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'New' ALPA Rodenstock 'Reference' Lens Series...


Active member
...well, not quite; no need to list your 'old' Rodenstocks in the B/S forum.

What Alpa have done is replace the colored bands (magenta/cyan/yellow) with ... gold ones (ahem) ... and ascribed these gold-banded lenses to a 'reference' class (ahem, ahem).

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Active member
Thanks for the heads up. We can't have too many negative posts. It adds to the ambiance.
Didn't mean to offend you - it was never intended as a criticism - simply an observation that what Alpa has done is kind of nonsensical, other than as another attempt to position their gear firmly in the luxury goods category.

The colored bands were there for a reason - to inform the user of a lens' image circle - so kinda useful - and what exactly does 'reference' mean ? Measured against what excatly ? And how ? Will the next generation of lenses be 'better than reference' or will they be the 'new reference' class (and maybe have two gold bands, or one platinum, or maybe they'll be studded with diamonds). Will this current generation of lenses then still be the 'reference' set, or will they now be the 'worse than reference' set or the 'old reference set' etc. etc.


Well-known member
Whether it is Hasselblad, Leica, Alpa or any other company, I always get a kick out of the luxury spin / special editions. I get an equal kick out of people's responses on both sides. I look at all this very simply: If it gets more people to buy then it pushes those humdrum standard editions down and out the demand curve.

And that's nuthin but good for me :thumbup:

Selfish Dave


Active member
If they actually dismantle the lens and reshim it at a higher guaranteed precision it can be a real value. But I wouldn't buy without knowing what they guarantee and how much they supposedly improve over the standard editions. Shooting a lens wide open and pixel peeping the sides we know that precision issues can typically been observed. Maybe they've improved this.

As far as I know you also have the ability to send in a lens you're not pleased with to get it adjusted for a fee, and maybe that is cheaper to do than getting than gold band.

I'm one of those that doesn't see much positive in nonsense "luxury" moves, to me it just indicates that a camera is coming closer to having played out its role as a real tool for serious photographers, and it's just tragedy. Alpa is not there yet though, and the gold band could as said actually be real value. Making camera systems with guaranteed optical performance is still an area I think tech MFD can have a strong advantage. With 135 systems it's still quite some sample to sample variation which means that you don't really know what quality you will get.