View Full Version : Odd little convertible Symmar

Dan Fromm
26-Oct-2005, 19:23
Take a look at this eBay listing http://cgi.ebay.com/Lens-Schneider-Symmar-f-5-6-50mm-M25-Mint_W0QQitemZ7556816756QQcategoryZ30062QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem for a 50/5.6 Symmar convertible to 90/12. I had no idea these things existed, checked Schneider's archive and couldn't find it there. It isn't mentioned in the Vade Mecum either.

Does anyone know what it was made for?

I can't image using a barrel lens on a 35 mm SLR. Even though it seems to be offered with an adapter to Nikon F, the little voice in the back of my mind tells me that it should have too little back focus to work at infinity on a Nikon.



David A. Goldfarb
26-Oct-2005, 19:32
Enlarging lens maybe? Cine lens?

Ted Harris
26-Oct-2005, 19:44
I'm gonna take a wild guess after looking at the picture. It appears to ahve an auto aperture mechanism and the "fork" on the top of the lens looks like the coupling mechanism for the pin in the old Nikon F Photomic cameras, bayonet mount looks right too although it has been a good 30 years since I have seen one. There were a lot of Nikons used for assorted military purposes and my guess would be that this lens was specially made for military use.

26-Oct-2005, 20:40
That is a Nikon-F mount.

The position of the lever (at 3 o'clock) indicates that it should be at the smallest aperture (highest numerical), but I don't see the aperture stopped down, so the aperture is probably uncoupled or broken. A real cobble job. A rare cobble job.

Struan Gray
27-Oct-2005, 00:48
It is a barrel lens with a M25 mount that someone has mated with a Nikon F mount. The silver barrel and the lens cells are cosmetically identical to Symmars and Componons of a similar vintage ('57-'59 from the serial number), so I'd say that is an original Schneider mount. Probably originally sold for 35mm rangefinder or cine use and then adapted by the owner.

Michael Gudzinowicz
27-Oct-2005, 07:36
The Nikon F to M25 adapter may have been used with a bellows for macro photography. It
would be simple to make the adapter - I've made similar ones from lens parts and odd adapters.

I suspect that the 50 mm lens is optimized for 1:1 magnification, and was used for the duplication of motion picture films. It's too slow to be a general purpose cine camera lens.


(Richard... have you ever seen one in Hollywoodland?)

Dave Moeller
27-Oct-2005, 18:57
I emailed the seller. The Nikon mount picture was a mistake...no Nikon mount with the lens that he's selling.

Dave Moeller
27-Oct-2005, 19:02
I should clarify my previous note a bit...if you look at the picture of the lens with the Nikon mount (and AI mount interestingly enough), you can see that the lens barrel is black (a bit of it is visible on the right-hand edge of the lens). But the exterior of the lens shown in the other pictures is silver. That's why I emailed the seller...I figured the pictures were mixed up somewhere along the line because the Nikon mount lens doesn't match the lens in the auction. My guess is he has/had/will have an auction for a Nikkor lens, and accidentally inserted a picture from that auction into this one. He responded that the picture was a mistake and that there was no Nikon mount for this lens. He sent no other details, so the guess about another auction is just that: a guess.

27-Oct-2005, 19:12
I should clarify my previous note a bit...if you look at the picture of the lens with the Nikon mount (and AI mount interestingly enough), [...]

AI mount? I guess the difference is subtle. Looks like a plain old F, but... well, ain't LF so...

Dave Moeller
27-Oct-2005, 21:25

You can tell Nikon's AI mount by the arc of material that's sticking out of the edge of the back ring of the lens on the left-hand side of the lens mount shown in the auction picture, and by the small, cube-like protrusion that's on the right side. The AI mount did away with the need for the "rabbit ears" on the lens that was used to couple with the aperture pin on older bodies to set the maximum aperture on the Nikon F mount, but the rabbit ears were kept for backward compatibility. The holes were pierced in them to let light through ont a 2nd set of aperture numbers that can be seen in the viewfinder of many Nikons of the time (FE2, FM2, FA, FG, etc.).

So...lots of info on the Nikon mount, which has nothing to do with this forum. My apologies to all for going so off-topic.

Be well.

Dan Fromm
28-Oct-2005, 07:18
Thanks to all who replied. Naturally I'm still a little puzzled.