View Full Version : 100mm Convertible Symmar (6x9) experiences?

Mark Erickson
23-Apr-2005, 19:51
Anyone have any experience with the Schneider Kreuznach 100mm Convertible Symmar? Sharp? Not so? How about when converted to 175mm?


N Dhananjay
24-Apr-2005, 07:03
If you do a search, you will find a lot of information on the Symar convertibles in the archives. They tend to be pretty good lenses when used whole (i.e., as a 100mm lens). When converted, which is done by removing the front cell and using the rear cell alone, some of the corrections are lost, the most important ones being lateral chromatic, spherical and coma. This makes the performance so-so. You can improve performance by using the following measures. Lateral chomatic can be dealt with by using a strongly monochromatic filter to restrict the spectrum - something like an orange filter would be a good choice. Spherical and coma are aperture related and so stopping well down will reduce them. Performance after these measures is reasonable, but not as good as the using the combined lens. You should be fine with contact prints and perhaps minor enlargements. Cheers, DJ

Ted Harris
24-Apr-2005, 09:46
You should check the coverage of this lens at www.schneideroptics.com ... look under info for vintage lens data. My recollection is that it has minimal coverage for 4x5 and was designed as alens for 6x9.

Mark Erickson
24-Apr-2005, 10:12

Thanks for the info. I am specifically interested in 6x9 applications of this lens. I've seen lots of general information written about convertible Symmars and some specific comments and experiences regarding, e.g., 135mm and 150mm lenses. I was hoping with this thread to get some impressions from someone who has actually taken pictures with the 100mm version, say on a Linhof, Galvin, Century Graphic, or other 6x9 camera.

J. P. Mose
25-Apr-2005, 06:49
I own a 100mm Linhof select Symmar Convertible, dating from the early 1970's. Although I rarely use a 6x7 or 6x9 back on my 4x5 Linhof, I have tested it against a Linhof select 100mm Planar. My tests negatives yielded slightly more detail with the Symmar at f/16 and f/22, while the Planar was a better performer at wide apertures. Hence, if you intend to shoot more hand held, a faster lens such as a Xenotar or Planar may be more suitable (you will sacrifice a large image circle). If the camera will be used more on a tripod and intend on stopping down for most shots, a plasmat design such as a Symmar or Sironar may make more sense. By the way, the 100mm Symmar did cover the entire 4x5 negative and didn't appear to have fall off in the corners. I think it's a good little lens....I have never used it as a convertible so I have no opinion on it.