View Full Version : Looking for users of "Schneider Fine Art 550mm XXL"

George W.
10-Dec-2006, 16:21
I would like to get in contact with people effectively using this lens, to discuss its applications for ULF. Most comments I have seen up to now were more based on opinions than on actual experience.

Ted Harris
10-Dec-2006, 18:13
Michael Mutmansky wrote a comprehensive evaluation of this lens for a recent issue of View Camera, either the July or September issue IIRC. Michael shoots 7x17 and 12x20 so his evaluation is experience not opinion. Take a look at the article. Perhaps he will chime in here.

Monty McCutchen
10-Dec-2006, 21:02
Hi George,

I don't have much skill in the review process but I can tell you I own one and enjoy the freedom it brings to composition a great deal on my 20 x 24. See the following page and picture under my name for an example of the 550 XXL on a portrait I did of my son Satchel. The lens on the 20 x 24 has coverage to spare. In this example the lens was about 18 inches from Satchel's face which of course led to a greater than one to one sized portrait. My son is the second picture-- gum over Pt/Pd. As Ted said though Michael can give you a much more detailed account of its perfomance. I'm a buy and shoot guy to be honest.

Monty McCutchen

ps feel free to contact me and I can give you more input if you like


Colin Graham
10-Dec-2006, 21:55
Here's (http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=28969) a thread in which Mutmansky and Sandy King end up talking about the XXL and the fujinon 600 C. By all accounts a tremendous piece of glass. (In more ways than one :->)

Michael Mutmansky
11-Dec-2006, 06:29

I'm more of a shooter type as well. I didn't bench test the lens, because it is designed for contact printing. I bet it will perform quite well compared to other lenses in the same focal length with similar coverage.

If you are planning to shoot it on a camera smaller than a 12x20, it may be overkill unless you use very large movements a lot, or desire to use a lens at full aperture a lot. If you are thinking of using it on a 20x24, there's almost no other options out there, except a few long-dincontinued lenses.

If I used a 20x24, I wouldn't even hesitate; it's the best thing to get hands down. Substantially cmaller than that and you have to decide whether you need to coverage or not, and whether you want to deal with a relatively large and heavy lens (compared to a 600C, for example, which covers some of the ULF formats quite well).


George W.
11-Dec-2006, 13:47
Thanks for all the inputs, which I appreciate very much.
The intended use is for a 20x24" under construction.
As an alternative I would have process lenses of about double the focal length, which would be a little bit longer than 'normal', with the 550XXL being definitely a 'wideangle'.
However, the difference will be a factor 2 in the needed bellows draw, so before starting construction, the decision should be taken what the focal lens will be.
I know some 20x24" cameras using the Fuji600C, but that will probably not cover at infinity, but would be adequate for portrait work.

Does anybody know of an 550XXL second hand???


Ted Harris
11-Dec-2006, 13:57
George, finding a 550XXL second hand would be something close to a miracle. The production has been very limited. I'd be surprised if Schneider has produced 50 of the lenses; simply meaning that anyone who has one is probably holding on.

Michael Mutmansky
11-Dec-2006, 13:59

YOu need to decide if you want to do portraits. A longer lens like the very long Artars, Apo Germinar, or the longer XXL lens ( all around 1000mm ) are going to be all but impossible to manipulate for protraits (7' of bellows), so that is for the most part out of the question.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so), the bellows draw required for 1:1 with the 550 XXL is the same as the 1100 at infinity. So if you built the camera for the 550 at 1:1, it would also essentially be able to handle the longer lenses at infinity.

The 600C will cover 20x24 at 1:1, but I'm not sure at what reproduction ratio it will start to become soft in the corners. If you were at 1:.5, you may suffer with that lens unless you stop it way down. By infinity, the 600C is completely out of it's capabilities.