View Full Version : Schneideritis - what's the newest lens to develop

Frank Petronio
15-Jan-2005, 12:51
I've seen Schneideritis plague many vintage Schneider lenses - I am wondering if it ever occurs with "modern" lenses and when people think the cut-off date would be, at least by serial numbers that tell the date of lens manufacture. For instance, would it ever happen on an XL or APO-Symmar series?

I know many people will say that it has no effect, but I simply don't want it on purely asthetic grounds! Although I suppose it can be beautiful, in a random dandruff way.

Ralph Barker
15-Jan-2005, 13:44
FWIW, none of my Schneiders, some purchased in the early '90s, have developed the internal paint-flaking problem.

Jeff Moore
15-Jan-2005, 13:45
Frank, I have six modern Schnieder lenses (58/5.6 SA-XL; 90/5.6 SA-XL; 135/5.6 APO-Symmar; 180/5.6 APO-Symmar; 210/5.6 APO-Symmar; and, 300/5.6 APO-Symmar), all purchased new within the last 2-7 years, and have never observed this phenomena on any of these lenses. I have a couple of LF buddies who have also purchased new Schneiders within the last 5-7 years and tell me that they have never seen this on their lenses as well.

Ole Tjugen
15-Jan-2005, 14:07
My oldest Schneider lens is from 1927, ny newest from 1978.

I have yet not seen "schneideritis".

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Jan-2005, 14:17

I have not seen this on any of the newer Schneider lenses I own/have owned. This includes 80mm SS XL, 110mm SS XL, 120mm APO-Symmar and 210mm APO-Symmar (currently), and 120mm SS HM, 150mm SS HM and 180mm Symmar-s (past).

I have seen it on a lot of Symmars and a fair number of Symmar-S lenses from the 1960s and 1970s.

Ironically, the newest lens I've owned with Schneideritis was a Rodenstock 75mm f6.8 Grandagon-N from the late 1980's or early 1990s. It had four or five of the characteristic "tiny white bubbles". A collegue once emailed me a photo of his 1980s vintage 210mm Fujinon-W that suffered from a severe case. That's the only Fuji lens I have seen with this type of defect. I have never seen a Nikkor LF lens with this type of defect.


Ted Harris
15-Jan-2005, 14:37
I own or have owned the following with no schneideritis at all evident: 90 Angulon, 120 SA, 75 5.6 SA MC, 65 Angulon, 150 Apo Symmar, 210 Apo symmar, 210 Caltar IIs, 480 Apo Artar, 240 Symmar S MC. I did see it on a 150 convertible I owned long ago.

Gem Singer
15-Jan-2005, 14:50
Hi Frank,

I once bought an older Fujinon 105SW that was diagnosed by S.K.Grimes as having a case of "Schneideritis". Needless to say, it went back to Midwest Photo Exchange, and Jim gladly exchanged it for another lens (maybe that's why they call it a "Photo Exchange"?). None of my other lenses have ever suffered from the malady, however. From what Steve told me at the time, in rare instances, the black paint that is used around the outer edge of the lens elements to prevent flare will flake off and lodge in the air spaces between the lenses. He said that the condition was relatively harmless, but it will possibly detract from the resale value of the lens.

Frank Petronio
15-Jan-2005, 15:05
So buying an XL lens sounds like a safe bet - thanks

I've had older Angulons and Super Angulons that never had it, but I've seen a lot of silver dial Copal shuttered Symmar-S lenses with it. So far nothing with a black dial.

Approximately when did Copal switch to black dials? And then to black aperture selectors?

Christian Olivet
15-Jan-2005, 15:10
I have a G Claron 240 with plenty of the black paint flaking off. I really don't care a bit since it does not affect performance.

Donald Hutton
15-Jan-2005, 15:33
I've definitely seen Schneider lenses with black Copal shutters and a little Schneideritis. So shutter color is not a good guide. But, it just doesn't matter....

Frank Petronio
15-Jan-2005, 19:48
Ehhh... but all other things being equal, I'd rather not get one with flecks.

Mike Lopez
15-Jan-2005, 21:25
A collegue once emailed me a photo of his 1980s vintage 210mm Fujinon-W that suffered from a severe case. That's the only Fuji lens I have seen with this type of defect.

It must have been something with Fuji's run of 210mm W lenses, because I have a 210 that also has Schneideritis. It's the only one of my 4 Fujis to have it.

Frank Bagbey
15-Jan-2005, 22:54
My Schneider 300 mm F5.6 Apo-Symmar, which is only around 5 years old, looks like it has been sand-blasted internally. At first I thought the worst, since it looked like a horrible case of cotton fungus. Closer examination revealed the flaking. Fortunately, I cannot tell there are any adverse effects in exposures, but cannot imagine there not being a problem in the right photographic situation. My 150 Apo-Symmar, 210 Apo-Symmar, 120 Super-Angulon, and 75 and 90 mm Super-Angulons are all nice and clean and do not exhibit the flaking problem. Thank goodness!

Being the kind of person I am, if I was Schneider all these problem would be repaired free of charge. Browning, for example, repairs products even 50 or 60 years old free of charge unless there is an indication of abuse. This is common in their industry.

I don't think it is unreasonable to expect Nikon, Olympus, Canon, Minolta, Rollei, for example, and everyone else who supposedly made a quality product to make factory repair available no matter the age of their product. And large format manufacturers should repair and guarantee their products forever as long as the products are not abused. I don't think I am wrong. I know I would guarantee my own products forever if I was a manufacturer. Not everyone wants to live in a disposable cheap product world.

jose angel
16-Jan-2005, 08:45
I have experienced Schneideritis in two of my three Schneiders in use, a Componon-S 180 from 1997 and a 1983 G-Claron. Also, decementing on another two returned plain Super Angulons. The youngest SA72XL and SS110XL I have used looks fine.

There are some sellers on the web (very well known online shops) who doesn´t communicate or conceal to the buyers the existence of Schneideritis on the offered lenses. Is this a good or ethic practice?

Michael S. Briggs
16-Jan-2005, 13:00
If you are very concerned about the possibility of "Schneideritis" and you live in the US, you might want to purchase a new lens that the dealer obtained from Schneider USA, rather than used or greymarket. Schneider USA offers a lifetime warranty: http://www.schneideroptics.com/photography/warranty/ (http://www.schneideroptics.com/photography/warranty/). Mostly I think that the lifetime warranty isn't that valuable because most manufacturing defects will be visible immediately, but its useful for flaking paint or separation, which might appear many years after the lens was made. The warranty is only 1 year on the shutter and excludes abuse.

Frank, you insist that Schneider should be willing to repair your lens. Have you asked them? -- maybe they will. If you bought in the US non-grey market and it has Schneideritis, Schneider USA should fix it -- my memory is that the warranty has been offered for more than five years.

I think saying that the photographic manufacturers should guarantee their products forever is going too far. Even without abuse, mechanical items like shutters will eventually need repair work.

Jim Galli
17-Jan-2005, 09:28
Following is a conversation with Michael Klayman of Schneider, Technical Specialist. You should read from the bottom up to keep context.

Mr. Galli,

This won't affect image quality at all. If the lens element completely disengages from the housing, it might shift in the mount and go soft, but just bubbles in the housing will not cause this.


Michael Klayman
Technical Specialist
Schneider Optics, Inc.

>>> "Galli, James W" <jgalli@sandia.gov> 10/03/01 01:32PM >>>

Thanks for a timely answer. The only question unanswered is; Does the
phenomenon degrade the image in any percentage over what the same lens is
capable of producing if repaired? Has Schneider done any tests to determine
anything like this.

Thanks again, very much,
Jim Galli

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Klayman [mailto:Michael@schneideroptics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 9:32 AM
To: jgalli@sandia.gov
Subject: Re: schneider-itis

Mr. Galli,

This is somewhat normal for lenses of that era. As long as the bubbles don't
start joining each other and growing over 100% of the surface, there's no
problem. This happens because the glue separates from the black paint. The
lenses won't move around in the mounts at all. I would definitely mention it
to any interested buyers, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a defect in
the lens. You could always send them in for repair if you like.


Michael Klayman
Technical Specialist
Schneider Optics, Inc.

>>> "Galli, James W" <jgalli@sandia.gov> 10/02/01 11:52AM >>>
I own over a dozen large format schneider lenses from the 1980's. They all
have varying degrees of air bubbles on the flat black painted surface in the
group barrels. What has caused this? What if any is the remedy? Does it
degrade image quality? Should I mention it as a defect if I sell my lenses
on the used market? None of my lenses are still under any warranties as I
have purchased all used. I could provide serial no.s if you would like.
They are G-Claron's, Componon-S's, and Symmar-S's and Caltar S II's

Jim Galli

jgalli@sandia.gov Photometrics Tonopah Test Range


Brian Vuillemenot
17-Jan-2005, 11:47
I have a Fujinon 105/8 SW lens (mounted on my G-617 camera) that has this malady. My only Schneider (110 SS XL) is unaffected. I guess I better keep the Fujinon away from my other lenses, for fear of infection! ;)

18-Jan-2005, 18:21
I had an apo componon s lens that had a tiny flake of something in the middle of one of the elements since the day I got it. The lens worked beautifully, so I didn't care. But I mentioned it in passing to a Schneider rep during a conversation about something else, and he asked me to send it in. He confirmed that it was just a cosmetic flaw--but he replaced the lens anyhow(!)

I thought this was above and beyond the call of duty. In fact, if he'd told me he was planning to do that, I probably would have told him not to bother. But I appreciate the good will.