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Thread: B+W or Rodenstock?

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    B+W or Rodenstock?

    I needed a polarizer for a new camera, and the camera store salesman said that they don't carry B+W anymore (which I'm not sure I believe), and sold me a Rodenstock multi-coated polarizer instead. I've used multi-coated B+W's in the past. Does anyone here know whether the Rodenstock is about as good as B+W, as long as both are multi-coated? Or should I return it and order a B+W from elsewhere?

    (This was at Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto, CA...)

    Thanks,
    Lisa

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Hi Lisa:

    I understand that the entire filter market is all blended now anyway, and most filters are made by three companies: Tiffen, Hoya and some random German company. I suspect the Rodenstock is as good as the current B+W. May favorites were the old Heliopan with the brass rings, but I don't know if they're even still available.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    My hunch is that some brick and mortar camera shops are moving away from B+W and Hoya a bit because they can be purchased from The Filter Connection and similar on-line resources for sufficient discount to make it impractical to compete. B&H makes it difficult enough, then some of the focussed on-line sources add salt to the wounds of the local shops.

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Dale, what the salesman told me as the reason they were no longer carrying B+W filters was that the Rodenstocks are similar quality for about 30% less cost. Of course, he might have been making excuses to get me to buy the Rodenstock because they were temporarily out of stock of the B+W; hard to tell for sure whether that's true or not.

    Jack, that's good to hear. (You were very quick to answer! Do you do anything besides monitor your forum?) If sounds like I should just hang onto the Rodenstock. (BTW, the new camera I just bought today, at K&S, was the Panasonic GH1, hoping for a smaller, lighter alternative to my Nikon D300. You have one, don't you??? Or was that the GF1?)

    Thanks,
    Lisa

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    I understand that the entire filter market is all blended now anyway, and most filters are made by three companies: Tiffen, Hoya and some random German company. ...

    Fwiw, Hoya is owned by Kenko. Both Hoya and Kenko branded filters are the same, e.g. multi-coated filters with either brand name are the same. Kenko also makes the Tokina line of lenses and lens converters -- and they make optics elements used by many of the compact camera manfrs, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony ... Some of the specialty glass/optics produced under the Hoya name have been of very high quality. I use Kenko filters because where I am they are the easiest to get. I use the MC Pro line filters (blue labels), not the lower end stuff (gold labels).

    A couple of years ago I was reading evaluations of polarizing filters. Kenko produced filters were consistent across the face of a filter, but varied in consistency from filter to filter.

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    The Rodenstock CPL is an excellent quality filter. I wouldn't worry about it ... differences between it, the Hoya Pro-1, and the B+W are marginal at best in my experience. I have all three (different sizes) and I can't tell the difference between them from the photos.

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Lisa, I was not, in any way, suggesting that the Rodenstocks were "less good" or that the B+W were superior. Sorry if that was not clear. Only suggesting that marketing channels and retail realities may be a factor as well.

    Rodenstock has an excellent rep for optics quality. In some of the specialized optics that I use (non-photographic) Rodenstock is an excellent choice. And as Jack states, it has been frequently discussed/suggested that there has been significant consolidation in the space and that branding has become a bit blurred.

    Enjoy your new filter.

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Thanks very much, all. I am reassured.

    I just asked because I hadn't heard of Rodenstock before, so I didn't know whether it was a high-quality filter maker or a mediocre one. It sounds very much like the former.

    Now I just need to get out and try it. I just got reservations in Yosemite Valley for this weekend to see the fresh snow that's been coming down all week (and is still coming down, but is supposed to stop by this weekend), and I'll bring the new camera with me to try it out. (And my old camera too, just in case I haven't figured out how to use the new one properly yet...)

    Lisa

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    For those who favour B+W, the Heliopans as simply just as good -if not better for some.


    disclaimer: i stopped using filters on most occasions

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
    (BTW, the new camera I just bought today, at K&S, was the Panasonic GH1, hoping for a smaller, lighter alternative to my Nikon D300. You have one, don't you??? Or was that the GF1?)
    Hi Lisa:

    I bought a pair of GF1's and am having one converted to IR ().

    Re Rodenstock, it's a well-known and highly regarded lens manufacturer for LF, View and technical cameras. It and Schneider are top of the heap in digital tech lens manufacture.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    For those who favour B+W, the Heliopans as simply just as good -if not better for some.
    A note of caution: when I was looking for a 72mm CPL for my Olympus ZD 11-22 and Panasonic/Leica VE-D 14-50, I first bought a Heliopan. It simply would not thread properly on either of those lenses. The B+W filter worked beautifully, as did the Rodenstock and the Panasonic-branded Hoya Pro-1.

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    A note of caution: when I was looking for a 72mm CPL for my Olympus ZD 11-22 and Panasonic/Leica VE-D 14-50, I first bought a Heliopan. It simply would not thread properly on either of those lenses. The B+W filter worked beautifully, as did the Rodenstock and the Panasonic-branded Hoya Pro-1.
    Godfrey -are you telling us that you had a problem with a new filter, then you just had to throw it away and change brands?

    All these brands are good anyway, with good service. First time i hear about an unsolved QC issue with B+W, Heliopan or Rodenstock. Hoya used to be another matter, at least in the past and depending on the origin / distributors.

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    Re: B+W or Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Godfrey -are you telling us that you had a problem with a new filter, then you just had to throw it away and change brands?

    All these brands are good anyway, with good service. First time i hear about an unsolved QC issue with B+W, Heliopan or Rodenstock. Hoya used to be another matter, at least in the past and depending on the origin / distributors.
    Certainly not! I don't "throw away" a brand-new $150 filter!

    I returned it and tried several other Heliopans (both CPL and others) the dealer had in stock. I had problems with all of them. None of the Hoya, Rodenstock, or B+W have given me any problems threading into these two lenses.

    I thought it very unusual, first time I've ever had such an experience. I've owned Heliopan filters in the past and always found them excellent. For some reason, their threading simply doesn't work well for these two lenses. (And there's nothing wrong with the lenses' filter threads as far as I can determine under examination with a loupe...)

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