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Thread: Schneider Super-Symmar XL series haze and fog problems

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Mt. Victoria,The Land Down Under
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    117

    Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    I live in Australia and I bought the 80 mm SS XL in December 2002. Eight months later it developed fogging in the front element exactly as you guys have described. It was sent back to Germany and came back repaired. Nine months after this the fogging reappeared again. Again the lens was repaired. Because of two repairs I lost confidence in using the lens, so it then spent most of its time stored in a dehumidity cabinet that I bought because of this problem. Could not be better protected. I took it out in January to see if it's fine - I could not believe my eyes. After being stored in a prefect environment for over 12 months it had again fogged up. I am a professional cinecameraman and have literally dozens of high quality lens stored in an upstairs dry attic. Over the decades not one other lens has ever developed moisture in it at all, and none have been stored in a dehumidifier cabinet.

    This third time I knew there was something wrong so I searched the forums and came accross you guys. Thank goodnes for forums because I would have believed it was all my fault and the lens would have never seen any use. What a waste!! The lens is now back in Germany. I am demanding a new lens, but I am still waiting Schneider's reply. Hopefully you guys can lend me some support in the problems you have had with this lens.

    Wonder how many others who are out there, blaming themselves for the moisture occuring in their 80mm? I will certainly keep you posted on the outcome of my dealing over this.
    Be a slave to technology, or shoot film.
    www.abriefvisionoftime.com
    www.photorepair.com.au

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Mt. Victoria,The Land Down Under
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    117

    Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    Postscript.

    Within a couple of hours of posting the above message, I got an email from Schneider promising me a brand new lens. I really must thank them very much. I must say they do take an active interest in problems like this to ensure their products are up to standard and to please us photographers. I personally buy Schneider because they are the only large format lens manufacturer that has upgraded their film lenses recently, and in fact introduced new lenses, like the classic series, the super symmar XL. And when we do have a problem, they appear to be a good company to deal with - they fix the problem.

    Anyway they explained the problem with the 80mm to be:

    "The problem which we had indeed was, in easy words, an evaporating lens surface in an closed air gap. Unfortunately this "evaporating" did appear after weeks or month. After the research and a complete new calculation of the lens we now can supply a Super-Symmar 4,5/80mm aspheric with no haze or fog in the front element."

    I must say if I ever see what looks like moisture in a new lens again, I will be a lot more questioning from the start. From what I gather what we were seeing was evaporated lens coating due to a faulty process - in simple terms. If anyone is dealing with a similar problem I feel don't just leave it up to the local agent that you bought it from, but email Schneider directly as well. I feel my local agent didn't really take the problem seriously - they thought I had just mishandled the lens. I was very demanding to my agent yesterday and almost instantly Schneider fixed the problem - I guess it was the first time that my emails were brought to Schneider's attention. I have the email address of the Schneider guy to deal with for this problem.

    Anyway full marks to them for replacing this lens.

    Anthony Lewis
    Be a slave to technology, or shoot film.
    www.abriefvisionoftime.com
    www.photorepair.com.au

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NY area
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    1,033

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    This problem is on going.. I bought my 80mm new in 2007...

    So at first I thought I had condensation in my 80mm XL Symmar. So I put it in a dry box with a kilo of silica gel. After nearly a week of this no improvement. So then I thought maybe it's fungus. So I checked with Jeff at Badger graphic. Turns out that Schneider had an issue with the adhesive used on the 80mm XL and 110mm XL lenses. He says he's had about 50 cases of this and that Schneider refuses to take any responsibility and will only fix it at a cost of $1200. Suffice to say he no longer carries the XL lenses.

    I have sked him to compile a list of those photographers affected and will attempt to see what can be done when a large group takes action against Schneider. Imports into the US are regulated in various ways and maybe a government agency can be of assistance. If anyone has had this type of issue with a Schneider lens please let me know.

    In further conversation with Jeff, he also states that Rodenstock has far better QA than Schneider and that he has experienced many Schneider lenses having unacceptable QA issues right out of the box. All I can say is that one had better think twice before buying a Schneider lens....

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Northwest of Chicago
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    1,280

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    Brian, I don't know if this is relevant to the problem you are having—I have a 110mm Super Symmar that developed haze, which may be the adhesive issue you mentioned. I spoke to Jeff at Badger who informed me that Schneider would not service the lens for that problem under warranty. They used to offer a lifetime warranty, but no longer do. I took it to Bob Watkins (Precision Camera Works) and he cleaned it for a reasonable charge. I don't know if the haze will return, although I assume it will. I agree that Schneider has some manufacturing and customer service issues.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,695

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    I owned an 80mm XL for several years, from about 2003 - 2006. I never had any problems with it, it was a great lens and a nice compromise between carrying both a 75mm and a 90mm.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
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    86

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    I have a Schneider Super Symmar 80XL which was manufactured in 2002. It has slowly been developing haze on one or more of the internal elements over the last few years, but does not seem to have markedly affected image quality possibly because I tend to use very small apertures. However, the haze is now quite extensive and I have resolved to return it to Schneider in Germany, having studied the Service info at -

    http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/service/service_e.htm

    I don''t much fancy a bill for $1200 equivalent to fix the issue so I will send the lens for an estimate and see what they say about the problem since it is a well-documented fault with the lens.

    Rob

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    10,341

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    "but does not seem to have markedly affected image quality possibly because I tend to use very small apertures."

    Very small apertures could mean that you are in diffraction anyway. What happens at f22?

  8. #18

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    May 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
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    86

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    "very small apertures." ... perhaps I should have said 'relatively' - I'm talking about f/16~22.5 (as opposed to f/4.5) where there is no discernible loss of quality (I am well aware of being diffraction limited)
    Last edited by RJC; 24-Dec-2012 at 15:15. Reason: Superfluous p

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,789

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    I just checked mine and it's fine. I bought it shortly after the first batch that had fogging issues, and I spoke with Jeff at Badger Graphic I believe, to ensure it wasn't a gen1 lens. Checked the 110mm too and it's also fine. They stay stored in conditioned space.

    I concur with Harley about the merits - small, not too heavy, lots of coverage (even 5x7), and flare resistant. You can't do better.

    But oddly enough, I did have a G-Claron that wouldn't stay clear. Nice, black Copal original, mint lens, and it would fog up after 4-6 months after a cleaning. No other G-Claron I ever owned did this.

    Cheers, Steve

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1

    Re: Schneider Super-Symmar 80/4.5 XL problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hamley View Post
    I just checked mine and it's fine. I bought it shortly after the first batch that had fogging issues, and I spoke with Jeff at Badger Graphic I believe, to ensure it wasn't a gen1 lens. Checked the 110mm too and it's also fine. They stay stored in conditioned space.

    I concur with Harley about the merits - small, not too heavy, lots of coverage (even 5x7), and flare resistant. You can't do better.

    But oddly enough, I did have a G-Claron that wouldn't stay clear. Nice, black Copal original, mint lens, and it would fog up after 4-6 months after a cleaning. No other G-Claron I ever owned did this.

    Cheers, Steve
    Well, I just noticed my SS 80mm XL's hazing yesterday. What a drag. Called Jeff at Badger Graphics where I bought it to see if he could help and he told me not to even bother contacting Schneider since they quit doing any warranty work on this problem some time ago. Great! Jeff did say he heard that there was an outfit in Colorado that was able to work on that lens for a reasonable price. Anybody know anything about that? Best, Rich

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