View Full Version : Can someone tell what I've got (lenses)?

Josh Root
5-Jan-2006, 01:04
I got lucky and came across a neat Linhof Tech and some lenses. But I have no idea what I have as far as the lenses go. One the one hand, I suppose it doesn't matter, I'm going to use them no matter what. But on the other hand, it's always cool to know if you've got anything particularly special or horrible.

So if anyone knows anything about any of these, fell free to let me know:

-Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 150/4.5 (in Linhof synchro-compur?)

-S/K Angulon 90/6.8 (in Linhof synchro-compur?)

-S/K Tele-Xenar 180/5.5 (in Linhof synchro-rapid?)

-S/K Tele-Xenar 240/5.5 (in Linhof synchro-compur?)

-S/K Tele-Xenar 360/5.5 (in compound)

-Voigtlander Braunschweig Heliar 210/4.5 (in compound)


Thomas Vaehrmann
5-Jan-2006, 01:14
All are vintage 1950's lenses, mainly for 4x5''. Check Schneider's web site for more information http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/. Xenar and Angulon are sharp but give limited movements. The 360 Tele-Xenar covers 5x7'', the 180 definitvely 2x3'', the 240 was made in two versions, one for 2x3'' the other for 4x5''. The Heliar is a fine classic performer, hope you like it, too. Sell the 180 +240 if you don't shoot 2x3 roll-film free hand, keep the rest and look what lens you will need in the future.

Frank Petronio
5-Jan-2006, 01:28
Welcome to a proper forum Josh, now behave... ;-0 The Schneider website has a table listing serial number and dates. The higher serial number Angulons (5 million plus) are consistently better lenses.

In regards to your other post, you probably have a Tech IV. See Gandy's Camera Quest website for a detailed breakdown of differences, but the quick tell is the way the front standard rises. On a IV it is a knob, on a V it is a ratcheted lever (easier for wide angles).

Also, you can focus most 75mm - but not all, it depends on the focal flange distance. You can use a 65mm if you squeak it along manually (not geared focus) but that is hardly a precise German thing to do. There was a nice 75/8 Super Angulon in a Compur from that era which is a decent, no-movement lens.

As for the GG, Technikas usually have shims and very careful GG positioning. Over the years, your previous owner may have broken the original and maybe it isn't optimally positioned. No matter what, it will never, ever be a nice as the fresnel in your old Arca-Swiss. Your best be is probably a Satin Snow and careful installation and testing. The expensive but sure thing is to send it in to Marflex for adjustment and the additional of of a fresnel. The board is full of information on various Linhof options. (The best solution is to get another Arca-Swiss!)

The slickest thing to do is to graft the folding hold from a Graphic onto the back, replacing the old leather focusing hood. All you need is a file and a dream.

Finally, cameraleather.com has an inexpensive precut replacement covering. Great for when you need to clean it up for resale, or show it off to the ladies.

Josh Root
5-Jan-2006, 09:18
"Welcome to a proper forum Josh, now behave... ;-0"

Yes, yes. It's always easy (and sometimes deserved) to make fun of "other" forums. Such is life. I'm trying to remember if I posted anythign here after the "split". I know I posted more than a few times back when I had the A-S.

Thanks for the info so far. Interesting to know that those 2 lenses don't cover 4x5. The fellow I got this from didn't have a 2x3 camera and AFAIK didn't have a roll back.

Oh well, you never can tell what is up with photographers. We're an odd bunch.

tor kviljo
5-Jan-2006, 09:42
hello & welcome to vintage LF in a big way! You have got interesting lenses there, espesially since all (?) of the schneiders are in what you call "Linhof" synchro-compur's. The writing "linhof" is very important in this instance, as Schneiders quality-control at that time were variable at best. Linhof, however, tested each lens they supplied to their cameras (as they do today, by the way!), identifying the quality-controled lenses with linhof and sometimes technika designation. I have heard that returns of non-performing lenses sometimes were close to 50% - identifying the importance of the Linhof quality control.

As for the lenses, the Xenar is a sort of standard lens for the earlier (up to & including tech III) technikas, after that, the 6-lens symmar's became more the standard lens). The xenar is a 4-lens tessar design which is quite sharp, espesially in the center, but have a rather limited image circle & sharpness fall-off. Still produced today or at least until recently, it must be one of the oldest lenses in the world in production & bearing the original name.

The Angulon 90/6.8 is a sort of sought-after by poor field-camera people as it is the smallest WA you can find. It JUST covers 4"x5", but is (good exemplars) quite sharp. With a tech + others, you can do tilts with the rear (technika-type) back, thus getting away with the small image circle at least when it comes to applying tilt.

The set of Tele-Xenar you have is weired, usually, each tech came with only one of these: a 180 for 6x9tech, a 240 for the 4"x5" set and a 360 for the 5"x7" camera.

The 360 is attractive as it's a long lens but requiring only 2/3 of bellows draw = can be used on about all 4"x5"'s. The other two is so-so as they due to being tele constructions have a small image circle, and the optical center is not inside the lens/in the shutter plane, so applying center tilt with any of these also introduces the effect of an amount of rise. As with the 90/6.8, rear tilt can be applied instead (but know that front and rear tilt give different effect when it comes to the apparend distance the image covers: the relative size of things in far & near part of the image is different when applying front tilt kontra identical amount of rear tilt!).

The Tele-Xenar's is 3 or 4 lens construction - rather basic glass that is. The compound's is nice - the oldest shutter still in use I guess. Quite accurate when clean. Remember to wait a second or two for the piston to move all the way to start-position before you use it with longer shutter speeds. Also know that T position (also B?, don't remember) is only to be used if the shutter is NOT charged! Cleaning the piston for all lubrication usually fix it if it sports erradical shutter-speeds: the two covers can be unscrewed - beware of gasket on both sides. Clean with Q tip & alcohol.

The Heliar is Voightländer's lens of fame being one of the fastes lenses around for LF. Not sure, but belive it is a 5 lens construction supposed to be superior to the Xenar.

With the vintage of Your camera: if you were lucky, it also came with some of Linhofs 4"x5" film-cassettes with spring-loaded pressure-plates & ejector: Good holders when in order, og more precise in my opinion than the standard-double-holder. If you also got an old 6x9 rollex with it; expect uneven spacing between frames & lousy film-flatness in both ends of holder....

Good luck !

Ole Tjugen
5-Jan-2006, 12:16
The Heliar is a 5 elements in 3 groups lens, eith er of the Heliar type or the Dynar type. I know this seems strange, but that's how it is: Voigtländer made two similar lenses, the Dynar and the Heliar. The Heliar got famous, but they found that the Dynar construction was better. So about 90% of all Heliars are really Dynars...
Anyway it's a great lens, with a particularly pleasing transition from sharp to unsharp which has made it (both versions) loved by portrait photographers.

I'll second Tor's comments about the film holders - they are perhaps the main reason why I still use 9x12cm and 13x18cm film instead of the more common 4x5" and 5x7".

5-Jan-2006, 13:19
As for the GG, Technikas usually have shims and very careful GG positioning.

I would not say "usually". Didn't only the V and later have shimmed glass?

Dan Fromm
5-Jan-2006, 13:29
Ole, what IS the difference between the Heliar and Dynar designs?


Frank Petronio
5-Jan-2006, 13:35
My IVs had shims -

5-Jan-2006, 13:39
What's the serial number of your IV, Frank?

There was a transitional model between the IV and V. I've heard it called the 'European Transitional', but gosh only knows.

My IV has no shims or even the place for them. I use the RF, too, and it's just fine. Checking against the GG shows all is well.

Should I be unhappy? :)

CP Goerz
8-Jan-2006, 17:00
Dan, Herr Harting switched the elements from concave to convex towards the stop.

CP Goerz.