Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2.8 Review
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2.8 is an enlarger lens for professional quality. Designed for the 35mm format. This is the best enlarger lens in its class.
The lens has excellent reproduction parameters on the entire zoom range. This is a workhorse for advanced amateurs and professionals.
Rodenstock Rodagon has an asymmetric optical design with 6 elements in 4 groups. The design is very similar to the Olympus Zuiko 80mm f / 4 Macro. It is found in many macro and reproduction lenses. The ancestor of this design is the Goerz Dagor.
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Specs
Focal length: 50mm
Aperture: f/ 2.8 — f/ 16
Length (mm): 47
Filter thread Ø (mm.): 40,5
Aperture blades: 5
Flange focal length at infinity, mm: 43,5
Max. recommended film size, mm: 24x36
Recommended scale (optimal): 2-15x (10x)
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Mounting on DSLR Camera
The lens has a flange focal distance of 43.5mm. It means that on cameras Nikon and Canon infinity will not be, and the lens will work in macro mode. But on mirrorless cameras, you can achieve infinity.
Caution: the lens has a mounting thread M39, but it also has a large rear projection, and if you set it on the camera through a simple adapter, M39-M42-Nikon (Canon) will cling to the back of the mirror. To avoid this, you need to add the smallest M42 extension ring.
With this constructive, at Nikon DSLR, the maximum focusing distance is about 25 cm.
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Handling and Mechanics
The lens comes in a box. At the bottom of which has a thread, where it is screwed.
The lens has a plastic barrel. The diameter of the first element is small, 24 mm.
In front is an aperture control ring beneath the window, which displays the aperture value. The diaphragm closes by half-stops. On the barrel, there is a switch that switches the smooth and discrete control of the aperture (seen in the photo).
The aperture has 5 blackened blades.
The rear unit has a large overhang. Also, it is easy to screw out. And unscrew it possible to obtain a lens with only one-half units. In this mode, it will operate as a soft-focus aplanat.
Sample photo only the front half of the lens. f / 2,8
The lens has no focusing mechanism. This means that they can only be focused by moving the camera or placing it on a helicoid or bellows. If you work in the studio, you can use it with a focusing rail slider.
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Photo Examples
All of the examples were shot on Nikon D3100. RAW export<without post-processing.
Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Sharpness
The lens has a sharp wide open, but it has a narrow depth of field at close range. Covering the aperture, sharpness, and depth of field increase, and the lens becomes very sharp. I've rarely seen such sharpness, even at macro lenses.
You can clearly see it DOF
Sharpness is excellent.
A few macro 1:1 examples with the helicoid.
Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Contrast and Color Render
The lens has excellent contrast. It copes with strong backlighting. And behaves even better than the Olympus Zuiko 80 mm f / 4 Macro.
Before I tested some enlarger lenses: Vega-11U, Industar-96U, PZU Emitar, most of them had low contrast and poor resistance to backlit. But Rodagon was pleasantly surprised by its contrast.
Rodagon 50mm f/2,8 Character and Bokeh
Even though the lens is designed for industrial purposes, it has beautiful bokeh and plastic figures. Especially at a wide-open aperture.
A few examples with a set of extension rings
Frankly, I'm an amateur in macro wildlife, but in the right hands, this lens is an excellent tool.
Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f / 2,8 is a quality lens with great features. You can use it for macro product shooting shallow and wildlife. Performance claims fulfill at 100%. The disadvantage is a short flange distance and the absence of the focusing mechanism.