Rodenstock Exakta Lenses

Long a manufacturer of large format lenses, enlarging lenses and lenses for the Kodak Retinas, few people know that Rodenstock produced a number of lenses in Exakta (and M42) mount, in both manual (earlier) and automatic (1961) models.

These lenses are uncommon in Europe and even more so in the United States. They range in focal length from 30 to 180mm.

Automatic Lenses

The automatic Rodenstock lenses are some of the rarer Exakta lenses in my collection. Four different models were introduced in 1961. The photos below show the normal 50mm Heligon and 100mm Rotelar with their proper caps and the 30mm and 135mm auto lenses with their proper caps and leather cases.

30mm f2.8 Auto Eurygon

The 30mm Rodenstock f2.8 Auto Eurygon is one of the rarer Exakta wide angle lenses. Slightly wider than the normally encountered 35mm wide angle lenses and slightly longer than a 28mm, it is a good compromise when you don't want to carry both a 35mm and a 28mm wide angle.

Featuring a 70 degree angle of view, the 30mm Eurygon has f/stops down to f/22 and focuses as close as .4 meters. It takes 58mm filters.

It is pictured with its proper cap and optional fitted leather case.




50mm f1.9 Auto Heligon

The normal lens in the Exakta Rodenstock auto lens lineup is the attractive 50mm f1.9 Auto Heligon. It is the least frequently encountered normal focal length automatic lens for the Exakta.

It has f-stops down to f16 and focuses as close as 0.6 meters (just under 2 feet). It takes 52mm filters.

I've been watching Ebay auctions for more than 7 years and only two (now three) Auto Heligon lenses surfaced in that time. Where have they gone??? Most recently a third one showed up on eBay which I just couldn't resist considering its scarcity.

Both of my 50 Auto Heligons are displayed.


100mm f4.0 Auto Rotelar

The 100mm f4.0 Auto Rotelar is the most uncommon lens in the Rodenstock auto lens lineup. In 35 years of collecting, I have only seen a very few of them. It is possible that they are more common in Europe.

The 100mm Rotelar has a 25 degree angle of view and has f/stops form f/4 down to f/32. It focuses as close as 1.5 meters. It takes 52mm filters.




135mm f4.0 Auto Rotelar

Although the 135 f4.0 Auto Rotelar is one full f-stop slower than the Steinheil 135 f2.8 Auto-D-Quinar, it is a superb performer. It is a very hard to find lens!!!

The 135/4 Rotelar has an 18 degree angle of view and has f/stops form f/4 down to f/32. It focuses as close as 2.4 meters. It takes 58mm filters.

It is pictured with its exquisite fitted leather case and proper cap.



Manual & Preset Lenses

Of the 7 Rodenstock lenses in my collection, 2 are manual lenses - a chrome finish 135mm f3.5 Yronar and a black 30mm f2.8 Eurygon. The Eurygon is quite uncommon in the USA.

Both lenses are shown with their proper caps, while the factory hood is displayed for the 135 Yronar.

It is interesting that the lens head from the 135 Yronar easily unscrews from its focusing mount for use on a bellows via a Novoflex "EXYR" adapter ring supplied as an option by Rodenstock. The "EXYR" ring, shown below, is rarer than the lens itself.



180mm f4.5 Rotelar (preset)

The 180mm Rodenstock Rotelar is one of the rarer Exakta mount lenses. It was only produced by Rodenstock for a very short period and is most uncommon, particularly in the USA.

Featuring a preset diaphragm with f/stops down to f/32, the 180mm Rotelar focuses as close as 2.4 meters and takes 49mm filters.

The 180 lens head can also be unscrewed very easily from its focusing mount for use on a bellows attachment.



120mm f4.5 Imagon (Soft Focus Lens) [RARE]

The 120mm f4.5 Imagon in Exakta mount is a scarce bird indeed. Focusing as close as 4 feet, the Imagon, through the use of diffusion discs, enables soft focus effects of varying degrees to be produced.

The lens is displayed, first alone, mounted on an Exakta Varex IIa and then in its original fitted box with its proper accessories.




Displayed on the right is the very rare 1958 Rodenstock Interchangeable Lens Brochure for 35mm SLR Cameras. It shows and discusses all of the lenses displayed on this web page.

Today, Rodenstock is one of the industry leaders in the production of high quality large format and enlarging lenses. I use their APO-Rodagons extensively in my darkroom.

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