update May 24, 1999; links organized April 20, 2000, last checked by webdesigner Feb 19, 2002; links added Mar. 2002
redesigned January 2004
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